[3.0] Headhunter...Hunter | Currency Generator | Pathfinder | Essence Drain | 475k Boss Dps | Bisco

Proof that the build works, I guess?

A Short Treatise on Currency Generation

Let's discuss making money in this game.

First let's rule out those methods outside the Terms of Service. There are no bots. There is no RMT. These things are absent from Path of Exile! They honestly never happen. What are you even talking about?

That leaves us with three popular methods of currency acquisition:
1) poe.trade / private indexer - flipping, sniping, taking advantage of new players
2) uber lab - crossing your fingers for a good enchant, and getting passive income from the treasure chests
3) killing a bunch of monsters. quickly.

Option one is fine, I've been known to dabble. But I fear it's not in the spirit of the game. And it gets boring quickly.

Option two I find tedious. And RNG could have you spinning your wheels with nothing but conversion trap enchants and corrupted treasure chests.

Option three is my choice. This is a Grinding Gear Game, after all? To that end, let's optimize our throughput!

I feel this build is right in the sweet spot.
Faster builds have less quantity (or don't deal well narrow layouts).
Builds with more quantity are nowhere near as fast.

It's something like: (mobs per min x quantity) = money

I've tried a number of builds this league, and I honestly think this one is the best at what it does.


This character is focused on running tier 10-14 maps quickly and efficiently.

It's not for leveling to 100. It's not for playing hardcore. It's not for killing Shaper.

To accomplish this, we use Essence Drain, a skill that requires little investment from gear or the tree to deal sufficient amounts of damage quickly.

In addition, we choose the Pathfinder ascendancy, giving us access to enhanced flasks with 100% uptime, a very powerful tool in our kit.

Pros & Cons

+ All map mods
+ S-tier movespeed (218%)
+ S-tier quantity (175% vs normal monsters)
+ A-tier clearspeed (85k screenwide chaos DPS)
+ Visually and Aurally clean (depending on your lootfilter settings)
+ Relaxing, rhythmic playstyle
+ No need to skip bosses (~475k boss DPS)

- Does not shine in party play
- AWFUL for Vorici missions
- Survivability is our third priority
- Not great at breaking boxes
- No shatter (have to kill crabs twice and deal with spikers)
- Picking up this much loot is sometimes a hassle
- My other characters seem boring and unrewarding

Path of Building




If you're familiar with Essence Drain, or have seen a video, it's usually a plodding affair.

1)Cast contagion.
2)Cast essence drain.
3)Move to the next pack. Repeat.

This isn't that.

This is:

1)Piano slam all your flasks
2)Cast essence drains where you think mobs will be on the next three screens
3)Run to the first pack , hit the front of it with contagion
4)It's dead before the essence drain projectile can run out of pierces.
5)Due to the monster AI, the next pack is chasing you, right into your huge contagion.
5)Run past your essence drain projectile hit the next screen with contagion before your essence drain gets there.
6)Piano slam all your flasks.
7)Listen carefully to the loot filter symphony to hear if something drops offscreen or behind you.

When you get to the boss, set down your wither totem, cast essence drain, and hold blight till she dies. Don't stand in desecrate.

This style of play is especially suited to harbinger packs and breaches.

If your handspeed and inventory management skills are sufficient (or you play a lot of OSU!, the chaos recipe is worth doing this league.

Thoughts on Dying

It's fine!

Once you're level 85 or so, subsequent levels are only going to afford you minuscule bumps in power.

We've traded in a lot of our survivability for speed and quantity.

The juiciest maps are also the most likely to kill you. Vulnerability/Elemental Weakness and you're not Elemental Weakness capped? Run it. Die. No big deal.

If you're going hard, and clearing as fast as you can, you're going to die. Surprise Abaxoth! Suprise detonate dead! You walk into a divine shrine! You itch your nose, and your contagion clips a huge pack of corrupted bloodline spiders! You know you can grab that Chaos Orb before the bearers go off. Don't sweat it.

We're not here for XP, we're here for muns!


My Gear

Gear Choices

This build wants the following attributes in the following order:
1. Quantity
2. Clearspeed
3. Survivability
4. Rarity


Here you want life and resistances. An evasion base is preferred to synergize with our Queen of the Forest.

Best enchant is: Contagion radius. It's cheap, so get it. Other options are ED damage or Flame Golem Effect.


Sadima's Touch are best in slot, hands down. Be sure to get top quantity. Enchants are meh. Best corruption is TempChains on hit.


Goldwyrm the gold standard here. Again, get top quantity and decent fire resistance. Best enchant is movespeed if you haven't been hit recently.


Queen of the Forest. This is the centerpiece of the build. It turns evasion into speed, gives life and resistances, and the drawback is easily overcome. 4L might feel like a slog. 5L is fine. 6L flies. The coloring can be a hassle. 1 blue at the Vorici bench is the most efficient way to get it.


Breath of the Council - two of these bad boys. Gives significant damage, but more importantly, radius.

I tried subbing in one The Gryphon for a couple of maps.

While you do run a bit faster, which is nice, I could feel contagion missing those juicy pack-to-pack jumps. Which are the hallmark of the build. Conclusion: not worth.


Bisco's Collar - a given in any modern MF build. Sacrifice your amulet slot for insane quantity. The quantity roll is more important than the rarity roll.


Grab the best Ventor's you can find/afford.

Fill in some life/missing resistances with any old rare ring. Rarity is a bonus.


Bisco's Leash is a strong choice. Rampage usually gets to around 260 before it is lost to pick up some loot. Higher in breaches. Corrupting is dicey because we're near the minimum strength requirements for our maces.

Perandus Blazon is another strong choice. Flask duration, stats, quantity - what more could you ask for? Radius and skill duration are both great corruptions.


Clear Mind - a good bit of cheap damage

Fevered Mind - this isn't taken for the damage, but to make ED cost more. This ensures that our divination distillate is always running. - Pop this sucker out when doing No Regen, Vulnerability, and maybe 60% Less Regen - you'll know it's time for the popout when you have no mana.

Rare Jewels - Life, Damage, Resistance - just do whatever you feel.


All of these flasks will always be running, once you learn the cadence of the build. Thus, we can almost consider them to be additional pieces of gear.

Witchfire Brew gives smokecloud, evasion(speed), a curse, and more damage. Easy choice

Dying Sun a bit of a luxury, bigger contagions, and you no longer have to aim your Essence Drain. Just point it where you haven't been.

Quicksilver. Go fast. Alchemist's of Adrenaline is the best variant.

Jade Flask. Go faster. Alchemist's of Reflexes juices up our Queen of the Forest movespeed.

Divination Distillate. Ever since GGG made it trivial for all builds to maintain mana, this flask has gone underutilized. The hardest mechanic to master when playing this build is keeping your mana in the bottom quarter of the globe, so this honey is always drippin. +5 max res all the time? Yes please.

N.B. - you want to leave this flask without quantity, so that it drips slower, and therefore is more likely to stay active!

No Regen Map? Throw on any old mid-level hybrid flask.


Don your flashiest digs! Spare no expense! You must look fabulous! Dress for the currency tab you WANT to have! etc...

Skill gems


Essence Drain - the main damage

Essence Drain - Void Manipulation - Efficacy - Controlled Destruction - Swift Affliction - (Empower)

Contagion - to spread the essence drain

Contagion - Faster Casting - Increased AoE - Arcane Surge (lvl 11ish)

Blight - for bosses

Blight - Efficacy - Controlled Destruction - Void Manipulation

Wither - for bosses

Wither - Spell totem - Faster Casting

CWDT - mostly for spikers / running through packs with impunity

Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 4) - Immortal Call (lvl 6) - Increased Duration


CWDT - Golem (if you're lazy)
Blood Rage - for frenzy generation and to keep our mana regen low
Flame Dash - for cliffs

Passive Tree

Tree lvl 90


Pretty straightforward stuff.
-Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics so we don't get hit.
-Mind over Matter so if we do get hit, it won't be a one-shot.
-Life, Flask effectiveness, Damage, Frenzies AoE, and Jewels in between.
-N.B. Mana Regen feels like the right choice in a Mind over Matter build. But it's not. We never want to have full mana.

We Want Master Surgeon and Master Alchemist so we won't need bleed/freeze flasks.

Just level with frost blades or bow skills (whichever you find more enjoyable) till around level 45. Just grab damage near the main skeleton of the tree, and use your ~20 free respec points when you switch to Essence Drain.

Remember to keep your ED and some supports in your offhand, so they're at the appropriate level when you go to equip them.

Kill all bandits for two passive points.

why not Kraityn - Two points will give more than 6% movespeed, if you wanted more movespeed.

why not Alira - Two points will give another jewel socket, which can be 15% all res AND some damage or life.


Major: Brine King - to avoid stunlocks. First and third upgrades are worth pursuing.

Minor: Gruthkul - most deaths happen as a series of small dinosaur bites (ask John Hammond and Nugi). The upgrade is worth getting.


This is a breach. With sextants. And beyond. How the game is meant to be played? Results may vary.



Here's a quick crappy video.


-A quick run through Shaped Spider Forest (tier 11). Showcasing how the build moves through the map, explores a breach, and dispatches the boss safely and relatively quickly.

-Please excuse the poor play - recording software introduces some input lag on my dated PC. Also, I'm not very good.

-Please excuse the lag. I doubt GGG had Breach/Rampage/Harbinger mechanics in mind when they wrote the engine 5 years ago.

-Loot filter is a slightly modified Neversink's - something almost everyone is familiar with. (It's not the filter I generally run).


Ask me some questions. Frequently.

Q: Why no Grace?

A: Having no mana reserved allows us to use the clear mind jewel for a bit of damage, and to keep our Divination Distillate running more reliably.


I sincerely hope you enjoy this build. Build guides were an invaluable resource for me when I was starting out. They can save you a great amount of time figuring out what works and what doesn't. They can plant the seeds of a new build or interaction in your mind. They can help you through gearing struggles you've been battling.

That being said, none of this is gospel. If you see something to tweak, tweak it! I'm sure I don't have this build optimized. If it works better, let me know (or keep it a secret). We're all in this together.

And above all, remember to have fun.
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Last edited by musclecups on Sep 21, 2017, 8:43:17 PM
Last bumped on Feb 10, 2018, 5:38:32 PM
I'd love to see this build in action, any videos?
illmtk wrote:
I'd love to see this build in action, any videos?

I suppose I'll give it a try - my computer is not a new machine, and this build is much smoother than say my cookie-cutter wander this league. But that's not to say that a video will look that great. And it will probably take a couple days, given my rural upload speeds.
Very fun build. Good change of phase
Should i kill all bandits with this build? couldnt find it in your op
soladox wrote:
Should i kill all bandits with this build? couldnt find it in your op

Yes, all bandits. Good catch - I'll add that to the guide.

why not Kraityn - Two points will give more than 6% movespeed, if you wanted more movespeed.

why not Alira - Two points will give another jewel socket, which can be 15% all res AND some damage or life.
Last edited by musclecups on Sep 3, 2017, 3:09:53 PM
Thoughts on using double divinarius for whirling blade and swapping the chest out for something else?
CoverMedic wrote:
Thoughts on using double divinarius for whirling blade and swapping the chest out for something else?

I'm sure it would be serviceable, if that's what is available starting out. If you add whirling blades to the build as presented, it actually slows you down (as we take only 3 or so incidental attack speed nodes).

If you mean drop Queen of the Forest altogether, no. Do that, you may as well drop jade flask, as it no longer makes you faster, same for the speed from Witchfire Brew. At that point, no real use being a Pathfinder - may as well play as Trickster.

That said, Divinarius is a great item for the start of the league, before Breath of the Council is available/cheap. Thanks for mentioning it!
Last edited by musclecups on Sep 4, 2017, 11:21:27 AM
Added a quick and dirty video.
How high in terms of maps have you done with this ? I aslo wanted to ask about the low mana flask whether is is needed or just is a luxury to get more mf etc? Also do you think it would be possible to slot a tempest binding helm into the build or would it be pretty useless?
Last edited by Ladoona on Sep 6, 2017, 6:54:37 AM

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