[3.2] Self cast Lightning Tendrils+CwC+Arc CI Scion

This is the build, I played in Abyss League. I did all maps, guardians, tried Shaper only once and failed mostly because of my bad reflex at dodging the Slam.
I wouldn't really recommend it as a starter build in new leagues, some items can be hard to obtain in a fresh league.
3.2 changes made this build even better.

Patch 3.3 and further patches note

Arc receives a giant buff in patch 3.3:
I'm too lazy (and out of loop, cause I haven't played PoE in months) to do the math in PoB and update the guide.
But I strongly suggest trying out pure Arc setup. Buy a helmet with +chains for Arc enchant, swap CwC and LT for Spell Echo and Faster Casting. Take some other nodes, instead of the AoE cluster. I believe, the single target damage should be similar to this build, while being much safer because of range.
If I find some time, I might resurrect this char on Standard, try out pure Arc setup and give you more feedback. But for now I'm taking a break from PoE.
It doesn't mean, this build isn't viable anymore (it's stronger actually, because of Arc buffs). Just a suggestion to try out pure Arc.

What's so special about Lighting Tendrils + Cast while Channeling + Arc combination?

- Pure Lightning Tendrils is great against lonely enemies or small groups, but terrible against large groups or running targets.
- Pure Arc is great against groups, but it does pretty low damage to single targets.
The combination of LT+CwC+Arc eliminates the downsides of both of these spells, while the damage is still surprisingly high. We Flame Dash into the toughest enemy and start melting him with Lightning Tendrils, while Arc clears all the trash mobs around us.

Pros and cons

-Great against groups, I just stand there and facetank all abysses, breaches, etc.
-Works fine against bosses, tiers 1-15 should die in less than 5 seconds, guardians require some more work.
-Lots of chaos damage against enemies with high elemental resistances.
-great sustainability, especially against groups
-Should be able to do any map mod, even ele reflect if you take Elementalist ascendancy. No leech map require slower approach tho.

-This build is weak around level 70. That's where crappy items don't work well anymore and you need few exalts to upgrade it. When chaos damage kills you, but you don't have enough ES for CI. You just have to stay patient and farm.
-While it can facetank groups, it can't really facetank strong lonely bosses. You still have to dodge scary attacks. Basically, the more targets are there to hit, the faster we heal ourselves.
-We use Flame Dash, which isn't the faster skill out there to move around the map. You could always switch to the Shield Charge, you will trade Arcane Surge bonuses for better mobility and Fortify.
-Vulnerability to physical damage, that's the general weakness of ES builds. We have no armor and evasion, that's why I took chaos golem. If you want to feel safer, replace Herald of Thunder with Arctic Armour or Crit Chance gem with Storm Barrier.

The budget

My gear is probably worth ~10-15ex, but honestly none of it is absolutely necessary for this build. But you should at least get Choir of the Storm (0.5 Ex), Watcher's Eye with Lightning mana leech and Energy Shield gained on hit (2ex), shaped wand with elemental->chaos damage (you should find those for few dozen chaos). Most expensive thing is 6-link Incadescent Heart (4-5ex), you can wear wear any decent 5-6 link ES chest until you get there. Valako's Sign can cost few dozen chaos, but you can replace it with Catarina lightning leech mod.
Next somewhat expensive stuff you can search for would be lvl 3 Enlighten, shaped gloves with faster casting, shaped helmet with innervate or Area of effect.
I'd like to add, that I didn't have ANY of this stuff up until lvl 60+. And I haven't dropped any exalts until 90 lvl. If I managed to get this stuff, so can you.

How does it work?

This is the boring section, where I explain the mechanics. Skip it if you want. Tl;dr 700k dps is something we can easily get, not counting "killed recently", innervate, shock and Arc bounces. That's the damage against alone bosses. If you have something to kill and start counting shock, the damage skyrockets.
We have over 7k ES, recharge it very quickly, 100% chaos immunity, 25% elemental immunity, aliments immunity.
The budget gear will obviously have lower numbers, but not to the point of unviability

The offence:
- Besides LT+CwC+Arc, we use 4 different secondary damage spells - Lightning Bolt (from Choir of the Storm), Orb of Storms, Herald of Thunder, Tempest Shield.
- Shocks. We're taking almost every shock bonus, that exists in this game. It's too hard to calculate shock effect, but it definitely should do something.
- Crits with high crit multiplier
- 55% lightning damage as extra chaos damage from Shaped weapon, Incadescent Heart, Atziri's promise
-Ascendency bonuseses
-Arcane Surge from Flame Dash and Innervate+Conductivity from Orb of Storms
-Power and Frenzy charges from killing stuff
- Potions, obviously.

The defense:
- I had over 7k ES on level 90 and still few ES nodes to take right next to me.
- Watcher's Eye jewel with 30ES/hit + Zaeloth's Oath with Consecrated ground + Ghost Reaver. From my observations, against groups I regain around 5k ES per second.
- We're CI, so we take 0 chaos damage obviously. And Incadescent Heart absorbs 25% of elemental damage we take, plus aliments immunity from Inquisitor ascendancy.
-Other defensive bonuses are 33%/15% block chance, Endurance Charges, 4% physical damage reduction from Chaos Golem, +1% max lightning res and Decoy Totem.

The gear and gem links

This was my 3.1 gem link setup. Updating it for 3.2 or later patches depends on which ascendancy you choose:
- For Elementalist you can go with the same setup or put in another golem somewhere, if you wish.
- For Occultist change the Area of Effect for Elemental Weakness (or defensive curse) in the Orb of Storms setup. And change the Cast when Stunned for Cast when Damage Taken or cast it manually.

As I said before, none of it is a core item to make this build work. But you should search for something similar.
If I had to pick THE most important item of this build, it would be that Watcher's Eye with ES regain and mana leech. It solves all our issues with mana and ES sustain. Sadly, it's also pretty rare to find. You should save 2-3ex in your stash and hunt poe.trade for it.

Abyss belt is absolutely not required, change it for any belt you like.
Use Sorrow of the Divine instead of Overflowing Chalice, until you take Zealot's Oath keystone (you don't really need that keystone, but I don't like relying on potions too much).
Another helpful item is Conqueror's Efficiency jewel. Use it to maintain Discipline + Wrath + Herald, until you get enough mana reserved passive nodes.

Bandits, Ascendancies, Pantheon

We help Alira.
We choose Inquisitor, then Occultist or Elementalist and after Uber Lab we go for Path of the Witch. Occultist is a bit stronger "on paper", but Elementalist brings smoother gameplay - you don't rely on curses that much and you don't have to worry about ele reflect. Or you could always temporary switch to Elementalist, do all the ele reflect and curse immunity maps in your stash, then switch back to Occultist for the cost of 2 regret orbs.
As for Pantheon, take Brine King for Elementalist, anything you like for Occultist (because it already has built in stun immunity). You can take Soul of Arakali before CI to deal with chaos damage over time.
For lesser god I'd suggest Garukhan for the mobility. Before CI take Shakari, again for chaos resitance.

Lvl 61 Tree, leveling, some advices

This is something to through 10 acts. It's not really worth to get Choir of the Storm before it, we don't have enough points for crit nodes. Instead, for now we take Elemental Overload.
If you lack resists, you might take the resist nodes south of Scion starting point.

I leveled with Lightning Tendrils and switched to Arc in Act 5. We take big chunk of Scion's ES nodes right at the start, so we're tanky since the begining. Level with anything you like.
For Ascendencies you take Inquisitor and Elementalist/Occultist, in any order you prefer.

Lvl 71 Passive tree

You finished 10 acts, start mapping, getting ascendency trails. At this stage you might feel pretty weak. Search for ascendencies at global 820, you REALLY need the final ascendency. You might want to pay someone to take you through your first uber lab.
Once you finish uber lab, this is where the fun begins. First of all, wear Choir of the Storm. Go for Path of the Witch Ascendency, unlearn all the path from Scion's ES nodes to the rest of your tree, unlearn Elemental Overload. Use the recovered points to get the Crit bonuses.
When to go for CI? When you start dying from chaos damage more from anything else.

The future, Lvl 90 Passive tree

Now you should focus on farming for Watcher's Eye jewel with Mana leeched from Lightning damage, while affected by Wrath and 20-30ES gained for each enemy hit, while affected by Discipline. Once you have that jewel, you can unlearn any Mana Regen nodes you have and stop worrying about mana regen in gear. Mana leech is that good.
When you get anything with lightning damage leeched as life, take Ghost Reaver.

Until you get those 2 sources of ES regen, you might want to consider farming with pure Arc setup - killing things from distance is much safer.

After those, just get similar stuff to what I'm using.
This is my passive tree at level 90. As you see, I connected Sion's ES nodes with the big branch, unlearned Scion starting nodes and used the spare points to get Overcharged node. That's our source of charges.:

P.S. Don't take the +10int node next to the Eldritch Battery, I took it by accident and played entire league with it, because I'm retarded.

Final tips

1) If you have spare currency, it's good idea to buy Watcher's Eye with mana leech and faster start of ES recharge. It's better for single bosses and lab, than the one with ES on hit.
2) Keep the Regret Orbs you find, cause we rearrange our passive tree few times, along with upgrading the gear and getting ascendancies. I'm not sure, are respec points from quests enough.
3) If you really want single target DPS, just swap Arc and CwC for damaging supports (less AoE, Lightning Pen). Pure Lightning Tendrils is terrible against groups, but DELETES single targets.

Path of Building link

PoB link with all the bonuses, that we can get https://pastebin.com/MAsZWB93. Obviously it may be hard to maintain all of them, especially against bosses with no ads.
The trickiest part to calculate is the shock. We always shock, but how strong is that shock? With Elementalist node it's at least 10%. We also get more damage against shocked targets from Inquisitor and Valako, plus we leech ES from shocked targets.
Also keep in mind, that Arc bounces, potentially hitting the same target multiple times.
And remember, that for final DPS you have to add LT+Arc+LB+OoS.
Last edited by osesek on May 30, 2018, 2:00:44 PM
Last bumped on Jun 20, 2018, 12:06:07 PM
Bump for anyone interested, because I've mode some huge changes for this build. It's not pure Arc anymore, now it's Arc+CwC + Lightning Tendrils. Which is much better for high level bosses.
Build looks really fun!!! Just getting back into the game myself.can you comment on why you went with flame dash over other movement choices? It looks like you are already throwing 4 links on it so I’m surprised you didn’t go lightning warp. Thanks!
Lightning Warp needs Less Duration, which works poorly with Arcane Surge.
Updated the guide for 3.2, this build received some sweet buffs with Ascendancy changes.
This build looks sick, will be using as league starter for beastiary!
Sorry, noob here :)

What is the point of Cast When Stunned Support on spectre ? Because i can no longer summon my golem directly :(
Cast when stunned is a trigger gem:
You can't cast triggered skills directly, they autocast when something happens. In this case, your golem is autosummoned when you get stunned. Just unlink Cast when Stunned if you prefer to summon golem menually. I linked him to CWS, so I don't have to worry about him anymore.
What do you think about

for the build? Also now what is a safe amount of CI to begin mapping with?

Thanks so much for the guide, my first time running CI and have heard a lot of people say it is no longer viable.
Last edited by 0vvl on Mar 8, 2018, 2:08:12 AM
It's ok, I used it for some time. Valako's Sign is stronger tho and it's hard to wear both, while still having capped resists. With Valako you also don't need leech mod on your weapon.

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info