SC Shatter Machine - Freezing Pulse Inquisitor

Recommended MTX, Arctic Armor set, Essence back attachment and Gloom Herald.

Vaal Pact Changes
The build no longer goes for Vaal Pact. Instead we skip the entire thing and live with it. The reflect changes completely negates the changes to a large degree, the build was still incredible to play without instant leech.

3.1 changes

* The build no longer stops between Ranger and Shadow, it makes the daunting trek down to Duelist to pick up Vaal Pact.
* Leech is no longer instant, which means that any hope this build had of making it into Hardcore Abyss is now disappearing in front of our very eyes.
* I will still use Warlord's Mark on Blasphemy, but quality on Blasphemy now represents more leech which I didn't need in 3.0.
* Sometimes I capitalize words like "Frenzy Charge", sometimes I don't. I am truly sorry.
* Still no pants.

When it comes to mapping, this character can not do elemental reflect, hexproof and no leech maps. It won't happen, so save yourself the EXP and reroll those maps. This build is not aimed at Hardcore players. It was my own little SC project and it was insanely fun!

On my profile you can look at the tree and gear at the MichaelJFoxBobblehead character slot. This was a 3.0 character that I made in the 10 day Mayhem event (Breach, Exiles, Invasion and Strongboxes to an extreme degree in all zones, rotating by the hour.) I Played in the SC version.

Mayhem Gear

Gearing options

Amulet slot

The only reason I was able to sustain Frenzy and Power charges on this build was Victario's Acuity. If you didn't know, it has 10% chance to grant a Frenzy charge on kill and a Power charge on kill. 5% projectile speed per Frenzy and 5% projectile damage per Power. This is all good stuff, however getting the amulet was a stroke of luck. I got the amulet from the Jack In the Box hand-in, which can give everything from Headhunter to Readbeak. Before this I used an amulet with critical multiplier on it, however with the amulet I was able to drop both Blood Rage and Assassin's Mark in favor of Warlord's Mark. This is also when I re-specced into Vaal Pact.
That covers the amulet slot. There is no Onslaught in Abyss from Zana, so brute forcing it is sadly not an option. This means Blood Rage and Power Charge on Crit (either in your main FP setup or an Orb of Storms setup. If anyone gets Victario's Acuity from a card hand-in, don't expect it to be cheap. It's underused but also a chase item for some. It's also so old that a lot of players that joined the game in 2.0 for example don't know about it's existence.

Ring slots

I got lucky in Mayhem and had 2 opal rings. However before I had those, of course I had 2 life + resist rings. It's possible (also on dagger or amulet) to roll a flat fire or lightning damage roll to attacks and wiggle Elemental Equilibrium into the build. Not recommended. It's tedious, even with Orb of Storms.

On your rings I recommend to just look for life, resists, cast speed and attack speed. You can also roll a few percentage points of cold damage. There are no unique options that immediately comes to mind for your ring slots-

With Essence of Scorn you can roll crit multiplier on your rings as well, however it's pricey and often yields bad results. If you're going for this, buy a lot of them before you start crafting and make sure it's a base you want. Opal rings with Scorn is the most GG you can get.


I use these gloves

They're not rare, easy to color and gives some alright damage.
Maligaro's Virtuosity is also an option. Up to 20% crit multiplier, a tad attack speed and good critical strike chance.

The second option of the unique variety is Winds of Change, which has some really good projectile damage and projectile speed. Great for clearing.

The last unique option (disregarding 3.1 BiS additions which has not been revealed yet) is Repentance. These are not the greatest option, but they have something to bring to the table. With some strength investment the Iron Will can be a nice damage boost. They can roll 30% reduced spell damage, which with the strength I got on my Inquisitor in Mayhem would have granted me a whooping 3% spell damage.

On rare gloves you're looking for the usual, life + resists and attack speed for mobility.


Personally I like to farm The Throne cards for +1 Frenzy charge.

I got lucky with these ones. The life roll is on the higher end, it could roll as low as 150 and as high as 200. Stun immunity, no drawback from Temporal Chains maps, no drawback from chilled ground and no knock-back from Projectile Weakness mobs.

Another option is

Here you have some more spell dodge, which will make Vaal Grace over-cap you. However, if your uptime is good, you could spec all the way out of Phase Acrobatics. You'll lose 15% spell dodge and 10% regular dodge, but the movement speed, evasion and life is also really nice, not to mention the extra gem sockets that can be used for everything to an Orb of Storms setup, Vaal Haste, a Spell Totem setup etc. Imagine having Orb of Storms, Blind, Faster Casting and Increased Area of Effect. Congratulations, you blinded this entire breach and have achieved immortality. That ones for you, Beelzebub, lord of the flies.

I have to say that I prefer Kaom's Roots, though. The life total is bigger, the spell dodge is more consistent and Shield Charge still scales nicely from your weapons APS and misc increased attack speed. This makes indoor maps a lot more doable. More on that in the weapon section.

Here is a list of other unique boot options.
Goldwyrm are almost as old as the game itself. They give alright movement speed, a little chunk or Increased Item Quantity as well as a boatload of mana regen and fire resistance. These are low-tier but these boots holds a spot in my heart.
Mutewind Whispersteps. These boots are exclusive to the Warband league, so they're hard to find. However, they give some surprisingly good flat cold damage as well as critical strike chance for spells. You aren't affected by frozen ground and get 25% movement speed.
Darkray Vectors. These especially shine with Victario's Acuity, unfortunately. With 5 Frenzy charges you gain 10% dodge. They can also be corrupted in bulk for +1 frenzy implicit which is 8% more damage and 2% extra dodge. You also get comparable movement speed thanks to it's movement speed per frenzy charge.
Brinerot Whalers. Usually used for Ethereal Knives thanks to the physical damage and projectile damage. With these you can run shocked ground maps without fearing the penalty and you get some damage as well. They do fall in the same category as the Mutewind boots, though. They're league specific and can only be obtained with divination cards or unique strongboxes.


This is the Mayhem helmet. All I wanted was life, resists and attributes.

There are 6 lab enchants for Freezing Pulse. 2 tiers each of projectile speed, raw damage and cast speed. Any of these are totally fine. I never found my last 2 trials and I didn't bother to hunt it down.

Of course there are plenty of other options, unique ones at that. Here are a few.
Rat's Nest. Movement speed, attack speed, crit, evasion and rarity. It should be a no-brainer but it has no life or resists.
Starkonja's Head. Same deal as Rat's Nest. Evasion and crit. This one has life as well, though. Attack speed is 5% lower but the evasion is a little higher as well. If you're not running Vaal Pact you're going to be strapped for dexterity, however.
Skullhead. This is a really easily obtainable life and resist piece early on in the league. I used this until I found my rare replacement.
Devoto's Devotion. This really fits on every build. You get your dexterity requirements taken care of and you'll move really fast. No big defensive capabilities aside from the chaos resistance, though.
The Gull. Not really Headhunter, but it'll get the job done if you have the patience to stop and click shrines all the time. This is an Anarchy league item, so you'll need to either buy it or farm Time Lost Relic cards.

Chest Armor

This is the Mayhem chest. Before I had this I used Tabula Rasa. You want an energy shield hybrid base. I'm not listing Belly of the Beast on the list below because 5 blue sockets and 1 green is a 10K chromatic orb investment. Almost the same goes for Carcass Jack. That particular chest would be alright if you stack more AoE and AoE damage for Herald of Ice, but thats not what I made the tree or character for.

Skin of the Loyal. This is a Breach unique which can really do you good. +1 gem level is an insane damage boost. However, the socket colors, no life, no resists and hard as nails to find in a league where Breach is Zana's level 8 mod. Don't count on this unless you play in the permanent leagues.
Skin of the Lords. Same as the statement above. It's unrealistic to obtain.
Beast Fur Shawl. This is a pure offensive piece. Herald of Ice gets an AoE bonus and Freezing Pulse gets a damage boost. Easy to get the right socket colors.
Voll's Protector. Free power charge generation at the cost of no life and resists. This chest could be a good option simply because of the consistency of the power charges. This is one of the reasons I'm not picking up power charges on the tree. It's 40% critical strike chance for 2 points and it's not consistent. Voll's Protector could make that consistent enough to warrant picking up charges.
Geofri's Sanctuary. This could take your life-based build and make it psuedo-hybrid, 2 words I rarely use in the same sentence. It has alright life and resists, costs nothing and is easy to color.
Atziri's Splendour. The 100 life and mana on kill could really take care of your mana/life issues. Good resists but not your best option. Grasping at straws with this one.


In 3.0, this belt right here was sort of over powered. The intimidation acted as a constant damage boost, you got your strength requirements taken care of in addition to the life and resists. In 3.1, intimidation will only work for melee damage. Casters will be looking elsewhere for belts. However, reduced damage taken from critical strikes is makes this belt worth it in 3.1 Hardcore, unless a 130+ life belt with the resists you need drop.

What I recommend is a rare Leather Belt. Life, resists, flask mods is what you'll want.

If you wanna rock a unique for the 2D art, here are some options.

Bisco's Leash. Free Rampage. This is the "fun option" of the list. It also gives quantity and strength.
Headhunter. Some builds gets a little benefit from Headhunter. This build would be insane with it. We're talking Ghudda levels of insanity. The pricetag makes this unrealistic for a lot of players, especially in Abyss where Nemesis isn't granted by Zana.
Doryani's Invitation. This is a tried and true option. It'll forever cost nothing at all, give great resists and a little bit of leech.

Weapon and shield

This is my Mayhem weapon and shield.

To get a dagger like this, what you need an Essence of Misery. These I'd buy in bulk if you are going to craft. The reason being that you really want crit multiplier. I chose the Skean base for the 1.45 base attack speed. If you're chasing after mid-tier maps and don't care about bosses, I recommend swapping it out with a Brightbeak. This also frees up some resists on your gear.
On your shield you want spell crit, life and resists.

Here is the list of unique options I could dig up at the wiki.

Doryani's Catalyst. Tried and true. up to 100% elemental damage, alright crit but no multiplier. Elemental Proliferation Support does nothing, though. This isn't a build designed around prolif.
Touch of Anguish. Excuse me? The Frost Blades claw? I'm not sure, I'd love for anyone to prove me wrong, but I think you get a baby-chain which would be all good stuff. The cold damage is global as well and it has frenzy charge generation.
Widowmaker. This dagger has the highest crit multi you can get on a dagger. It was my starting dagger after transitioning fully to crit. It's dirt cheap and a good starting option if you have good critical strike chance and don't need the spell crit rolls you'd usually see on a starting caster dagger.
Divinarius. Div has been a good caster dagger since before the game was released. It has spell damage to make up for the lag of crit multi and alright attack speed. The AoE affects Herald of Ice as well. Good if you find it, but it's usually overpriced.
Singularity. A weapon I'm quite fond of. The hinder radius is scaled by AoE and is a good defensive measure. It has a good chunk of damage as well but it suffers from a case of "no crit multiplier-itus" and low attack speed.

Honestly I'd recommend anything like the rare posted above. There are good ES hybrid shields that can also roll damage for you but has higher block and implicit resists, however.

Here are some unique options to consider. The reason for this is the max resist. Reflect is being re-worked. Instead of damage being reflected directly back to you and instantly leeched, reflect mobs have been redesigned. They'll appear like Nemesis monsters and shoot some sort of arcing projectile back at you. This should be easily avoidable, so I recommend sleeping on this one. We'll wait and see how prominent reflect is in 3.1 and how easy it is to dodge. Keep in mind that you can't evade the damage, but you can dodge it.
Light of Lunaris. The crit multi from block is not worth taking Phase Acrobatics out of the tree, but it's a shield with critical strike chance and multiplier. A rare find indeed.
Esh's Mirror. With enough flat lightning damage added to spells, it's possible to take advantage of this absolutely broken piece of shit. It's not even mentioned in the 3.1 patch notes. I know, I can't believe it either.
Saffel's Frame. Another unique item from pre 1.0. I use this shield often on Acrobatics builds. The max resists are great, the spell damage is lacking but the overall of this shield is that it's a cheap and common option if you don't need the increased critical strike chance for spells.
Jaws of Agony. This is a possible weapon swap or the housing for your Vaal Lightning Trap. If you're going for this one, I recommend linking Vaal Lightning Trap with Multiple Traps and Cluster Traps to get to max power charges as fast as possible. You can use it as your main shield, but unless you're really struggling to keep power charges up, I'd consider a Orb of Storms setup with Power Charge on Crit instead since you're not shackled to souls to activate it.

Gem Links

Freezing Pulse - Increased Critical Strikes - Increased Critical Damage - Spell Echo - Faster Casting (can be swapped out for Power Charge on Critical) - Added Cold Damage (can be swapped out for Hypothermia)

Blasphemy - Warlord's Mark - Vaal Lightning Trap - Herald of Ice

Lightning Golem - Vaal Haste/Vaal Grace - Minion Life

Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call - Increased Duration - Vaal Grace/Vaal Haste

Shield Charge - Faster Attacks - Fortify


Firestorm - Flame Totem in a shared Tabula is how I did it. I found 2 Consuming Dark daggers to help with that and swapped Shield Charge out for Whirling Blades.

I swapped to Frostbolt for early mapping and into Freezing Pulse as I got Victario's Acuity. Since this is hard to get in 3.1 (the amulet), I will skip Frostbolt and instead purchase one extra Frozen Trail off of either or

For leveling tips, I use the +1 fire gem wand recipe, find out how to do that right here. This is something I want done before 30 minutes of Path of Exile 3.1 has passed. You will want a 3 linked wand with 3 blue sockets and a second wand with 2 blue and 1 red socket.

In the BBB wand I used Firestorm, Faster Casting and Controlled Destruction. In the BBR wand I used Flame Totem, Faster Casting and Controlled Destruction. These are vendor gems in act 2. Before I got both of these skills I simply used Freezing Pulse and Fire Trap. You'll get the new skills around the same time as the dexterity requirements for Fire Trap sets in.
Firestorm is a quest reward for killing Mervail and Flame Totem you get as soon as you've completed the Mud Flats area. The additional Faster Casting and Controlled Destruction gems costs 1 alteration each in act 2 after you've killed the Weaver.

At end-game I had 4.9K life + max dodge.


Help Alira. I use a lot of gear and jewels that favors damage over resists, so getting 15% for free as well as crit multi is no doubt the best option.

Passive choices, Victatio's Acuity and other comments.

As stated earlier, I did get really lucky in Mayhem and Found Victario's Acuity from the Jack in the Box divination card. The chances of this happening are super low.

Here is what I did before I had that amulet. I ran Blood Rage and Increased Duration for frenzy charges as well as Assassin't Mark on Blasphemy for power charges. I didn't have Vaal Pact at that point, I spec'd out of Arcane Potency and Purity of Flesh when I got it to get Vaal Pact and Revenge of the Hunted instead. I watched myself around reflect mobs and mostly relied on life flasks to out-heal the damage that slipped through the spell dodge cracks.

The optimal amulet replacements would be one with tier 1 critical multiplier. It's also possible at that point to swap out a damage gem like Added Cold for Life Leech.

Another alternative to Blood Rage is Hypothermia. Swap out Added Cold for that. It's a smaller flat damage gain but a lot higher charge consistency.

When it comes to golems, I don't think there is a wrong option. I had Lightning Golem because of the cast speed, but Flame Golem is good as well. Stone Golem is good if you don't use Vaal Pact and Chaos Golem is some good permanent defense. Ice Golem was my first choice, but I ended up not needing the critical strike chance so I opted for the a golem with 2 benefits that affected me.

Mayhem PoB pastebin and screenshots.



Last edited by OlaSarcasm on Feb 23, 2018, 9:33:43 AM
Last bumped on Dec 9, 2017, 6:15:56 PM
Hello! Thanks for your submission to the build guide listing.

I generally don't accept WIP build guides until they are very far along. As most guides are for players who are newer to the game, most of the thought process, gearing, leveling, and decisions should be laid out for them.

Your guide is well on it's way to having most considerations included. I would ask that you make only a few small minor updates before I add it.

Victario's Acuity is specific to the Onslaught league. As you don't list how someone in a temporary league could acquire it, nor what alternatives you might suggest, this would leave them with no amulet. You did state that they should run blood rage, but not what they should equip.

Since you only state that players should swap to freezing pulse once mapping and having acquired Acuity, it can be somewhat misleading as to when and how they can use FP. They also might likely want to level with the skill, if you have any recommendations for how early they can expect to do that. From my own experience, I believe leveling FP works fine with very poor gear until around level 50 or so, and at that point crit multi investment is needed or else it feels lackluster.

What order do you recommend players take their ascendancies? Would you mind outlining what those are for those who don't care to wish PoB?

What kind of life totals should players expect to have by the time they enter maps? How will the build fare now that VP is located down in the duelist tree, and this build won't have access to it with the current pathing? Would you care to mention placement of the first snow jewels, or maybe since you recommend frostbolt for leveling the fact that they will also likely need 2 frozen trails for leveling?

And as a fellow builder, what did you think about Frost Walker, Snowforged, Instability and the spell node behind it, overcharged, or Infused?

Looking forward to seeing this build develop, and changes for 3.1.

Hot Flashes:
Shocking EleHit:
Redid the entire guide to address the Vaal Pact changes. Will update again once I get it to end-game in 3.1 to see if it's viable without instant leech.

I will add a new passive tree as soon as it's build, right now the Path of Building link will give you a level 89 tree with Vaal Pact moved instead of the level 90 tree with Vaal Pact.

I will answer any questions posted and add an FaQ if necessary.
So im currently playing this build in Abyss and it feels pretty damn smooth.

1 problem tho. How should i generate power charges ? I'm running Warlords and HoI so i cant curse on hit ass mark, you got any idea ?
Darkwraith123 wrote:
So im currently playing this build in Abyss and it feels pretty damn smooth.

1 problem tho. How should i generate power charges ? I'm running Warlords and HoI so i cant curse on hit ass mark, you got any idea ?

Yes. One way of doing it is linking Orb of Storms with Power Charge on Crit (quality gives increased crit strike chance on this one as well), Inc AoE and Increased Critical Strikes.

Tulfall and Tulborn as well has a chance to grant power charges on killing frozen enemies. With breaches in 10% of maps, this should be all over in a little while. Those are wands, though. Definitely a band-aid solution. Orb of Storms is the easiest one to get going.

Malachai's Loop has 20% chance to generate power charges on hit, it also gives +2 power charges. It shocks you when you hit max power charges as well, though so don't roll your shock immunity on a life flask, get it on a utility flask like a diamond flask or Basalt/Silver.

Using Voll's Protector as a chest will solve that issue all on it's own as well.

The last option is using Essence of Horrors to roll daggers, but I wouldn't recommend it.

I hope this helps!

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