[3.3] Whispering Ice CI Quad Icestorm Totems


I've been playing this build for some time now and its easily the most fun I've had on a totem build. This Whispering ice build has a huge amount energy shield and decent recharge rate.

Important This is not a great league starter. The main guide, including videos and all that, uses Expensive legacy ES gear on Standard. But don't worry, there's a Low-Life alternative for people on Challenge leagues. The LL version gains a decent amount of damage at the cost of some ES (PoB link in the Skill Tree section).

A lot of other WI builds cast while channeling or self cast and these can often reach higher damage per projectile numbers and can also use leech. This build instead has a lot more casts per second which means that you can fill the screen with ice but still move around freely and let the totems do all the work. It also makes it fairly fast at clearing maps, just not so great vs bosses that move a lot.


T13 Gorge with crit chance and 40% elemental resistance:

T15 Elder fight(sry about the video quality):

T16 Chimera fight:


+Effective 7l with only 6s
+Don't need a 6l chest either; 5l is enough.
+Pretty decent clear speed
+Chills enemies even with Elemental Focus
+Really easy to level
+Decent dps vs big, slow bosses
+Reflect is not really a problem because totems just die instead
+Very high ES
+Immune to chaos damage
+Don't have to stand still while casting; just put down your totems and run around dodging stuff :D

-Fairly expensive gear; needs a few ex to get going
-No leech
-DoTs can be a pain because the build relies on ES recharge (Pantheon system can help a lot with this though)
-At high levels your totems can die a lot = dps loss
-Quite slow vs fast, small bosses




Whispering Ice build needs Whispering Ice...

Strongly Recommended:

Astramentis gives so much intelligence (and all the strength and dexterity you will need) that pretty much nothing can beat it. If you really want to use a rare amulet instead, you would probably have to spend a lot more currency for something with high Attributes and ES, which could make it slightly easier to get max resists but still not really worth it.

Black Sun Crest gives some really nice % increased Int and the +1 to gem level is also great for the auras, especially Discipline.

Cyclopean Coil gives up to 15% increased Attributes which easily beats anything else in terms of Intelligence which gives a huge boots to damage and ES.


This build does not use Perandus rings. I know that such builds can reach over 2k Int, but this build needs more ES due to not having leech. You can also cap your resistances more easily with rares.

you want:

Chest, Gloves and Rings: intelligence, ES and resistances

Boots: Movement speed (at least 25%), intelligence, ES, resistances


Sin Trek are a great alternative if you want to save some currency, but they only have up to 30 Intelligence and don't have any resistances.

This is a bit of a hard one and can cost a lot because you usually can't get intelligence on a belt but thanks to the Essence of Spite you can. Get a blank crystal belt and gl. In comparison to the Cyclopean Coil, The Crystal Belt loses a lot of damage (around 1k per hit) only to gain a few hundred ES (with a max ES roll) and maybe some resistances.

Shavraonne's Wrappings:


I'm lazy and don't really care about flasks most of the time. As long as you have something against bleed and freeze you are pretty much good to go. If you aren't a complete noob like me though then you probably also want something to counter ignite, maybe also shock and curses.


(Optional) Brute Force Solution for the sockets top left and right of the witch starting area. Need to get one with at least 20 Int.

(Optional) Legacy Energy from Within can be really nice at the Melding cluster. I happen to have a 12% legacy one from before the nerf. If you play on standard and you can afford a legacy one then great but if not then it might just be better to get a jewel with Int and spend the 4 skill points on other passives instead.

Other than that, you just want intelligence with any of the following: increased ES, ES recharge rate, faster start of ES recharge, any of the damage mods that affect aoe cold spell damage, cast speed. If you are unable to max your resists on your gear then you can get some on your Jewels.

My Current Gear:

Note: the chest does not need to be a 6l (see below in gem links)

Gem Links:


Icestorm: Spell Totem, Concentrated Effect, Elemental Focus, Controlled Destruction, Cold Penetration, Faster Casting.

Extra info:
Spell echo does not work with totems. I always leave Conc. Effect in the setup. Having 4 totems covers a large enough area even with this.

Auras (helmet): Discipline, Enlighten, any 2 Purity auras.

Extra info:
I personally use Purity of Ice and Fire because you get the +1 to maximum lightning resistance from the tree. If theres specific content you want to run then you could even have multiple different setups for this. Arctic armour is also nice if you want.

Curses: 5l: Orb of Storms, Curse on Hit, Frostbite, Temporal Chains, Increased Critical Strikes

6l: either Elemental Weakness/Enfeeble if you can get a +1 curse amulet or just something like Increased Duration or Blind Support.

Extra info:
I prefer Frostbite and Temp Chains to Ele Weakness and Enfeeble because I like a bit of damage and temp chains not only slows enemies providing some nice defence, but also lets you do more damage before they move out of your spells.

In Gloves/Boots: 2l: Flame Dash, Faster Casting. 2l: Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 1), Phase Run (lvl 3).
Summon Flame/Stone Golem, Minion and Totem Elemental Resistances, Minion Life + Portal or whatever you want.

Extra info:
You could put the golem on a CWDT setup if you want. Phase run is great for totem builds because the primary buff only gets cancelled when you use a skill. When you get the buff you get 80% reduced visibility and you can often see enemies stop and target your totems or golem instead.

MF Possibility:

Weapon Swap: It is possible to have a second 6s Whispering ice with Spell Totem, Culling Strike, Increased Item Rarity and Increased Item Quantity and two damage Gems.

Extra info:
When the weapon swap is between the same skill, the totems don't despawn and will continue to use Icestorm. I have not yet tested this properly so I'm not sure whether this will really be viable but this could be a nice and easy way to cull bosses and get some extra drops

Skill Tree:

Here's the lvl 91 skill tree in both PoB and poeplanner:



Last points if you ever get them can be used to get any combinations of the following:
Celestial Judgement
Heart of Ice
Storm Weaver
Frost Walker

Not sure if I missed any but if you get this far you will know what else you want.

LL Version:


You can get about 20% more damage with this than the other version but you also lose about 1/3 of your ES if using legacy ES gear.

Though I have not tried this version, this is the better version to use in temporary leagues as the ES you can get on rares will not be that much better that a Shavs anyway, making the damage increase of LL easily worth it.

Damage Calculation:

-Maximum possible is about 1.8M Shaper and 3M regular DPS
-Realistically going to be about 1/10 of that depending on enemy size and movement

The actual DPS of icestorm is impossible to calculate

This is because you can not know how many projectiles actually hit an enemy. An approximation can be made by calculating the maximum possible DPS, which is achieved if every single projectile hits the enemy, and then estimating a percentage of actual hits.

The nature of this build further complicates this though as it first takes time to place each totem and each totem will then require a certain amount of time to cast the skill. Additionally, each skill will last for, in my case, 3.9s which means that multiple instances of the skill are active simultaneously. It will of course take some time for this to wind up to the maximum number of instances of the skill active at the same time.

Damage calculations are vs Shaper if not stated otherwise which means that for other content damage will be higher.

Totem placement speed is 0.25s
Cast time is 0.69s
Duration is 3.9s

from these we can see that it will take about 5s to place all totems and for them to reach max DPS which in may case will come to about 1.8M Shaper, or about 3M regular DPS. During the first 5s, or 4s if the totems are already active but need to start over because the enemy moves, there will be far fewer instances of the skill active and the DPS will go down to about 350k.

So already the probable actual DPS is way lower. On top of that if about half of the projectiles don't even hit the enemy ~ 180k DPS. This also does not take totem deaths into consideration which can further reduce the DPS.

Leveling Tips:

Start with Frostbolt, then get 2x Firestorm gems, one linked to spell totem, one self cast until level 33. By then you should have Ancestral bond and can then go dual Icestorm totems. From there just spend the rest of the passives in just about any order you want. Get CI once you reach the point where your life gets risky low and you start noticing chaos damage. Also probably best to get the nodes past Shaper last and get Zealot's Oath once you have life regen.


Of course you need to go Hierophant so you can get 4 totems. I went Sanctuary of Thought first and then got my 2 extra totems after because the mana cost of the totems can get quite high.


Icestorm doesn't have an enchantment so that kind of sucks. The only ones that are useful are either Flame/Stone Golem Effect or Frostibte Effect. Phase Run Duration is slightly better than nothing too.

Pretty much all glove enchantments suck because they won't do damage so the only ones that will do anything are ones with some kind of utility purpose like chill/distraction.

Boot enchantments are pretty nice though. Best one is: Resistance penetration if you haven't killed recently. Life regen if hit and movement speed if you haven't been hit are also okish.


The passive skill points are the best. The cast and movement speed one could be good too but you could pretty much get similar stats from the Harrier notable if you want and that only costs one point so whether its worth it is up to you.

Other build:

[3.3] Craiceann's Bleed Block Sunder Gladiator:

Last edited by boombrakka on Jun 16, 2018, 9:01:26 AM
Last bumped on Aug 26, 2018, 11:49:47 PM
Nice build. Can u share 1 video ? and check ur tree again plss
Last edited by SjmSon on Aug 4, 2017, 12:04:45 PM
Thanks :) I'd like to do a vid of the build but I'm using an old laptop which can barely even run poe as it is :D Maybe I'll try anyway to at least get a shitty quality vid but can't promise anything.
Last edited by boombrakka on Aug 5, 2017, 7:43:58 PM
Thanks for the build guide. I'm also trying the berserker (scorching ray, cast when channelling version of whispering ice).

Levelling this character has been so fun. So far i'm almost level 50 and have been melting bosses in seconds with just 2 totems. But i'm not sure how this does end game wise.

How far you have taken this and have you killed Shaper yet?
Easily got to lvl 91 and killed the Phoenix without many problems (was a bit slow though because he moves too much) I'd love to try more but PoE is unplayable for me atm because of my shitty old laptop so it runs at <10 fps when i start using skills :D
Never actually tried shaper because of this but its probably doable.
boombrakka wrote:

I am interested in running this... Whispering Ice fascinates me for whatever reason.

I am looking at your tree though, and correct me if i'm wrong, but why go so far for +30 int node... when 10 int = 1% damage. I readjusted some points, mainly deleted points all the way to Ancestral Knowledge, and realligning them to Spell Damage, or Elemental Damage increases on the left side of tree(some near templar starting, and some to get Celestial judgment.)

Also, I had added 1 pt to get the starting area near witches +12 max ES, etc.

Same 114 pts, wondering if this is better than what was providing in the guide. ?


Since i dont know what jewel is there, even if it is STR -> INT jewel, thats converting 60 STR to INT, so 6% damage. Even putting the 1 point up from templar start is a 12% increase in elemental damage.
IGN: Fara_CantStopWontStop
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Last edited by Faramire on Aug 22, 2017, 3:30:02 PM
It's important to remember that for every 10 Int you also get an additional 1-3 base damage, 2% increased ES and some mana which also gives flat ES from the Hierophant passive. So your version would definitely give a nice bit of extra damage but would also lose a lot of ES.

In my case thats an extra 202 average damage per projectile vs normal enemies and 153 vs Shaper etc while I would lose 651 ES.

The energy shield and mana regen node at the witch starting area is pretty bad. The mana regen isn't needed and in terms of ES you would be better off just getting another one of the 6% nodes.

If you want more damage and don't mind the loss of ES then you'd be much better off getting Storm Weaver and Heart of Ice and dropping Zealot's Oath and Shaper because you would only be getting up to 150 ES regen anyway. That would give me 1147 extra average damage and 722 vs Bosses with almost the same amount of ES loss.


tbh I think the extra damage more than makes up for the ES loss but I just like to see how much Int and ES I can get out of this build.

Hope that helps :)
Faramire wrote:
boombrakka wrote:

Same 114 pts, wondering if this is better than what was providing in the guide. ?

1) 10 int its nit just 1% ele dmg its also 2% es
2) this build have lots of +% int.

If you open this build in PoP you will see:

Your tree with same gear have + ~100 dmg per hit and 2% cold pen. And lover es. ~750es.
I have a recently nerfed out WI scion with soso eq. I'll throw this on the spare templar I have and see how it goes. Thanks.
3 questions:

1 are jewels with + int + totem damage and totem life ( like you said they die fast at higher levels) or int and cold pen worth the time ?

2 its viable to use other spells in build for example scorching ray (or other channeling gem) with cast when channeling in whispering ice as a totem or it would be total waste pr damage?

3 what pantheon passives you recommend ? i think most of them are weak or its just me after making a walking fortress as first char in this season

Last edited by shanhaevelpl on Aug 26, 2017, 5:30:28 AM

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