[3.0] Shockwave Totem -- Fire Conversion and Blood Magic -- PHOENIX, CHIMERA and HYDRA down

I love totem builds, and I love using new skills -- especially skills that are a bit out of the meta. Thus, I present this Shockwave Totem chieften. I made it to be a tanky, reliable lab farmer, but it's also great on the Beachhead map, in breaches and for general mapping.

This build requires a modest investment to get started -- about 20c for the required uniques -- but it scales very well with improved gear -- totem, physical, fire, elemental and area damage all improve our dps. It can easily reach 6k life without Kaom's Heart or Belly of the Beast, and it will easily reach over 200k dps with 20/20 gems.

Why Shockwave Totems?

1. Low screen clutter.
2. Base AoE size is large -- about the same as an earthquake aftershock
3. Base damage is full physical, so we can scale physical damage or convert it to elemental (which we do).
4. Cute little booming sound.

T14 shaped reef
Uber Izaro with fonts/essences
Normal Atziri
T15 Beachhead Boss Fight


I was planning on doing Minotaur first, but the Phoenix map dropped for me so I gave it a whirl and dropped him on the first try. Not deathless, but still, first try. Used Purity of Fire instead of Anger in my Essence Worm.

Likewise with the Hydra, which turned out to be even easier than Phoenix once I learned the dodging patterns. The mobility that totems give you is a real asset, here. Used Purity of Ice instead of Anger in my essence worm. (Spent a few chroms to recolor it).

Chimera was the hardest so far, mainly because of the adds phase. Chimera attacks mostly in flurries, so the key to the boss part is keeping up endurance charges so you have a nice long immortal call. Adds phase is harder -- this fight is deathless except for the viper phase.

Subbed out chance to ignite for ele focus on both bosses. Ignites are mostly useful for clearing and the extra damage was useful against the bosses.

General Idea
Shockwave Totems deal AoE physical damage, and we convert it to fire damage without the use of avatar of fire, leaving open the option of using physical to lightning and non-fire auras if we desire. Most damage nodes in the tree are generic totem damage or spell damage.

Ignite damage is a very small part of dps, however our enemies being ignited is very important, as it gives us healing and endurance charges. Consequently, we have over a 90% chance to ignite.

Blood magic gives us access to some large +life nodes as well as making casting costs negligable -- which is important, because our totems are expensive.

At level 90 with decent gear, here's the stats we have while clearing:

This is dps PER TOTEM. We have two. Searing bond is another 60k dps. So in total, we're doing 200k area damage with an extra bit for rares and bosses.

Required Uniques

These two uniques give us 100% phys to fire conversion, a good chunk of physical damage as additional fire damage, extra ignite chance and health returned when igniting an enemy.

They are relatively cheap -- 20c gets you both.

Gem setup

Main Skill

Shockwave Totems + controlled destruction + faster casting + Chance to Ignite + Added Fire Damage + Fire Penetration
Gems are listed in order according to how much dps they add to the finished build, so if you only have a 5 link, drop fire penetration. However, fire penetration still nets me an extra 24k dps. My recommendation is a cheap corrupted six link with 3B-3R. I'm using a 900 armor 50 health corrupted six link I bought for 10c.

Secondary Skill

Searing Bond + Burning Damage + Swift Affliction + Efficacy
Tossing out a searing bond totem can add a good chunk of damage for rares or bosses. It benefits from almost all the passives we take and increases our single target dps by about 25%. It's a pain to use on packs, though.


This is an obvious choice for increased dps and ignite chance


Orb of Storms + Increased Critical Strikes + Increased Duration
We use this to proc elemental overload, which gives us a ton of extra dps

Enduring Cry
Useful to generate endurance charges when fighting bosses or in emergencies.

Vaal Summon Skeletons
Sometimes you just need a huge pack of meatshields. Very useful for boss takedowns.

Blink Arrow
Or flame dash. As you like.

Cast When Damage Taken + Immortal Call + Increased Duration + Flame Golem
Pretty standard. With 5 endurance charges, this gives us 3 seconds of invulnerability, give or take. Flame golem gives a little damage boost (lightning golem gives about the same damage boost), but is mostly there to make us feel less alone.

Passive Tree

Path of Building Code-- level 80


Path of Building Code -- Current


Just the Tree, please

We take Blood Magic, Ancestral Bond, 4 jewel slots, and 2 extra endurance charges. We have 2 totem wheels and reach over toward witch for Occultist's Dominion and Fire Walker. All in all, we get 189% increased life, 98% increased armor and a lot of spell, fire and area damage.

We kill all the bandits. 2 passive points mean a lot more than the rest.


Chieftain, no question.

Ngamahu, Flame's Advance: Extra ignite chance and extra damage against burning enemies (which is all enemies)

Hinekora, Death's Fury: 10% fire penetration, 1% life leech from our totems, and 20% of physical damage as extra fire damage

Ramako, Sun's Light: Endurance charge generation, Extra life regen(2.5% regen at full charges) and cannot be ignited.

Arohongui, Moon's Presence: Anything shockwave totems are hitting are near them, so this is straight up 16% more damage.


Major Power: Arakali. Less damage over time taken, extra chaos resist against damage over time (i.e., poison protection) and lowered effect of shock, which I don't normally carry a flask to cure.

Minor Power: Ralakesh. Synergizes with Arakali and lets you just yolo run through labyrinth traps.


Two uniques are required. If you can spare the resists, having an Essence Worm ring lets you run Anger.

On gear, prioritize cast speed over fire or spell damage if you can. Be aware that we need a lot of dex, so try to get it on amulet, boots and jewels.

We don't need a unique chest, so I strongly recommend a 6L corrupted chest. I started with a cheap 6L that I got for 10c and upgraded when I had the cash.

Carcass Jack is a possibility for this build, though expect to spend 1k chroms coloring it. PoB suggests it would be about a 6-8% dps increase over my current rare chest, and I'd lose life and resists (and spend a lot more chaos):

On jewels, try to get 1 damage (physical, spell, fire, elemental, totem, area) + life + dex or resists depending on what you need.

When mapping, the granite silver and quicksilver flask are up almost all the time. Granite flask brings me to 15k armor -- not a ton, but a useful chunk. We have curse, chill, poison and bleed cures on our flasks. We also get ignite immunity from our ascendency and reduced DoT damage from our pantheon, and all this together gives us a very smooth playstyle, defensively. Forbidden Taste is a good instant heal flask here -- though you lose an immunity -- and it synergizes with the 25% chaos resist vs. DoT that we get from Pantheon.

With this build, I can easily do uber lab, T15 maps and the Beachhead pretty easily -- I'll update when I down the guardians!

When mapping, I drop one totem on white packs and keep running. For tougher packs, I add orb of storms for the EO proc. For bosses, breaches and harbingers, we can drop 2 totems + searing bond totem, curse with flammability and drop orb of storms to proc elemental overload.

More videos to come!
Last edited by fuzzywolf on Sep 6, 2017, 2:30:02 PM
Last bumped on Nov 20, 2017, 11:06:32 AM
my favorite skill of all time..for some unkown reason.

Havent give this skill a shot since 2.0 though.

Will check again when vids are up just for my own curiosity. Nice build diversity i dont think ive ever see a fire conversion SWT build. Chaos,elem,phys and then crit or no crit. But not fire :D.
I've got a couple of videos up at the top of the post. I play on a laptop, so recording while playing leads to a bit of lag ><

I'm glad to find another person who loves this skill! It's hard to put your finger on what makes it so satisfying . . . but it is!
Hi, it's my favorite skill too and I have planned something like this 2 months ago.
I will start it next week when I come back holidays on XBox One.

But mine is quite different. I will publish later my guide if it's work as expected :)

I have made this guide 4 years ago !
Last edited by KikitheKing on Sep 1, 2017, 10:10:42 AM
Hey, I saw your guide when I was researching for this one! Thanks for dropping in! SWT doesn't get nearly enough love these days.

I updated the OP with a video -- T15 breachhead is a breeze. Time to hit 90 then go after the minotaur.
Hey bit a new player here especially when it comes to totems , and was wondering how I'd level with this build , would I go straight for ancestral bond , or fill in the other nodes in the tree first and then spec into ancestral bond when my totems were leveled enough.
Hey bit a new player here especially when it comes to totems , and was wondering how I'd level with this build , would I go straight for ancestral bond , or fill in the other nodes in the tree first and then spec into ancestral bond when my totems were leveled enough.
Totems are usually a pleasure to level. Starting at level 4, you can use Flame Totem as your main skill, and it'll last you until you get shockwave totems in act 3.

As for Ancestral Bond -- take it as early as possible. It makes the leveling process much easier. If you are speeding through the acts, you can drop a totem and leave, then drop a totem on the next pack, and leave. You won't kill everything this way, but you'll kill *enough* to stay on level up through act 8 or so.

I should probably update the OP with a leveling section. Thanks for the question!
Would Immolate not be better than Chance to Ignite? With Ngamahu and Flammability we already have 29% chance and once they're lit up Immolate adds a sh*t ton of flat fire damage.
The new Chance to Ignite Support has 29% more fire damage at level 20, plus 10% increased fire damage at q20. It ends up being a *lot* more damage than immolate even if we don't strictly need the extra ignite chance.

That said, I like the extra ignite chance -- bumping it to nearly 100% maximizes the endurance charges you get while clearing.

Going from 20/20 chance to ignite to 20/20 immolate looses about 6% dps.

*2nd edit*
Going from 20/20 added fire to 20/20 immolate gains about 1% dps. I may recolor my chest and try this.
Last edited by fuzzywolf on Sep 18, 2017, 8:06:07 PM

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