[2.6]PewPewPews Official Cheap Firestorm Build - Perfect for Newcomers/SSF


My thought on the 2.6 patch notes.

Skill Tree
Gear > PewPewPewImmaLeftBehind
Bandits: Help Oak/kill/kill, or Kill them all

Use the code to quickly locate the right chapter.
[PFS001]What is this build about? - A quick introduction to this guide.
[PFS002]A Brief introduction to Firestorm, what is it all about? - The basic mechanics of firestorm.
[PFS003]Firestorm and Minions - The synergy between firestorm and minions.
[PFS004]Other essentials: Curses, and how we apply them - Curses and Herald of Thunder.
[PFS005]How do we set up our gems? - Our Gem setup
[PFS006]What about the Skill Tree? - Our Skill tree + Leveling Tree
[PFS007]So what about gears? It's cheap right? - The basics of gearing(what are good gears to get started)
[PFS008]So what about upgrading my gear? - Advanced gearing, what to look for when you want to upgrade
[PFS009]So why is the difference between Concentrated Effect, Controlled Destruction and Increased Area of Effect important? - Explanation + Playstyles
[PFS010]Do you have any video's? - Video's

The guide has two Versions now, Elementist and Necromancer
Although this build has been an elementist build from the beginning, I've also added a Necromancer version in the second post. Both builds are fine to start a league with, or a new character even. There are a few differences.
- The Elementist Build does not require any unique items, and can be played Solo Self Found. The Necromancer build needs several uniques to really shine.
- The Necromancer build requires more investment, but is a more forgiving build in the lategame due to higher sustain and higher defences.
- The Elementist Build has more damage, and can be upgraded with unique items you find or already have.
- The Necromancer Build Has a better synergy between minions and caster.

Whatever build you choose, I'll provide support as well as I can for both builds :)

[PFS001]What is this build about?
Low costs, starter friendly, high clearspeed, strong, adjustable, fps destroying, but fun build. A build optimized for those that don't want to look for good gear(or prefer to play self found), but do want the possibility to upgrade. Perfect for casual players, but it's also great for People going for the Solo Self Found Challenge or those who like to level hard. Due to the nature of this build, it is insanely easy to get to mapping, and clearing maps will be a breeze as well. This build can also adjust to most scenario's, dealing effectively with most threats, while keeping yourself safe. And if that isn't enough, it's possible to put decent amounts of increased rarity on your gear, without losing much combat powers.

Just be warned, this build can and will destroy the fps on lower systems - Although this has been much better since the big performance updates in 2.2.

[PFS002]A Brief introduction to Firestorm, what is it all about?
According to the wiki: "Flaming bolts rain down over the targeted area. They explode when landing, dealing damage to nearby enemies."

A few things are important here. You target a specific area on the ground, bolts will fall down on that spot for a set duration(or a specific number of bolts), those bolts will explode and deal damage in a small area. Add in the damage of firestorm, and you will have three important keywords for firestorm: Area of Effect, Duration, and Damage. But there is one more to it, the wiki doesn't directly refer to. Cast speed. However, it doesn't just add damage by speeding up the firestorm.

Now, I said that once you cast a firestorm, it will keep raining down for a set duration. While this isn't incorrect, it's more correct to say that firestorm will cast a specific number of bolts on a certain location, before running out. Yet, if you look up Firestorm ingame, you will see that it's duration is represented in seconds. If you link a faster casting gem to it, the time will not decrease: Faster Casting does not speed up the time between bolts. Instead, faster cast speed will allow us to act faster after casting a firestorm. This means two things. We will be able to cast multiple firestorms on top of each other, dealing more damage. And we will be able to move faster after casting a firestorm, increasing our Mobility.

Faster Casting is a good thing to have. But while Increased Area of Effect seems to be something we want lots of, it doesn't necessarily have to be a good thing. In fact, even though our bolts have their own AoE, that scales accordingly with Increased Area of Effect, the ratio between bolts and total AoE of the firestorm will always be the same. In other words, More AoE means Less Single target damage.

The red circle is the total AoE of the Firestorm
The orange circles are the individual bolts
Blue dots are the enemies

As you can see here, the bigger the individual dots become, the bigger the space between the dots become as well. And since the ratio between the bolts and the firestorm AoE remains the same, a bigger AoE means that they will hit a single target less often. That doesn't mean we need to aim for a small firestorm. While it is true it will increase our damage output against single targets, higher Area of effect will cover a bigger area(Yeah. Really.) and will be much more effective in dealing with certain situations(big packs, enemies that move a lot). More on this later.

Increased duration is also very relevant. It's a huge damage boost. Not directly, but more duration means more bolts, means more damage(Given the enemy will stay in that spot, but we'll get to that point soon enough). But increased duration will only be that damage boost if you keep casting. The more Firestorms you put on top of each other.. well. The more damage it will offer. There is another thing about Increased Duration that makes us really want it. While the firestorm is doing his thing, we can do whatever we want. We can run away, we can cast more skill, we can pick up items. Increased duration also gives us room to act without stopping the damage flow.

So while these four points are all influencing our damage output, cast speed and increased duration are mainly utilized for our options in battle while Increased Area of Effect and Damage mainly determines how many and how hard we will hit.

[PFS003]Firestorm and Minions
Besides Firestorm, we will also run with minions. At first, this might seem strange, hybrid builds often fail to work since they are mediocre in all the things they try to do, simply because the tree can hold only so many points. It's different for this build, since we only have to invest 9 points to get the most essential minion nodes. The secret is that we only get the life points for minions. All the damage nodes won't be necessary, since our main damage source is coming from our fiery Armageddon. Our minions will be just our meatshields.

Our main army will be the Raise Zombies. Zombies will Block incoming projectiles, take enemy attention, keep enemies in place(remember firestorm?) and warn us for potential danger(Whenever we see their HP drop fast, we know we have to back off). And the best thing is, our playstyle perfectly fits the AI the zombies have.

The zombies AI is simple, but effective. They run to the place we last cast a spell, and attack monsters around that area. Moving around won't immediately draw away zombies from the enemy, but if we move away too far, they will follow us once more(and if a certain distance is reached between the minion and us, it will teleport to us). This means, if we cast a firestorm in a group of monsters, the zombies will run to those monsters, and attack them keeping them nicely locked up in the rain of fire.

Besides our zombies, we also get two golems(See the ascendancy section for more information on this). Golems are a little bit more interesting as, besides having additional attacks, they also give us a nice buff. Our main golem is the Flame Golem This golem massively increases our firestorm damage. The second golem is debatable. While I would recommend the lightning golem for the additional damage and cast speed, the Chaos golem is a decent alternative in case you wanted something more defensive. Just keep in mind that the Chaos golem is not an elemental golem, which means, it won't get the added effects from Liege of the primordial(more on this later).

[PFS004]Other essentials: Curses, and how we apply them
We can run two curses in this build. One of the two is mandatory - the other one is a curse of choice. We run curses through a Curse on Hit setup. But since we don't want to cast many other skills besides our firestorm(we already have to resummon our minion every now and then), we have to do it through something that casts automatically. And for that, we use Herald of Thunder.

Herald of Thunder is a buff that reserves a bit of our mana to stay active. It has two components. The first one is a passive damage increase. It will add a flat amount of lightning damage to our spells. Since we only have a 30% damage effectiveness on our firestorm(meaning we only get 30% of the damage Herald of thunder gives us)this part is quite neglectable. The second part is far more interesting though. Whenever we kill a shocked enemy, lightning bolts will strike enemies around you for a short duration. This part is what matters. Everything hit by those lightning bolts will be cursed.

We only have one problem. Firestorm as it is, does not shock. So we need to find a way to get our enemies shocked. Our solution is Shaper of Desolation. This node is located in the Elementist Ascendancy tree. We can pick it up once we cleared The Lord's labyrinth at least once. Once we have this node, every fourteen seconds, we gain 6 seconds of shocking conflux, meaning any damage we deal, will also shock the target. So that means, during that period of time, even our firestorm will shock, effectively triggering Herald of Thunder.

Thanks to the amount of duration nodes we pick up from the tree, the active part of the Herald of thunder last for 11.6 seconds. Which means it is possible to have a 100% uptime of Herald of Thunder's active component.

It is also possible to drop Herald of Thunder and get Blasphemy instead. This requires you to be in close proximity to the enemy, if you want your curses to be up. If you prefer this, you're best off playing a more defencive variant.

[PFS005]How do we set up our gems?
Now we have the big picture out of the way, it's time to focus on the details. Let's start off with the gems. Not everything is necessary, and you have all the freedom to mess around with different setups, but this setup works for me, if you find yourself stuck, consider sticking to this setup.


You can find the gems at the gem vendor in these acts:
Act 1(Nessa): Firestorm, Raise Zombies, Flame Dash
Act 2(Yeena): Faster Casting, Concentrated Effect, Controlled Destruction, Minion Life, Minion Speed, Herald of Thunder, Summon Skeletons, Spell Totem
Act 3(Clarissa): Innervate*, Fire Penetration*, Increased Duration**, Minion and Totem elemental resistance*, Warlords Mark**, Anger
Act 4(Petarus and Vanja): Spell Echo, Increased Area of Effect, Curse on Hit, Summon Flame Golem, Summon Lightning Golem, Cast when Damage Taken

*After doing the Library Side Quest
**From 2.6 and up, we can get these gems from Siossa, in the Library.

If one of the gems don't show up, continue doing the main quest, you will unlock them as you progress.

Let's start with our main offence, Firestorm. As you can see, there is a lot of things going on for firestorm. Besides Firestorm, Spell Echo is mandatory. While it does not increase our tooltip dps, it massively increases our firestorm cast speed, with the downside that we always cast two in a row - locking us in place for a longer duration. In order to keep up our mobility, we run either Faster Casting or Innervate. Both will increase our cast speed, allowing us to move faster after casting, but Faster Casting will give us more Cast speed, while Innervate grants us Onslaught, a buff that gives us both cast speed and Movement speed. To finish our four link, we take either Increased Area of Effect or Concentrated Effect with us. The difference between the two will be explained in a later chapter.

If you manage to get a 5 link, we take Fire Penetration with us. Even against low fire resistant mobs, this is a huge damage increase. And for those rich enough to get a 6 link, either Controlled Destruction or Increased Duration will suffice. Be careful with Controlled Destruction, since it lowers our Critical hit. Note: it's a decrease in Critical Chance, not a more, we will still be able to crit, just less frequent!

Next up, our Raise Zombies. Really Straightforward. We want them to be tanky and fast, so they can take plenty of hits before they give and are fast enough to intercept enemies rushing towards their masters. Their damage is lackluster, so we won't be gaining anything from Life Leech or Endurance Charge on hit. So our best options are just the minion enhancing supports: Minion Life, for extra life, Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance for that bit of extra resistance and Minion speed for that movement speed(and attack speed, but we really don't care about that). It is also possible to swap out Minion speed for Fortify. This will increase the tankiness of your minions, however, it will make them much slower, and that will slow down your clearspeed as well, since you do want them upfront, if you don't want to take all the damage. It is an option for hard maps, but overall I would advice against going with it.

Our Herald of Thunder will be in a 4-link. Together with Curse on Hit, Warlord's Mark and a last curse of your choice. I consider three options, Flammability, if you prefer to do more damage, enfeeble, if you are taking too much damage or Temporal chains, if you want to slow down everything before it can hit you. When running harder maps, I recommend playing with Enfeeble. If you are confident in your dodging abilities, temporal chains is also a good option. Just keep in mind that Temporal Chains requires a decent amount of Dexterity to run. We won't get a lot from the tree, so make sure you get at least 60 dexterity from your gear.

Our Utility setup consists out of Faster Casting, our Lightning and Flame Golem, and Flame Dash. We get the Flame And Lightning Golem since it adds a lot of damage to our firestorm. See the Ascendancy chapter for more information on this.

Our Cast when Damage Taken Setup is linked to Convocation and Immortal Call. Convocation is mandatory, whenever we take a heavy hit, it will recall all our zombies to us, forming a thick wall around us that will draw enemy aggro and block enemy projectiles. Immortal Call will instantly add Physical immunity for a short duration. The duration scales with endurance charges, something we get whenever we kill an enemy cursed with Warlord's Mark.

And finally, our last Three link will have a Spell totem linked to Summon Skeletons. The last slot should be unlinked(!), and contain Anger, our main Aura. The Summon Skeleton Setup allows us to summon an army of bones whenever we need them. The totem will keep summoning until it runs out of time, or gets destroyed. Keep in mind that the totem will only summon when enemies are near it. As for Anger, it's our basic damage increase. Since it adds fire damage to our spells, it scales with all the damage nodes from the tree.

[PFS006]What about the Skill Tree?
Time to take a look at our tree. This is the tree as you should have it around 86.


If you read everything before this, this is pretty self explanatory.
- We pick up Fire damage, Elemental Damage and Area Damage to increase our damage output.
- Increased Duration will add more duration to our Firestorm, the active effect of Herald of Thunder and the duration of our Immortal Call.
- We pick up three major Minion nodes. We skip on Gravepack since it's four points away, and barely adds to the defences of our minions(Grave Intention however does add significantly to our minions defenses, so we pick it up, even though it's 5 points away).
- To keep casting, we get a few mana regeneration nodes.
- And of course, we get plenty of life and resistances.

Our choice of ascendancy will be the Elementist Tree. While every ascendancy tree looks great, the Elementist Tree allows us to trigger Herald of Thunder reliably. That is because of Shaper of Desolation, giving us Elemental Conflux on kill, which allows our attacks to shock, chill and ignite. For this reason, this should be the first ascendancy point you get.
Liege of the primordial is the second we pick up, as it adds a ton of damage. Even better, it allows us to run an extra golem! And on top of that, it will also make our golems almost indestructable! We get roughly 80% increased damage and 18% cast speed by just having our golems summoned, making this almost a no brainer.
The next node we get is Paragon of Calamity. For one big reason: it will make us quite resistant to reflect. With careful flask management, this allows us to run elemental reflect maps(don't overcast your firestorm, let the duration do its work)! It also adds a bit of damage, while it's not really consistent, it's still nice to have.
There are two more points we can obtain, after doing the uber lab. By the time you get to do that lab, you're most likely around 90, so don't count on it getting it anytime fast. But when you do: Pendulum of Destruction is our best choice.

As for the bandits, Either Help Oak on normal or kill them all, the 40 hp is nice, but not optimally used as we don't get +175% life from the tree, but useful if you don't think you can get the gear with enough life on it. For both Cruel and Merciless, we kill all the bandits.

As for leveling the skill tree, here is my recommended leveling tree!

We stay close and grab the damage, mana, minion and life nodes nearby. Even though we get minion nodes early on, minions aren't really reliable at this point. It's good to have them up before going into a hard fight, but don't worry about them dieing if they do.

We head down and grab the first cluster of duration nodes. We stack a bit more life to get that extra survivability.

49p/2apWe get more life, and the last duration nodes. This should make us tanky enough for the firsty labyrinth fight. The first two ascendancy points will go into shaper of desolation.

We are quite tanky now, so let's pick up some damage. We get Heart of Flame, arguably our biggest damage increase on the tree, and head down to the Templar starting area. With those minion nodes picked, your Zombies should be tanky enough to live through most normal fights.

We get all our minion nodes, plus a bunch of damage nodes. If you've leveled your raise zombie from the beginning, they should be tanky enough with those points to help you in the upcoming labyrinth(even without support gems). We get Liege of the Primordial from the second ascendancy upgrade, so our golem won't die again, we can run a second one, and we have a nice boost on top of it.

We get Elemental Overload for the extra damage boost(if you were using controlled destruction to level, this is a good point to switch over to increased AoE for the time being), and the extra curse + more life. This should be at least everything you want to have before you tackle the merc labyrinth. If you are still struggling with izaro(he one shots you), get a few more levels, and get more life. If you are playing on HC and don't want to take any risks, make sure to get at least 3.5K life/500ES before attempting Izaro. Make sure he does not get the chance to power up(if you swap in concentrated effect before going in, you should be able to melt everything that tries to empower him). At this point, both Pendulum of Destruction and Paragon of Calamity are good pick ups. I personally recommend Paragon of Calamity, since it will help you when tackling higher content.

And the final tree.

If you reach 86, you should have the final tree as planned above. From here, there are a few good points to pick up. I've crafted a 122p tree with several nodes you can pick up. It is also possible to pick up the jewel slot nodes to the left of Elementalist(templar area) or the one below Whispers of doom(dual curse node). Note that I also picked up the last ascendancy notes here. By now, you should be able to access and complete the final lab. Pick up the final remaining ascendancy, Paragon of Calamity or Pendulum of Destruction.

[PFS007]So what about gears? It's cheap right?
It is. Now the ascendancy tree has been released, we have no more need for any of the previous uniques. This basically means: If you just want to get capped resistance on merciless, you need an average of less than 40 total resistance per gear. Items like that are very common and you can easily compose your own set of gear by just whatever you find among the way.

Focus on Life and Resistance. Those two are the main things we need from gear. Try to obtain boots with at least 20% movement speed as well. Besides that, mana and mana regen are less important, but still a welcome addition. %Spell damage, %Fire damage(Keep in mind, flat fire damage won't do anything for us!) and Cast speed, are offensive options for us, so it's also not bad to have a bit of those on our gear. As for the bases, Intelligence and Strength work best for the gem combinations that we have, to try obtaining gear with either energy shield, or both energy shield and armor.

As for the weapon, spell damage, % fire damage(Keep in mind, flat fire damage won't do anything for us, unless it's specified it works with spells!), elemental damage and cast speed are the most important things we can get from our weapon. It's also possible to get resistance on your weapon, but focus on the damage output, rather than the resistance it might offer.

If you can't find a decent weapon, or prefer to have something solid you can count on,
the Moonsorrow is an option. It's a very cheap, but decent weapon. Even though it increases our lightning damage(quite useless for us), it gives us enough cast speed and spell damage to get quite far. It's easily replaced when you find something better, making it a perfect item when you are starting out with mapping.

We will also have room for(at least)one jewel in the passive tree. While it's best to get a specially crafted jewel with fire damage, spell cast etc etc, for the budget build, we get one that is free in the first place: Survival Secrets. It's good enough for starters, and you get it as early as in act two normal.

If you end up missing life or resistance late game, you can always add more resistance using either Haku's or Elreon's master crafting. If your gear hasn't got the best stats, it's usually a good idea to add life or resistance to your gear. It doesn't cost much, but make sure you get the right one - remove a master crafted mod is quite the chore.

Examples of some cheap good gears:

All these items have at least 50 life, and at least 25 total res. Not all stats are great, but it's good enough.

Examples of some bad gears:

While some of these might not seem too bad, they either lack life or res. High life and no resistance will only be the better option if you don't need the resistance on your gear(meaning, you are capped with all three resistances).

[PFS008]So what about upgrading my gear?
Cheap items are all fine and great, but as you go further, you will find more wealth, and better gear. Plus, there are also interesting master mods doing a lot for us.

As I've been getting lots of requests for the 'perfect' gear, I placed a few links to near perfect gears. Keep in mind that you don't need these gears to do end game content. They are just examples, things to work towards to. With this little disclaimer out of the way, let's start with the lists :)

Example of near perfect endgame Helmets
A rare with high Resistance, life and +2 to minion levels is by far the best we can wish for. Put your zombies in your helm, and they get two free levels, massively increasing their survivability. Skullhead will make our minions tankier, and offers a decent amount of life. Though, it is Armor and Evasion, making it hard to fit it in the build(Your best bet would be the Herald of Thunder, with Temporal chains, so you only will need two blue sockets). Though, a good rare with +2 to minion levels should be the best for the build.

One of the Firestorm enchants is best for our headgear. While I prefer the explosion radius - mostly increasing our damage output with AoE, both explosion radius and duration should be fine(especially since it's hard to get the right enchant on the right helm). But this one has a lower priority. Get it if you can, but if not, don't worry. Getting the right helmet can be a serious currency sink.

Example of near perfect endgame Rings
Example of near perfect endgame Amulets
In order of importance: Life/Resistance, Cast speed, Mana/Mana regeneration, Spell damage(Amulet only)/Fire damage. Make sure your jewelry has high life and enough resistance before looking at the damage mods.

Example of near perfect endgame Weapons
Even though Firestorm only has a 30% damage effectiveness, added damage to spells will add a decent amount of damage to firestorm. Just make sure you get fire damage added to spells, so you also have the optimal scaling. Besides that, spell damage, cast speed and elemental damage are all just as important. You can use a level 5 Catarina to craft Fire leech on your weapon.
The base for your weapon does not matter. If you decide to pick up a staff, make sure it has 6 sockets, and two 3 links. The one handed weapons each have their own strenghts as the dagger allows us to proc Elemental Overload more often, and wands and Scepters have that base damage going on. Although most wands have usually the best mods for us, don't hesitate if you find a scepter/dagger with better stats! Aim for at least 100 spell/fire damage combined with added cast speed, spell critical hit chance or fire leech.

There are a few uniques that offer straightforward stat bonuses, and work perfectly for the build as it is. Divinarius, a Doryani's Catalyst or The Dark Seer are just a few examples.

It's also possible to get a Scourge as your weapon. I would recommend a slightly different tree then, to fully optimize the damage bonus the Scourge gives. My personal preference is the Scourge with either a shield, or another melee weapon(Dark Seer, Divinarius, Doriyani's Catalyst, etc). But a rare weapon, with a rare shield can be just as good, if not, possibly even better.

Example of near perfect endgame shields
Life, ES, Resistance, Spell Damage are all nice to have on a shield. If you end up with an open suffix mod, you can use a level 5 Catarina to craft cast speed on your shield.

For uniques, both the Rathpith Globe and Saffell's Frame are excellent choices.

Body Armour
Example of near perfect endgame Body Armours
A 5 or 6 link will help a lot. Getting a 5 link isn't too hard, even for people with little wealth. Statwise, we look at Life, Resistances, and High ES. If you leave a prefix open, you can also craft a +1 to max Zombies with a level 6 Catarina.

A Carcass Jack will also be a good option, due to the increased area of effect, life, resistances, and damage. The Tabula Rasa is an easy 6 link. Since it doesn't have any stats, it's mostly useful until mid tier maps. If you plan heading into high tier maps, a 5 link with good stats is often better then a Tabula.

Example of near perfect endgame Gloves
Again, Life and Resistances dominate our needs. With a level 2 Catarina, it is possible to craft minion life on your gloves. Try to get the Commandment of Inferno Enchant(or at least the Decree of Inferno Enchant), as it adds a big amount of damage to the build(Since it's pure fire damage, it scales with all the nodes from the tree).

Example of near perfect endgame Boots
Life, Resistances, and high movement speed(aim for the 30%). There is nothing else we want on our boots. The Leech after kill Enchant is relatively easy to get on our boots, and a big help to run end game maps comfortably. You can do without, but it's simply the best we can get.

Example of near perfect endgame Belts
Besides the regular, Life and Resistances, with the help of a level 6 Tora, we can craft additional movement speed on our belt. Besides that, there isn't much we want on it.

The Doryani's Invitation is a great option for those that want a bit more damage and leech in their build.

It's important to have your flasks properly set up. I recommend at least having a flask that can dispel Bleeding. These flasks will save your life when you run into Corrupted Blood enemies. Since we are running with just a bit of mana, I recommend using a Divine mana flask with either extra charges or reduced charges used. Divine mana flasks use just a few charges, with a max rolled Ample/Chemist prefix, you get 10 charges from one flask. Really helpful when you are running no mana regen and hexproof map or fighting long boss fights without any ways to recharge your flasks. A Quicksilver Flask will also be very useful, since it allows us to quickly evade enemy attacks. For a quick burst of damage, a Sulphur Flask will be amazing. Cast it if you need a quick damage boost, or want to regen your zombies after Convocation triggered. An other alternative for the Sulphur flask is Atziri's Promise, granting a big damage boost against resistant enemies While also adding some leech to our attacks. Last, but not least, a life flask that grants life recovery to minions. This one is best combined with increased amount recovered, since our zombies tend to have high health. For that same reason, I recommend getting it on a Divine Life flask, since it carries the highest life capicity. The last flask should be up to you, although if I can do a recommendation, Atziri's Promise is a cheap, but very strong flask to have.

Fire damage, Spell damage, Elemental damage, Cast speed, Mana, Mana regen, Life, Minion Life and damage are all good modifiers for our jewels. If you rather have an unique jewel, go for Anatomical Knowledge or Mantra of Flames.

This is the gear as I've been wearing it in many of the video's. It's far from perfect, but I never intended to get perfect gear.

[PFS009]So why is the difference between Concentrated Effect, Controlled Destruction and Increased Area of Effect important?
I've stated it on multiple places, you want to have the freedom of swapping into either Concentrated effect or Area of effect. The difference seems clear at first, Concentrated effect has a higher damage output, while Increased Area of Effect covers more ground. One could say that taking both along will give you the best from both worlds, high dps, and great AoE. And while that is not wrong, I highly recommend against using them both at the same time.

The main reason is adaptability. Swapping Concentrated Effect out for Increased Area of Effect and visa versa, will completely change the way you can play the game. And that opens up a lot of room for tough situations/insane maps/hard bosses. For example while doing the necropolis boss you might want to start off the boss with an increased area of effect, since the boss spawns with a lot of adds(Blue pack + additional skeletons). After taking them out in quick succession, you can swap to Concentrated effect, to have this high damage output. Another example is the Haast Beyond Boss. Especially when you have lower gem levels, this beyond boss can be a serious pain in the ass. You can nuke him from afar with Increased Area of Effect, or swap over to Concentrated effect, if you have sight on the boss, and enough minions to tank him(Just make sure you switch gems when you are in a save location).

While a build with both Concentrated effect and Increased Area of Effect will still be able to deal with those threats, it will be harder for them. Simply because reducing the area of effect will increase the single target damage from our firestorm. And this is on top of the damage boost we get from Concentrated effect. By linking concentrated effect to firestorm, we will increase our damage output by two different factors, the direct damage from concentrated effect and the decrease in Area of Effect.

Swapping between gems can be dangerous though. Therefore, never swap if you have no minions around, or when monsters are near you. If you notice you need to swap, use Flamedash to get at a decent distance, and swap the gems. I have my gems in a 6 socket, 5 link armor. All I need to do, is put one of the two in the unconnected socket, and swap them whenever I need to. It's also possible to get an unset ring for the gem, or just leave it in your inventory, or put it in the 4 link with Flame dash.

What are the different play styles and why do they matter?
There are three different styles you can use.


Overlapping Storm - The sequence is rather basic. you Move/Cast/Repeat. As you can see above, you cast the next storm just a bit ahead of the first one. In between firestorms, you move forward just a bit. It's important to stay in motion, so you will be less likely to be targeted, and have less problems dodging enemy Area of effect Attacks. By alternating between moving and casting, your zombies will stay ahead of you.
Overlapping Storm is best used in open area's around your level/maps that aren't too hard. It works with both Increased Area of Effect and Concentrated Effect.

Fire and Forget - Similar to Overlapping Storm, only without the overlap. You cast once to twice, and run to the next pack. If you encounter rares, or high health mobs, just hold down the fire button until over half of their HP is gone.
This is great for exping, though you won't get much loot this way as most monsters will die of screen. Make sure you have always your quicksilver flask up, and use a lootfilter. One that alarms you whenever something good drops. You don't want to miss out on that exalt right?
Fire and Forget is best used in lower area's or easy maps. It can be used in both indoor and outdoor area's. Increased Area of Effect is necessary to make this work. Increased Duration is very helpful for those that have a 6 link.

Safe Play - Stay back and fire from afar. Let your zombies tank the enemy. You pile up several firestorms on top of each other, and let everything die before you move to the next pack. If you get attacked, you use flame dash to get to a save location. Frost Wall can be used for cover. When you are fighting hard hitting enemies/bosses, alternate between Raise Zombie and Firestorm. You do not need all your minions up during those fights, just two or three. If your minions can not hold the enemy, Instead of moving forwards, move backwards or in a circle around the enemy and kite the enemy while still raising a zombie from time to time.
This is recommended for Hardcore, Hard maps, Tough bosses. Depending on the speed of the enemy, use Increased Area of Effect(For faster targets)or Concentrated Effect(For Slower targets).

Now, I also mentioned controlled destruction. At first sight, it doesn't seem to fit between the increased AoE and Concentrated Effect. But take another look, and you will realise it stands between increased AoE and Concentrated Effect. It has more damage than Increased AoE, and more AoE than Concentrated effect. I recommend using Controlled destruction if...
- You want more AoE damage
- You don't have any trouble triggering your Storm Herald

Use Controlled Destruction instead of Increased Area of Effect, and swap out with Concentrated Effect if you want that extra boost(or if you just don't feel like switching between the two all the time). You can also add Controlled Destruction as a 5th support, if you have that 6 Link.

[PFS010]Do you have any video's?
Just take a look!
[Perandus League]
[2.1.1]Vs Atziri http://plays.tv/video/56fed3713092d6283b
[2.1.1]Vs Merc Labyrinth Full Run http://plays.tv/video/56e7167ea17706ff15
[2.1.1]Vs T5 Double Ghost Shock and Horror(Rogue/Warlord) http://plays.tv/video/56e71a77e66d37d13a
[2.1.1]Vs T7 Sallazzang(With enfeeble and monster life) http://plays.tv/video/56e9445c43497d1b94
[2.1.1]Vs the Spinner of False Hope + Vulnerability http://plays.tv/video/56f27037b213bd888e
[2.1.1]Vs Oba's Cursed Trove map http://plays.tv/video/56f27206b3cb04b1af
[2.1.1]Vs T8 Ochard map http://plays.tv/video/56f27358ed5cafe498
[2.1.1]Vs T9 Double High Templars http://plays.tv/video/56f3c08bc1a8e79ebc
[2.2.1]VS T11 The Arbiter of Knowledge http://plays.tv/video/56f5c1c483f3845e41
[2.2.1]VS The Apex of Sacrifice(Atziri) http://plays.tv/video/56fed3713092d6283b
[2.2.2]Vs T13 Fragment of Winter https://youtu.be/7irDFcABzSc
[2.2.2]Vs T14 Piety the Empyrean https://youtu.be/XkkkVsbAx24

[1 month Flashback]
[2.0.4]Vs Zana T3 Necropolis map https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NXYpXygppo
[2.0.4]Vs Zana T3 Shipyard map https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxiCeFdXDVg
[2.0.4]Vs T11 Arbiter of Knowledge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5tliRfr998
[2.0.4]Vs T9 The high Templar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv0GnVNrTcM
[2.0.4]Vs T9 Double Spinner of False Hope https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhG2yzJgPjU
[2.0.4]Vs T10 Double Merveil the Returned https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afFlys9MfBg
[2.0.4]Vs T10 Double Forest of Flames https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y00Hp-BhFqM
I am a nice guy.
Looking for cheap builds/builds for beginners? Check out one of my guides! /806789
Last edited by Appels_Zijn_Gezond on Mar 12, 2017 5:33:41 PM
Last bumped on Jul 24, 2017 12:26:50 PM
Firestorm and the Necromancer
I've mentioned it already, but I've been messing around with another version of the firestormer. This version uses the necromancer ascendancy and works around a couple of unique items, to get everything working.

This version has more sustainability and more defences, while trading off a little bit of damage. It is my go-to-firestorm build nowadays, as I feel it's way more viable in higher content. While this build is also fine for a first character, the Elementist build(first post)is the build that helped many people get into the game. If you are unsure, the safest bet is the Elementist build :)

Having that said, this guide will be explaining how to get to your end game setup, step by step.

End game setup
I do want to start off with my end game setup. Keep in mind that this setup works only when it has everything in it(including a 6Link). There is a small leveling section how to get to this point, so make sure to read that! This is what we want to be working towards to.

Don't use these items to determine what gems you need. I had been testing several setups at the time.

Click here for the tree - This is our tree as we get it around level 92.

As for gems.
Body Armour: Firestorm - Spell Echo - Elemental Focus - Faster Casting- Fire Penetration - Increased Area of Effect / Concentrated Effect

Cybil's Paw: Spell Totem - Summon Skeletons | Clarity(unlinked / lvl 1)

Scourge: Blasphemy - Enfeeble(can be swapped out for another curse) - Warlords Mark

Gloves/Boots: Raise Zombie - Minion Life - Totem and Minion elemental resistance - Minion Speed

Gloves/Boots: Cast when Damage Taken(Level 15) - Convocation(lvl 17) | Summon Flame Golem(Can be linked, better to leave it unlinked) | Flame Dash(Can be linked, better to leave it unlinked)

Kitava's Thirst: Bone Offering - Increased Duration - Molten Shell - Desecrate(lvl 1 is fine)

Bandits: Help Oak / Kill all / Kill All

Gearing up: A quick leveling guide
As mentioned above, getting all the gear you need, it going to be hard. So here's a quick leveling guide how to get to that point.

level 37: Cybil's Paw Tree
Cybil's Paw is available once we hit 37. This is probably when you're about to enter the beast. Buy two of them from http://poe.trade/. This will be our weapons until we get a Scourge. Cybil's Paw's strength comes from the life gained on hit. This is a flat amount per hit. Since Firestorm has a pretty high hit rate/second, this will give us a lot of sustain.
When buying a Cybil's paw, get one that has at least 7 Life gained for each Enemy hit by your Spells.

First Ascendancy tree
Our first ascendancy points will go into Mistress of Sacrifice. At this point, we want to link a Cast when Damage taken(level 1)with a Bone offering(level 7). Cybil's Paw has another mod we haven't done anything yet. We gain 8% increased Spell Damage per 5% Block Chance. Whenever Bone Offering Triggers, we get 28% extra block, which means we also get(5*8*2)80% spell damage! In other words, pulling off this setup, we will get both more damage and more defences!

Level 44: Our helm. No Kitava's Thirst yet! tree
This is where the problems start. Kitava's Thirst is in our end game gear, but for it to trigger, we need Firestorm to be at least 100 mana per cast. This isn't going to happen until Firestorm has reached level 16 and is on a 6 link! Until then, your best option is to get a regular rare helm, preferably with minion levels on it(Put your zombies on your helm for now!)

Level 70, getting the Scourge Tree
The Scourge is an endgame claw that can only drop from the Chimera boss. You won't be killing this boss while you're level 70, so it's best to buy it from http://poe.trade/.
Keep in mind, that this claw won't be massively available during the start of a new league. Chances are, that the first few Scourges will be quite expensive. It's also noteworthy, that we do not need the claw as soon as we hit level 70. We can go into maps, run some of the higher maps and still get through them with relative ease. So the best strategy is to wait until the prices lower, and get it. From my experience in the previous league, the price should be down to around 30C after the first week, and around 5C after a month.

The scourge is, however, a really solid pick for this build, as it adds a whopping 265%(!) increased damage to our firestorm. The reason for this increase comes from the mod "Increases and reductions to Minion Damage also affects you."

We get 195% minion damage from our tree(105% from the tree, 90% from our ascendancy), and an additional 70% minion damage from the Scourge. 265% is an insane amount of damage from one claw. Keep in mind that dual wielding the Scourge only gives us an extra 70% damage increase.

If 20C sounds a lot, consider doing the Chaos recipe while you're leveling in maps/Dried Lake. And if you still think it's a bit too much, it's perfectly fine to stay with both your Cybil's paws.

Transitioning to the endgame setup
The magic starts to happen once you get a 6 link, and have Firestorm at least level 18. This is the point where our firestorm will cost more then 100 mana, so we can trigger the gems in Kitava's Thirst upon casting firestorm.
You can get rid of your level one Cast when damage taken, and your Bone Offering. Instead, get a max level Bone offering, and the rest of the gems I've listed for the helm. Due to the long duration Bone Offering will have, we should have a 100% uptime of bone offering. Meaning, more damage and more defences!

Last league, 6 links were surprisingly affordable(again, around the 20C). You can also farm up your own 6 link by running a lot of Crematoriums

It's a good idea to craft a "+1 to maximum number of zombies" on your body armour. You can use Catarina to do so(once she is level 6 or higher however).

An extra item we can get is Rumi's Concoction. Using this flask while we are under the effects of Bone offering, will bring both or block and spell block, near the block cap. That while we have no tree investment in block!

More information on our Ascendancy
We get a lot from our ascendancy. So here's everything in a quick list
- Mistress of Suffering allows us to be affected by our sacrifice skills. Bone offering gives us a decent amount of block and damage thanks to Cybil's Paw.
- Flesh Binder gives us a decent amount of Physical Mitigation. We can get up to 9 zombies(10 if you use Ullr's boots, but I wouldn't recommend that), and each zombie gives us 1% of physical mitigation. Might not sound a lot, but it matters a lot when we are facing Physical based bosses like Izaro.
- Spirit Eater is a great boost in damage once we have the full setup running(30% minion damage for the Scourge, and 40% extra damage due to Bone offering in Kitava's Thirst
- Commander of Darkness - We are running quite a few unique items, so getting to the resist cap could be hard. Since we are running Clarity(level 1), we get the bonuses in Resists and damage.

Vs Double Merveil: Youtube
Vs Uber Izaro: Youtube
More will come eventually!
I am a nice guy.
Looking for cheap builds/builds for beginners? Check out one of my guides! /806789
Last edited by Appels_Zijn_Gezond on Mar 10, 2017 4:45:48 AM
pewpewpews build, always classic.
Ran a few maps with OP, can confirm it destroys both monsters and FPS.
Bump for Pew!

I will probably be playing this in the 5 week, though perhaps as Scion or even Templar - much as I love the Witch I have played too many. ;)
Would searing touch work okay in this build?
@WinDog: It will, since we do not really rely on having a shield or a one hander.

Just keep in mind that your setup will be different with a staff: Your firestorm will obviously go in your Searing, and you will need an armor that is 6socket with two 3 links for the spell totem setup and the HoT. Having a Searing will really increase the damage output though, so that will be nice :)
I am a nice guy.
Looking for cheap builds/builds for beginners? Check out one of my guides! /806789
Just wanted to pop in and say this is an extremely well written and informative guide! Thank you very much for taking the time to write this. I look forward to giving it a shot!
Hi, you said you would explain why you don't want to use concentrated effect AND increased area of affect at the same time, and would choose 1 or the other.

Please explain? I didn't see an explanation in the rest of the text, unless I missed it (I did skim through the gear section)
Can this build be played in hardcore? I'm currently looking for a build for the next league and i'm tired of going totems, incinerate or cyclone. Thanks in advance.

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