2.2 Elementalist Ice nova. Insane clear speed, AoE, and damage. Super cheap



Welcome to my epic Ice Nova Elementalist. This is probably the best build I've ever done, it's AoE and damage are amazing, it has an insanely fast clear speed, I can handle the most crazy content without dying, and what's more? The only item it requires costs 4 alts!

I am currently level 91 in the Perandus SC league, and in combat while buffed (with only my own buffs) my tooltip is about 29k dps. However if this seems low, don't let it fool you! Due to Elemental Conflux, I always burn and shock mobs I hit. And it's a strong burn aswell, because all the cold damage that I do counts towards causing the shocks and burns (Confirmation here) And I have lots of buffs that aren't counted in the tooltip such as the damage from Hypothermia and Frostbite. I would say I have only spent about 40 chaos on the build to get it to where it is now, which is very nice as it has allowed me to spend much of the currency I find on acquiring challenges. And if you wanted to spend even less than that, you surely could! I am able to do T12 maps pretty easily myself. I have not tried soloing a T13+, but that's only because I haven't gotten any. However I did do one with a party and it was easy.

So let's jump right into how you can make this for yourself!

Gear
There is only 1 gear piece that is a requirement to make this build, a 1-handed sceptre called "Bitterdream" (Currently being sold on Poe.trade for 2 orbs of alteration!). I currently have a corrupted one with an ideal implicit, and although not necessary, I suggest if you bring this build to end-game, you might want to invest in one, and it's pretty easy as Bitterdream is so cheap, and has no rolls. So it's just a matter of buying a ton, 3-linking them with B-B-B, and corrupting. I think I got mine on the 9th corruption.
Here is mine:

Other than that, you don't need anything special, no need for a 5-link Just get gear that is "good".

For my other weapon I use:

or

If you wanted to use a ES shield instead of dual-wielding, I'm sure you could do that, this might be advisable if you were editing this build to be HC viable. The dagger does a bit less damage, however allows you to use the fastest movement skill in the game, whirling blades. I chose to use the dagger, however the choice is for you to make.

For my chest I use:

I recommend for a chest to pretty much just get the highest amount of ES you can get in your price range. I picked this up pretty early in the league for about 10c I think.

My boots, gloves, and helmet:

For these slots pretty much just get ES, and resistances. Chaos resistance is very important for this build, as I have mostly ES, but I'm not going CI, I currently have 70% chaos res (that's right, not -70, 70!) and chaos isn't a problem at all. I'm sure you could have less than that and still be fine, but I would definitely make sure to stay above 50%! My boots enchantment is very good, however my gloves and helmet ones suck. I had a good gloves one (Decree of blades) but I changed it because, believe it or not, it was making me not be able to do phys reflect maps :/ I think the best for gloves would be something that's an on hit effect because I usually kill packs all at once so an on kill effects would often be wasted, plus the on hit will kill one enemy first, and then I'll get ele conflux, etc. and the rest will be a goner. So best enchantment for gloves is Decree of Flames (or blades and not do phys reflect maps) (update: I did some lab farming and got this character Decree of Flames, and It blew my mind it's so powerful, if you can do the merci lab, I strongly suggest pushing for Decree of Flames!)

My Jewelry:

As you can see, nothing spectacular. This really is a cheap build! I may actually do a regearing soon as I haven't gotten any gear for the character since very early maps. Jewelry is mostly about resistances, but try to get ES or spell damage/cast speed whenever you can.

My Jewels:
I currently have 3 Jewel sockets occupied with

I quite like these Jewels, I mean nothing incredible, just good, cheap, Jewels.

My Flasks:

For flasks, I suggest having something like this. Only one life flasks is needed, and it's always good to have tanky flasks (Granit and Quarts) and a damage flask (Sulphur). I might switch this to an Atziri's promise, but I quite like the Anti freeze ability on the Sulphur flask specifically. Really nice for strongboxes, I just open it UNID, use my Sulphur, and cast like a maniac. I can handle anything it shoots at me, Except maybe detonate corpses in certain situations :P Also definitely good to have a sapphire flask for ele reflect. I can handle reflect fine for mobs that aren't too tanky, but If I find a hella tanky mob with ele reflect, this comes in so much handy!

Skills
Of course the main skill is ice nova, and it goes in your Bitterdream
Ice Nova - Spell Echo - Increased area of Effect (+faster casting, hypothermia, ice bite, reduced mana, mana leech, cold penetration, and added cold damage)

I strongly suggest having a CwDT ice spear with increased critical strike chance and GMP to proc elemental overlord. It's quite handy if you ask me.
Cast when Damage Taken - Ice Spear - Increased Critical Strikes - Greater Multiple Projectiles

I also strongly suggest using a vaal haste as it makes clearing everything so much faster, As by the time one Vaal haste runs out, I usually have enough souls for my next one.
Vaal Haste - Increased Duration

It's also a good idea to have a different Cast when Damage Taken linked with ice bomb, and Increased AoE if you can fit it (Thanks to antibreeder for this idea)
Cast when Damage Taken - Ice bomb

I use whirling blades to get around, however the penalty of that is that I have to use a dagger in my offhand instead of using something with maybe slightly better implicit/mods. Other options are using either leap slam or lightning warp, or investing in movement speed and just walking around, however that isn't preferable since you don't benefit from my attack speed buffs/frenzy charges/etc. and you don't get to link fortify like you do on attacks, and don't do damage like you do on Lightning Warp. But it's up to you and what you prefer.
Whirling blades - Fortify - Faster Attacks

As for Auras, you must run discipline, and then you have room for 50% more mana reservation. While leveling I used Herald of Ice and Herald of Thunder, however at level 90 I chose to switch Herald of Thunder to Arctic Armour, not actually because I was dying very often, but because I started realizing that my damage was just plainly redundant. But if you want redundant damage, or you get survivability the other way, feel free to stick with Herald of Thunder, it's a matter of preference, so you can make that decision yourself. Keep in mind, even using Arctic Armour, I am still able to clear high level maps (T10+) even with mods like Enfeeble and Elemental Equilibrium, and still feel like I do a lot of damage. Also make sure to link Curse on Hit - Frostbite to any heralds you have for free cursing. And Innervate could be good on HoI as well if you're willing to lose the extra 2.5% mana reduction.

Other than that, make sure to use a golem (I use Chaos, but stone would work fine too, and maybe fire if you like redundancy) And also keep a high level Glacial Cascade on you to switch out with Ice Nova for difficult bosses as it does a bit more damage and also has a much better range (Killing hard bosses out of screen makes them a lot easier!)

Skill Tree

Current skill tree (level 90)

Leveling skill tree
100 Points
90 Points
80 Points
70 Points
60 Points
50 Points
40 Points
30 Points
20 Points
10 Points

Now keep in mind this is far from any sort of strict rules. I don't remember exactly how I leveled with this build, but looking at the skill tree now, this looks like the most logical course of action. Feel free to do it differently if you want.

For Bandits
Normal = Kill all
Cruel = Help Alira (I accidentally killed her :/ tssk tssk, but Kill all isn't much worse)
Merciless = Help Kraityn

For ascendancy subclass, chose Elementalist and get Shaper of Desolation in normal, Beacon of Ruin in Cruel, and Paragon of Calamity in Merciless.

Gameplay videos
New video at level 91, using the above linked gear (Using dagger instead of mace and with "Decree of Flames" as my gloves enchantment):

T11 Precinct


First 4 videos at level 90 with the above linked gear (using the mace instead of dagger):

Speed run T9 Gorge

T12 Shipyard + Zana mission

Fighting a level 78 Dungeon boss

Super duper duper fast strand

Hardcore
Someone asked me if this is viable for hardcore and this was my response:

Well I'm sorry to disappoint, but the build the way I did it really isn't hardcore viable. My ES pool of ~ 6.4k, although perfectly fine for my purposes since I freeze most everything, is not spectacular, and doesn't give me the surety of not dying that I would need in a hardcore league. However don't fear! Because if you like the look of the build, I definitely see the potential to build off the idea of ice nova/biterdream and make it hardcore viable. Here's some things you would need to tweak:

1. Probably use a shield instead of a second mace
2. Focus more on ES on the skill tree than I did
3. Probably spend more on gear to get super high ES values
4. potentially invest into ghost reaver and use life leech as a support gem
5. Be way more careful than I am, I run crazy map mods and play with a reckless playstyle :P Probably better to be more careful

But I bet with all that, it would be quite doable :D

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to leave a comment asking me about anything you would like to know :D Or PM me or message me ingame as Isviniq, again, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have or just have a discussion on it xD

I am a shadow. I was born the youngest daughter of a respected family, raised to fight, weep and bleed for God and the Order. I would have died to keep my mouth shut. Professional integrity, it's called. That lord sang a different tune once I had taken their children.
Last edited by jugglereli on Apr 13, 2016, 11:07:24 PM
Last bumped on Mar 15, 2018, 10:08:46 AM
I really like the idea and your videos are amazing.

I have some questions though:

1. Why not Crit? The base chance is good and the damage should be even better.
2. Why not go CI/(Low life)? It is more expensive but i think it should be the better option.

I might try the build as a crit variantion

Thirion
"
Thirion wrote:
I really like the idea and your videos are amazing.

I have some questions though:

1. Why not Crit? The base chance is good and the damage should be even better.
2. Why not go CI/(Low life)? It is more expensive but i think it should be the better option.

I might try the build as a crit variantion

Thirion


I'm glad you have an interest. And to answer your questions perfectly honestly, most of the reason is that this is just the way I chose to build it. And it has tons of room for variation.

I'm not using crit because I kind of fell in love with elemental overlord, I wanted to fill my two extra sockets with Increased AoE and Spell echo for constant freeze/shock/ignite to the whole screen, the critting wasn't going to help me inflict status ailments as I was going with ele conflux/chance to freeze, and because I didn't feel any pressing need to, and would prefur to scale my damage more concisely.

I didn't go low life because 1, I didn't plan to do much partying, 2, I didn't know shav's was going to be so cheap this league and solaris sucks, 3, transitioning to low life is a hastle, and 4, shav's still kinda sucks in the ES department.

And as for CI, I'm not 100% sure why, I'm actually a long lover of it, and I really do think it's mostly just because this is the way I ended up doing it. CI is 5 nodes away from much of anything useful, and I guess I didn't have a need for it, my life pool is large enough and Chaos res is pretty easy to acquire as long as you include it in your gear searches.

There are plenty of other ways to do this build and scale around Ice nova/Bitterdream, and I invite you to test them out and even leave a comment how it works and if you would recommend it.
I am a shadow. I was born the youngest daughter of a respected family, raised to fight, weep and bleed for God and the Order. I would have died to keep my mouth shut. Professional integrity, it's called. That lord sang a different tune once I had taken their children.
Thanks so much for the build ! I'm about to test it out now.

Do you mind posting a levelling tree progression as we progress throughout the character?
"
Thanks so much for the build ! I'm about to test it out now.

Do you mind posting a levelling tree progression as we progress throughout the character?


No problem, and I'm glad you like it.

Just posted leveling skill trees for every 10 points. Hope that helps :)
I am a shadow. I was born the youngest daughter of a respected family, raised to fight, weep and bleed for God and the Order. I would have died to keep my mouth shut. Professional integrity, it's called. That lord sang a different tune once I had taken their children.
Hi juggle, I'm starting a witch with this build and have some questions...

1) Isn't better to use other gem like Controlled Destruction instead Increased AoE?
2) Can I use a dagger with spell damage % instead the second mace to use Whirling Blades (better mobility than Leap Slam)?

I'm sorry if some of these questions are newbish ones, I've just started playing PoE a few days ago. Thanks for you time and your guide!
Last edited by Freegells on Mar 30, 2016, 12:14:29 PM
"
Freegells wrote:
Hi juggle, I'm starting a witch with this build and have some questions...

1) Isn't better to use other gem like Controlled Destruction instead Increased AoE?
2) Can I use a dagger with spell damage % instead the second mace to use Whirling Blades (better mobility than Leap Slam)?

I'm sorry if some of these questions are newbish ones, I've just started playing PoE a few days ago. Thanks for you time and your guide!


1. I personally want Increase AoE for the absolutely massive monstrous creation I have birthed to take full effect, and the damage is still very good. However I totally encourage you to try out different gems and see which ones you like most. Maybe you would prefer a bit less AoE with more damage where I would prefer the opposite.
2. Unfortunately, Whirling blades doesn't work unless you are wielding two compatible weapons. It does not work with 1 dagger and 1 mace. If it did, that would be the better option. The way it works now, I am limited to leap slam, lightning warp, or just plain moving. I think lightning warp would be faster/more maneuverable, but I stick with leap slam because of fortify. Which is a very useful and powerful buff that I'd like to hold onto if I can.
I am a shadow. I was born the youngest daughter of a respected family, raised to fight, weep and bleed for God and the Order. I would have died to keep my mouth shut. Professional integrity, it's called. That lord sang a different tune once I had taken their children.
"
jugglereli wrote:
"
Freegells wrote:
Hi juggle, I'm starting a witch with this build and have some questions...

1) Isn't better to use other gem like Controlled Destruction instead Increased AoE?
2) Can I use a dagger with spell damage % instead the second mace to use Whirling Blades (better mobility than Leap Slam)?

I'm sorry if some of these questions are newbish ones, I've just started playing PoE a few days ago. Thanks for you time and your guide!


1. I personally want Increase AoE for the absolutely massive monstrous creation I have birthed to take full effect, and the damage is still very good. However I totally encourage you to try out different gems and see which ones you like most. Maybe you would prefer a bit less AoE with more damage where I would prefer the opposite.
2. Unfortunately, Whirling blades doesn't work unless you are wielding two compatible weapons. It does not work with 1 dagger and 1 mace. If it did, that would be the better option. The way it works now, I am limited to leap slam, lightning warp, or just plain moving. I think lightning warp would be faster/more maneuverable, but I stick with leap slam because of fortify. Which is a very useful and powerful buff that I'd like to hold onto if I can.


Whirling blades needs only one compatible weapon to work. You can use it with mace and dagger. BTW, I love this build. So strong and cheap. Amazing. Thanks for guide :)


Got this on the 16th attempt. 9 link skill... that's crazy.
"
antheras wrote:

Whirling blades needs only one compatible weapon to work. You can use it with mace and dagger. BTW, I love this build. So strong and cheap. Amazing. Thanks for guide :)


Got this on the 16th attempt. 9 link skill... that's crazy.


Really? I could have sworn I tested it and found the opposite. I will go and try that out right now! Thank you for correcting me. And I'm glad you liked the build! 9-links are pretty fun, huh!
I am a shadow. I was born the youngest daughter of a respected family, raised to fight, weep and bleed for God and the Order. I would have died to keep my mouth shut. Professional integrity, it's called. That lord sang a different tune once I had taken their children.
Yea I was just about to reply this thing about Whirling Blades... But now I'm already accustomed with Lightning Warp.

And about the gem thing, I'm still using Controlled Destruction instead Increased AoE because I'm still levelling and my damage sucks a little (not geared at all). I know that if I use Concentrated Effect the damage would be awesome but the AoE would be meh. Some numbers just to illustrate:
- Ice Nova in a normal Bitterdream linked with Spell Echo and Controlled Destruction: 5.360dps
- Ice Nova in a normal Bitterdream linked with Spell Echo and Increased AoE: 3.920dps

This, for me, is a really impressive dps difference. Thus the AoE difference isn't that much.


To finish my post, have 1 question: in your levelling skill trees you take the spell damage and cast speed first nodes until the 70's tree and then you change that nodes to the ES and mana ones from the 80's to the end. Is it just an error or I can refund those early points and apply them to the other side?

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