[3.2] Hybrid firestorm, ES recharge on block, 78/78 block, 4 curses, no Vaal pact, 10.000 EHP


02-06-2018: Added a video of a T16 Hydra map: https://youtu.be/SMOlDmolYmY
31-12-2017: Adapted the build for Incinerate, see: Incinerate build
15-12-2017: Added Leveling section (based on experience from the Abyss League)
1-12-2017: Added 3.1.0 build setup

---------- 3.3.0 build ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Update for 3.3.0 'Incursion League':

The new setup for this build can be found here: Incinerate build
Here is a video of a T16 Hydra map in POE 3.3: https://youtu.be/SMOlDmolYmY

---------- 3.2.0 build ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Update for 3.2.0 'Bestiary League':

I decided to no longer use Scorching Ray. Incinerate has a far better clear speed + with a Watcher's Eye jewel that has the mod 'x energy shield gained for each enemy hit' the combination of Incinerate/Firestorm has a better survivability than Scorching ray/Firestorm (Scorching ray does not hit).

Here is a video of the new build in a T16 Minotaur map: https://youtu.be/l27pxdDCI-8

The build description can be found here: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1667822

---------- 3.1.0 build ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Update for 3.1.0 'War of the Atlas':

The node 'Vaal pact' is now out of reach for the Witch. Therefore I made the build a bit more defensive. Goals for the build:

- no Vaal pact
- No legacy items/League items
- 4 curses: 3 applied with 'curse on hit' and 1 applied with corrupted gloves having Elemental Weakness on hit
- Aura's: 2 x purity + Discipline
- Main defense: 78/78 block chance by using The Anvil amulet + uninterrupted ES recharge on block
- Weapon: Xirgil's Crank to proc the ES recharge on block + Occultist Ascendency (Wicked Ward: ES recharge is not interrupted by damage)
- At least 10.000 Effective Health pool (EHP).
- No evasion, as this reduces the chance to block/the chance to proc the ES recharge
- Helmet: Doedre's Scorn as this helmet is the best helmet for this build
- ES recharge rate of at least 4000 ES / second
- Better or the same DPS as the 3.0 build

This resulted in the following build in POB: https://pastebin.com/EDkD96mH

Essential for this build:
- From the Pantheon powers select: 'Soul of Solaris' and 'Soul of Ralakesh'. You'll need to capture Jorus, to protect you from critical strikes.
- From the Occultist Ascendancy, first select 'Vile Bastion' and then 'Malediction'
- Bandits: help Alira, you'll need the '+15% to all Elemental Resistances'.

On Standard I've created this build (this one uses 2 legacy rares): https://pastebin.com/ZbchTeiU
I haven't died once yet with this build, Vaal Pact isn't needed at all here.

This looks very expensive! Is there a cheaper version?

Yes, and no: a cheaper version is still around 8 Ex

The Red Nightmare jewel can be exchanged for a Reckless Defense jewel, this will still leave us with 78/78 block. The Reckless Defense jewels unfortunately are not cheap either...

6x Reckless defense jewel + divine it a few times to get 4% block: 1 Ex a piece, total 6 Ex
The Beast Fur Shawl Vaal Regalia: 5c
Shaper's touch: 10c
5L the body armour with a 'The Jeweller's Touch' prophecy: 30c
Steppan Eard boots: 1c
Bated Breath belt: 1c
The Anvil amulet: 1c
Xirgil's Crank: 10c
5L the staff with a 'The Jeweller's Touch' prophecy: 30c

At a value of 1 Ex for 40c in the start of a League, this is a total of around: 8 Ex

POB link: https://pastebin.com/KdjvKvqG



15-12-2017: I've been playing this build in the Abyss League for a week in the evenings now. I'm now at level 74 and I'm starting to do maps. I decided to level with Freezing Pulse instead of with Firestorm, as freezing is a very good defense. Against bosses I've been using a decoy totem (you can't freeze them).

When I started doing maps I switched to Xirgil's Crank. As I do not yet have 'Capture Jorus, Sky's Edge' from the 'Soul of Solaris' of the Pantheon Powers (Take no Extra Damage from Critical Strikes if you have taken a Critical Strike Recently), I needed another way to deal with critical strikes (the reckless defence jewels increase your chance to be hit by critical strikes).
For this reason I will be using these two items till I'll reach a temple map to capture Jorus:

Here is my Passive tree at this point: Freezing Pulse Occultist Xirgil's Crank

During leveling I did not have any problems with the monsters from the Abyss League thanks to being able to freeze the mobs. My current setup for the start of mapping is with Xirgil's Crank + 4 Reckless Defence jewels + 1 First Snow jewel. This gives me around 58 (spell)block. This is enough to survive any Abyss encounters. From the Occultist Ascendancy I selected 'Wicked Ward' and 'Vile Bastion' (I haven't yet done Merciless lab / Uber lab).

Costs thus far: all the items I bought were 3 chaos orbs or less. I've bought 6 reckless defence jewels and 2 first snow jewels + some cheap unique items: Rainbowstride boots, Maligaro's Virtuosity gloves, Xirgil's Crank, Belt of the deceiver and Ahn's Contempt.

Almost all of the reckless Defence jewels have 2% block now, so I'll divine them later.
I have around 2000 life and around 2000 Energy shield at this point.

16-12-2017: When I started doing maps I experienced that the damage with Freezing Pulse isn't good enough. Too many skill points are needed for crit chance/crit multiplier and for mana regeneration. Apart form that, jewel sockets that I need for Reckless Defence jewels are also needed for First Snow jewels with Freezing Pulse. I therefore decided to switch back to Scorching Ray/Firestorm. Freezing mobs when using Xirgil's Crank also prevents small hits to proc your ES recharge. In short: Freezing pulse was only good for leveling to the point that you can switch to using Xirgil's crank.

18-12-2017: After 10 days into the Abyss league I've finished the setup of my build by finally capturing Jorus in a temple map. I only found a few chaos while leveling, so I'm still using the Tabula Rasa I found.
- My gems are at level 17 without quality.
- I have 2.768 life and 3.362 ES.
- ES recharge rate is 1.984 ES per second.
- I'm at level 82
- Passive tree: Firestorm Occultist Xirgil's Crank at level 82
- Chance to block: 62%, chance to block spells: 75%

Now what remains to be done, is to improve on my gear and gain some more levels. I've really enjoyed the Abyss League thus far. As this build is strongest when you are hit often, this build shines when doing Abyss encounters.

Here is my gear at this point:


30-12-2017: After 3 weeks playing the Abyss league I've reached level 90. During yellow maps I didn't die, but when playing corrupted red maps with unlucky mods I've died a couple of times. I've not died from any Abyss encounters.

- My gems are at level 20 (no quality)
- I have 2.912 life and 6.227 ES
- ES recharge rate is 3.674 ES per second
- I'm at level 90
- POB link: https://pastebin.com/UHAQwETK
- Chance to block: 73%, chance to block spells: 78%

I decided to equip a 'Broken Crown' for the extra chaos resistance; this helps a lot in red maps. I actually would prefer a 'Doedre's Scorn' for the extra damage instead, but for that I first need a 'Presence of Chayula'. Unfortunately I cannot yet afford that amulet. From the Pantheon Powers I'm using the minor God 'Soul of Yugul' for the protection against freezing.

Passive tree:


Skills in this new setup:

- Increased duration support + Enhance support + Phase Run
- Increased duration support + Faster Casting + Flame Dash + Arcane Surge Support (level 8)

- Discipline
- Purity of Fire
- Purity of Lightning

- CWDT + Firestorm + Curse on Hit + Warlord's Mark + Flammability + Enfeeble

Main Skill:
- Scorching Ray + Cast while Channeling + Firestorm + Elemental Focus + Concentrated Effect + Controlled Destruction

- Rallying Cry

Here is an example of a high level map (colosseum, T15). Even with these mods (hexproof is one of the worst you can get on this build) you can tank this boss without any problem:

---------- 3.0 build ------------------------------------------------------------------------


If you have a solid ES witch build that was broken by the 3.0 update, then any Xirgil's Crank build will get you on board again. With 3.0 it is no longer possible to replenish ES using Vaal Pact + Ghost Reaver. This broke my low life incinerate build. I've changed it to a tanky hybrid firestorm build that uses Xirgil's Crank. This staff allows me to recharge ES at 10.000 ES/second on block.

At the moment this build is most suitable for Standard league, as it requires some specific items:
- Red Nightmare jewel (6% extra block)
- Blightwell amulet (for increased ES recharge)
- Two 'Gifts from above' rings (extra damage + 10% block)

The build can be done affordable in a temporary League without these items, using instead for example:
- Two Pariah rings (for extra ES)
- The Anvil Amulet (8% extra block + raising the max. block to 78%)

Note however: The ES recharge will only be 4000 ES recharge/second if you don't use the Blightwell amulet! Though this is still a very strong build, 4000 ES recharge will not be enough to facetank Shaper. For this I advise you to follow the 'meta': high DPS + high life + high life leech + Vaal Pact. Blightwell is a unique Amulet from the Talisman League. It can now only be obtained from divination cards, see: https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Blightwell

I can facetank most bosses though with this build up to T16:
- One of the exceptions is for example the High Gardens Boss (T13, damage can't be blocked).
- Great physical damage can kill you as well, as the build does not have any physical damage mitigation apart from endurance charges. You can tank for example the T16 boss Minotaur, but you'll probably die once or twice. When tanking him though, the fight does not take long.
- A vulcano map (T14) or a Phoenix Map (T16) for example is a breeze, as it's all elemental damage and because of all the smaller hits that constantly proc your ES recharge. A double boss map is most of the time easier than a single boss map, due to more small hits.
- You'll never die to Breach encounters (lots of small hits that proc your recharge)
- Hall of the Grandmasters: I've only had problems with grandmasters that have max block + fast regen + Vaal pact (leeching to ES seems still to be present here), or those that do damage that cannot be blocked. You can actually farm this map with a few small changes, see for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14mzA9aJqeA

For difficult bosses, you can create a breach to help initiate the ES recharge (lots of small hits that can be blocked). For as long as the breach lasts, you will be nearly invincible:

The build has around 3000 life and 5000-8000 ES depending on gear. I made it hybrid to be able to handle some chaos damage. Max. dps that can be reached with Firestorm is:
1,4 million - 2,6 million dps (lower number against Shaper)
Note however that not all fireballs from firestorm will hit the target, so more realistic would be half the lower number against bosses/Shaper from Firestorm: 700 kdps + from Scorching Ray:

An Example: the damage can easily eat away all the life of Fairgraves each time he appears in the Mao Kun Map.

Build setup:

For this build I use the Occultist Ascendancy for obvious reasons (Wicked Ward: energy recharge that started recently cannot be interrupted by damage). If combined with Xirgil's Crank (20% chance for energy recharge to start when you block) it will be tanky.

For this to work well we will try to get 75% block:
- 6% block from the jewel 'the red nightmare' using the nodes 'Faith and Steel' and 'Elementalist'.
- 12% block from the skilltree
- 35% block from Xirgil's Crank
- 16% from four jewels: Reckless Defence
- 10% from two 'Gifts from above' rings (they also give 100% increased damage)

And we will try to get 75% spell block:
- 105% of block chance applied to spells thanks to:
* 4 x The jewel Reckless Defence (80%)
* Rainbowstride boots (25%)

(Spell)Block is with this setup 75% when on consecrated ground (from rings or from the flask 'The Sorrow of The Divine'). As we are using 4 'Reckless Defence' jewels, make sure to get the following Pantheon Power:
- Capture Lady Stormflay: Take no extra damage from critical strikes if you have taken a critical strike recently

Items that are essential:
- (ES) gloves with the corruption: 'Elemental Weakness on hit' and with some resistances
- An ES chest with some resistances, for example an Atziri's Splendour ES chest (only 5 link chest required, Bladefall gem is not required)
- The belt 'Bated Breath' for fast ES recharge and for the Extra ES it provides.
- The unique amulet 'Blightwell'. Thanks to Blightwell there is over 10.000 ES recharge per second when using a flask. Besides that, the amulet also increases ES a lot.
- An ES helmet with the enchantment '30% increased firestorm duration'. I use the unique helmet 'Doedre's Scorn', because this also provides me with extra damage. High Firestorm duration is essential to be able to kill bosses quickly. The duration determines the number of firestorms you can stack; With this build I can stack 10 firestorms.
- Rainbowstride boots

The gems used for the main skill are:
- Scorching Ray: This is used to reduce the fire resistance
- Cast while Channeling (CWC)
- Firestorm
- Elemental Focus
- Concentrated Effect Support
- Empower. Empower works well with Xirgil's Crank because of the '+1 to level of socketed gems'.

For the other skills I use (Flame dash, Arcane Surge, Rallying Cry, etc.) please see the linked gear.

The following aura's are used: Discipline, Purity of Elements
The following curses are used: Elemental Weakness, Flammability, Blasphemy + Warlord's Mark.
One of these curses is applied using CWDT + Curse on hit + Firestorm + Blind. Curse on hit is best done with firestorm, because the firestorm duration in this build is increased from 2 seconds to 3.5 seconds.

Passive tree / POB links

Items, gems, jewels and flasks:

Items + gems:



I do not use Rumi's Concoction (don't need the extra block chance), instead I use:

This flask is amazing for this build. It procs my rings (100% increased damage + 10% block chance), it has a long duration of around 6,5 seconds (with 20% quality) and it only uses 20 charges!

Other usefull flasks in a boss fight:

maps to be avoided:

- Hexproof maps: You can still runs these maps when you exchange Blind for Mana Leech. Damage will be less of course.
- Cannot leech mana from monsters: You can run these maps, but you'll need a mana flask
- Elemental reflect: For the normal mobs this works fine, thanks to blocking and high ES recharge. I skip the boss however in these maps, as the damage from reflect + boss can kill you
- Reduced block chance: Make sure to use Rumi's flask in these maps!

some notes:

- Stun: this is not a problem thanks to 'Vile Bastion' from the Ascendancy + 'Practical Application' from the skill tree.
- Bleed & Chaos damage: Most of the time leeching life with Vaal Pact is enough; Make sure you have one 'Life Flask of Staunching' to remove bleeding if necessary.
- Movement: For fast movement the gem "Phase Run' is used; it has a duration of 4 seconds when used with Increased Duration, so the cooldown of 4 seconds is not a problem. We also use Flame Dash. Both gems will trigger Arcane Surge, which gives 10% more damage (see the gem setup in the Rainbowstride boots).
- Mana: Mana can be sustained by mana regeneration alone. Though we get mana leech from Warlord's Mark, it is not required.

Last edited by fgdfshhs on Jun 2, 2018, 5:27:13 AM
Last bumped on Mar 12, 2018, 10:55:35 AM
This build looks really great, and most of the uniques are low level to grind up with.

Nice synergies for sure. I do wish there was an alternative to Firestorm for decent dps still (it's not my fav skill), but after looking through POB it may be the best option.

However would Scorching Ray- CWC-Firestorm-Controlled Destruction-Conc effect-Elemental focus in the staff possibly be more DPS and easier to use here?

It is parsing at more damage per hit even at 4 stages, would most likely fire much faster and have the added bonus of -fire pen from SR.
Thanks, I'll try it out with Scorching ray.

Though I do think this will hurt the defences, because Scorching Ray doesn't have leech. With firestorm you have a layered defence: A hard hit can strip your ES away, but the life pool in combination with Vaal Pact will keep you alive long enough to be able to recharge your ES.

POB link?

plz post POB Link.

Sorry, I've added a Path of Building (POB) link.
Updated the build, changed it to use Doedre's Scorn (POB link included)
This increases the max. DPS to just over 2 million.
You still have leech with SR CWC + firestorm.

In fact you have more.

POB parsing at 386 per hit with just firestorm, and 424 per hit using SR/CWC+firestorm setup with Warlords Mark alone.

You should be able to afford the chrome swap from 1r5b to 6b pretty easy too $$

I will test this character out shortly, I am pretty sure the SR/CWC/firestorm will level faster and smoother as well compared to just Firestorm in a +1 weapon.

see my skills as per

Also arcane surge is a huge boost in this build. I will look at trying to fit it in for bosses at least, but 22% movement speed feels so slow unless you using movement skill spam.
Last edited by kager on Aug 12, 2017, 4:31:13 PM
Aha, I see now. You are a genius, this setup is better indeed.
Thanks a lot, I'm going to try this out
Also recommend swapping ruby flask to the unique version for any hybrid not running solaris lorica, Esh's Visage or Shavronne's. Especially if you are running a leech build!

I have run 2-3 of these in the past for a poor mans low life build in softcore.


Also for your map avoidance

- Hexproof maps
- Cannot leech mana from monsters
- Elemental reflect

Hexproof maps are probably your biggest weakness, Running a https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Cospri%27s_Will reduces our ES by a huge amount and most likely not worth it.

Cannot leech mana from monsters is not as much of an issue when we are running Scorching Ray-Cast While Channeling setup. Mana use is a bit lower. 78 mana vs 104 mana for normal Firestorm. Can sustain by swapping in 1 low regen mana pot.

Elemental reflect I usually carry a single https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Sibyl%27s_Lament to put in left ring slot.

For my attack based damage fire builds I just leave it there, but it would be situational in this case.
Last edited by kager on Aug 13, 2017, 10:37:58 AM
Tremendously fun looking build, albeit some insanely difficult items to acquire in temp leagues.

Loved reading it over. Added to the build guide listing.

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