[2.6][WiP] CI Phys/Chaos RAT Wander, T15+ Viable
This guide is a work in progress so if there is something you would like to know more about, just ask me
I created this build initially in Breach league as a response to many comments I read saying that RAT (Ranged Attack Totem) builds would barely be viable for Dried Lake farming, not to mention high-end mapping.
This build is extremely fun to play, is completely different from most other builds that you may run across that are more or less theorycrafts than actual builds -- and I have spent actually too much time testing different totem / RAT mechanics. (Shoutout to Sam400 for helping bridge the gap and share his experiences in the process of creating his own variant of the RAT Inquisitor build.)
Disclaimer: This sort of build is not for everyone. If you are one that don't like totem playstyle or don't find anything else other than self-cast enjoyable, then you should skip the rest of this guide.
I will emphasize that the quality of this build scales really well with gem level and gear, and to likely make it feel *really* good, going to have to spend some money.
That said, my suggestions here are not considered 'budget' in a temp league, but may be considered 'budget' to any standard players out there. Estimated end-game total currency investment ~20ex.
For a muchcheaper variant, you'd want to see the original guide for this type of build as Templar: CI Ele Wand RAT Inquisitor
For questions: IGN is QueefyGumballMachine
Will occasionally be streaming this build and further progression at http://www.twitch.tv/xxdjdrewxx
About Me/ Perspective / Build Concept / Intro
I've played PoE since open Beta (Jan 2013) and honestly at first I felt I loved the idea of the game much more than the execution of how it felt to play. Steam says I've played over 3700 hours, so I think that has changed to say the least.
Even at this point, I still find quirks to mechanics and don't know everything there is to know.
So, with that said, if you are a NEW player and love that sort of thing where game knowledge rewards you when either creating a build or trying something different, trust me when I say you will fall in love with this game.
Despite rumblings that the game is in a worse state now with the 'clear speed meta' and 'double dipping' -- although rumored to get a bit of a nerf in the 3.0 expansion in the summer -- I feel personally like the game has never been more fun than it is currently.
I usually roll 2-3 characters a league to at least level 85+ and then quit after about a month. In Breach, I took 5 characters into red maps and played until maybe 10 days were left in the league. The only reason I took a break between leagues is because I wanted the game to feel a bit fresh before diving into Legacy League shenanigans.
Perspective on RAT and why RAT?
As stated before, I created this build because Ranged Attack Totem has been a meme all by itself in this game for a long long time until the 2.5 patch.
It used to be that RAT gem got 50% less damage at level 1 and made it instantly a bad choice with the penalties to 30% less attack speed as well.
In 2.5, it got the same treatment as the Spell Totem support gem did in 2.4, so that at higher levels, the damage penalty was 35% at level 1 (the old lvl 20 RAT dmg penalty) and 26% at lvl 20.
This opened the door to create RAT builds that were more than just a super hipster low damage meme build.
The origin of this build starts with the fact that I have really enjoyed 'normal' or self-cast wander builds in the past. Potentially even my favorite build in POE.. Haven't been too many opportunities in an ARPG to use a wand to do something other than cast a spell and it is always just so very satisfying to play.
I also would say that I LOVE Kinetic Blast and the sounds the explosions make. When you hear that sound mixed with the CRUNCH of entire packs shattering with every shot, it was love at first listen. Very few things in this game are more satisfying than that sound.
I have played both close to 'meta' totem builds in the past -- Crit Flame Totem, Searing Bond (when it was OpieOp) , Shockwave Totems, Warchief Totems, Flameblast Totem both PRE-Totem AI fix and after. (Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment ) For those who don't know what I mean, pre 2.3, Flameblast Totem AI , the explosion would only trigger after the totem dies or you resummoned a new one. I tried making it work by using Warped Timepiece's less duration with less duration support gem getting the duration to 2.8 seconds. Stacking placement speed etc-- it almost worked well! Now it's the go to build since it's actually been made super mainstream.
I do enjoy the totem playstyle. Like most people, I prefer self-cast for most skills and attack builds generally feel much more rewarding to play, but with the crunchy Kinetic Blast explosions, this made it completely acceptable to play a RAT build.
Despite Frost Wall no longer working/interacting with Kinetic Blast -- which is highly unfortunate because this build would be an *amazing* boss killer with that still working as it used to -- I still wanted to use the insanely low opportunity cost for great consistent damage by using the Inquisitor templar.
Thematically, Templar is my favorite class as I generally gravitate to STR/INT hybrid classes in most RPGs -- but the inquisitor just feels so consistently strong with its ability to ignore mob ele resists on crit. While Ele Crit builds are completely viable -- and in some cases stronger -- with other classes, Inquisitor is just a total badass.
Combine all of these things, and the new unique in 2.6 -- Lycosidae shield giving a global'Hits can't be evaded' means you have 100% accuracy on a wander build. If you've never played a wander build or a build utilizing a Vagan modded dagger, you may not understand how STRONG 100% accuracy is for crit builds.
For those needing an explanation for why it's so strong (100% accuracy) I have created a section "Why Lycosidae"
-Can clear maps arguably quicker than any other type of wander (except perhaps KB Mines) as the range on Kinetic Blast is pretty beefy, and with the procs of Profane Bloom, makes trash clear very solid.
-Can scale pretty well according to currency investment and good wand/quality gems.
-takes advantage of *automatic* power/frenzy charge generation and on-kill effects unlike most totem builds.
-can farm T15 maps pretty comfortably with good gear.
-can potentially farm endgame bosses with good enough gear
-can do regular atziri ezpz (haven't attempted uber etc yet)
-with flasks up, movespeed is near-Pathfinder quality. Per one of my friends that I map with, "You fixed the whole wander speed/movement speed problem by not having to actually stop and cast Kinetic Blast"
-confuse people and have them ask you what actual build you are playing
-Memeworthy clearspeed for a build far from what would be considered 'meta'
-Movement speed with flasks down doesn't feel great.
-Peddling flasks pretty regularly to keep damage consistently high. This is not a con for those not used to it, but if you're a new player, this is a good build to learn flask management
-In order to take advantage of the mechanics I mention or utilize in this guide, would take some decent currency investment.
-If you can't play a CI build with less than 10k es, may want to skip, although you could build this without the hits cant be evaded shield....just going to get super pricey with all the rolls you would need on jewelry.
-Totem Playstyle, which is a huge negative for some. I personally don't mind it. I prefer self-cast wander but this is more of a lazy man's build without the true need for life/mana leech to keep attacking.
- Without further investment into totem life/resist, your totems (even lvl 20 RAT) can die easily in some situations making some boss fights a pain, if only because you're going to be summoning them a lot in that situation.
Why this build? Why not another totem build - ala Flameblast "Pizza" totems or some other sort of RAT build?
Flameblast Totems are all the rage right now. They are insanely strong for the amount of currency you spend getting the build up and running. It can do all content in the game as well (with the right investment)
Luckily for someone interested in running this type of totem build, gear requirement for it working properly is arguably lower than Flameblast Totems. With that build -- without enough cast speed, Pizza totems are going to clear relatively slow or feel terrible to use. With the cast speed however, it does in fact feel pretty nice to play.
It comes to personal preference. I personally believe that while Flameblast totems can safely do any content in the game, this build can farm maps MUCH quicker than Flameblast Totems, minus boss kills.
Other RAT builds, like tornado shot variants can be very strong but I am not personally a fan of bow skills or bow builds. Some people ONLY play those sorts of characters, so it's really not my place to say if this is better/worse/about the same. I believe that with the right gear, clearspeed with this build will be on par or better but slightly worse for bosses.
With enough levels to your character and gems, even bosses in red maps will die relatively quickly so unless you are wanting to play a build that can safely do guardians , uber atziri, shaper etc , this is a perfect build to spend 10c - 1ex to farm a lot more currency than you put in!
Even if you are new to Path of Exile or wanting to explore mechanics in the game that you haven't really done before, this is a build that could open your eyes to what PoE theorycrafting will allow you to achieve!
Current Gear / Video running mid tier maps
Videos will be located here (with very specific ones coming soon):
I have some videos of all variants that I've experimented with on my twitch, and have been busy enough IRL that I haven't gotten a lot of proper videos edited and condensed to make some coherent and a TL;DR version. Disclaimer that I usually stream late night and I'm usually fairly tired by the time I'm streaming so there's some really dumpster-tier gameplay mixed in haha just wanted to let you guys know ahead of time to avoid any triggering.
Uniques this build uses
In order for you to take advantage of everything this build CAN be, you'll need to consider what each item can offer.
I would say the most important uniques, or ones you should prioritize:
Southbound- Southbound *IS* a requirement if you want to proc on-kill effects and you're doing poison damage to the enemy with totems. It is not optional as you could have blue/green dream jewels, but without Southbound, you won't generate any charges. If you go with an option other than Southbound in the glove slot, I will say that the build will NOT feel very good, and you'll miss out on a lot of advantages the Occultist ascendancy offers, ala PROFANE BLOOM.
Well, for starters, Southbound gives the ability to credit all of your totem kills to *you*, unless you shatter the mob before it dies to a DOT/Poison effect.
In my honest opinion, this is completely ridiculous to have to rely on these particular gloves to enable what it offers, but the opportunity cost is very low for the amount of things that it can do in this build, and for totem builds in general.
For this version of the build, this enables:
Profane Bloom explosions (and client freezes/fps drops when you make a lot of mobs pop, yay!)
Auto Curse on Hit application via Herald of Thunder
I currently have corrupted Southbounds with Temp Chains on hit. This is *amazing* for poison, as would be a vulnerability on hit pair too. Would need to have some fire damage and burn damage on the Inquisitor variant of this build to make use of it-- with very little cold damage-- for this not to feel like crap, but having auto curse application AND charge generation is pretty amazing without the reliance on Herald of Thunder + COH + w/e
Lycosidae- This shield looks like complete shit, and for most builds it really is. Why use it then? "Your hits cannot be evaded" eliminates the need for accuracy rolls on gear, accuracy nodes on the tree, and makes any wand you equip essentially a vagan-modded weapon. Having 100% accuracy makes the build feel so much better while leveling or farming and makes single target a bit less shit. I have a section in the guide 'Why Lycosidae' if you want to know more.
Rain of Splinters- Unique Jewel that I would say is the closest to a 'requirement' in the build. It offers 2 additional projectiles for a 'reduced' modifer. This is superior to using a gem link for LMP or GMP. Want to get as close to 30% reduced roll as possible.
Blue Dream/Green Dream jewels- These jewels, while a bit on the pricey side, add a tremendous amount to this build, and make the playstyle smooth and the damage relatively consistent without solely relying on a charge generating skill , which can feel incredibly clunky. As an added bonus, 5% of both cold and lightning damage added as extra chaos damage helps a lot.
Dying Sun-- It goes without saying, but this is just a huge quality of life improvement to give more projectiles essentially for free, at the cost of a flask slot. More AOE for the kinetic blast explosions too. This is not not required in the slightest, I already had one and decided to make use of it, but again, it is huge QoL.
Voidwalker-- These are a great way to get 100% pierce chance on your kinetic blast while using Southbound + poison. Voidwalkers give you 100% pierce w/ projectiles while phasing. This frees you to take a different gem slot (slower projectiles or increased critical damage) without the need for the Pierce gem, which only gives 50% pierce chance. Definitely a great option to explore though.
*IF* using Voidwalker boots and don't have a decent crystal belt:
Ascent from Flesh- This thing synergizes REALLY well with the Voidwalkers.
can roll with up to 100 flat ES, is cheap (1-3c) and the synergy is real.
"You have Phasing if Energy Shield Recharge has started Recently" , along with 10% movespeed, 6% dodge while phasing , 100 flat es, 10-15% all res and 300 flat evasion. Definitely something to consider if you go the Voidwalker route and IMO would be almost required in that case as the real limiting factor of this build in farming is movement speed!
Ones not required:
Presence of Chayula-- When I made this build , I already had one of these and initially intended to run this build as low life, but I couldn't squeeze enough ES out to feel comfortable in red maps. If you wanted to theorycraft a non-Occultist low life variant, you'd want to likely use this.
Tabula Rasa-- You could technically use a Tabula in this build -- but more or less a super-budget option until you can get a better 6 Link.
Victario's Charity-- This is actually one of the only *bad* options I would list but not really recommend. With Victario's Charity, you'd be able to generate frenzy and power charges automatically. In order to proc the power charge on kill, you would want Southbounds, but to generate just Frenzy charges, you could potentially use whatever you'd like in the glove slot. This also comes at a severe hindrance to accuracy and damage, as you would lose the Lycosidae shield.
You can also run Brinerot Whalers, as they have some nice damage boost + resist with a respectable level of ES. For the price of 1c, its a good intro-option if you start playing the build at level 59 (before voidwalkers) Definitely consider Brinerot + rare Crystal Belt over Voidwalker + Ascent from Flesh if you are hurting for ES but you WOULD need to run the pierce gem if you go this route.
What kind of wand could you use?
Technically you could use absolutely any sort of wand.
With Kinetic Blast, although a high pdps will work well, it still scales and works great with very little investment into your weapon.
For higher end content, you'd want at minimum: 200pdps imbued wand with crit chance roll and attack speed. Ele damage or Flat Chaos is an added benefit.
I am using:
Something like this is a great option:
Of course, results will vary, but for dried lake and low/mid tier map farming, you could wear a white imbued wand-- although I have no idea why you would. I had 15k kinetic blast tooltip with a white wand farming dried lake at 270mil xp/hr on the inquisitor variant of this build. Actually hit over 300mil xp/hr previously but I was wanting to push at the time and didn't take a screenshot of it.
For reference, the legendary Havoc's Pathfinder variant, albeit using the Self-Flagellation mechanics with an Obliteration wand that has since been patched-- was reaching 570mil xp/hr in dried lake. That is near vaal spark levels of lake clear speed. As I will say many times, farming with this build, you are limited to how fast you clear by how fast you can move as a damn wander.
((PLS GGG Make Shield Charge work with wands :) ))
Prioritize getting stun immunity either through Eye of Chayula (Again, presence not required at ALL) , Valyrium ring, or boot enchant "80% chance to avoid stun".
Weapon Ele Damage (WED) , flat ele damage on jewelry and gloves needed to max what you can squeeze out of everything.
As high as possible ES on chest, gloves and boots. Crystal Belt would be ideal at higher levels with es, resist and WED roll. Flask rolls a plus.
Why Lycosidae Shield? / Accuracy and Crit explanation
Without going into too many mechanical details for those that don't know, I'll give you the TL;DR for why this shield is highly recommended, closest thing to a requirement without a high budget where you can afford high Flat accuracy, Flat phys , essence crafted % chaos dmg rolls, or crafted flat chaos.
For example, a well rolled added phys attack ring with flat accuracy and one of (crit, attack speed, crit chance or multi) could easily run you 1-2ex at the very bare minimum. My jewelry linked in the gear section is *NOT* fully min/max'd and are relatively budget options compared to something high-end. This is why this shield will carry your damage at a much lower cost!
So, explaining the mechanics of why it's so good and why stacking accuracy gets expensive and can hamper your damage otherwise.
Accuracy for if you hit a mob AND the success of if you will crit or not *IF* the hit lands rolls separately for each attack.
For example. You have 50% critical hit chance, and you have 85% chance to hit.
You have 85% chance to hit the monster
You 36.125% chance to land a critical strike (85% * 85% * 50%)
Let's say that you increased your chance to hit to 90%, with the same 50% crit chance.
You have a 90% chance to hit
You have 40.5% chance to land a critical strike (.9 * .9 * .5)
This means that for attack based builds, stacking an obscene amount of critical strike chance becomes less meaningful if you don't have very high accuracy. Most crit builds that I have seen have around an 80-85% chance to hit at end game. Having low accuracy severely handicaps your ability to land a critical strike.
In the case of this build, if you are not critting to get the full benefit of Inevitable Judgement, you are missing out on a large portion of your damage!
So with the shield :
You have a 100% chance to hit
You thus have a 45% chance to land a critical strike BECAUSE you have a crit chance of 45%.
With a diamond flask ("Critical hit chance is lucky") it will roll your crit chance twice on each hit making it much more likely that each hit crits.
Kill All - Attack Speed or Kill All - Power or Frenzy charge
I took Attack Speed in Cruel because attack speed is hard to come by and is crucial to make the build feel good considering the totem gives the 30% less attack speed. Could easily just get the skill point. I took power charge in Merciless but depending on your charge generation setup, you could easily take frenzy charge instead.
End-game Tree for 2.6
Ascendancy and other options
For this build guide, Occultist is the only option as a witch.
There are other Ascendancy choices for RAT Wander though.
For RAT Crit Ele Wand, Inquisitor is hands down the best choice here, which I also have a build guide for, linked at the top of the page if you missed it.
For beefy poison without the added utility but with more consistent crit, Assassin works quite well. While potentially the highest single target setup using virtually the same tree as this Occultist version, it lacks ES, dual curse, and something like Profane Bloom to make clear feel really good. To be clear, the damage is pretty ridiculous.
The downside to it is that it is very much charge reliant. If your charges fall off, it's going to be struggle city, but with them up, the build has a feeling that the only thing limiting your DPS is the attacks per second.
You could also could go the poison route with Pathfinder, but making an optimized tree would be hard and is very point intensive.
You could run Hierophant with the free + 2 totems at the downside of a bit less damage. Would allow you to run a Mantra of Flames jewel for actually great burst damage and the potential for free power charge generation (when placing a totem). The Sanctuary of Thought notable also is an option , as that will give you free totem cost -- when the totem normally cost 80+ mana a piece, that's a pretty big benefit.
Assassin is another option, works specifically (obviously with poison) where it is very much charge reliant. If your charges fall off, it's going to be struggle city, but with them up, the build has a feeling that the only thing limiting your DPS is the attacks per second. I am in the process of creating a few different versions of this guide for both Occultist and Assassin so that if someone wishes to know more specifically about those versions, that will be a thing soon.
Ascendancy notable choices
For as to which order to get your ascendancies:
Normal- Profane Bloom
Cruel- Void Beacon
Merciless- Wicked Ward
Uber- Malediction (could also easily go Vile bastion if you have a +1 curse setup elsewhere)
To be clear, the %chance to gain a power charge on critical strike from Forbidden Power does NOT proc in any way via normal totem damage or via the Southbound glove strategy. You would need an Orb of Storms-PCOC setup or a Frenzy PCOC setup to really take advantage. Given the other options, I'd say this would be the weakest of the bunch for this build.
The best feeling RAT Build in regards to charge generation is this exact build. Max Power and Frenzy charges at almost all times.
Use Southbound gloves, your attacks poison with the poison gem, and use the Blue Dream gem in the socket to the left of Templar start, and Green Dream to the right of Shadow start.
While the change in the passive tree in 2.6 made the shadow socket much less valuable with Void Barrier being removed from the radius, it still keeps power charges up on mostly every pack for map clear. My specific pathing there gives us extra dex which the build requires and is starved for.
As for alternatives, I would say tread carefully, and consider that I wouldn't personally recommend this route:
You can use Orb of Storms with Power charge on crit (PCOC) and a few other options like a curse on hit setup.
I personally find Orb of Storms to be clunky and I don't like using it at all in ANY build.
You can also use something like:
Frenzy - GMP - PCOC - Knockback *OR* Inc Crit Strikes
which does a great job at generating charges. I'm forced to use this setup on my RAT Inquisitor and I mainly used it for burst and single target damage for bosses.
Use Knockback Gem to get pesky mobs that won't die against the wall where they will die almost instantly to a blast from your totems.
Ranged Attack Totem- Kinetic Blast - Added Chaos- Void Manipulation - Poison
optional 6th link gems: Slower Projectiles - Faster Attacks - Pierce (if no VOIDWALKER boots, it is required) - Increased Critical Damage
You will also find that the Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance gem (recently?) had 10-19% MORE elemental damage added in addition to making the totems more tanky. While not a great synergy with this particular build, it can be useful when your totems just won't stay alive.
Wither + faster casting-- When dealing poison damage, wither is your best friend. Used for single target/bosses
CWDT- Immortal Call - Inc Duration
Just used primarily as a defensive option. Could also use temp chains if you dont have the corrupted gloves or curse on hit .
Enlighten - Discipline
Herald of Thunder- Curse on Hit - Temp Chains (or Vulnerability)
Flame Dash - Faster Casting
You'll want to use a Lightning Golem , Vaal Haste (even post-nerf) - increased duration.
It helps that with Wicked Ward, this is essentially the exact same as Vaal Discipline is now, provided that your regen has started in the last 4 seconds.
One question that I've been getting asked or whispers about, is (x) or (y) good for the build. My guide here is really just a breakdown of everything that I've tried or suggest that may helpful. If you feel like I have left anything else out, please let me know and I'll be sure to add it to the guide.
More Coming Soon
I have a lot of VODs showing various approaches in all 3 variants I've made of the RAT Wander. I will soon be producing actual condensed build guide for this build and the others, but it takes time that recently I have not actually had.
More to come as more people ask questions or want to know more.
Edited: Created Occultist Build Guide for RAT Wander and updated Ele Inquisitor guide 4/6/17
Last bumped on May 21, 2017, 11:16:37 AM
on Apr 6, 2017, 12:36:38 PM
Is this build vible without totem? only Kinetic Blast?^^
on Apr 30, 2017, 10:44:08 AM
Well, I'm sure it's more than viable without using a totem. You likely could just swap the Southbound gloves for any curse on hit gloves (as Southbound is the only way you can get totem kills to count as YOUR kills)
Wand, gear, etc would be basically the same. Just wouldn't pick totem nodes on the tree, sub for crit multi, chaos dmg, phys dmg, DoT , or skill duration.
on Apr 30, 2017, 12:48:31 PM
Looks Great i will try it :D
on May 21, 2017, 11:16:37 AM