[2.4] Pipsqueaks Guide to Baking Pizza Sticks in Hardcore! [Flameblast Totems]

Yo! Just a quick note before we get to the good stuff. I am Pipsqueak, subreddit moderator and Discord channel creator. I've played Path of Exile since 2011 and have a pretty good grasp of the game, with my newest creation I for the first time aimed to create a new Tier 1 build which must be able to do all content, I think i've succeded.

Atziri viable
Uber not tested but in theory it's very viable.
Shaper not tested but most likely viable
High tier mapping, bosses dead in 2-3 seconds.

You can find a softcore oriented guide over at Viperesques https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1730745/

With that out of the way let's get to the good stuff!

The hotfix patch 2.4.0c contained the line

"Improved Totem AI when used with Flameblast so that it ends the channel correctly once it has reached max stacks."

This in essence allows us to drop two wasted support gems (Less Duration, Rapid Decay), allows us to stack cast speed and allows the totem to fire of multiple blasts.

Massive buffs all around, yes? Yes.

Table of Contents

1. Pros and Cons
2. Mechanics
3. Passive trees
4. Gem links
5. Leveling guide (Bandits)
6. Defense
7. Playstyle
8. Stats
9. Media

Pros and Cons of normal Flameblast builds versus our totem variant


-Flexible clearing due to control of detonation. (How many stacks)
-Strong AOE and single target scaling at the same time. (You only need one setup)
-Ignite is a very strong mechanic due to hitting hard, once.
-Does not need much damage scaling.

Our Pros
-Strong AOE and Single target scaling
-Very mobile
-Does not need much damage scaling.
-Flexible in a different way (number of totems)
-Reflect immune
-Totems tank stuff
-Double curse
More to come soon


-Requires standing still prior to damage output.
-Requires large amounts of cast speed scaling.
-Can not be supported by spell echo.
-Neither excels at pack clearing nor single target but does both respectively well.
-5% base critical chance.
-Reflect is deadly due to damage being in the form of one large hit.

Our Cons
-Totems means that it'll take a bit of cast speed investment to get going
-5% base critical chance
-Too easy?


If you've made it here and have a decent theoretical understanding of the underlying game mechanics you'll have understood how Flameblast totems are a match made in heaven.

Issue number one, requires standing still, Solved.
Can not be supported by spell echo. The spell totem support deactivates Spell echo. Not a penalty/Solved.
Reflect is deadly due to being in the form of one large hit. Totems tank reflect, Solved.

Additionally, due to being able to place one totem for pack clearing and two for boss clearing you now have a skill that excels at both pack clearing and boss killing. (In a vacuum)

Lastly, due to reflect not being an issue you can scale damage alot higher than a self cast build. Damage is scaled through crit (80% unbuffed 470% potential critmulti.) a +3 bow (+2 essence, Catarina master mod for guaranteed +1 exalt roll.) high cast speed (120% minimum, up to 180%) and the Inquisitors innate ability to ignore resistances.

All these changes leads to us being capable of doing every single mapmod minus Blood magic. (I've ran tempchains, minus max res and double damage mods easily) No regen is a hastle but switching in a manaflask and disabling Clarity does make it doable.

Passive trees

Bow and arrow

Bow and arrow has a higher damage ceiling and a different style of defense while allowing for a second six link and long range mass cursing.



There are arguments to be made for a dagger version being better, you lose a six link but gain potentially permanent fortify via Shield charge/Whirling blades. You lose easy cursing and pcharge generation for consistency; higher crit chance and cast speed.

Ill add more trees when I have finished trying more variants it depends on what stats I feel I lack.

Gem links

Im currently utilising these links

Flameblast - Spell totem - Faster casting - Increased Critical Strikes - Increased Area of Effect.

Six socket would be level 4 empower or quality Controlled destruction depending on if you want more damage or crit chance.

Ice Shot - Greater Multiple Projectiles - Chain - Curse on Hit - Enfeeble.

Curse setup, Ice shot for chilled ground, snapshots on Roah bosses in Arid lake and Bog. Six link is double curse or Power charge on crit

Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call - Enfeeble - Arctic Breath.

Usual setup, might switch Arctic Breath for Frost Wall now that I have blink arrow as a movement skill.

Discipline - Anger - Clarity - Enlighten.

I still have not activated anger due to mana issues from Voidbringer but in the future i'll revise some stuff to include it in my personal variant.

One last fourlink for your preference is available, I have a golem there and other misc gems to level.

Leveling Guide

This build works quite well the second you get Flameblast at level 28 but requires substantial cast speed to truly get good. Prior to level 28 it is recommended that you level with two firestorms, one linked with spell totem for added single target and one for general clearing. Before level 12 you can basically do whatever, though spark is good.

It's recommended that you rush for Ancestral Bond and grab the closest life clusters during leveling like this

Since this build is CI it's recommended that you kill all three bandits in normal. The cast speed in cruel is really useful but can be overlooked for another skill point, this is bad because there's no 1 point 5% castspeed on the tree I don't pick up, so it's always better than a skill point.

If you want to run a power charge on critical setup you'll want to save alira in merciless, I don't yet but it's certainly plausible


Im going to change to Power charge on critical later since it's not to expensive to respec that point.

Good luck and make sure not to die! It's not ineffective to play slowly if it stops you from dying


Defense is scaled through a high ES pool, Soulstrike and enfeeble/tempchains (double curse possible) By using a bow we gain access to the previously underrated defensive stat Energy Shield Recharge. Currently with a 180 ES helmet and Voidbringer gloves I am sitting tight on 8.2k ES and Recharge starting after 0.6 seconds. I also almost never take damage due to Totems taking aggro.

These are my current gear pieces


There's one very important tidbit of information that I feel is very important to make clear early. Flameblast totems doesn't change targeting until the third blast and later. This means that it'll cast in place once after killing a pack (Fix plzzz) due to this it's almost always worth it to spawn a third totem instead of waiting for the first to cast a third time, until you hit a certain cast speed (around 200%).

There's also an inherent delay between you casting a totem and enemies dying due to the totem not casting instantly and having to finish the blast, this means you have an effective delay between casting totems if you want the second one to target something different. Either you cast the second one in a far away spot so it targets the closest enemy (presumably different from the first) or you wait until totem 1 has managed to clear the pack.

It's still very respectable map clears thanks to the large aoe and high damage not leaving any outliers alive.

You'll also most likely switch in Concentrated effect for bosses which is what allows me to kill piety in tier 9 overgrown shrine in 2-3 seconds with pretty mediocre/bad gear.


Offensive stats with only the temporary totem buff, no power charges. Full buffed comming soon tm

Defensive stats, uncapped fire resistance due to gear swap recently.34449801ee


Last edited by Blipsqueak on Sep 13, 2016 2:09:37 PM
Last bumped on Jan 25, 2017 2:01:22 AM
Nice, u recommend rush till Ancestral bond? , im leveling with spell totem and storm call
Rush to ancestral bond yes, i'll add a leveling section soon. Consider using spell totem linked with Firestorm in the mean time, very effective.

You can start the build right at level 28 but i recommend taking the life clusters close by during leveling.
Thanks for the guide mate, I have a question though. What are the major differences in this vs a softcore version? I'm looking to do this build myself but play on SC leagues (and enjoy fast clear) however, I like to be safe as well.

if i'm not sacrificing a insane amount of damage, I'd like to just to stick to your guide. is there anything major that isn't required for SC?

Thanks :D
I'm currently levelling a character to use this build. It might be me being blind, but I can't see your bandit choices, could you let us know who you went with please?
Sorry, didn't mean to double post!
Last edited by m0onknight on Sep 12, 2016 5:11:30 PM
I'm currently levelling a character to use this build. It might be me being blind, but I can't see your bandit choices, could you let us know who you went with please?

If you're definitely sure you're going with CI then skip Oak.

If CI = Passive, Alira, Alira
If life-based or you're a madda fucka that can afford low life then Oak, Alira, Alira.
Thanks for the guide mate, I have a question though. What are the major differences in this vs a softcore version? I'm looking to do this build myself but play on SC leagues (and enjoy fast clear) however, I like to be safe as well.

if i'm not sacrificing a insane amount of damage, I'd like to just to stick to your guide. is there anything major that isn't required for SC?

Thanks :D

You actually gain damage with my version at the cost of a bit of crit and 20% castspeed.

Because I just switched I had to replace my jewels since they had the mod "Cast speed while using a shield" So the video showcases how bad the cast speed can be if you've gone the bow route, I need another 30% until it'll feel real silky smooth again.

If there's something important i've missed to document in the build please tell me. I realise I missed the bandit choices earlier but they are added now.
Last edited by Blipsqueak on Sep 13, 2016 1:58:46 AM
Completed 14 Challengesm0onknight wrote:
I'm currently levelling a character to use this build. It might be me being blind, but I can't see your bandit choices, could you let us know who you went with please?

You are right! I had missed Bandits, they are added to the Leveling section.

I went with Kill-Kill-Kill for now but if i get a Power charge setup going i'll go Kill-Kill-Alira.

5% cast speed is actually as good and probably 1% better than a point when i look back so the recommended route is


Good luck!
In the bow build you're picking up 3 staff crit nodes, which won't benefit you at all.

Also, what about going Zealot's Oath and switching out Instruments of Virtue and Augury of Penitence for the consecrated ground ascendancy nodes? I believe that would give you 9% ES regen while on consecrated ground (4% from Pious Path, 4% from consecrated ground conversion, and 1% from the pathing ascendancy nodes), and get you back up to 25% increased cast speed, although you do lose the 30% from Instruments of Virtue.

I also think picking up Precision by the Templar start is worse than picking up some of the 4% cast speed nodes by the Shadow start, since there doesn't seem to be a good reason to get dexterity.

Applying curses with Arctic Breath might work a bit better, as it scales off of the cast speed and AoE, and only really needs GMP (could do duo-curse in a 5-link), and you don't have to worry about it missing. It also creates way more chilled ground. Although Ice Shot does have the perk of triggering Instruments of Virtue if you're using that (but you could also get that from Blink Arrow).

Here's a build with that setup: https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAABAUBAAKWBUIJqoAwDkhOrhEtES8RUBGW1aa2-hslHNwdFFZj2CQqCyoTKwosnIauNbk2xTwFPV9BlrE2SVFLrkyzUlPwaxXXWOVaK1xrXfJeXe08Zp7kIm0ZcFJ8g6cIf8aD84RIc7OJ0_em2fyMNox2jxqP-pJukycsv5eVl_Sbbp_foS-j8qcrp5Tfhq4SrrMYarcxvFa-isBmwJrDbdAf0PXR_dJ8RKHZW4uMjmTpApuh6-7r9ewYKYvvfPfB7-vw1fIdGmz53V8EWHcV55Erwwm5k_rSj0YBb-L3i3oDdSY8FvOaOy-dna4k2NWBhW1sCyL0lS4HHjlSWAc=

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