[3.4] Asymat's "CycloPoet's PenFinder" | HC (solo or small party) | Mid to High Budget

This build revolves around Poet's Pen. It is designed to clear maps quickly and safely while still being able to clean end-game with high investment.

I recommend this build for mid to experimented players with good flasks management and currency grind abilities.

Please note that this guide is very open, so you'll have to choose what's working for you. I'll update guide with your suggestions and feedbacks.

Why is it solo or small party?
* the build runs poorly in party (Blade Fall + spell cascade is kinda laggy)
* the char does not benefits from most auras
* the char has enough ms to catch up with other builds
* the char benefits from curses
So it might still be good with another dps or curser or both but no more.

Main Selling Points
* One click to rule them all
* Nice clearspeed
* The sound of shatter

Final stats
* 8k+ HP
* 500k-1M shapper dps
* 180ms
* ~ 3-4k evasion
* 40/46 dodge/spells
* = ~ 70% chance to not get hit

My guildmate and I were really interested in Mathil's Poet's Pen GC/BF version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ldwwUoJasE) so we adapted it for HC while taking idea from our last build (Tornado Shot Ascendant: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2050639). I played it in Bestiary and it was really promising until I ripped in T13 Malformation due to the most braindead arrival in room. Optimised gear should have 30-50% more damage and more life (8k+).

Very easy leveling with 2 Poet's Pen. I suggest Firestorm + skill-of-your-choice until lvl 28: Glacial Cascade + Blade Fall

Normal Lab >> You don't need normal lab until you can do cruel lab.
Cruel Lab >> Ascendant Pathfinder
Merci Lab >> Ascendant Assassin
Uber Lab >> Shadow start

I suggest you wait until Merciless Lab before switching to crit.

Final tree: http://poeurl.com/bRo8
PoB: https://pastebin.com/ZzyF56bv

Ascendancies discussion
Pathfinder is nice but will have less points (= less life).
Scion has more points and offer a better pathing.
Scion Pathfinder offers perma flasking (with flasks nodes on tree).
Scion Assassin is required for 2 reasons: to improve crit and for starting points (it saves a lot of pathing points). It even adds reflect kinda-immunity (from 3.2) and Power Charge generation.
Scion Slayer doesn't offer much apart from the perma-leech. We do not get hit (or very rarely) thus we don't need much leech.

We don't need attack speed as we overcap that easily so Eramir it is. Alira looks decent too but we need thoses damn points for jewels (huge dps boost).

Gem setup
I tried some shenanigans with Blade Vortex <> increased Duration <> increased Area but it didn't fell great. Also, I found GC to be really spammy and had to P2W the GC mtx to actually see what was going on ; less spammy with conc effect tho.
Bladefall <> Spell Cascade <> Increased Critical Chance (more consistency/shattering)
Glacial Cascade <> Controlled Destruction <> Increased Critical Strike (more consistency/shattering)

Bladefall <> Concentrated Effect <> Controlled Destruction
Glacial Cascade <> Concentrated Effect <> Controlled Destruction

Frenzy <> Faster Attacks (with the right lvl) <> Maim <> Chance to Blind

Hatred <> Herald of Ash <> Herald of ice <> Enlighten 2 (minimum)

Frost Bomb <> Arcane Surge (make sure you have it at the right level so any Frost Bomb will activate it) <> Increased Duration (also apply to Arcane Surge buff. EZ PZ) <> Vaal Grace

Flame Dash

Core items
* 2x Poet's Pen (with same local % attack speed so you can adjust perfectly)
* Pure Talent unique jewel
* Cyclopean Coil
* Kaom's Heart (we HC boys)

Gear discution
Gear is really open as we don't need much resistances... but carefull to not loose too much HP.
4x Poet's Pen for weapon switching is a strong QoL.
Corrupted for Culling Strike on single-target setup.
Corrupted with Elemental Proliferation Support should be nice aswell for clearing.

Kaom's Heart is mandatory in order to achieve decent HP pool

Cyclopean Coil is mandatory to enable more unique flasks. Shock + Freeze immune is damn great. Just manage DEXT > INT > STR
The Tactitian was going to be perfect but the of lack shock and freeze immunities is a no-go. It would have bring: more flasks sustains (that we don't really need but might save some tree points), more deeps, more resistances but less life.

Atziri's Step gives life and spell dodge. Very usefull vs reflect and spell mitigation. Is easy to find with enchant.
rare Boots with 15% Increased Cooldown Recovery Speed (shaper mod) is basically 15% more deeps.
Best enchant is 10% movement speed if haven't been hit recently

rare helm with life and resistances
Reduced Hatred reservation might free 1 gem (enlighten).
Warlord's Mark curse effectiveness might help with leech.

Rare gloves with life and resistances Shaper mod Supported by Blind Support gem might free 1 gem in the frenzy setup (Culling Strike, GMP...).
Atziri's Acuity leech buff and life. Sound like the best option after you have the deeps.
Shadows and Dust RAMPAGE and dps!
Null and Void RAMPAGE and life!
Hrimsorrow/Hrimburn lower the dps -- just nope.

1 rare ring with curse with Warlord Mark on hit (elder mod)
1 unset rare ring with life, strenght, ele resistances

1 rare amulet with crit multiplier, added physical damage as cold (shaper mod) is a huge dps boost.
The Pandomonius does't add much damage.

regular Jewels
This is where the deeps really comes as build has not many increased damage neither crit mult.
Increased Maximum Life
Increased Physical Damage
Increased Area Damage
Increased Crit Multi
Increased Crit Multi while Dual Weilding
Increased Spell Damage
Increased Spell Damage while Dual Weilding
Increased Damage

unique Jewels
Pure Talent gives 0.5% base crit, +25 all stats, 7% movement speed
Watcher's Eye with 1.8% to Critical Strike Chance while affected by Hatred is a huge dps boost.

Abyss Jewels
One might want % Chance to hinder with spells but when you see regular jewels can add up 15% more damage, it doesn't feel so good.

Current Gear
Please refer to gem section for gems.

MAJOR Soul of Lunaris Movespeed, Dodge
MAJOR Soul of Solaris Damage mitigation
MINOR Soul of Garukhan More evade and movespeed

With all the duration/gained/reduced flasks nodes in tree + Ascendant Pathfinder, we sustain all flasks. As we are immune to shock and freeze, it frees up slots for unique flasks. No need to overcap rez as we 100% sustain Chemist's Diamond of Warding.
Seething Divine Life Flask of Staunching
Alchemist's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline or Chemist's Quicksilver of Adrenaline
Taste of Hate
Atziri's Promise
Chemist's Diamond of Warding

Map mods
Reflect is fine thanks to dodge spells and immunity to reflect from crits (from Ascendant Assassin). You still want to swap Phys To Lightning gem for physical reflect.
Dodge unlucky + increased accuracy Reduce grandly your damage mitigation
Avoid elemental status No freeze
Cannot be slowed below base Freeze has no effect (but Herald still proc)
Reflect elemental will sometimes get you hit by 1-2k damage on non-crit vs huge packs.
Reflect physical Swap-in Physical to Lightning on all your spells. You will sometimes get hit by 1-2k damage on non-crit vs huge packs.
Elemental Equilibrium Nerf your damage
Elemental and Physical resistance Nerf your damage
Less damage with crits Nerf your damage
Reduced/no life and mana regen Fine
Cannot leech life/mana leech Fine but don't stack it with reflect/no regen.
Elemental Weakness + Reduced flasks charge gained I'm not capped eleW because I can rely on my flask sustaining. Take care when boss fights last too long or with the reduced flasks charge map mod.

Please note that I'm using a non-optimized setup as I ripped before I would like. Min-maxed version should have 30-50% more damage and 8k+ life. STD vidz unfortunately (aka idc-playstyle :/).


T16 Minotaur featuring Zana Gorge

T16 Hydra (no sound)


Will add more vidz...

My bro and guildmate Mugi https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/mugtar/ with whom we spent countless hours theoricrafting this and dozens of other builds and Mathil https://www.twitch.tv/mathil1.

Changelog (from latest to oldest)
* ...
Purenado Shot: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2050639
CycloPoet's PenFinder: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2123005
Last edited by Asymat on Sep 4, 2018, 1:37:28 AM
Last bumped on Nov 19, 2018, 2:00:16 PM

Poet's Pen min-maxing
The internal Cooldown of spells launched by Poet's Pen is 250ms. However, due to server lag/tick, you should lower a bit your attack speed otherwise you'll miss some casts. Add 17ms (presumably server tick 1000/60) to your cooldown as followed: 250 + 17 = 267 ; 1000 / 267 = 3.745 -> Best attack speed: 3.74 or 3.75. Might go a bit more as missing one cast from times to times is ok.

More info on the topic: https://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/comments/841u8f/optimal_poets_pen_attack_speed/
Purenado Shot: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2050639
CycloPoet's PenFinder: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2123005
Last edited by Asymat on Aug 30, 2018, 10:29:18 PM
Nice guide! Following this build but why is the tree split between Scion and Shadow? I don't see any points connecting the two trees.
rayfox wrote:
Nice guide! Following this build but why is the tree split between Scion and Shadow? I don't see any points connecting the two trees.

Ascendant allows starting from another class location.
Purenado Shot: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2050639
CycloPoet's PenFinder: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2123005
Last edited by Asymat on Apr 1, 2018, 7:26:00 PM
Frenzy's mana cost stays the same no matter what level it is (https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Frenzy)
Hey man! I'm leveling a scion at the moment to try this build out. I tried Mathil's build with a ranger I had lying around and it does good damage but it's quite squishy. I play SC but I don't like dying so I'm gonna try yours out :). I'll let you know how it goes.
Isnt it better to use something like belly for chest piece and have atleast 4-link immortal call setup? Would be make much more safe when you have some kind of mitigation against spike dmg :)
Last edited by zyppeli on Jun 11, 2018, 12:56:35 AM
Could you use arc instead of blade fall for more single target damage ? if not what other spells could work for single target. thanks
Last edited by jos97 on Jun 25, 2018, 7:47:40 AM
Super good I think the build is not DPS is good.
but defensive already leaves much to be desired, there is still some work to do.

Last edited by stauch3r on Aug 13, 2018, 5:07:07 PM
Hi Mate,

started yesterday evening to level a scion after reading this guide.
I love it, from Lv12 on. The leveling process was quite like vacation.
Good written guide, nicely done.

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