3.0 Glacial Cascade Shocker - 100% Fire Conversion - MoM/VP/Acro

Greetings Exiles!

This is my Glacial Cascade build that I've been playing for almost 3-4 leagues already. Most GC builds floating around lately are either Totems or Mines.

This is an iteration that I've found to be the most optimal way to play GC (At least imo).

3.0 brought huge buffs to GC, full Physical damage spell makes it better for scaling damage from tree.

It was my starter build for Harbinger, already reached lvl88 doing all map mods with ease.

Build Concept
Build's idea is to use Glacial Cascade, while converting ALL its damage to Fire using Avatar of Fire and Cold to Fire gem. (I will go through the conversion mechanics below).
Once GC deals only Fire damage, we use the Three Dragons Helmet
so that it will Shock, increasing damage dealt by up to 50%
max (Depends on mob's HP of course)

Since GC now deals full Physical Damage now, Auras such as Hatred and Avatar of Ash are very very good.

Pros & Cons


. DPS is through the roof. Tooltip dps is ~85k. Multiply it by at least 2 due to GC mechanics and then Shock for 50%, makes you theoretically reach 240k dps.

.Great defences embodied in different layers: Mind of Matter with +1k Mana unreserved. 5k HP depending on gear and Acrobatics & Phase Acrobatics as well as the instant leech from Vaal Pact.

.No fear of Reflect, can easily do Reflect maps with Reflect mobs in them.

.Very cheap, started Harbinger with it. Did merc lab with a 4L while I was still lvl68.

. No expensive Uniques required. My most expensive unique that I bought was Essence Worm
which I bought early for ~14C, and even this is not mandatory.


.*some* Glacial Cascade's behaviour can cause issues in open spaces.

. Damage is less than optimal when enemies are in melee range.

. Not a RF Zerker

Glacial Cascade Mechanics:

Glacial Cascade has a unique AoE mechanic, it's basically a series of circles (blasts) from the caster, these circles overlap, allowing monsters to be hit more than once in the same cast - similar to shotgunning.
So Glacial Cascade nearly always hits the mob for 2 times in one cast (unless that mob is in melee range) and against some big mobs like big bosses it can hit even up to 3 times depending on the placement.

Defensive Stats

Offensive Stats

Conversion Details and Damage Scaling
As I mentioned previously, this build depends on Converting all damage from Glacial Cascade to Fire. This is done by:
* Glacial Cascade: Pure Physical Damage initially, 60% is Cold and 40% is Physical. This takes priority over Avatar of Fire.

* Cold to Fire Gem: This splits the 60% cold Damage to: 30% Fire, 30% Cold. So now GC deals: 40% Physical, 30% Cold, 30% Fire.

* Avatar of Fire comes in: ALL the 40% Phys is now Fire. The 30% Cold is now also Fire. So now GC deals: 40% Fire, 30% Fire, 30% Fire, i.e 100% Fire damage.

Due to all this, GC scales from the following, with the full value: Fire Damage, Physical Damage, Spell Damage, Area Damage (i.e 10% phys damage node/mod = 10% fire = 10% spell, etc.). Cold Damage nodes/mods however are only ~60% of value since only 60% of our initial damage is cold.

Levelling Tree:

30 Points: https://goo.gl/tz2KTo
50 Points: https://goo.gl/yBKmMe
71 Points: https://goo.gl/wzU1g7
100 Points: https://goo.gl/zvodzN

My current Passive Tree:

I only took the Jewel slot due to having the Izaro's Turmoil Jewel. If you do not have a good Jewel, take Critical Strike Multiplier nodes near the Shadow's area.


Inquisitor is the best choice here, first 4 points are: Righteous Providence and Inevitable Judgement. For the Merc Lab: Instruments of Virtue for the Cast Speed + Spell Damage and then finally after Uber lab: Augury of Penitence.

Bandit Choices
Help Allira in my case. She offers great stats, 15% Resists are great to overcap, 5 Mana regen is ~1/3 of a Clarity, and Crit Mult is great as well. Better than any other 2 Nodes you'd take instead.

Gems and Links Setup:

- Main setup in order of importance:

Glacial Cascade + Spell Echo + Cold to Fire + Increased Critical Strikes + Added Fire.

6th link depend on your preference. I prefer Life Leech for safety. If you want to go full damage, Inc. Crit Damage is great.

- CWDT setup: CWDT(lvl 1) + Immortal Call(lvl 3) + Warlord's Mark(lvl 1) + Increased Duration (max level possible depending on Strength).
Standard setup, I've added Warlord's Mark there for the extra Mana&Life Leech.

- Power charge generator: Orb of Storms + Power Charge on Critical + Increased Critical Strikes + Arcane Surge(lvl 7). This is 100% uptime of Power charges, and Arcane Surge is great, keep it at lvl 5-7 depending on Orb of Storms level.

- Movement: I run two movement setups:
Whirling Blades + Faster Attacks + Fortify. My favourite for habit reasons, you can go Shield Charge if you prefer.
Lightning Warp + Faster Casting + Less Duration for terrain traversing.

- Auras & Golem: Clarity, Arctic Armour, Summon Ice Golem. You can run Herald of Ash as well instead of Arctic Armour if you prefer damage over defence.
Hatred is great, but only doable inside Essence Worm


Necessary Uniques:

Main build enabler, very cheap. Not even 1 C.

Preferable Unique:

Allows you to slot in Hatred which increases dps by quite a huge amount.

A decent roll on this one is great, at 25%/25% it gives around ~40% Inc. Damage.

Other than those 2 pieces focus on HP, Resistances, Spell Damage + Increased Crit Chance for Spells (on Daggers), Flat E-Damage on gear (preferably Cold).

Possible and helpful Uniques:
This build can utilize many decent uniques to push it even further.

Carcass Jack -- Resistances, life, Inc. Radius and Inc. dmg, Great choice that's true, but I wouldn't recommend unless you're super rich, because: A. 5L or 6L CJ are not the cheapest, and B. It's very hard to chrome it 3R + 3B.

Divinarius -- Great dagger for this build, 10% radius and some nice stats, I'd favour a rare dagger though.

Doryani's Catalyst -- Also a great piece of gear, however, after the leech % nerf I kinda rather go with a rare Dagger for the spell crit chance and multiplier.

Doryani's Invitation -- Physical version, but I prefer flat HP belts.

Xoph's Blood/Heart -- Best Amulet for this build, gives you the Avatar of Fire node, which could save around ~9 passive points to be put somewhere else, however, it's expensive as hell (Currently standing at around 600C in Harbinger SC)

My Current Gear:


Excuse the low quality and stuttering, my PC is a bit old for recording, but I just wanted to give a look onto how this Build looks and feels in Maps

Promenade run: https://youtu.be/6sDEuX7kjqw

How to deal with reflect
Answer: Easily, Vaal Pact coupled with Life Leech from gem & Warlord's Mark makes you not care about Reflect. The Soul of Yugul is great as well for running Reflect Maps.

I don't have any idea how this would fare against Shaper cause I simply did not try it. No currency to buy the set and still behind in my Atlas progression.

Guardians were not much of an issue if you're used to their arenas/fights.

Atziri was quite easy as well as her Trio, not sure about Uber though tbh.

This is not an Uber 1 mil dps clear build, just a build that I really enjoy playing with a skill that is somewhat underplayed. Hope you guys enjoy this, and for any feedback, suggestions or downright flames, let me know!

Stay safe out there!
Last edited by dpchaos on Sep 1, 2017, 6:14:49 AM
Last bumped on May 13, 2018, 9:27:16 PM
Nice Build!

I was trying to make a good GC build but I can't seem to get one going.

Do you think there is an expensive version of this build? if there is what should it be like?

SmiteThee88 wrote:
Nice Build!

I was trying to make a good GC build but I can't seem to get one going.

Do you think there is an expensive version of this build? if there is what should it be like?


I didn't think I'd be asked this kind of question lol. But I'd say it's 2 perfect Izaro's Turmoil jewels with a 3B-3R 6L Carcass Jack and a perfect Crit Dagger (by perfect I mean +120% crit, +30% crit multi, +50% spell damage and some #-# flat Cold/Fire damage to spells). Vinktar's and Taste of Hate of course.
Crit & Crit Multi amulet with HP as well.

I don't think it can grow much more tbh, not without using uniques instead of rares, which might lower hp/res and makes it more of a glass canon kind of build.

Edit: Forgot about dual Void Batteries!
Last edited by dpchaos on Aug 19, 2017, 8:13:24 PM
Hi very nice build and finally something cool with GC!
But I have a question: which are the "must-have" nodes? I mean, which stuff should i take first as leveling?
Miscu97 wrote:
Hi very nice build and finally something cool with GC!
But I have a question: which are the "must-have" nodes? I mean, which stuff should i take first as leveling?


Basically I'd focus on HP and travelling to the Shadow area. Ignore the Crit nodes that are not on the way and Avatar of Fire is only after you have enough Crit (so Kinda till the end part of it).
Only take MoM once you have decent mana + regen.
Acrobatics & Vaal Pact are the final part of the tree, only after around lvl 75~.

I've added the levelling tree, you can take a look if you wish!

30 Points: https://goo.gl/tz2KTo
50 Points: https://goo.gl/yBKmMe
71 Points: https://goo.gl/wzU1g7
100 Points: https://goo.gl/zvodzN
I've always loved damage conversion builds, nice to see new ones in 3.0.

Hot Flashes: poeurl.com/bPZT
Balance: poeurl.com/btzp
Shocking EleHit: poeurl.com/bZXo
Many thanks! Glad people enjoy it.

Appreciate sticking it in the list!


That looks intresting, I think I'm gonna try it for my league starter.
How did you level it up? It's a long time since my last poe run...
I mean I see the skill tree, but what skills did you use during the leveling process, i.e. before you get glacial cascade? Anything special I should keep in mind while leveling?
can you post your flasks by any chance? :)
can you post your flasks by any chance? :)

Sure thing :)

here they are:


Taste of Hate is great of course, but I'm saving up for Xoph's Blood.

My mana regen is decent enough so that I wouldn't have to allocate a mana flask (Warlord's Mark helps as well), but if you feel you need a mana potion, a Surgeon's Eternal flask is BiS.

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