[3.2] Hierophant/Scion GC Totems - Fully Optimized COMPLETE Uber Elder down

Hi guys, BeerLeague here back with another requested guide from the forums and from our lovey partner in crime, Reddit.

Uber Elder DOWN! At the moment, I can't really recommend the build as a uber elder farmer, but it is capable of doing the fight. I'm planning on making some changes after I farm up more currency to make it more consistent in the fight. Stay tuned. Took 4 attempts.

Reasoning for the Guide

With the buff to Hierophant (and Scion by connection) in 3.2, totems became something that many people wanted to stat playing and there seems to be a lot of confusion here on the boards on how to optimize it. There are a few guides out there, but they are more leftover from previous leagues with some slight additional changes for 3.2. IMO, the build deserves it's own, fresh guide, so here we go.

Pros and Cons

Amazing Boss Killer
Cheap to Gear
Can do all content in the game
Can do nearly every map mod (all with some slight changes)
Full tree is finished at 91
Shatters everywhere
All Content possible, uber elder down!

Totem Playstyle
Not flaskfinder clear speed
Not great MF character
Not great for HC either

Leveling, process, tree and gear


Getting going:

First of all, you will want to decide if you are going Templar or Scion. Both work quite well for totems this league. The DPS is surprisingly similar for both of them as well. Templar is a bit more tanky and has more QoL with the totems, and scion has a bit more top end damage, but less QoL for totems. In addition, Scion does not get free power charge generation with it's best choice, elementalist. Assassin is an option for the charge generation, and the dps is very high as well, but gets close in terms of dps. Either way you will have no problems with end game content. If you are just starting out and are working on your first build, I would recommend Templar as it is a little more forgiving and is much easier to level.

If you have some currency lying around, the usual leveling uniques work quite well for this build.
Glacial Cascade will carry you to maps without any large problems as well. The only thing to keep in mind is that it is a spell, so if you rush too much and are under leveled, the spell will feel like it is not doing as much damage as it could.

Leveling Uniques and Gear:

To be totally honest, abyss jewels make leveling a breeze if you are not leveling on the first day or two of the league. The new beast recipes are also nice if you are low on currency starting out,
especially the tri-res stuff from Merveil's Servants in Act 1 and the 4 link stuff later.


Leveling to 50


To Merc lab at 65

The Finished Hierophant Tree at 91 (please check PoB in next section for better details)


The Finished Scion Tree at 91 (again, please check PoB before for details). Please note, the Scion version will have to respec as pathing from scion is very bad at the start of the game. You will take the Templar starting nodes and then when you have enough points, respec back to this tree.

Ascendancy Choices

For Hierophant, the choice of first three is very easy. Pursuit of Faith into Ritual of Awakening into Conviction of Power. The fourth is tricky. Personally, I prefer Illuminated Devotion as we are going to use arcane surge anyway. Divine Guidance is a more defensive option, but w/o a full MoM mana bar, I do not think this adds very much as far as a defensive layer goes.

For Scion, the choice is easy. Hierophant into Elementalist or Assassin. Assassin for ease of power charges and Elementalist for pen and damage. As mentioned above, elementalist has the highest possible dps, but has to deal with power charge generation. Assassin is very strong, gets free charges, but has less top end dps (it is close though)


We are a crit build, so help Alira (the resists are also nice)

Current Gear and Thoughts on Each Slot


Current Gear

Thoughts On Gear Slot

IMPORTANT! Always make sure you check path of building for dps/ehp before you buy, small differences in gearing can change a ton from person to person.


Probably the most talked about slot for this build, and let me tell you that there are many options here.

The first choice you need to make is dual wielding versus a shield. Both are perfectly viable and both have their upsides. Dual Wielding will produce higher dps and better mobility due to the increased attack speed you get naturally. Both Leap Slam and Whirling Blades are options for those going DW. The main downside is lower effective health as you do not get the resists, block and life from a shield. In the end, I think it is much easier to gear around using a shield as we will need ~95 res for each elemental to counteract the curses we are going to put on ourselves. However, if you have excellent gear in other slots and just want to delete bosses, DW is better.

Far and away the best budget weapon is a Doryani's Catalyst.. At this point in the league a well rolled one can be had for 20-40c. Many people underestimate this weapon. You can easily pull 2m shaper dps by using two of these and still have nice mobility with Leap Slam. Generally, these out preform cheap stat sticks and I can not recommend them enough. If 20c is too much for you starting out, divinarius is an even cheaper option, but not nearly as good.

When you feel like you need more dps than a Doryani's can provide and want to spend currency on this build, it is time to start looking for a Shaper Statstick. You want to look for, Extra phys as cold, Extra phys as (fire/light/chaos/random), spell crit and hopefully Multi. Here is mine:

Fair warning, this is not a cheap item to buy or to craft. I luckily chaos spammed into that, but after spending more than 5k Chaos last league on an 85 dagger, I can not really recommend that method. Alt/Regaling is probably the way to go if you want to craft your own. Buy an 80+ base (or 85 if rich, the only difference is that the chaos damage roll on 85 goes one tier higher), and alt/aug until you hit two desired stats, try to regal on the third. It isnt rocket science, but it does take some dedication. I am currently trying to make a second one.

One thing to be aware of with this build is that we do not benefit from added damage to spells very much (unless it is phys from abyss jewels), so weapons like this:
are a noob trap (pay no attention to the price). They sky rocket your sheet dps in game, but are not better than a Doryani's.

As for the shield, Spell Crit, Life and as many resists you can get are what you are looking for. When you are first gearing up, drop spell crit as it will be expensive. At the higher end of the budget, we would be looking for spell damage as well.

Body Armour:

No brainer here, stick with a Tabula until you can afford a 5 link Soul Mantle (35c). Then upgrade to a 6 link.


Again, only one option here:

I have seen other builds not using them, I believe that is a mistake. One of the largest benefits from using Soul Mantle is the ability to use it with self flagellation to add 40% more dps. There is no way that two ring slots come even close to adding that much dps. The only real thing we lose here is life. In addition, these rings are very cheap.


As with most builds, life, as much res as you can get are priorities. Rustic Sash is nice, but not mandatory. BiS would probably be an 83 elder belt with life recovery and life% to bump up our EHP.


There are not any good unique amulets for this build aside from a variant of the build using Impressence (cold version), and using a double curse setup. Bisco's is an option for mapping though, as we do not need the amulet slot. With that in mind, as you get started, you may need more str/dex from your amulet and will want to prioritize that.

Otherwise, just look for life and as much dps as you can afford. There are many good dps stats for us. Crit multi, Crit, Spell damage, cast speed, Extra phys as X. The more dps mods you get, the more the cost. My amulet is far and away my weakest slot at the moment and am currently trying to buy a new one:


For the most part, a very straightforward slot. As much life and Res and you can afford. Fingerless base is a nice upgrade, but not worth spending a ton on. Attack speed is also a reasonable suffix here to help your movement skill.

If we are looking for the perfect gloves for the build, they are either going to be 2 socket tombfists, if you can afford the hit on your Res, or Hysteria crafted Fingerless base. The Hysteria gloves would be a very nice QoL improvement for mapping for your movement skill, and tombfists would provide more dps and more EHP than any other glove (Abyss Jewels OP).


Again, straightforward here, either a two socket Lightpoacher, or a well rolled rare. This is probably where you will want to have your conversion (which I will talk about later in the guide) from the Uber Lab Enchant. Since lightpoacher is a very common helm to enchant, there should be some on the market that have our desired 'Convert 40% of Glacial Cascade Damage to Cold'. Also, even though we do not proc the helm's effect, it is still a great helm for DPS, while not losing much health or res to a rare.


Two options, Rare with MS/Life/Res, or two socket Bubonic Trails (again, abyss jewels OP). The real for Bubonic Trail is the same as above, it can provide more dps and more EHP than any other boot. One additional note here, if you are using whirling blades as your movement skill, you may choose to drop MS on the boots to give yourself a cheaper item to obtain.

As soon as I can hit my desired enchant on the Trails, I am going to switch over.


Priority #1: A well rolled self flagellation Jewel to go along with your Soul Mantle.

For regular jewels, Life% is priority #1 you may also consider All Res, after that is multi, global, cold skills, spells all work as well. Spell damage is also a good roll. My jewels are currenrtly not very good and am working towards better ones.

For Abyss Jewels, again, prioritize life, phys damage to spells, all res and multi.

Great jewels can be expensive, but generally speaking, 3 stat jewels are worth the 2 points we are getting them for on the tree. For abyss jewels, two good stats is often enough to make the abyss item beat our a normal rare.

PoB Link for Hierophant (2.3m Shaper dps with current gear)

Scion PoB Link (2.5m Shaper dps with current gear)

Converting your PHYS damage to COLD
There are three options, and tends to be the most expensive part of the build for many players.

In my option, the best option is an enchant from uber lab, these go for as low as 50c, up to dozens of ex depending on the helm.

Also, you could go for two threshold jewels called The Long Winter. These are generally cheaper than the uber lab enchant. They are actually very good for clear speed as well as they add more length to your GC casts. The only real problem is that they take up your jewel slots and do not provide near as much dps/life as even a 2 stat jewel.

Third, for the big spenders out there are Watcher's Eyes that covert phys damage. These are best in slot because they allow for a dps helm enchant, but generally tend to be 15ex minimum.

Converting the remaining 40% that GC does not convert is a necessary evil of this build though. You will find a lot of your damage to be lacking in red maps if you do not convert.

Gem Setups and Links


Main Attack (Glacial Cascade) (in body armour)

For a 5 link setup, drop faster casting

For bossing, swap in:

Movement setup: (usually in gloves)

I should also note that leap slam is a possibility, I go back and forth between WB and SC. I like SC a little better for mapping, but WB is better for bosses IMO.

CWDT setup: (usually in one weapon)

Offhand setup for Flame Dash:

This will keep arcane surge up. Alternatively, you can 4 link this in gloves with faster casting. That would allow you to then use a 3 link for movement skill, drop culling strike and link it with your golem.

Random Gem + buffs:

A few notes here:

1. If you have a lot of non cold damage on your shaper stat sticks, ele weakness will be better than frostbite.
2. If running the scion version and playing elementalist, you will need to find room for Orb of Storms + Increased Crit + Power Charge on Crit. This probably means giving up either Bubonic Trails, or Lightpoacher. I would drop Lightpoacher in that case.
3. If running the Scion version with Assassin, drop Increased crit in your main damage setup for Increased Crit Damage

The Process of Gearing: How to go from poor, to blasting Shaper


Follow these steps in order to gear up:

1. Make sure that you are gearing around wearing both
in your end game setup. Don't go with huge resist rings early on as it is going to punish your gearing later.
2. Resists and Life are better than dps stats until you can afford both. Every slot that can have life, should have a T1 roll.
3. As you are starting off, farm up the 30-35 for a 5 link Soul Mantle.
4. After aquiring your soul mantle, grab a Doryani's Catalyst
5. Balance your resists on boots, helm, offhand, gloves and belt. Never sacrifice a t1 life roll.
6. If you want to boss at this point, I would recommend grabbing two shimmerons as they will pretty much delete Shaper and Uber Atziri, but are pretty awful for mapping.
7. At this point, or at the same time as number 6, you will want to acquire a 6 link Soul Mantle. Having Faster Casting is a HUGE QoL change.
8. The next upgrade would be a shaper stat stick, which can cost a pretty penny, but as the other slots are not all that expensive, you can splurge.
9. After this, you are pretty much Minmaxing in every slot and working your way to better jewels and abyss gems. This is when you may consider switching over to the abyss uniques as well.

How to Make $$$ with this build

The long and short of it is that this build is a big bad boss killer. Killing shaper and uber atziri is possible on a 5 link with about 100c in total gear. Farming guardians, elder, shaper, uber atziri and lab will be the most profitable. The build can map well, but other builds (ranger I'm looking at you) are so much faster that I can't recommend trying to keep up. Any of the above mentioned fights can be done deathless with some practice and carrying people is also done with ease. Most of my currency this league has been made with just farming and selling shaper sets along with killing uber atziri. Still, at 30 challenges I have not had an EX drop, but I have managed to farm quite well.

Uber Elder is possible, but I think it would be hard for me to say that this build has it on lockdown. I'll give the fight a few more goes after I make some changes that I am thinking about and will keep you guys updated. If I can manage to do it deathless, or with only 1-2 deaths in back to back runs, I'll consider it farmable. At the currenct moment, I think its still possible for me to brick a set, which doesn't make me too confident in reccomending it for players looking for an elder killer.

With that in mind though, the other end game content is simply deleted easily by this build.
I have never played a build that has such an easy time with Vaal Temple, Uber atziri or shaper.

Thoughts on Potential items/skills/tree


I really enjoy playing one build for a whole league and I don't think this league will be any different as I am really enjoying Hierophant, and as such, I always want to try and find different ways to play the same build.

Currently, I am working on making a speed farming version of the character and one that can farm uber elder deathless.

As I work through these variations, I will add more details here.

Thanks for taking a look guys, as always, any comments or questions, feel free to ask here or contact me in game and I'll try to get back to you. If you have any gearing questions, please ask them here. And remember, check PoB!

Other guides:

https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2083560/page/4#p15362281 - StarForge Slayer
Last edited by BeerLeague on Mar 16, 2018, 9:35:45 PM
Last bumped on May 24, 2018, 4:20:13 AM
I need this to not be WiP asap. In all honesty tho, good start and im looking forward to seeing the finished product.
Sh0ts_Fired wrote:
I need this to not be WiP asap. In all honesty tho, good start and im looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Thanks mate. Actually working on it now. Should be done in a day or so
Hey, thank you for the guide just a couple of questions,

Why don't you go for the Shamanistic Fury Wheel? For 58% increased Totem Damage and 15% increased placement speed

Frostbite appears to be linked to cast when damage taken, wouldn't it be better to self-cast it to increase the up time on bosses?

Also i know this really is not a direct question to your guide but. i am currently playing Flame burst totem. A couple of guildies have mentioned that GC would be better for clear speed and bossing. However i cannot really find anything that compares the two builds, is it all down to personal preference? or is each skill better suited to different things? When looking at the two builds in POB Flame burst appears to have a much higher dps

I noticed you do not use a "Spire of Stone Crimson Jewel" it is something that is only really beneficial to a flame bust build?
What about dualwielding? dagger/dagger Dagger/sceptre
Treshhold jewels?
Last edited by Noshow on Mar 13, 2018, 1:00:17 PM
whats even the point of having MoM with 700mana pool?

Was flame totem till like 88 with 15c worth of build. Used that to expand atlas and grind currency. Yestarday i bought second dagger and new chest instead of tabula. Killed uber atzubi with tabula. Have problems with red elder phase when i save shaper. Couldnt pass that phase,rest of bosses die fine. Total worth of gear now is about 5-6ex.
I'm struggling to see how this is meangingfully distinct from Thi3n's long-standing (now 70 page) guide:

You did go kikazaru, which is a difference I suppose, but he does outline it as an alternate option in his guide.

I'm definitely jealous of your dagger though, that's some nice shaper goodness.
Valhera wrote:
Hey, thank you for the guide just a couple of questions,

Why don't you go for the Shamanistic Fury Wheel? For 58% increased Totem Damage and 15% increased placement speed

Frostbite appears to be linked to cast when damage taken, wouldn't it be better to self-cast it to increase the up time on bosses?

Also i know this really is not a direct question to your guide but. i am currently playing Flame burst totem. A couple of guildies have mentioned that GC would be better for clear speed and bossing. However i cannot really find anything that compares the two builds, is it all down to personal preference? or is each skill better suited to different things? When looking at the two builds in POB Flame burst appears to have a much higher dps

I noticed you do not use a "Spire of Stone Crimson Jewel" it is something that is only really beneficial to a flame bust build?

1. Shamanistic wheel does not compare well in terms of dps to the other areas on the tree

2. Frostbite is level 20 and will not proc with a low level CWDT, I manually cast it

3. Flame Burst is a totally different build, I would not use the same tree at all.

4. Yes, the jewel is not useful for this build
Noshow wrote:
What about dualwielding? dagger/dagger Dagger/sceptre
Treshhold jewels?

Will be coming soon, still a WiP.

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