[3.1] [WIP] "The Cursed Bomber" - Bodyswap spell totems. Mob eater, decent boss killer.

Updated 12/27/2017

!!! NOTE !!! - This build is a WIP, haven't gotten everything yet, but I'm close. I need to 6-link my soul mantle, get my bodyswap to lvl 21 w/ quality 20, and explore a weapon swap to switch from desecrate to unearth on the fly, but it's probably almost there

Welcome exile! This is one of my very first builds, and since it's pretty new given all of the new 3.1 gems, I figured I'd hop on the forums to share my experience with this build with you all. I feel there's much room for improvement, but I'm pretty confident this is a solid template to build off of for tackling the body swapping totem concept. It's not as insane as those popular builds that do insane clear speeds or super fast boss killers, but I wanted to see if bodyswap totems could be somewhat viable :)


Link: https://pastebin.com/cqm3C08f

Things to note:

* The DPS shown has two modes. Self-explosion, and corpse explosion. With the play style of the totems, there will be moments of double dipping on both damages based on proximity of the totem, enemy, and corpse. UPDATE. Corpse won't give as much DPS, and is based off of desecrate corpse level. Still adds a bit damage umph though. Unearth I think only gives lvl 20 mobs, so not as much power there if you use that skill, but the self explosion is your main chunk of dmg.

* On top of that, the DPS is per totem. Since you'll have 3, you can triple the number to get closer to the true effective DPS, since PoB only calculates on 1 totem. You can check that's the case by un-allocating ancestral bond if you don't believe me ;)

* This also doesn't check DPS that you get per curse on you. Given my experience you'll realistically be around 3-6 curses at one time if you're constantly fighting. More if the maps have a permanent curse or two on you. You can check those numbers in PoB by setting lvl 20 on curses in the calc tab to see the increase.

* There's also the fact that for mobs, each kill gives you +6% more damage which adds up thanks to the Pursuit of Faith node. Yeah, your DPS on mobs just keeps going up and up. I'd say from my experience I get around 12-20 per cluster. Of course that's also not calculable in PoB.


Playstyle is pretty straightforward. Spell cascade your desecrate in front of a mob, place 1 to 3 totems depending on how "oh god I'm getting swarmed" you are, totems now start devouring mobs and they'll more or likely focus on the totems since they're targetable, which gives you a bit more breathing room. Alternate between corpse and totem placement for continuous damage, but not too fast as you've got desecrate's 3 use cooldown. If you need things taken care of faster or you need to protect yourself more, piano flask your utils. Luckily they aren't a huge requirement to clear mobs so you don't need to work out your fingers too much.

For movement, I use shield charge w/ faster attacks and fortify, as well as a lvl 1. bodyswap for cliffs or if you need to get out of a sticky situation. Bodyswap is also really nice if you need to backtrack a long way and you've laid a pile of monster corpses. Really nice travel speeds.

What's nice about this build is you can take it as fast or as moderately slow as you want to and the totems just work for you. A beautiful symphony of body explosion and death is quite satisfying!

What's really nice is you don't have to worry about effects being placed on you from corrupted blood or reflect, since your totems will be taking that for you! :D

Had a tough time leveling, but when you're comfortable to switch to this mechanic around act 4-5, get your rings and 5 link soul mantle ready. You'll need mana pots to maintain your mana as totems are expensive to cast. When you get ascendancy points in order, you can slowly get off mana and switch to utils. Early level I did firestorm in a +1 fire gem scepter.

* Resists are going to be tough to fill. You only have your weapon/shield, glove, and belt to make it happen. Thankfully a number of passive nodes related to resists help out on this.
* If MoM deplets your mana, it can make a sort of sticky situation (currently seeing if getting the mana passives behind MoM help with that, still a WIP). Degen from things like desecrate are going to give you a bad time.
* You're dependent on regen. Don't run maps that remove regen.
* Dex is gunna be hard to fill. Desecrate is max lvl only for increased mana cost to proc arcane surge. Can't check wiki atm for gem progression, but desecrate should be at the lowest level where mana spent is the same as a lvl 20 gem to save on dex points. Again, WIP, I'll update that once I remember what it is. If you can gear your items to not require that big phat 30 dex node, I'd spend it on that +18 fire res ;)


Here's my current gear at the moment:

And my flasks:

Here's what to look for in your build.

Void scepter with high spell and/or fire damage. Crit stuff also really good to have. Cast speed helps, hopefully your totems don't go too fast to eat your corpses.

Archon shield with 12% all res implicit. Spell damage with resists, life and either life or mana regen. Ideally you get an elder variant with % max life and phys reduction, those are really nice for survivability.

ALTERNATE: If you desire leech, try out Trolltimber spire. Though with this you will have a harder time filling your resists with other equipment. I'll need to check this out if leech deems effective. I think it might be for tough bosses.

Played around with this one. I went with my helm being a damage amplifier. Increased area dmg and add fire dmg to spells. My current helm gave me a 6k DPS boost vs my old one. Armor/energy shield base. You can also aim for resists, life, etc to beef out the helm further.

2X Kikazu, no questions asked. More mana regen the better (you'll need it). They're quite cheap. You need these for the curses that'll stack on you so 80% reduction to curses is a must.

Most expensive item minus the 6 linking aspect. The new Impresense amulet is awesome. Has to be of the fire variant so your flammability aura does not reserve any mana so you can run Anger for boosted damage. I bought mine for 2ex but I've seen prices go down slightly. Might change. Sad thing though is totems don't seem to give you the maddening presence effect when you kill a rare or unique monster (though I've got the effect sometimes when killing map bosses... I don't know, hmm.)

If you can't afford it, a nice Jade ammy with spell+fire damage, crit mods, life, and any other useful stats are a good supplement. You can get more DPS from it which can alleviate you from using anger and focus on your flammability aura. A good amulet to shoot for would be of an elder variant for area of effect, damage per strength, phys damage reduction, life regen. This slot in particular is one that can be used to fill needs if impresense doesn't seem like a good fit. Very tweakable.

Stygian Vise of course. Resists, life, the basics. For an abyss jewel, life, fire damage, and crit stuff works wonders. You can be creative here, stats shouldn't be difficult to obtain.

Fingerless silk gloves for ES and spell damage implicit. Resists, life, and energy shield. Ultimately if you've got your bodyswap movement skill in there, go for a shaper variant and get faster casting so you can teleport faster. Not necessary though.

I got me some Kaoms Roots. Don't wanna get stunned or frozen. Nice armor and life. Didn't need the extra gem sockets as the ones I have do the job fine. If you've got a better idea on what to do with boots, go for it but I wouldn't be able to help you there. Maybe you wanna try orb of storms + EO or something. Maybe you can handle getting stunned in certain types of situations. Up to you.

We've got 4 jewel slots! Here's what I use:

Self Flagellation - VERY IMPORTANT. We want damage per curse on us. We keep respawning totems, so it's definitely a boost in damage. Get max dmg if you can.

Other jewels - focus on stuff that increases damage (totem, spell, fire). Crit chance and multiplier helps. You can also get life or mana regen. Up to you.

Boots - Damage leeched as life and mana if you've killed (Note, may not work since you're using totems as I tried with catarina's mod and life didn't leech).
Helmet - Desecrate cooldown recovery speed, flammability curse effect

Get 2 passive points. You might also go for Alira as all of those stats are useful as an alternative.

Major: Currently I'm going with Solaris but if DoT proves worse, go for Arakaali.
Minor: If you've got Solaris, get Shakari. If Arakaali, then Gruthkul.


Main skill (equipped on Soul Mantle):
Bodyswap (lvl 21, qual 20) - Concentrated Effect - Elemental Focus - Controlled Destruction - Chance to Ignite - Fire Penetration

We're upping dmg and penetrating fire resists. Yes, we are doing crits with this build and while we have controlled destruction, our Notable passive "Shaman's Dominion" increases critical strike chance by 100% if we've summoned a totem recently, which offsets controlled destruction. Our playstyle is perfect to fully synergize that combo.

Soul Mantle makes this whole setup a 7 link, and who doesn't love a 7 link? :)

Immortal Call - CWDT - Increased Duration - Summon Stone Golem

Your standard take savage damage, proc invulnerability. We generate endurance charges through
Conviction of Power, so that aids in the duration :)

Auras + movement:
bodyswap lvl 1 - Flammability - blasphemy - anger

Bodyswap is a nice cliff + movement speed when we've laid death everywhere. Auras really add to the DPS.

Corpse generation:
Desecrate - arcane surge (lvl 4) - Spell cascade (lvl 1)

Level of desecrate should be lowest that costs the same mana as a lvl 20 desecrate to reduce dexterity need.

Alternate corpse generation (weapon swap):
Unearth - GMP - arcane surge (highest lvl where 1 unearth cast procs this support)

I'm thinking of this alternate setup, haven't implemented it yet but could be good if you really need a quick supply of continuous corpses. This could work for bosses better. I'll need to see, but it should give you a good idea of alternatives.

Shield movement:
Shield charge - faster attacks - fortify

Haven't given too much thought into it. figured fortify could help.
IDEA: If you wanna go EO, you can switch to an orb of storms setup or something, since you already have bodyswap for movement. Could even change the shield entirely if you want, it depends. This build is really just a template :)


Spider Forest map + some abyssal depths action. Have a 5 link in this video, gems aren't fully leveled yet. Lvl 86.
Last edited by TestamentDoom on Jan 1, 2018, 3:31:30 PM
Last bumped on Feb 23, 2018, 3:33:53 AM
Thanks for build. I try to make bodyswap totem build too, and ur tanking skills, tree, and some items are interesting.
Thanks :). I was hoping this theory craft would work and I'm very happy with the results. I'm still on my 5 link and am almost lvl 90. I'm still playing around with it but it's mostly there. If you find yourself a bit squishy, you can opt for more life near the very bottom (or by the life/chaos nodes top left), more mana by shaper notable, or through your jewels. You have the option to try out Zealoth's oath if your totems can leech life if it helps on survivability and you have decent ES, though don't quote me on it 100%, as I'm unfamiliar with its effectiveness or possible lack thereof.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
Last edited by TestamentDoom on Dec 29, 2017, 7:14:41 PM
TestamentDoom wrote:
You have the option to try out Zealoth's oath if your totems can leech life if it helps on survivability

How can totems leech life for me? As u can see, i took Inquisitor, and still dont know, will all buffs work with totems or not...

Tanqu wrote:
TestamentDoom wrote:
You have the option to try out Zealoth's oath if your totems can leech life if it helps on survivability

How can totems leech life for me? As u can see, i took Inquisitor, and still dont know, will all buffs work with totems or not...

I'm hoping this is the case, but Catarina's mods have a 0.2% of fire damage leeched as life for wands/scepters. Hence this is why this is a WIP. Going to figure out if that's the case. It might just apply to to totems itself, and if that's the case, I'll have to readjust. I'm handing the build alright with just the flasks, but I want to improve it as much as possible. Maybe a life leech gem instead of fire penetration if leech is important and it doesn't go straight to totems. I'll get back to you once I find the results.

Oh, also, this build has decent life regen thanks to 2x kikazu and stone golem. Sitting at 463 life regen per sec at the moment.
Last edited by TestamentDoom on Jan 1, 2018, 2:59:04 PM
Ok, based on my tests, seems Catarina's mod to leech fire damage does not apply to players. I think it applies to totems. I tried it out after I finally got a weapon with the crafted mod. Did not notice a difference in my life when I dealt damage. I even compared my stats on character screen to see if it was making any difference.

As for the question in general about totem buffs, the wiki has a good explanation on that:


Skills cast by totems

Skills used by totems are affected by the player's passive skills, equipment, and linked support gems. Skills used by totems use the player's weapon when applicable. For example, Ranged Attack Totem may use Frenzy if the player has a ranged weapon equipped.

Totems use the player's own skills as though the player had cast them. Therefore, buffs and charges (except Endurance Charges) on the player will apply to totems.[3][4] Totems themselves have a maximum Power Charge and Frenzy Charge limit of zero.[4] Any charges generated by the totem are simply discarded, and will not transfer back to the player.[5]

Note that the totem casts the player's skill, meaning that the skill is paid for with the totem's mana (or life if it is affected by Blood Magic), and any reflected damage will be reflected onto the totem, not the player.

Kills made by totems are credited to the creator of the totem for the purposes of experience gain, but effects such as life gain on kill effects will not affect the player.

Any Minions created by the totem are treated as if they had been cast by the player, and are subject to the same maximum minion limits, will get the benefits of Necromantic Aegis, and so on.

Totem stats

While skills cast by the totem are affected by all modifiers affecting the player, the stats of the totem itself are not. The totem will not benefit from passive skills or gear that increase life or energy shield, will not be affected by Chaos Inoculation or increased resistances, the totem is not considered to be wearing the player's armour, and so forth. Totems have a standard 40% elemental resistance and 20% chaos resistance regardless of difficulty.[6]

So in short, anything to improve on spell damage, cast speed, anything related to your skill will apply to totems.

The Chieftain can have totem leech I see, but since we're not chieftain, I suppose I'll have to find a way to compensate, but then again, we have quite a decent regen speed, so leech might not benefit too much to the build, as least from my experience.

Only way I suppose is Trolltimber Spire for leech. Maybe I'll play around with that when I get the chance.

Welp, at least a lesson is learned.
Last edited by TestamentDoom on Jan 1, 2018, 3:24:04 PM
I was looking at bodyswap gem, and it's writen:

Your body explodes, dealing spell damage in an area around you, and a targeted corpse also explodes, dealing damage around it. Your body is recreated at the location of the corpse. The explosion of the corpse is not affected by modifiers to spell damage, and cannot be reflected. This spell cannot be repeated.

So for witch part spell damage work in your build ?

The flat Fire damage ?

One more thing i don't find the Damage Effectiveness of bodyswap gem, any clue?
Last edited by pitbronson on Jan 15, 2018, 12:50:04 PM
Hey, just wanna post here that I've stumbled upon your post while theorycrafting a totem build and wanted to show my appreciation. After reading the posts here I went to make a Chieftain version of it. This char is my highest level so far, and currently the safest build I've made.

This build's not optimised, and I've been experimenting with VD, DD and Cremation at the same time.

Equips-wise there's potential for rarecrafting I've found.

The only thing I've bought was the Self-Flagellation jewel and the Kikazarus.

Any opinions and feedback is welcome.
pitbronson wrote:
I was looking at bodyswap gem, and it's writen:

Your body explodes, dealing spell damage in an area around you, and a targeted corpse also explodes, dealing damage around it. Your body is recreated at the location of the corpse. The explosion of the corpse is not affected by modifiers to spell damage, and cannot be reflected. This spell cannot be repeated.

So for witch part spell damage work in your build ?

The flat Fire damage ?

One more thing i don't find the Damage Effectiveness of bodyswap gem, any clue?

There's two parts to a bodyswap. The self explosion, and the corpse explosion. Self explosion being starting point, and corpse being end position. Yes, corpse explosion will not do much damage and does not take the spell damage. It just uses health of corpse. Self explosion will be your main source of dmg. It's a base fire damage, so spell and fire damage will affect it.

First off, been off of PoE for awhile, life stuff. I'm not gunna do much more work on this build, so it's there as reference for you all to work on.

Chieftain is another good route for this build nukerre. I hope you do well with it! You won't need Trolltimer of course since you've got that leech.
I did a Inquisitor (non crit) version of bodyswap totems. Got better dps and better survivability.

I don't use Ancestral Call, it is really not needed, instead I use Orb of Storms to proc EE vs tough enemies (reduces their fire res by 50%). Also I first used this same amulet but its bonus fire damage is global so stops you procing EE so I decided to use a good rare amulet instead.

Inquisitor gives you lots of defensive and offensive bonuses and fills your mana and life by a lot when on consecrated ground.

Also the build does not depend on curses to do damage so works better vs bosses.

Bodyswap totems are kind of cool I must say but nowhere near the top totem builds, it is more for people that want to play something different. It is not a good cheap league starter build, it does not clear fast and it is not an especially good boss killer.

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