[3.7] Freezing Pulse Totem Hierophant | Cheap, Starter, Guide, Guardians, Shaper

3.7 Update

The patchnotes for 3.7 were huge. But our build managed to go pretty much untouched with all the melee reworks, ascendancy changes and ES + Warlords Marks nerfs.

One of the biggest changes is that Freezing Pulse projectile will no longer get stuck in doors! Yay! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ5nWbJ2jB8&feature=youtu.be

Biggest change will be the new largely reworked skilltree. Unfortunately I don't have the time to update the PoB, but at first glance there are not any new nodes that really stand out for us. Mind over matter got the increased mana nodes taken away (thats a nerf I guess), so you should pickup one or two other mana clusters. (Soul Siphon and/or Righteous Decree)

I hope you will all enjoy the leaguestart and I will be back on Monday or Tuesday.

3.6 Update
Freezing Pulse got a 12% Damage Buff at Lvl20!

The +1 Totem Mod is now only available on shaper shields. It might be difficult to roll a good one, but certainly worth it. With how good multimodding is right now, you could just isolate +1 Totem with another good mod (best life, spell damage, spell crit) and multimod. If the mod is super rare, you will have to settle with other mods, too.

There are various changes on the skill tree which gives us more and better options. My thoughts about the skill tree:

- Frost Walker got a significant buff and should always be picked up
- Divine Judgement is out
- Nimbleness got buffed, so it might be slightly better to take the lower path above witch (and not path by Throatseeker), also gets you better access to another jewel socket, and at last Arcane Will might be better then the other 2 point clusters we take for mana
- Snowforged gives Resists now
- Arcane Swiftness is another 3-Point cluster (which also gives 3% block) we can take for damage, there are a lot of 3-point clusters which are around 10% damage
- We now need 1 more point to reach the cluster at the Shadow starting Area. So you could argue if it's still worth it. I think so, because it's hard to get life somewhere else. Also Lethal Assault might be worth to pickup.

Comparison of 3-Point Damage Clusters:
- Nimbleness 10.4% Damage, also 4% movement speed
- Throatseeker 12.2% Damage
- Snowforged 9.9% Damage, also 30% Resists
- Arcane Swiftness 9.7% Damage, also 3% Block

My current choice will be to pickup Nimbleness for lvl90. After that you can pickup Arcane Swiftness, the jewel, Lethal Assault, or more life at Melding. There are honestly too many good nodes to pickup. I think Snowforged and Throatseeker are out.

I'm also thinking about taking the Mana+Life Regen nodes right at Templar start. We get 5% Life, 5% Mana, 1.2% LifeRegen, 60% increased Manaregen.

I made an entirely new PoB from scratch. It contains skill trees for various levels, as well as high end (but achievable) gear. This current PoB has 300k shaper DPS (per totem) and very good defenses. (over 8k effective life, fortify from Vigilant Strike, high life and mana regen)

With the nerfs to Arc, Freezing Pulse might become the premier totem skill again.

Since there doesn't seem to be a current guide for this powerful build, I decided to write one and give back to the community which helped me with other build guides. Feel free to make comments and suggestions to make this guide even better.

- NO gear requirements (except 2 threshold jewels), so cheap and SSF viable
- Transitions nicely from levelling to mapping without any problems and big investments
- Easy to cap resists
- Easy to reach 7k-8k EHP with 40% MoM
- Able to clear maps up to T15 comfortly
- Very safe because we freeze all minions except bosses instantly
- Can go Magic Find
- Can run all map mods (I would reroll Ele-Reflect since your totems 1 or 2-shot themselves, but clearing the map is possible)
- Can reach 1.5 million Shaper DPS (300k DPS per totem)
- Possible to kill guardians, shaper and even Uber Elder with some investments (Uber Elder Kill)

- No leech

Why not Frostbolt?

- higher base crit
- faster projectiles, so faster freezing and clearing

You can still try frostbolt. It's essentially the same skill tree, so just swap the gems and threshold jewels. (and you don't need projectile speed, so replace faster proj)

3.6 Pastebin: (for "Path of Building") https://pastebin.com/GGR6TK0K

Video (T12 Shaped Dunes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vbW4I5M47c
Video of Red Elder Fight (Credit to Sinxar): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vePe0xd1ylY
For Videos of Guardians and Shaper see the corresponding section.

Gameplay style
You run around (and flame dash) and place totems preemptively. You don't wanna jump directly into a large pack of mobs before freezing them. When we need more DPS we can cast Frostbomb and Projectile Weakness for a huge damage increase.

MoM (Mind over Matter) explained
With the Mind of Matter keystone and the Divine Guidance ascendancy, 40% of our Damage is taken from mana before life. This means we optimally want to have a Life/Mana ratio of about 60/40.

There are many powerful mana nodes on the tree and we should look to have a lot +Mana on our gear in additon to +Life. I am currently on about 4200 Life, 2800 Mana (which is a 60/40 ratio) with just a tabula. That's 7k EHP.

You don't wanna run auras with MoM and we don't really need to. That also allows us to equip a Clear Mind jewel.

With MoM having flat mana and mana regen on gear is very important.

Gem Links:
Mandatory Links:
Get those as soon as you start mapping. Don't complain about your damage if you don't use a Curse, Frost Bomb and Arcane Surge.

Main skill: Spell Totem - Freezing Pulse - Faster Casting - Controlled Destruction - Hypothermia - Cold Penetration
- Before you pickup a +1 Totem Shield, it might be worth to run Multiple Totems Support.
- If you want your projectiles to travel farther, you can use Faster Projectiles, it also means the damage doesn't fall off that fast.
- If you want reliable crits and your double totems can one shot most mobs, you might wanna run Increased Critical Strikes instead of Controlled Destruction. It's overall less damage though.

Flame Dash + Faster Casting + Arcane Surge (+ Portal)
(pay attention that your Arcane Surge is low level so that it procs with one cast, for this combination it's level 7)

Frostbomb + Phase Run + Increased Duration

Cast When Damage Taken + Immortal Call + Enfeeble + (Increased Duration)
(Cast When Damage Taken should be lvl1, Immortal Call lvl3, Enfeeble lvl5)

Projectile Weakness + Vaal Haste / Vaal Grace + Increased Duration
(We need 155 Dex for level 20 on Projectile Weakness which is hard to get for us. But it's totally fine to leave the gem at a lower level, since we only lose a little bit of DPS against bosses)

For fortify: (if you use dagger/sceptre)
Shield Charge + Faster Attacks + Fortify

Alternatively use Vigilant Strike (with jewel) - this should be your endgame setup:
Vigilant Strike + Ancestral Call (+ Faster Attacks)

Decoy Totem + Multiple Totems for Bosses
Summon Lightning Golem

Alira, since both CritMulti and ManaRegen are very good for us and resists are never bad.

Pursuit of Faith - Ritual of Awakening - Conviction of Power - Divine Guidance

Don't be scared of labs. You can do every lab as soon as you reach the required level. If you have a 6link and Freezing Pulse lvl18, you should be fine to solo Uberlab (on SC).

Major: Brine King, if no Kaom's Roots, else probably Solaris
Minor: Gruthkul


Most people overprioritze getting damage from the gear. Make sure you cap your resists and get as much life, mana and mana regen (mana is life for us!!!) as possible on your gear.

Optimally you want a dagger or sceptre to apply fortify with Shield Charge or Vigilant Strike. Especially early on it's totally fine to use a wand though.

- Spell Damage, Elemental Damage
- Critchance for Spells
- Cast Speed
- Critmulti
- Added Damage to Spells

Endgame crafting: The shaper mod "Gain Elemental Damage as extra chaos damage" (max 20%) is a very strong multiplier. Since Betrayal multimodding became pretty strong, so just isolate the mod and then multimod.

(you can just craft critmulti as well)

- +Life
- Critchance for Spells
- +Mana
- Mana Regen
- +Resists
- Spell Damage (expensive to get with the other stats)

Endgame: Shaper Shields can get a +1 Totem Mod (we don't know yet at which ilvl or how rare the mod it). This mod is of course insanely powerful for us. With how powerful multimodding is, it's probably the easiest to isolate the mod (togther with life, spelldmg or spellcrit) and multimod the rest.

A Tabula should be one of your first investments. Getting a unique or rare 6link armor is not a high priority since we can easily reach 7k EHP without it. So you might consider getting a +1 Tabula to boost your damage.

The standard option would just be a regular body with Life, Mana and Resists. Often you can these rather cheap (especially corrupted with the right colors) or craft on a white 6-link yourself.

Endgame: Loreweave is the best endgame chest IMO. The big selling point is getting 78% max resists (divine until you get this). You also get some life, mana, critchance and eledamage.
3.6 Update: Loreweave got nerfed to 78%. It's still best in slot probably. But if you wanna craft a GG rare chest (maybe with one of the new implicits), then go for it.

Unique option: Some people opt for a Soul Mantle to get an effective 7-link. But you have to use 2 Kikazaru rings then to lower curse effectiveness on yourself. (check the Variants section for more info)

Look for:
- 30% movement speed (on boots)
- +Life
- +Mana
- +Resists
- +Dex (we need a little bit of Dex somewhere)

Helmet enchant: All are viable. Freezepulse Damage gives slightly more DPS than castspeed. But get a castspeed one if it's cheap. I personally favor the Projectile Speed since we sacrifice less DPS than with a Faster Projectiles gem.
If you can't find good pre-rolled helmets with enchants and you don't wanna roll your own, taking a Starkonja's is a fine choice, we need the dexterity and critchance and attack speed is still useful for shield charge.

Boots enchant: Often underestimated. And you can even farm the enchant yourself. The "10% Elemental Penetration if you have not killed recently" works well for us because the totem kills don't count for us. It gives us roughly 7% more damage which is almost as good as the Helmet Enchants. "2% of Life and Mana regenerated if you have been hit recently" is a nice defensive option.

Endgame: You want to craft your helmet with Pristine+Frigid Fossil to get the "Nearby Enemies have -10% Cold Resistance" mod. You could also get Life Regeneration as a nice extra. Make sure you use a ES (hybrid) base so you can also roll or craft +Mana.

Unique options
Boots: Kaom's Roots gives us more life and stun immunity. You probably only want to use this in HC or when fighting the toughest bosses.

Look for:
- +Life
- +Flask effect duration (very nice to get on a belt)
- +Resists

Optimally we are looking for a Stygian Belt, so we can equip an Abyss jewel.


You probably want to get your hand on a Karui Ward as soon as you can, the projectile speed is amazing for us, especially in the beginning when we don't get it somewhere else. The other stats are all very useful, especially dex+strength for the gem and gear requirements.

Before the Freezing Pulse buff, Karui Charge (fated version of Karui Ward) was my overall recommendation as amulet. So feel free to use it as long as you want. With the buffs we don't need projectile speed that much anymore, so you can upgrade into a good amulet with life and critmulti. Critmulti is one of the best damage stats for us. A good amulet like that won't be cheap.

Endgame: The Blind from Pandemonius works with totems and is very strong defensively. It also gives us an 20% Cold Penetration and more cold damage.

You could also you a Mark of the Shaper and an Elder Ring. Though it might be difficult to find a good Elder Ring. It's totally ok to use two good rare rings with a lot of mana and manaregen.

Another Endgame option is to use an Essence Worm and the Hatred Aura. Since 3.6 Hatred gives 18% more Cold Damage at lvl20.

Stats on rings/amulet: (in this order)
- Life
- Mana
- Critmulti, Spell Damage (only amulet)
- Mana Regen
- Resists
- Castspeed
- Increased Cold Damage
- Crit Chance
- +Dex (we need a little bit of Dex somewhere)

Of course 2 Threshold jewels and a Clear Mind.

Endgame: Use Vigilant Strike with the Jewel to apply fortify. You can place the Vigilant Strike jewel in the most left slot.

My gear: (before going magic find)
Gear is from 3.2. I would suggest slightly different gemlinks now.

Checkout for the PoB for endgame gear suggestions: https://pastebin.com/GGR6TK0K


Flasks are very powerful and often underestimated by new players. Make sure you get these flasks soon and when you start doing maps craft new flask with 20% quality and needed affixes. (Bleed, Freeze and Curse immunity are important, as is more movement speed)

While leveling you wanna use a mana flask instead of Basalt. As well as in No-Regen maps.

Leveling and skilltrees
Note: If you are ever in need of dexterity, just pick one of the +30 dex nodes which are available to us.

- Start out with Freezing Pulse + Arcane Surge + Onslaught (just one of those supports is fine of course). We need a BBG wand (also pickup one BBR wand for later). If you can get your hand on an Explosive Trap (Templar doesn't get it, you could mule it), that would be helpful in Act1 Boss Fights. You should keep Arcane Surge at level 1 for now, we want it to proc as often as possible.
- At lvl4 switch to Frostbomb + Arcane Surge + Onslaught and enjoy the speedy levelling with Frostbomb. You will still need Freezing Pulse (or Explosive Trap) for bosses.
- Get Clarity and Flame Dash at level 10. (we drop Clarity when we get a Clear Mind jewel). Also get Added Lightning as a support against bosses.
- With level 12 we start using Arc Totems. Until you get Ancestral Bond you should still use Frostbomb as well. Craft a +1 Lightning BBR Wand (topaz ring + magic wand/sceptre 3-linked BBR + Alteration Orb). Links: Arc + Spell Totem + Added Lightning
- You can take any Herald gem to boost your damage a bit. Drop them later when you spec into Mind over Matter. (3.6 Update: You can use Hatred when you get it in act3 for a good damage boost)
- Replace Added Lightning with Controlled Destruction once you get it

Skill tree around level 20

- When you get Ancestral Bond, you get 2 Totems, but can no longer use Frost Bomb. Link Flame Dash to Faster Casting and Arcane Surge.
- You can start looking for BBBR 4link. The 4th link will be Faster Casting.

Skill tree when you reach level 43

- Around level 43 we should finish the quest in act5 which gives us a Freezing Pulse threshold jewel. Invest your first chaos/alchemy to buy a second jewel and place them in the fresh acquired slots on our skilltree. Replace Arc with Freezing Pulse. (if you are SSF you should stay Arc Totem until you find a second jewel, the skilltree is pretty much the same, levelling another character to act5 is not worth the time).
- In Act 4 we can buy Cast When Damage Taken and Immortal Call and link them. We also get a Lightning Golem.

Skill tree when you reach around level 55

- We started picking up some crit nodes and got a Diamond Flask from the Silver Locket Quest in act 7.
- If you did the Fallen from Grace quest in Act 6, you can buy all gems now from Lilly. You might wanna have a look at the "Gem links" section and see if you can add more useful gems or start levelling support gems. But don't try to get that exact setup right now. It's usually not worth to invest jeweller's or chromatics in levelling items (if you are in desperate need of gemlinks use essences on 4-links you find).

Skill tree when you reach maps (or slightly after)

- Try to get your hands on a Tabula. This should be your first big investment. You can buy single gear pieces for 1c if you are not resist capped or just have really awful gear in some slot.
- If you have found or bought decent gear pieces, color and link them. You should try to complete your gem links now and get decently rolled flasks.
- Try to get your Freezing Pulse gem up to 20% quality (or buy a 20/20 if it's not leaguestart).

Skill tree at level 89

FAQ: Why is my DPS so low? / Common mistakes
Several people asked about this and all of them didn't follow the guide properly.

A very important note is that our actual damage is much higher than the tooltip damage. The tooltip damage doesn't account for:
- Hypothermia damage against chilled enemies
- Curses
- Frost Bomb
- Elemental penetration from "Conviction of Power"
- Diamond Flask
- Certain Boots Enchants
If you are standing still in hideout, it also doesnt count:
- Power charges
- Silver Flask
- Damage boost from "Pursuit of Faith"

So if your tooltip is around 20k, you can actually reach around 100k actual DPS per totem. Because you can have 4 totems, that is 400k DPS and totally enough for T15 maps.

Now the most common actual mistakes were:
- Not using Projectile Weakness and/or Frostbomb with Arcane Surge, which gives you a huge damage boost against strong enemies.
- Not using a Diamond and Silver Flask.
- Not taking mana nodes on the tree or getting mana on gear.
- Trying to get too much offensive stats/gear.

Variants: Soul Mantle / Shimmeron
Disclaimer (READ THIS BEFORE): Soul Mantle or Shimmeron can give you a lot more damage, but it is absolutely not necessary and my choice was to not equip either of them. Look at my video or look at my MF gear, those characters clear up to T15 just fine. If you feel that you desperately need more damage, check the guide again, you are most likely doing something else wrong. And if you really want more damage (which is totally fine), make sure your other gear has good life/mana and resists, because you will be sacrificing defenses.

First Option: Soulmantle + Dual Kikazaru
Soulmantle gives you a 7-link and a 5th totem. We use 2 Kikazaru to negate most of the curse effects on us. We should be able to cap our resists and get life+mana on other gear pieces.

Only go Soul Mantle if it's 6-linked. Else you don't get the benefit of the effective 7-link. (the addtional support should be Added Cold)

We should also use a Self-Flagellation jewel (probably instead of Clear Mind) to get a big damage boosts out of our own curses.

Second Option: Dual wield Shimmeron
After the Shimmeron nerf, I wouldn't advise using them anymore.
Shimmeron got change in 3.4, we now also take the Lightning Damage per second, which was reduced to 200 per second. With 2 Shimmerons and 75% Lightning resistance, that's 100 damage per second. That's something we can outheal, but of course it makes us less durable when we suffer consistent damage from other sources.

In addition to that we sacrifice the defense stats of our shield and fortify. It is a huge damage buff though, about 40-60%.

If you are in SC and don't mind the occasional death or you wanna push deeper delves and need the damage, Shimmeron might be an option.

Of course it's also an option to have dual wield Shimmerons as a weapon swap against bosses.

OUTDATED Pastebin with skilltree for Shimmeron (you wanna invest in Powercharges): https://pastebin.com/UnRD2YPf

Magic find
You can wear lots of magic find items and still cap your resists, reach 7k EHP and reach over 100k DPS per Totem which is enough for mapping. It requires some investment though. I could even get most of resists on Brightbeak/Helm/Shield/Chest/Belt, so I didn't have to invest more than 100c for the Ventors.

The 60% Manaregen on Goldwyrms is actually really nice for us. This should probably be your first MF item.

Gear from 3.2: (would recommend other gemlinks now)

Guardians, Shaper and Uber Elder
Disclaimer: This was done before the Shimmeron nerf. It's still possible to do bosses, just without Shimmeron. Someone did uber elder (even deathless on 3rd run): https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2102655/page/31
Check out his gear: https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/ert2mars/characters?characterName=thrace_betreyal

With high end gear you can reach 300k shaper DPS per totem and actually farm guardians and shaper quite comfortly. I would NOT suggest gearing up like that if you wanna mainly do normal maps. You will be faster and get more drops with Brightbeak and MF gear.

All guardian maps are rare and corrupted
Pit of the Chimera (full run): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4cQyotHYKw
Lair of the Hydra (boss fight): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH_0yhX_iC8
Forge of the Phoenix (boss fight): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeWtGc8VHJw
Maze of the Minotaur (boss fight): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jECjurmxLTk
Shaper (full run): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOJwkrcZqng

I had deathless runs of Hydra, Minotaur and Shaper, but unfortunately there were not recorded properly. You can propably judge that most of my deaths in these videos are avoidable. I mess up a lot not dodging big attacks, not using flasks properly and not using Vaal Lightning Trap.

Pastebin (including shaper dps): https://pastebin.com/AYGJkvsg (outdated)

Gear (Shimmeron was only used for bossing, Brightbeak+Shield in weapon swap):
Last edited by VisorX on Jun 5, 2019, 8:22:06 PM
Last bumped on Sep 6, 2019, 9:23:40 AM
Very nice, currently level 74 in BHC doing freezing pulse hierophant.
This guide is very informative and is gonna help me out alot.
Thank you for taking the effort to write it.

Very nice. Very nice indeed.

I was planning on playing flame totem, but i think i like Freeze Pulsing more.

Hope to see some videos though.

Thanks and have fun!
I'll try to record a video. Hopefully my PC can do this.
coming back for this new league and gonna give your build a try to start fresh :D
Aksys wrote:
coming back for this new league and gonna give your build a try to start fresh :D

Great to hear. Please give feedback if anything is unclear in the guide or if you have additional questions.
Hello! Thanks for this informative build!
Do you have enough health to kill the bosses on the maps? I just play in HC and I do not want to take chances.
Bellark wrote:
Hello! Thanks for this informative build!
Do you have enough health to kill the bosses on the maps? I just play in HC and I do not want to take chances.

You can reach 7k EHP rather easily and while fighting bosses, you can focus on manually dodging all damage. Often the bosses will also attack your totems and not you. So this character is actually one of the safer map boss killers I have played.

If you get close calls getting stunned, you might wanna consider getting Kaom's Roots.

Also if you are fighting red beasts in maps, those are often scarier than map bosses, especially because you don't know what they will do.
Last edited by VisorX on Mar 9, 2018, 8:51:09 AM
Nice guide, thanks.

I'm running something similar, but hadn't thought about the frost bomb.

Also I'm running Arctic Armour to have at least a little bit of physical hit damage reduction, but I'm not sure it's that efficient. I might drop it of the clear mind jewel.

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