[3.8] A Shocking Elementalist, Lightning Tendrils CwC Arc - All Content - Budget version included

A Shocking Elementalist


Hey everyone, Swiks here. I'm a PoE player for 4 years now and I always enjoyed creating builds capable of reaching endgame while avoiding being in the meta, you may have read my guide on Scourge Arrow Ignite Elementalist.
I created this build back in Bestiary (3.2) just after the rework of the Elementalist when it was the least played Ascendancy, and it was already one of the strongest spell caster on the market at that time :D It still relevant to this day.

English isn't my native language so I'm sorry if some sentences sounds weird.

The build
3.8 Blight league Update :
The final build didn't get modified too much the only notable buff is +30% Shock effectiveness in the Beacon of Ruin Ascendacy node a cool buff that brings the shocks near 50%.

Mana sustain is getting nerfed a lot as they removed all sources of mana leech from spells. But this build dodged it because of the interaction with Mind of the Council and Shocks so it's all good !

I'll try to update this guide as much as possible when new uniques and crafts are revealed.

3.7 Legion league Update :
Elementalist got targeted this Patch, GGG essentially nerfed the Shock Ascendancy Node, removing Proliferation and reducing the minimum Shock.
The bad things :
* No innate proliferation. If you want to keep Inpulsa's chain explosions (and yes you do !) you will need to socket Elemental Proliferation Support gem in your main setup and swap it out when fighting bosses so it's basically a QoL nerf (I think it's not a good decision from GGG but well, it's done...)
* Minimum Shock nerf. You will have to path to the Static Blows nodes to compensate and maybe craft Ailment Effectiveness on boots. The new threshold for 50% Shock is at 233% Shock Effectiveness (up from 150%), it's not THAT hard to get but it means some sacrifices/investment. It is not as worth as it was to reach that threshold. With around 150-190% effectiveness you get ~40% shocks, and it is what I will recommend in this guide.
The good things :
* It's a Melee League, GGG is heavily orienting the playerbase to melee builds and mechanics so the Spell gear will be way cheaper than in Synthesis !
* Shock Nova got buffed again ! For those who liked to use it against bosses you will now hit a lot harder even when factoring the nerfs.

Early conclusion, this league's version of the build is roughly (if not a bit higher) at the level of the Betrayal version which was the second best iteration behind Synthesis.

Also stay tuned, I will update this guide as frequently as I can for all the potential indirect buffs from the new Uniques or Crafts.

3.6 Synthesis league Update :
Massive Buffs !
What a glorious day, the patch 3.6 is heavily aimed at Spells and Hand-Casting and boy this build just received a lot of buffs.
First, the most important : Lightning Tendrils got its damage buffed by almost 28%, its damage effectiveness almost doubled, its base AoE increased by 1 and its mana cost reduced. If you don't know how PoE works behind the screen
just trust me, it's a huge buff.
Second biggest buff is the new tree, a bunch of new and revamped points are really efficient in this build.
Orb of Storm got its damage buffed even more, almost 40% and with a much lower mana cost.
Lightning Bolt, the skill granted by Choir of the Storm is also receiving a massive damage buff and it was already powerful, on my character it's almost 10% of my total damage.
One the small buff list we have Lightning Warp with a lower mana cost and slightly better cast time and bosses are losing a bunch of Curse resistances meaning Conductivity will be even more powerful.

On the nerfs of this patch we have Arc that received a small damage nerf, that is largely offset by the previously mentioned buffs, and a more significant on the distance maximum of chaining which hurts a bit the off screen kill potential.
If you don't want to play with a nerfed Skill you can use Shock Nova that got massively buffed (around 38% more damage).

This is a build for an Elementalist, Lightning Tendrils Cast While Channeling Arc for the clear, that can apply 50% shock to every monster in the game, even endgame bosses. The mechanics will be developed later in this guide.

3.2 BSC League Achievements and DPS :
At level 87 I cleared Uber Izaro, Shaper and his Guardians, Red Elder and his red Guardians, Uber Atziri. Only Uber Elder seems out of reach with this build for the moment.

The DPS is at approximately 3M6 on Shaper with my current semi-optimized setup (level 92), you should expect around 1M3 dps with recommended item and non optimized gear, and between 500k and 600k dps with budget gear.

Check the mechanics section for more details !

PoB link if you know what you are doing and don't care about the explanations:
https://pastebin.com/PyZgvLq5 Updated to 3.8
Character name is Imamiya on my profile (I often change pieces/pathing so don't follow too much my character)

1 - Videos

Disclaimer : I'm an average player and a bit rusty on my mechanics, my internet isn't the most stable too, so please don't judge what you will see too harshly !

- Sunken City (T15): https://youtu.be/SdKbD-2IT7M (Using only Orb of Storm for the clear)

- Shaper: https://youtu.be/ZfyCnBFcG3Y (Outdated, it was the first video I made as a proof of concept, I'll do another one with the new and better setup)
- Atziri: https://youtu.be/xmaLvaOdhpQ
- Elder (T13): https://youtu.be/7z8F_MJcHgc (Boss killer setup)

- Reef (T15): https://youtu.be/tDinmtuuyME
- Palace (T14): https://youtu.be/cnrHnil9G80
- Shaped Vault (T14): https://youtu.be/rCAAFLpnb0c
- Shaped Atoll (T11): https://youtu.be/FvxmtAlbJ_s

- Lair boss kill (T11): https://gfycat.com/RemoteAlarmingImpala
- Phoenix kill (low quality) : https://gfycat.com/BitterElatedFlickertailsquirrel

2 - Pros & Cons

+ Fast clear speed.
+ Extremely fun.
+ Elementalist. <3
+ Insane damage on bosses.
+ Party play friendly.
+ Viable for 95% of the content.

- Squishy on a full damage setup, so not HC viable unless you change the passive tree to a more defensive one.
- Some pieces are costly (but I've got you covered on the budget section).
- You need Uber Lab for a fully functional build.
- Elementalist 2pts Ascendancy doesn't feel rewarding to take, so Normal Lab and Merciless Lab feels a bit bad to run.

3 - Tree, Ascendancy, Bandits, Pantheon

Passive trees

- Recommended tree :

- The level 100 tree would ideally look like that : poeurl.com/coRI, but no one is crazy enough to level up to 100 right ?


Beacon of Ruin -> Mastermind of Discord


Help Alira. The build is a bit heavy on uniques so the all res helps. We use MoM so the mana regeneration is a cool thing to have. But most importantly, the sweet 20% critical multiplier !


Major: Soul of the Brine King, can't get stun-locked. The two first upgrades are nice to have too.
Minor: Soul of Tukohama, Physical reduction while stationary and life regeneration with the upgrade. Lightning Tendrils is a channeling skill so bonus for being stationary is good, especially against bosses.

You can also use the minor Soul of Yugul before fighting Atziri because she have a bit of reflected damage that can hurt.

4 - Gear

My gear at level 91

Mandatory Uniques :

Mind of the Council

- A lot of mana for our MOM
- Chance to Shock
- Lightning damage taken on mana, underwhelming but it's OK-ish
- Recover 3% of your maximum mana when you shock an enemy

With this mod, the high tick rate of Lightning Tendrils and 8+ casts/sec we are always full mana. So even though there is no life it's actually a good defensive option when you are playing MOM.

Inpulsa's Broken Heart

Inpulsa is the star of this build :
- Decent Life
- Huge Increased effect of Shock, you want that stat to be as high as you can afford.
- A nice boost of damage when you have shocked recently, with this build it's up 100% of the time
- Unaffected by Shock which synergize very well with our previous mandatory unique
- Shocked Enemies you kill Explode dealing x% of their Maximum Life as lightning damage.

The last one is huge, it will carry you through maps by one-shotting every pack of mob. I can't stress enough how much it's good, I wouldn't even consider playing this build without it.
I mean just look at those sweet blue booms !

Recommended Uniques :

If you can't afford one of these uniques, go check the Budget version !

By order of importance for the build :

Choir of the Storm

- Mana for our MOM
- Lot of increased Lightning damage
- Huge increased Critical Strike Chance (75%)
- Trigger Level 20 Lightning Bolt when you deal a Critical Strike

The last mod is a huge DPS boost for solo targets. The bolt is similar to the Herald of Thunder ones and hit for a LOT of lightning damage. On my current setup it adds a bit more than 200k dps on Shaper.
It also makes the playstyle really smooth as you will often trigger a bolt while Warping around or dropping an Orb of Storm. The bolt can kill most of white/blue monsters and then trigger a chain reaction of Inpulsa explosions !

Essence Worm

This enables an almost free level 22 Wrath for a lot of more damage.
The drawback of the item isn't too impactful since the only other aura is Herald of Thunder and with the reduced mana reservation from the Elementalist we only reserve 22% of our mana. It's perfectly reasonable if we factor in how fast we can recover our mana pool.
Essence worm is even more important if you can afford the next unique.

Watcher's Eye

The main mod you are aiming for is Damage penetrates xx% of Lightning resistance while affected by wrath. It's by far the best you can get. It's by no mean necessary but if you have enough currency to buy a 3 mods you should aim for one of these :
- (70-100)% increased Critical Strike Chance while affected by Wrath
- (40-60)% increased Lightning Damage while affected by Wrath
- (6-10)% of Damage taken from Mana before Life while affected by Clarity

Valako's Sign

- Chance to shock
- A bit of lightning damage
- A nice damage boodt against shocked enemies
- Life leech on your spells against shocked enemies
Since 99% of the time we are against shocked ennemies, the life leech allows us to run a Conductivity curse instead of a Warlord's Mark. So all in all it's a really good damage boost for the build.

Alternatively, Berek's Grip is a good choice and a bit more defensive.

Other slots :

Weapons :

Main hand
I would use a Wand/Scepter/Dagger with as much lightning spell damage, crit chance and crit multiplier possible. Cast speed and added flat damage to spells are also good.
You can also craft Lightning damage leeched as life with Catarina if you don't have/want Valako's Sign and don't want to run Warlord's Mark.
I choose wand because of the cast speed than isn't on dagger and also because they tend to be a bit cheaper than scepters this league.

If you can't find an abordable one with all the following stats, check the Budget section I have something just for you ! :)

Stats to search for on a weapon :
- Lightning spell damage (Which is the sum of Spell Damage and Lightning Damage)
- Critical Strike Chance for Spells
- Critical Strike Multiplier
- Cast Speed (if not dagger)
- Added Lightning to Spells

If you can find 'Damage penetrates x% elemental resistances' and 'Gain x% elemental damage as extra chaos damage', these are two really good shaper mods but are hard to find with the other mods mentioned.

I think a shield with spell or lightning damage and critical chance for spells is better than dual wielding. Especially if you are starved in the Life or Resist areas.

Stats to search for on a shield :
- Lightning spell damage
- Critical Strike Chance for Spells
- Life
- Mana

Alternatively these are some unique Shields you can use if you don't find a rare that fits:
- Esh's Mirror
- Rathpith Globe
- The Unshattered Will

Gloves :

I use fingerless gloves for the spell damage but you should aim higher than that ! Try to find or craft a Shaper base with the mod :
- Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Faster Casting / #% increased Cast Speed
for the global cast speed, it will be a way better damage multiplier than fingerless gloves.
You can also try to get the mod :
- Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Blind / #% Global chance to Blind Enemies on hit
And socket your Orb of Storm setup in it to get an additional layer of defense with Blind, it's pretty amazing.

Stats to search for on gloves:
- Life
- Elemental Resistances
- Mana
- Shaper Mods

Boots :

Try to get all the resist and life you can. Movement speed isn't so important because you will be Lightning-Warping a lot. The "30% increased Effect of non-Damaging Ailments on Enemies" craft is REALLY GOOD, see it as a 3% more damage craft !
You can try to get some Dexterity if possible to save a point in the tree.

Stats to search for on boots:
- Life
- Elemental Resistances
- Mana
- Dexterity
- Movement speed

Belt :

Here a Stygian Vise base would be the best. This is your most defensive slot so try to fit as much life and res possible !

Stats to search for on belt:
- Life
- Elemental Resistances
- Abyssal Socket

Flasks :

Pretty much exactly what you want, i can't think of a better setup.
- Classic Instant life flask with bleed removal or The Writhing Jar to proc Herald of Thunder and Innervate vs bosses.
- Diamond flask for the Lucky crit, it is our highest dps flask
- Atziri's Promise for extra chaos damage and some life leech
- The Wise Oak for the lightning penetration, just make sur your uncapped lightning resistance is the highest.
- Silver Flask for the 20% Cast speed which helps our damage greatly and our mobility with Lightning Warp.

You can swap out the Silver flask for a Quicksilver flask if you like running, but I personally prefer to warp around.

Jewels :

This is the type of jewel you want, as much Crit Multiplier and cast speed as possible. Also try to get an Abyssal Jewel with Added Cold to Spells, even a bad roll is enough to allow you to use better Support Gem (Hypothermia).

List of mods useful to get on jewels:
+#% to Critical Strike Multiplier with Lightning Skills
+# increased Critical Strike Multiplier for Elemental Skills
+# increased Critical Strike Multiplier for Spells
+# increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
#% increased Cast Speed with Lightning Skills
#% increased Cast Speed while holding a Shield
#% increased maximum Life
#% increased Attack and Cast Speed
#% increased Cast Speed
#% increased Spell Damage while holding a Shield
#% increased Spell Damage
#% increased Damage

Enchantments on Helmet, Boots and Gloves :

For the helmet I would aim for one of these :
- Arc Chains an additional time
- 40% increased Arc Damage
- Arc deals 12% increased Damage for each time it has Chained
- 40% increased Lightning Tendrils Damage
- 60% increased Lightning Tendrils Critical Strike Chance
- 150% increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Lightning Golems

(If you want to use Shock Nova for bosses instead of Arc)
- 40% increased Shock Nova Damage
- Shock Nova ring deals 60% increased Damage

(If you want to use Ball Lightning for bosses instead of Arc)
- Ball Lightning fires an additional Projectile
- 40% increased Ball Lightning Damage
- 12% increased Ball Lightning Area of Effect

Any other to Lightning Warp, Orb of Storms can be used too but that's would be just to wait for a better one.

For the boots I would choose in that order :
- Adds 1 to 160 Lightning Damage if you haven't Killed Recently
- Damage Penetrates 10% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven't Killed Recently
- 16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
- Regenerate 2% of Life and Mana per second if you were Hit Recently

Leech is a good alternative if you don't have/want Valako's Sign or Warlord's Mark.

For gloves I wouldn't bother too much but if you want one :
- Trigger Decree of Reflection when Hit, it spawns a double that can draw aggro for a short time.
- Trigger Decree of Light when you take a Critical Strike, it creates consecrated ground under yourself for a bit of hp regeneration.

5 - Gem Links

Gems will be sorted by order of importance.

Main Damage setup :
Lightning Tendrils - Cast While Channeling - Vaal Arc or Arc (Shock Nova / Ball Lightning / ...) - Hypothermia - Controlled Destruction (5L) - Elemental Proliferation - (6L)

Try to get Vaal Arc as soon as possible, it's an insane boost of damage :D

When fighting bosses, use Elemental Focus instead of Elemental Proliferation.
Hypotermia can be changed to Lightning Penetration if you have no source of added flat cold damage and don't want to rely on the Chilling Conflux. But I feel like it would be better to stick with Hypothermia anyway.

Auras :
Herald of Thunder - Curse on Hit - Conductivity/Warlord's Mark

Wrath in the Essence Worm

Quality for Herald of Thunder is important as it gives up to 15% (even 17% with 23% quality corruption) GLOBAL increased lightning damage.

Orb of Storms setup :
Orb of Storm - Arcane Surge (lv7) - Power Charge on Critical - Unbound Ailments

Cast this often to keep the Arcane Surge buff which is an importan source of damage.
With Unbound Ailments, Orb of Storms can apply higher shocks and chills which let us use Elemental Focus vs bosses in our main setup .
It also increase the mana cost of OoS so we can have a higher lvl Arcane Surge.

Lightning Warp :
Lightning Warp - Faster Casting - Less Duration - Swift Affliction

We want a fast movement skill and with all our cast speed I find LW to be a good choice. Plus it's a lightning spell so it fits thematically. And if you have the Innocence MTX, everyone will be jealous of your style.

CWDT setup :
Cast when Damage Taken (lvl 8) - Immortal Call (lvl 10) - Increased Duration

- OR -

Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 1) - Tempest Shield (lvl 7) - Ball Lightning (lvl 4)

The first version is more common but I prefer the second. It's thematically better, the damage from Ball Lightning and Tempest Shield will heal us a bit and will also help to recover our mana by shocking enemies.

Golem :
Lightning Golem

For those who want to use a golem, this one is actually pretty good. He gives Cast speed that is good for both our dps and mobility. Also, the helmet enchant with 150% increase buff is incredibly good.
If you want and have the sockets for it, you can link it with gems like Minion Life, Blind, Culling Strike...

6 - DPS, Mechanics, Why and how it works


According to to PoB on my current setup I have on an isolated Shaper :

- With the boss killer setup
1,500,000 Lightning Tendrils + 1,700,000 Arc + 400,000 Lightning bolts + 200,000 Orb of Storm
= 3M8 dps Shaper

The configuration is : Shaper, Damage flasks up, Power Charges, Chilled, Shocked, Arcane Surge , Lightning Golem, Conductivity.
If you wonder why I can tick Shocked vs Shaper, check the 'How it works' section.

Defenses :

I heard some complaints about defenses by those who saw my shaper run so I want to give a bit more info.
Of course it's a sort of glass canon build where the best defense is to stay mobile and to kill things before they can hit you, and it's really good at it ! Between Herald of Thunder procs, Thunder Bolts procs and Arc chaining offscreen to explode pack, there not much danger left !

The build have two more main defense mechanics.

Mind Over Matter
There are two setup :
- Map clear setup, with approx 3k6 HP
- Boss killer setup, with approx 4k1 HP

MOM plays a huge part of our defense as we take 30% of the incoming damage on our mana pool instead. So the effective HP for the both setup goes up respectively to 5k1 eHP and 5k8 eHP !

On top of that, with Mind of the Council, we recover mana extremely fast as we shock with almost 100% of our hits so you won't run out of mana easily even after a big hit, and small repeated hits are quickly absorbed.

High hit damage result in longer and more frequent stuns against enemies. With our shock and high hits, every non-boss enemy is stunned until it dies, it makes the mapping extremely safe.
Even if you Lightning Warp in the middle of an "Allies cannot die" pack, just keep channeling your Lightning Tendrils to lock them in place until they go Boom ! :)

How it works :

Wiki PoE :
Shock is an elemental ailment associated with lightning that causes the affected target to take increased damage from all sources.
The base duration of shock is 2 seconds and the damage increase scales relative to the amount of Lightning damage dealt to the enemy's maximum life. Increased damage from shock is capped at 50% at 10% of the target's maximum life dealt by Lightning damage, scaling down to 0% at no damage. Hits below the minimum threshold of 1% effect are discarded,[1] effectively requiring a hit of 0.2% enemy maximum life.

Shock mechanic is, the harder you hit the better the shock will be. Problem is, to apply a maximum effect shock on a boss, you have to hit him with a single hit for 10% of his life pool. You would say it's impossible on Shaper, Uber Atziri or Guardians because they have multiple millions of Hp. That's when the Elementalist says hello.

Elementalist and Shock
Note : This section is a bit inaccurate because minimum shock got lowered to 15% and the final shock is closer to 40% than 50% but the explanation is still true !

Beacon of Ruin :
Elemental Ailments caused by your Skills spread to other nearby Enemies
Radius: 12
Chills from your Hits always Slow by at least 10%
Shocks from your Hits always increase Damage taken by at least 20%

It's a really good node, it means than any shocking hit at >0.1% of the life pool of an ennemi will shock him for 20% (instead of 1%). Add to that the Shaper of Desolation node, it means ANY hit can shock at 20% even if it's not a crit, less than 0.1% of the life pool or even if it's not lightning damage.
That would be good enough to build around but here we will use the cool interaction between this minimum shock of 20% and Shock Effectiveness to push things further.

Elementalist, Shock and Shock Effectiveness

The Shock effectiveness with the elementalist works like this :
- You have 0% Shock effectiveness, your hits shock for 20%
- You have 10% Shock effectiveness, your hits shock for 22%
- You have 50% Shock effectiveness, your hits shock for 30%

Now imagine we reach 150% Shock effectiveness. That's right, it would mean any hit during a shocking conflux or any crit with lightning damage would shock any enemy for 50% increased damage taken from all sources.

Now if we take a look at the tree and items we have :

35 % (Breath of Lightning) + 15% (Celestial Punishment) + 10% (Crackling Speed) + 20% (Beacon of Ruin) + 40% (High roll Inpulsa) = 120%

Our shocking hits shock for 44% increased damage taken.
Now if the spell that shock is our lvl 21 Arc or Shock Nova that we cast 3 times/s, then we can add the 30% increased Effect of Shock included in the spell for a total of 150% Shock effectiveness !

Now you can go around and shock Mr. Shaper for 50% increased damage taken like no one else :)

The enemy will always keep the highest value of shock so even if you shock with Orb of Storms after shocking with Arc it will keep the 50% shock.

7 - Leveling

Progression through Acts :

If it's not your first character of the league, a classic spell caster setup to start is the best :

Equip these right at the start pick up any spell you like, socket it in the wand and run to the Coast.

At level 10 equip two axiom, move your spells to the chest and equip some Elreon jewelry to sustain the mana cost.
You are pretty much good to go until you reach unique item upgrades like Singularity, Impulsa, Mind of the Council.
Level with whatever skill you like, Lightning Tendril is good and skills like Firestorm, Freezing Pulse, Spark or Flameblast/Frostbolt totems works just as well. Just pick a skill you like :)


If it's your first build of the league :

It's a general leveling guide, you are not forced to pick the exact gems or to follow every step, it's just how I would do it.

Do every quest that gives a skill point plus the first Nessa quest to get the Quicksilver Flask.

Act 1
- After entering Lioney's Watch -> Pick Freeze Pulse link it with Arcane surge and buy Fire Trap. Don't level this gem past level 7/8. Lightning Tendril mana cost is too high at lower level so we will pick it up later.

- After entering Mud Flats -> Capture 3 Rhoas plus the Rhoa mini-boss Oozeback Bloom, talk to Einhar to enter your menagerie and craft boots with guaranteed 10% movement speed.

- After entering The Submerged Passage -> You can go back to town and pick up orb of storm.

- After entering The Climb -> Capture 3 normal Goatman plus the mini-boss [url-"https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/The_Faun"]The Faun[/url]. In the menagerie craft a Quicksliver Flask of Adrenaline (20 to 30% additional movement speed).

- After killing Brutus -> Pick Clarity and buy Flame Dash. We can now sustain Lightning Tendrils so pick it up and swap it in instead of Freezing Pulse. Pick Added Lightning and link it.
You can buy Multitrap and link it with Fire Trap if you have 2 green links.

- After entering The Cavern of Wrath -> Pick Arc and socket it somewhere in your gear or weapon swap to level it. You can also use it instead of Lightning Tendrils.

Act 2
- After completing the Chamber of Sin quest -> Pick up Herald of Thunder.

- Go kill Kraityn -> Go kill Oak and pick the Waypoint of the zone -> Go help Alira.

- After killing The Weaver - > Pick Concentrated Effect and socket it in place of Arcane Surge. Link Arcane Surge with Orb of Storm. If you have a 4 link, buy Faster Casting. You should drop Fire Trap if you feel like having enough damage.

- After getting the Sewers keys -> Pick Conductivity. You can buy Wrath to level but i would not recommend to use it yet.

- After killing General Gravicius -> Pick Ball Lightning. Same as Arc, you can use it instead of Lightning Tendrils.

- After unlocking The Mines door -> Pick Lightning Golem.

- After entering The Belly of the Beast -> Pick Increased Area of Effect, buy Cast while Channelling. You should have a 4 link with 4 blue sockets at this point, socket Lightning Tendrils - CwC - Arc/Ball Lightning - Concentrated Effect.

From this point, try to get closer to the gem setup written in the Gem Links section as you progress trough acts !

For the lab, try to do it around the level of the zone in lab (33, 68 and 75) if you fing yourself too squishy just wait, it's not a big deal to run it a bit overleveled.

If you find an Alchemy Orb or a Chaos Orb while leveling, you should invest it instantly in some cheap leveling uniques such as :
Axiom Perpetuum for the weapon
Nomic's Storm or Wanderlust for boots
Lochtonial Caress for gloves

Sell them once you reach around level 62 so you can start to buy items listed in the Budget section just below :)

Leveling Trees :

22 points : poeurl.com/coSm
42 points : poeurl.com/coSl
60 points : poeurl.com/coSg
88 points : poeurl.com/coSj
101 points: poeurl.com/coSa

If you don't have enough Dexterity take the +30 Dex point on the path or Equip a fertile mind in the Jewel socket north of the Witch starter.

You can now go to the end game tree at the start of this guide :)

8 - Budget Version

I'm well aware that this build can cost quite a bit for someone new in the league but don't worry, here is some cheap items you can use while you build some currency. :)

Weapon :
- High Flat Lightning damage to spells
- High cast speed
- Mana cost reduction
- Hinder close ennemies (-25% movement speed)
- (60-80)% increased Damage with Hits and Ailments against Hindered Enemies
That's an excellent starter weapon for 1c. It will be hard to beat with a rare weapon unless you invest A LOT ! My current wand is just a 5-10% increase in damage compared to a Singularity.

Gloves :
If you don't have a 5L Inpulsa yet, and don't want to use a Tabula, try :
Kalisa's Grace
- High Life roll
- Pseudo 5L with Faster Casting
- Gain +2% to Critical Strike Chance for 2 seconds when you Spend a total of 800 Mana
That's BASE crit chance so it's really good dps boost. It will be up really often because Lightning tendril with high cast rate cost quite a bit.

Rings :
Until you can afford Valako's Sign and Essence Worm, any ring with these stats will do the trick.
- Life
- Res
- Mana

Tough you will have to adjust your setup a bit. You should not run Wrath until you have Essence Worm or it will reserve too much mana and your Mind Over Matter will be useless.
Also you should run Warlord's Mark instead of Conductivity until you get Valako's Sign to keep the life leech.

Amulet :
Choir of the Storm can be intimidating in price so, until you save enough money for that awesome upgrade, you can use any rare amulet with these stats (by order of importance) :
- Critical Strike Chance
- Critical Strike Multiplier
- Lightning Spell damage
- Life
- Mana
- Dex

You should go full offensive on the amulet since it's the slot where you can get the most dmg after the weapons slots. Dexterity is nice to save a point in the tree.

That should not cost more than 5-10 Chaos Orbs depending on the rolls you chose and you will be able to farm low tier Red maps with it :)

9 - F.A.Q

Does this work with x skill ?

Short answer, Yes. If you think about any Lightning skill you should be good. Some are better than other, like Arc, Shock Nova, Ball Lightning,... but if you want to go Storm Burst CwC Spark or Divine Ire CwC Storm Call it will work.

Why Elemental Focus if you want to Shock ?

Only use Elemental Focus on high tier boss (Guardians, Shaper, Elder, Atziri,...). While mapping you should use Lightning Penetration, Infused Channeling or something based on your triggered spell (like inc AoE if you use an AoE Spell)
When you have Elemental Focus, rely on Orb of Strom + Unbound Ailments to Shock (and Chill) bosses, you stacked enough Shock Effect to Shock it at maximum value even with Orb of Storm.

Why Hypothermia on a Lightning based build ?

Because Hypothermia adds 40% More damage against Chilled enemies regardless of the element. And thanks to the Elementalist Beacon of Ruin, you can Chill any monster with a single hit of Cold damage regardless of the value.

I die too often, what do ?

First is to make sure you are res capped, 75% res in Fire, Light and Cold because the damage in this game is balanced around you having these values of resistances.
Next is make sure your mana pool is high enough for Mind Over Matter, so your unreserved Mana pool should be at the very least 30% of your life pool.
Next step is sacrifice some damage to get more HP, like taking a less offensive Shield for one with more HP/mana or gloves with a Shaper base and a global chance to Blind, swap the curse for a defensive one (Enfeeble, Temporal Chains), drop some points in the tree to get the Resourcefulness cluster...
The possibilities are countless so you should tweak the build as you see fit, and that's true for any build you will find, always try to adapt it to you.

Patch Notes Archive

3.5 Betrayal league Update :
The core of the build dodged nerfs once again ! Inpulsa was slightly tuned down on the explosion damage but all the important stats are still here ! And don't worry, I played with a 5% Inpulsa for a while, you absolutely can't see the difference, everything explode. A few points changed in the tree
so the build is indirectly buffed.

If you have any question or want to discuss item choice or pathing or anything build related just write it here so everyone can see and use the answer !
Also don't hesitate to post your progression with this build if you try it yourself !

Thanks for reading this guide :)
[3.7] Scourge Arrow, Ignite Proliferation Elementalist. Melt T15 on a budget, All content viable.
[3.7] Shocking Elementalist, Lightning Tendrils Cast when Channeling Arc. Budget version included
Last edited by Swiks on Sep 6, 2019, 3:27:45 AM
Last bumped on Oct 5, 2020, 5:36:08 AM
Looks sick, imma try this build :)
Can you post a uber atziri video? Oh and leb enchant for helm, is that Lightning Tendrils?
Thanks :) You definitely should !

Haven't recorded the run, but I will do another one when I have a bit of time. Just one thing to know is that you have to swap out Arc for Ball Lightning for her fight. If you don't, you will just one shot yourself when Arc chains on her mirror.

The lab enchants are at the end of the Gear section, you want Lightning Tendrils but there are some other nice enchants to get.

Edit : Added the Leveling section
[3.7] Scourge Arrow, Ignite Proliferation Elementalist. Melt T15 on a budget, All content viable.
[3.7] Shocking Elementalist, Lightning Tendrils Cast when Channeling Arc. Budget version included
Last edited by Swiks on Mar 14, 2018, 5:36:55 PM
I was just making something like this on PoB, looks awesome!
Thanks :) Let me know if you actually try it !

I added a bunch of footage for the curious.
[3.7] Scourge Arrow, Ignite Proliferation Elementalist. Melt T15 on a budget, All content viable.
[3.7] Shocking Elementalist, Lightning Tendrils Cast when Channeling Arc. Budget version included
Nice build, but seeing 6link blue Inpulsa that is >7ex worries me - budget frinendly helps but is this still viable with tabula rasa?
Last edited by r4plez on Mar 15, 2018, 7:20:07 PM
Thanks !

I wouldn't bother too much with the colors as it's really easy to get 6B on an ES/Eva base. You don't need to use Vorici craft, buy any non-corrupted 6L and spam Chromes util you get it.
Or else, buy an Inpulsa with the best stats you can afford and use Kalisa's Grace (take a look at the budget section) while you try to 5-6L yourself. These gloves are better than the Tabula because you will get the stats and explosions of the Inpulsa, which are crutial for the build. I would not play this build in maps without an Inpulsa, it's just too good, even without any link.

[3.7] Scourge Arrow, Ignite Proliferation Elementalist. Melt T15 on a budget, All content viable.
[3.7] Shocking Elementalist, Lightning Tendrils Cast when Channeling Arc. Budget version included
Last edited by Swiks on Mar 16, 2018, 4:27:41 AM
How do you deal with stun? I always get stunlocked alot and die vs bosses :(
Oh right, I completely forgot about Pantheon, I'll add it immediately.

For the stun issue, just take the major Pantheon node Soul of the Brine King :)
[3.7] Scourge Arrow, Ignite Proliferation Elementalist. Melt T15 on a budget, All content viable.
[3.7] Shocking Elementalist, Lightning Tendrils Cast when Channeling Arc. Budget version included
Been wanting to do cwc tendrils for a while now and just 6linked a well rolled inpulsa today after about 70 fusings. Thanks for the guide.

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