[2.4 ATLAS] [(VERY) BEGINNER FRIENDLY] Qlbuto's Arc Hierophant

Note: This build was originally created back in Prophecy league (2.3). As of now I have stopped playing the build seriously as I feel there is not much else to do on him (except maybe levelling to 90), but I will try to maintain the build guide updated in case beginners come around.


2.4: Uhh. Not much. I mean, none of the skills/tree nodes/supports/auras have been changed, so... Yeah. There was nothing to do. Monsters got a little tankier but you should have enough damage to kill packs efficiently. Bosses are still a pain in the ass though. Would not say this build is Shaper viable (due to low DPS). Not like Blade Vortex rules anyway.

"My nightmares... They were Prophecy..." - Templar, upon entering The Terraces.

Greetings summ... Err, exiles.

Are YOU looking for a build to learn the game ?
Are YOU a lazy f*ck like me ?
Do YOU want not to worry about mana issues, while having a tanky character ?
Well don't you worry. Because I got you covered.



"But Qlbuto (pronounce "Cool – Buu - Toh") ! Hierophant suuuucks."
Why, you cannot go like that and say it sucks.
And if you do, as said in the introduction, this build is for players that are looking to learn the game, or for lazy f*cks. Want an overpowered cookie cutter meta build, that hacks & slashes through mobs like butter ? Then leave this place. Right now. Shoo, shoo !

"Why do you call this 'very' beginner friendly ? You sound soooo pretentious."
Uhh. Ok, maybe.
But you tell me of another ranged spell build, that aims for you, has no mana problems whatsoever and trivializes the game so much, you are allowed to focus only on monster movements and attacks and your flasks, and still make mistakes. Without an illegal, 3rd party program, that is.

But it's a spell build. You cannot use WEDu with spells."

- I am playing this build currently on Prophecy, it is level 80 as of last update -

PROs and CONs of the build

+ VERY easy to play (Arc auto-targeting, Orb of Storms always casting at our feets, curse automation via Herald of Lightning)
+ Tanky (high life and life regeneration, 40% Mind over Matter)
+ Low to no mana costs (no "my mana is spent" while casting, and not taking damage)
+ High mana and mana regen (helps with running Mind over Matter with 75% mana reservation)

- Suffers against tanky bosses like Izaro, Atziri, etc (Arc is bad single target)
- Limited clear speed (Arc chaining "only" 7 to 8 times)
- Somewhat vulnerable to elemental reflect (pure lightning build)
- Can become boring after a while (the same reason why it is VERY easy to play)
- NOT A TOP-END BUILD (fly, you meta fools !)

I don't have time to read this, do you have a condensed version ?

Sure, here it is. It also includes how I play it, with keybinds.
Oh, and here is the skill tree when fully levelled (121 points)
Good luck.

How is the build played ?

- Run to a pack
- If you need to get Onslaught or Elemental Overload (more on that later), or need a DPS boost, cast Orb of Storms
- If a rare or unique is present, cast Vaal Storm Call (if available)
- Unleash your constant stream of Arc's
- Rinse and repeat

You are tanky and you CAN facetank, thanks to high mitigation from armor and resistances, and 40% Mind over Matter (when hit, 30%, +10% from Hierophant ascendancy tree, of damage is taken from mana before life), however that does not mean that you SHOULD.
You are here to learn, and here you have something that makes the game easier and let you focus on kiting. So by all means: kite (meaning, try not to take the hits by moving).
Besides, it's never fun when you have no mana left (trust me), because you took too many hits.


Cursing (Conductivity: cursed monsters are less resistant to lightning damage) is automated via Curse on Hit (duh) Herald of Lightning.

Onslaught (20% cast/movement speed buff) generation is automated by the culling (hits on ennemies with less than 10% life automatically kill them), innervating Orb of Storms.

Shocking (needed to trigger Onslaught and Herald of Lightning) is automated by Arc's passive property (10% chance to shock), Innervate Support's passive property (15% chance to shock) on Orb of Storms and Conductivity curse, as well as 10% chance to shock from the tree. It also makes monsters take 50% (+25% from the tree) increased damage.

Elemental Overload triggers when you crit (which by the way also shocks), as you cast: everytime you cast a spell on your ennemies you have a chance to trigger it, and even with Arc's base critical strike chance of 5% you can maintain that buff. Orb of Storms, supported by increased critical strike chance, also helps as it periodically zaps ennemies on its own and also when you cast Arc while in the orb's area, and each zap has its own chance to crit. This allows you to have the benefits of crit in terms of damage (although a bit less) for some time, even though you are not crit-based.

Some screenshots for your main ability (Arc):
Self-buffed, no "triggered" buffs:

Self-buffed, with "triggered" buffs:


Block chance (against attacks): Since you run a shield, even if it is 22% (based on the lowest block chance value of a shield, excluding Kongming's Stratagem, Broken Faith or Demigod's Beacon which you do not need/want anyway), or 25% if you have Tempest Shield up, it definitely helps.

Armour (against physical attacks and spells): You will wear armour/energy shield gear, so armor will not be through the roof, but it is there. The tree ensures it is scaled to acceptable levels.

Elemental Resistances (against elemental attacks and spells): You MUST have 75% fire, cold and lightning resistances at all times, or as high as possible (75% is the cap). Also mind the penalties in cruel (-20%) and merciless (-60%) difficulty, as well as the elemental weakness (-39% elemental resistances) map mod.
Chaos Resistance (against chaos damage, duh): While chaos damage is rare, and mostly in the form of degeneration effects (poisons, desecrating ground, caustic clouds), having some chaos resistance is nice, but not mandatory. The tree gives you 20% early in the game.

Energy shield: As said earlier you will wear armor/energy shield gear, and you get a flat boost of it from mana thanks to Hierophant tree. Now I personnally do not like energy shield as a mechanic, but I appreciate the free, temporary "life" pool it gives.
Mind over Matter: From the base tree and Hierophant's, 40% of the damage you should take on your life pool will be removed from your mana instead. Makes you see your mana pool as a secondary life pool, which is nice. The fact that you have low mana costs, a high mana pool and a high mana regeneration rate compliments it.

High Life: You MUST try to have life on every piece of your gear (except the helmet – more on that later), and as much as you can. The tree compliments it very well and includes the 3 most efficient life nodes in the game (excluding the one behind Blood Magic).

High Life regeneration: Or as I like to call it, "degeneration resistance", except it does not do only that. It sure helps against traps, poisons and relevant ground effects, but also when you are out of flasks and need to regenerate away from monsters. It is always nice to have.

Here is a screenshot of my defences, unbuffed (no potions, no ally aura, no triggered defences):

The build

Passive skill tree (90 points / 6 ascendancy points)

"Wait what, 90 points and 6 ascendancy points ?! But the tree offers us 121 points and 8 ascendancy points !"
Of course it does did. BUT, you will not reach level 100. Hell even I never made it higher than level 85 (I think), and that was with a meta build at the time (R.I.P. burn prolif... oh wait).
What I wanted to tell you is: NEVER plan your build with all the points that are given. You want it to be map viable by level 70 (with all relevant mechanics), which is 90 points, and finished by level 80/90. Every point past that is here just for comfort.
The 2x +30 dex help with gearing and flexibility.

Also, here is the sequence you should follow:
10 points
20 points
30 points
40 points
50 points
60 points
70 points
80 points
90 points
100 points
110 points
121 points
This sequence may be adapted as you see fit or as you find good jewels (I personnally find none despite my RNG in this league), but this is the general guideline I recommend you.

In every difficulty, in Act 2, you get a quest to Deal with the Bandits. You can either kill them all, or side with one of the bandits and kill the other 2. Each choice give you a different reward, but this is what I recommend you.

Normal: Help Oak: +40 life – no other node on the tree will give you that, and it scales with %life.
Cruel: Help Alira: +5% cast speed – again, no other node will give you that.
Merciless: Kill'Em All !: +1 passive point – you do not generate charges, so you might as well.

In every difficulty (and in maps) you have the option to undergo the Trials of Ascendancy from Act 3. You basically have to find your way through a labyrinth full of monsters and traps, and take down its master (*heavy breathing*):
Izaro of House Phrecius, First of his Name, The Undead, Emperor of the Eternal Empire and the First Azmeri, Wielder of Chains and Twin of the Goddess of Justice (totally not a lore-friendly reference to some TV show).

Killing Izaro is no easy thing (especially with this build since Arc sucks at single target and Vaal Storm Call will not burn him down), but rewards you with 2 ascendancy points, and allows you to choose your Ascendancy the first time you kill him.

Ascendancy: Hierophant
Normal: Divine Guidance – 10% MoM, stacks with MoM, and more mana.
Cruel: Sanctuary of Thought – Reduces mana costs, and boosts energy shield a bit.
Merciless: Illuminated Devotion – turns your helmet, boots and gloves into pseudo 5-links.
Maps: This one is not mandatory, but I would recommend the charge generation from Conviction of Power


For these setups I assume you have 4-Linked gear and 3-Linked weapon and shield (both VERY easy to have).

Main hand: Lightning Warp, Less Duration Support, Faster Casting Support

Your movement skill, when you want to move faster, cross rivers and ledges, or escape towards your mouse pointer. Mind its minimum range and its delay, the farther you cast it the longer it will take to warp.

Shield: Lightning Golem (max level, unlinked), Cast when Damage support (level 1), Tempest shield (level 7)

Kind of a comfort defensive setup. Tempest shield will give you a bit more block chance and zap whoever you block for its (long, VERY long that's what she said) duration, which helps triggering Elemental Overload a bit. Also, damn does it look nice !
To block a gem from leveling, right click on the "+" button instead of left-clicking it when it levels up. If you mess up, you can vendor it with either an Orb of Scouring if you want to de-level it 1 level, or an Orb of Regret if you want to de-level it all the way to level 1.
Lightning Golem is here just for the buff it gives, be sure to refresh him when he is low/dead.

Helmet: Arc, Spell Echo Support, Controlled Destruction Support, Empower Support

Your main skill. Thanks to Hierophant the damage from that setup will penetrate 20% of monster's lightning resistance.
I highly recommend to run this in a Geofri's Crest (a usually cheap unique item) and later a The Vertex (when you can afford it), which property "+1 to level of socketed gems" make the setup rival with a 6-Link setup.
If you do not have an Empower Support, use Iron Will Support until you can find/buy one.

Gloves: Orb of Storms, Culling Strike Support, Increased Critical Strike Chance Support, Innervate Support

Your secondary/support skill. Helps with damage, triggering Elemental Overload and triggers Onslaught. Automatically casts at your feet, and zaps ennemies (much further away than its apparent circle of influence) when you cast lightning spells while you are within its circle of influence.
Thanks to Hierophant this circle is bigger and allows you to kite ennemies within it, whithout having to cast it again.

Boots: Vaal Storm Call, Spell Echo Support, Elemental Focus Support, Increased Duration Support

Your single target, burst skill. Charging it is very fast, you need only kill monsters. With Hierophant it also leeches a bit of life, which is nice. Use it liberally in packs, against rares and uniques.

Chest: Wrath, Herald of Lightning, Curse on Hit Support, Conductivity, (optional: Enlighten Support)

Your aura and your buff that also curses monsters (and Herald looks sweet !)
You will need a Witch, Shadow, Ranger or Scion friend to buy Wrath for you. It costs 1 Orb of Alteration and is available at Clarissa in Act 3 after you "saved" Tolman in The Crematorium.
Enlighten, although optionnal, will reduce the mana reservation of Wrath and your Herald, but will need a 5-Link chest. Focus on having a really good 4-Link chest before considering it.

Equipment / What to look for on my gear ?

Main hand: Sceptre or a Wand with Spell/Elemental/Lightning damage and cast speed, bonus points if it is a Prophecy Wand.

Shield: Kite Shield with armor, life and resistances.

Helmet: Geofri's Crest, or The Vertex when you can afford it.

Gloves: Armor, life, resistances.

Boots: Movement speed (as high as you can), life

Chest: Armor, life, resistances

Rings & amulet: Life, mana regeneration and resistances

Belt: Life, flask mods, flat armor

Jewels (skill tree): Life (mandatory on all your jewels), cast speed, spell damage. A corrupted jewel with Silence immunity is nice too.

Make sure you always update your flasks. They are a life saver. Especially those endgame flasks.
I highly recommend you take the top-end white flasks on the ground, use 4 Glassblower's Baubles on them and then craft. They will be a good investment.

Here is an example of an intuitive flask setup:
Panicked Life Flask of Staunching – Bleed dispell, instant regeneration when you are on low life
Seething/Bubbling Hybrid Flask of Heat – Freeze dispell, instant life and mana regeneration
Perpetual/Ample Mana Flask of Warding – Curse/Silence dispell, mana regeneration
Experimenter's Basalt Flask of Iron Skin – More physical damage resistance over a long period
Chemist's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline – More movement speed

For those who want to see my gear (as of end of prophecy league, level 84):
Wand (good wand, can still be upgraded):

Shield (really good shield, probably will not be replaced):

Helmet (will try to get an enchantment for arc):

I managed to get a The Vertex at the end of Prophecy league and could respec out of the mana cost nodes since I had effectively 100% reduced mana cost on Arc. Gem setup is still the same.

Chest (really really good, will probably stay, bought from a guy that sold it "as a crafting base"):

Gloves (needs an upgrade - DONE):

Upgraded them after the end of Prophecy.

Boots (can be upgraded for more life and resistances):

Jewellery (Belt can be upgraded, Rings and Amulet too):


Coming soon (trademark) - maybe ?

Improvements to be made

This is intended to be a beginner friendly build. I am not a beginner anymore, nor am I a top player (yet ?). If you have anything to say, a change in the tree, something to add I forgot to do here, or if you spot some broken english, please tell me.

Other improvements:
Videos (if I can record them - as in, if my PC and Internet are strong enough to record and upload)


SumoFlorist wrote:
You talk briefly about the stats that need to be on jewels for the passive tree, but i can't seem to find any jewel sockets skilled in your skill tree links... is there something i'm missing or is that just a general advice should i opt for putting points into jewel sockets?

Just a general advice should you opt for putting points in jewel sockets.
I personnally do not play (or rarely so) with jewels since I cannot seem to find good ones...

SumoFlorist wrote:
Does Wrath have to be linked to the other 3 skills in the chest or would a 4S 3L item do just as well? (with conductivity, herald and curse on hit linked together and wrath beeing in a single socket).

I got lucky with the 5L so I figured I might as well link all the aura setup together with an enlighten. It is still a little bit of mana for MoM to rely on. But as you said, a 3L Herald of Thunder + Curse on Hit + Conductivity and Wrath on its own is just fine.


17/06/2016 4:35pm CEST: First version of the build, still missing some images and videos
17/06/2016 4:55pm CEST: Added levelling sequence
17/06/2016 5:20pm CEST: Added defences screenshot
17/06/2016 5:44pm CEST: Added offence screenshots
17/06/2016 6:23pm CEST: Added gear and gems links, some room for questions and for upcoming videos
18/09/2016 09:45am CEST: Updated the build guide for 2.4. Sorry for the wait !
25/09/2016 12:58pm CEST: Answered SumoFlorist's questions (as per 23/09/2016)


It is no secret that I have taken some ideas here and there to make this build and build guide.

Consequently, I want to thank:

- GGG (obviously), for developping the game, and setting an example as to how all companies should handle the "quality" side of things (as a quality-engineering student, this means something). Do you even follow ISO ?

- ItsYoji, whom I got the idea for my introduction, some people hate him because he has this thing that makes people go mad and angry, it is the same reason I appreciate his videos.

- ZiggyD, for his Arc Templar idea and for revealing Foxtactic's work to me through his excellent videos. He would be a nice English teacher to French students as to how clearly he speaks.

- Cyzax, whose "Easy-Peasy Arc Caster" may look like a less tanky, more DPS-oriented version of my build, and even if my view of the build is different than his on so many regards, it is nice to have something to compare my build to his.

- Foxtactics for his extended work on Arc.

- NinjaArabStrategist whom I do not believe plays the game anymore. It was his build I followed when I was beginning. I guess, now that I have been taught, it is my time to teach.

Who am I ?

My player name is Qlbuto, I am French and I have been playing Path of Exile since the end of Open Beta and following its progress since then. I am kind of a casual player and have been on and off a few times, sometimes playing other games like Age of Empires 2 HD, League of Legends, Rocket League, Darkest Dungeon, Skyrim (*sigh*) and Minecraft.

I often play on Steam (IGN: Qlbuto) so you can add me and ask questions about the game if you wish. Not sure if my advice can be useful though.

- Sorry for bad english -
Last edited by Culbuto on Sep 25, 2016, 7:02:07 AM
Last bumped on Oct 2, 2016, 5:45:42 PM
- Reserved -
Great build guide! Perfect for getting my little brother introduced to PoE. Very detailed, nice work.
I've been following this build as my first build. This is put together nicely and makes a lot of sense for a beginner. Thanks for taking the time and putting this together.
Thank you for the answers !
As I said this is my first build guide, so there is certainly a LOT of room to improve.

I just updated the build for 2.4 - while there was not much to do, I still wanted to do it.

I have been working on an other build since the end of Prophecy league and I am proud of what it has become. Build guide may come soon, even though this will not be a beginner-friendly build.

Stay tuned, exiles !
Hey there, thanks for the great guide!
I just started playing again after like 2 years of absence and your guide has helped me alot in getting back into the game.

There is one thing that needs clarifying for me tho: You talk briefly about the stats that need to be on jewels for the passive tree, but i can't seem to find any jewel sockets skilled in your skill tree links... is there something i'm missing or is that just a general advice should i opt for putting points into jewel sockets?

Edit: Also does Wrath have to be linked to the other 3 skills in the chest or would a 4S 3L item do just as well? (with conductivity, herald and curse on hit linked together and wrath beeing in a single socket).
Last edited by SumoFlorist on Sep 24, 2016, 9:30:48 AM
Greetings and thanks for the questions !

I updated the Q&A with the answers I gave you yesterday during our conversation.

A little reminder that you can also reach me on Steam (like SumoFlorist did) at profile Qlbuto.

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