[2.2] Updated EE Searing Bond Heirophant/Chieftain - Budget/Self-Found Viable

Warning: This guide is in the process of being updated for 2.2/Ascendancy. While it is accurate, there is still some testing to be done to ensure that everything is optimized.

Death and Taxes - Done
Twinned Necropolis - Done
Olmec's Sanctum - Done

This build is designed to be different from the traditional Searing Bond builds of seasons past. With the 2.1 changes, Searing Bond was designed to be very complimentary to most totem builds. However, it can be used as a main skill with very little investment.


Pros and Cons

*Can get very tanky and still deal tons of damage
*Can be played with very little investment, or even as self found.
*Doesn't have to worry about reflect or EE mods on maps (EE is free pack size)
*Immune to Corrupting Blood.
*Extremely flexible build, only requiring a 4 link and two 3 links to work, and no required uniques.
*Can do any mods, but some combinations are hard (No Regen and Blood Magic for example)

*Not a massively fast clearing build
*Pretty much weaker than every meta build
*Not a very good beginner build (lots of non-intuitive mechanics)
*THIS BUILD IS NOT DESIGNED TO CLEAR TOP TIER MAPS. This build is designed to get to level 90 on a budget.

Pretty much if you don't mind playing a build that's not as strong as the top builds, this one is pretty good.

Why the changes in 2.2

Truth be told there is no great Templar ascendancy for Searing Bond. It was never actually meant to be used as a main ability, as a supportive ability for other totem abilities (looking at you RF totem). In 2.2 if you are starting a new character I would recommend a Cheiftain from the Marauder tree. The trees are almost the exact same (cutting out the nodes leading directly to the Templar tree is the main difference), and the Ascendancy nodes are much better.

Normal: Pursuit of Faith (you still get the increased damage).
Cruel: Illuminated Devotion, especially good since Searing Bond on a 4-link is extremely good now.
Merciless: Divine Guidance. There's nothing really good here for Searing Bond. Divine Guidance is okay but you could run out of mana from big hits. Do NOT take Ritual of Awakening. Having more than 2 totems up is unnecessary, and the reduced damage is just a negative. Because this last Ascendancy is very weak, it is not necessary to do, and can be skipped or delayed if you are afraid of the labyrinth.

Normal: Ngamahu, Flame's Advance. Really good early boost of damage.
Cruel: Arohongul, Moon's Presence. Really good defensive boost, and can help keep your totems up longer.
Merciless: Ramako, Sky's Light. Generates endurance charges, Life regen and cannot be ignited is a nice boost.

Honestly you can switch Arohongul and Ramako, it's personal preference, but I would recommend getting those two over the other options. Tawhoa isn't bad either, but I think you would drop Arohongul over Ramako. The reason you don't take it until Merciless is because you likely don't need the endurance charges until the 70s. If you're running a hardcore character I would recommend going Ramako second and Tawhoa in Merciless, it's just such a huge defensive boost. Strength is another life scaling, Armor increase is huge, and the elemental resistances loosen gear restrictions.

* Searing Bond - Elemental Focus - Increased Burning Damage (+ Rapid Decay (In helmet for Heirophant))
* Cyclone - Life Gain on Hit - Fortify - Blood Magic
* Blasphemy - Flammability - Temporal Chains (+ Enhance)
* Any movement skill (I prefer Flame Dash, but Whirling Blades or Lightning Warp can work. However, with Kaom's you run short on links).
* Enduring Cry
* Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call


Searing Bond + Rapid Decay + Increased Burning + Elemental Focus gives insane damage for a 4 link (drop Rapid Decay if you must use a 3 link). They're also the only links that really increase Searing Bond's damage. Four links aren't hard to come by, and with the Heirophant you benefit from the elemental penetration when you put it in the helmet. Cyclone allows you to proc EE to a lot of enemies at once, and it's linked to LGoH and Fortify to increase defenses. Blood Magic is the only way to sustain cyclone in this build, but one hit gets more than the cost back.

Blasphemy is the best way to curse in this build. With Whispers of Doom (later swapping for a corrupted item that has an additional curse implicit), you add Flammability and Temporal Chains. Flammability is obviously the best way to reduce Fire Resistance further and Temp Chains is offensive and defensive. Offensively it keeps the monsters in your damage for longer, and defensively it slows the monsters from hitting you. Enhance adds more slow to your Temp Chains but doesn't help on Flammability because the quality bonus doesn't affect Searing Bond)

As explained above, with Kaom's I begin to run out of enough links for a Lightning Warp + LD + Faster Casting, and swapping to use daggers for Whirling Blades is annoying and unnecessary since you get Fortify from Cyclone. Enduring Cry is the best way to generate Endurance Charges in this build, and CWDT + IC is for spike damage.

Whatever you do, do NOT use CWDT Molten Shell in this build. It will proc EE and give the monsters Fire Resistance.

Quality on:
Temporal Chains
Increased Burning Damage
Elemental Focus
Rapid Decay
Life Gain on Hit
Searing Bond




No Granite


Current Gear

Hrimnor's is the cheapest way to get damage on gear outside of the weapon; however it only gives Cold resistance so you'll have to cap resits everywhere else. You'll also need a total of 104 dexterity for Temp Chains, but it's worth it. With only 40 in the tree you'll have to find some on gear (gloves and jewelry mostly). And don't forget to grab cold and lightning damage (the lowest Vagan mod for each is more than enough).

This build lends itself to Kaom's: it's defense is armor-based, it doesn't lose anything for giving up a 6 link and it benefits from the increased fire damage. However, if Kaom's is too expensive (2ex in Talisman Standard), a rare Astral or Glorious Plate will be good, and can give a bunch more armor.

For Flasks, I use 2 life flasks (one with warding to drop vuln/Temp chains), a granite for hard hitting mobs, and 2 quicksilvers for moving around faster. Heated, Staunching and Warding prefixes are necessary, but grounding and dousing aren't needed because shock and ignite aren't huge problems for this build.

TL;DR - Cap resists, get dex, armor and life, plus a minimal amount of cold and lightning damage, and everything else is a bonus.


Current Tree - Level 90 Heirophant

Level 90 Chieftain

Jewels: all that's needed are %fire damage, armor and life. The mana gain on hit is a leftover from when I was trying to make mana based cyclone work.


You can level many ways with this build. You can basically choose your favorite spell and use that until you want to switch over to Searing Bond. The earliest you can reasonably do this is the mid 30s. I did it in A4N. Because you take only Elemental Damage nodes early on, rather than Fire Damage, you can level with things like Freeze Pulse, Firestorm, Glacial Cascade, Shock Nova, whatever. Flame totem is the most efficient. A 3 link with Faster Casting + Added Cold/Lightning/Faster Proj (4 link use Faster Proj and one of the two addeds) and HoI/HoT make for really fast and safe leveling.

More to come!
*Video guide
*Gameplay videos

Is this Atziri viable? Testing it, I've never done Atziri before so failures are likely due to my mistakes.
Is this Uber viable?Oh god no, this was never meant to be Uber viable.
But I want to run a +3 staff!Okay fine. Searing Bond - Increased Burning - Rapid Decay - Elemental Focus - Empower - Less/Increased duration, whichever you think you need (I would recommend Less Duration) or Item Rarity if you want to run MF.
I don't think I can do Core Malachai with this build!That's fine, it's not meant to do everything in the game. It's meant to get characters to end game and can be a great character to start building wealth, even if you don't want to MF.

2/7/16 - Original Post
2/8/16 - Added screenshots and expanded the guide a bit.
3/3/16 - Updated for current tree and added the Death and Taxes video. Video Guide to come after Ascendancy when I have time to run the trials and get that set up. Gear is still outdated, but that is something I can fix over the next couple of days.
3/22/16 - Added Ascendancy information, updated for 2.2.
Last edited by IRockThs on Mar 29, 2016, 12:17:24 AM
Last bumped on Aug 1, 2016, 12:57:28 AM
Might try this with my next character. Ive been wanting to do a searing bond build since its been well over a year since my last one.....

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