[3.3] HeiroFat: the Pen Is Mightier (HC, All Content, Perm IC, Boss Killer)

3.3 Update: The build remains the same, but it's probably worth finding a slot for vaal RF and possible vaal impurity of fire (swap fire pen for another support on VD).

Now with 1x more Build of the Week (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzev0vzV9io).

Juggs may be thic, but HeiroFat. Fatter is better. MoM is the new CI with easy 10k+ health pools.

This is my first guide. Any feedback on sections to add is appreciated. It covers Poet's Pen perm Immortal Call Heirophant. I've killed Red elder, and shaper guardians this league in HC with it, and Shaper in SC on my character from last league. I will add videos of kills as I can record them.

Current Character PoB: https://pastebin.com/sNgyZk2K edited: 4/12/2018

Disclaimer! I am not sure if PoB is correctly counting the arcane surge buff for heirophant. I have added a lvl 1 arcane surge into the links, which increases the dps by the expected 10% more damage. This should not happen if it is already counted as part of Heiro. Given that, I am concerned that the 40% spell damage is also not calculated. If that is the case, the true damage numbers are somewhat higher than reported here.


Red Elder Guardians (HC)
Lightning https://youtu.be/gpC9H3wSHAE
Fire https://youtu.be/TKsNDuTr0AM
Phys https://youtu.be/8NUJwozEYco
Poison (forgot to record)

Red Elder using a Pen Swap for single target https://youtu.be/7Io2zkrr9OI

Elder (here's a video of my worst Red Elder fight to date. I'm not paying attention at all and eat 10ish ice spears in a row and mess up phase 2 badly. Good thing the build carries me, I should be in standard.)

Here is a video of minotaur https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d81bASwE35k using a much worse setup (necro) from Abyss league. It has about 1/2- 1/3 the damage of the new heiro version and only 7k hp.


RF: This build already has a large amount of regen. Adding a pure talent jewel and hitting the witch start makes running RF quite easy if you use Immortal Flesh. Here is a Pob https://pastebin.com/k6A4b7Dm (note that Loremail isn't working in PoB, so this has 76% instead of 80% fire res). This build will push the damage into very high numbers, but will need some help with regen. I've avoided it in HC.

Juggernaut: Using Eye of Innocence instead of Romira's, Jugg easily generates endurance charges and maintains perm IC. Jugg has similar damage to Heirophant. It'll have a smaller health pool due to no 40% MoM, but better regen (here's a non-mom version https://pastebin.com/3qt1YNYE).

Ascendant: In theory, the jugg's generate 1 endurance charge per second if you've been hit can just cover the IC duration, but it's way too close for my taste and will likely cause IC to drop for a second here or there. That said, this opens up very powerful options, like going crit with the shadow start (for pure talent) and assassin ascendency. This option pushes the damage at the cost of life pool and possible hiccups in IC uptime (not recommended for HC).

Indigon: Indigon can be included in this kind of setup for a large damage boost at the cost of your MoM pool. For one example build using this setup, check out https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2129766. I also suggest reading the comments in this thread around page 20.


Early levelling tree http://poeurl.com/bPwH
Normal Ascendency Divine Guidance

Mid Levelling tree http://poeurl.com/bPwI
Cruel Ascendency Conviction of Power (add romira's for perm IC)

Lategame tree http://poeurl.com/bPwJ
Finish Arcane Blessing in Uber Lab

Bandits: Kill all or Help Alira. I kill all the bandits but you could help alira (or even kraityn or oak) if you wanted to run RF or get a little more attack speed.

Pantheon: To taste. Nothing is mandatory.


Perm IC: Using Romira's banquet + conviction of power you generate power charges and endurance charges passively whenever a skill (frenzy, bodyswap, unearth, volatile dead) hit an enemy. Your IC is linked in a pen, so it auto casts whenever it is off CD (3 second Cd, near 4 second duration) leading to permanent IC as long as you're hitting enemies.

80 all resist: The new Loremail unique provides 80 all res, which is equivalent to 20% less damage taken while under IC.

9k+ HP: Using 40% MoM it is easy to get very large health pools. I have done all content with 9.5k, but it is easy to push towards 12k with better gear.

Status Ailment Immunity: Heirophant give immunity to elemental status ailments. This is an incredible perk as it allows you to ignore many dangerous mechanics.

Bodyswap: Rapid teleporting (enigma from D2) makes you very hard to hit, and enables easy dodging of dangerous abilities.

In general, I facetank every endgame boss. Most of the heaviest hits are physical, which you're immune to.


Volatile Dead: 380k+. Balls - 256k dps Corpse Explosion - 128k if overlapping (PoB). 16+k damage per ball and 8k from corpse with 4 balls 4 times a second. This is the optimal situation where you are facetanking a boss and hitting them with the explosion as well as the balls. If you are just hitting with the ball portion, your dps is closer to 256k.

Bodyswap: 80k+ Self Explosion - 48k Corpse Explosion - 32k+. Again, this applies to scenarios where you can facetank or bodyswap around a boss.

Arcane Surge: 10% more damage with 40% increased elemental damage and 25% aoe from heiro. Unsure if working in PoB.

Anger or Herald of Ash: Damage multipliers. Use essence worm so they don't eat your health pool.

Together these deal 450k + dps. This isn't a massive number, but is plenty for all bosses. It can be pushed higher through better gear (discussed below).

This damage calculation is done in situations where there are adds or other ways to generate additional corpses for VD (desecrate multitrap for example). In a pure single-target situation like elder phases and shaper, switching to a second setup without bodyswap yields more damage at the cost of mobility (you can facetank almost anything anyway).


Current gear:

This is reasonable, but not great gear. With better gearing, it is very possible to drop Atziri's Foible. The better geared setup can use Xoph's Blood or any other damage neck for a boost of damage.

Starter Gear

Starting off I recommend an immortal flesh. +1 endurance charge or duration is nice to have.

Atziri's Foible is a great levlling and starting amulet, possibly with fire leech

Any chest with res, life, and mana. I 6 socketed mine to level more gems.

Dream Gear:
This is coming soon. I intended to fill it in right away, but so many options and variants of the build have been discovered and discussed in the thread that it is unclear what perfect gear choices are. Please feel free to check out many of the options discussed below (and go ahead and import AAATopshelf's character, he's one of the many people who got rich using the MF version and have bought insane gear for their character.


Unearth - GMP - Bodyswap
Volatile Dead - Fire Pen - Immortal Call
Frenzy - Faster Attacks (20/20) - Culling Strike (1/20)

That's it. You can use any other gems you want, or just level things. There are three different main link setups. All that is required is getting enough attack speed (just under 4 attacks per second), but this allows space to either use curse on hit for a bit of cursing on hard bosses.

For Red Elder (phase 2) you want a buffed up decoy to help protect Shaper. I use:
Decoy - Minion/totem resists - increased duration

Attack Speed for Poet's Pens

This question has come up a lot. Deadscale wrote up the following great description on page 15 of the thread:
Poet's Pens have a 250ms cooldown PER Spell gem, so in theory your capped at 4 APS without any cooldown recovery on your gear for a single spell, and not taking into account Server Tickrate. If you go Over this APS count you'll see a considerable loss in DPS as you'll start to miss casts as you're attacking while the spell is still on Cooldown.

This is in theory, However in reality as you get nearer to 4aps you'll start missing casts anyway, I'm not going to claim to know why this happens as there are a few theories, but i'd suggest using 4 APS as your starting point and working backwards from there. In my case when i hit 3.85 APS I started missing a cast every now and then, and when I finally got 3.92 APS I noticed i was missing a cast of VD almost every cycle which really killed my DPS. I then dropped my APS down to 3.75 and i've not missed a cast since.

If you have cooldown recovery you can figure out what your new APS "max" is like so (Lets assume you've got 25% cooldown recovery)

Original Cooldown / % faster recovery = New Cooldown.
250 / 1.25 = 200ms cooldown
1000 / 200 = 5 APS.

So if you had 25% cooldown recovery, 5 APS would be your Max, although in practice it may be around 4.8 APS.

Finally since it's a per-spell gem cooldown, the 4 APS cap is for a single spell in each of your pens, if you wanted to use Two spells in a single pen you need double the APS (or triple if using 3).

This however doesn't really matter for this build. Unearth itself has a travel time and as such casting Bodyswap before Unearth has landed wastes an attack, And Immortal Call has it's own cooldown so whenever IC is on cooldown the Pen won't attempt to cast it and instead will just skip over it and cast Volatile Dead instead. So this rule doesn't effect this build.

Hope this wasn't too confusing and helped out.

Map Mods:

Ele reflect is the only mod you do not run.
Again, do not run ele reflect.
Phys Reflect: Swap in lvl 1 unearth.
No Regen: Swap in mana flask (you have spell leech for HP).
Any Curse: Use stibnite of warding.

Boss Encounters:

Atziri: Don't do this with VD. The balls can easily wander off during mirror phase. Other than that, super easy. Make sure you don't stand on degen or in the rain when IC falls off at the end of the trio fight.

Elder: I've tanked all his abilities in t13 maps. He can't kill you unless you get hit by the AOE caltrops (cold damage) and his slam (cold damage). The slam hits for 6kish in red maps, which isn't close to enough to kill you. For the add phase, use decoy totem to distract some of the adds. This helps protect Shaper from incidental damage while you kill. Side note, you're immune to the phys damage from the expanding circle explosion, but I haven't had the balls to test standing in it. According to testing, it's pure phys and you should be able to ignore it. Test at your own risk. The fight is easy as long as you don't facetank shotgunned ice shots.

Shaper: Shaper slam is reported to be 17k phys damage...which you're immune to. This fight is really easy actually. It's a very easy fight.

Uber Elder: Haven't gotten to do it yet.

Council/Beasts/Etc: Have easily destroyed everything I've encountered.
Last edited by SilverSequence on Jun 9, 2018, 1:58:32 PM
Last bumped on Jan 22, 2019, 7:02:40 PM

This version of poets pen is absurdly durable in sketchy maps, an absolute joy to play.

Here's some of my gear for reference.

Last edited by AAATopshelf on Mar 13, 2018, 11:35:45 AM
This is the guildmate who has way better gear than mine. Check out his stuff for sure.
Hey, what did you do for Bandits? Help someone or kill all?
Should I use a kaom's or loreweave?
Loreweave is better than Kaom's for endgame content, but both are great.
I prefer to kill the bandits. Helping Alira is an option, but you don't have massive res issues and the mana regen is really negligible when your mana pool grows.
Do you have a specific set of pantheon powers you use? (Sorry if I missed it)
Nothing is really mandatory. I'll update the guide. I use Soul of Solaris as it gives some ele protection for when you do get hit and none of the minors really seem to matter. I use soul of Yuguul in the hopes that if I accidentally put in a reflect map it'll give me a split second to pot and log rather than die. Wishful thinking probably.
Cool build. Got one question, it does seem you have gone abit overboard on the %mana on tree gear? Wouldnt it be more optimized to reach just abit over 40% of life or do you intentionally keep it way higher to sustain alot of burst dmg over time?

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