[3.2] Pathfinder - Poison BV (League Starter Viable, Shaper Down)


Welcome to my poison blade vortex pathfinder build, updated for 3.2. It is capable of completing most endgame content on a budget, and is a great league starter.

Update Log


Add alternative life flask options

Replaced Warlord's Mark with Despair in CoH setup, and run Clarity to make up for the mana leech loss.

Build Concept

We utilize the Pathfinder ascendancy class to permanently run all three resistance flasks, and run all three purity auras in order to not only remove the need for resistances on gear, but also boost our maximum elemental resistances. Thanks to needing no resistances on our gear, we can take advantage of many cheap unique items to increase our poison damage.

Pro's & Con's

+ Good league starter
+ Endgame content viable on a budget (40c or less)
+ All map mods
+ Decent lab runner (180%+ movement speed)
+ Permanent flask uptime
+ 89% resists, 0%+ chaos res, 15k armor, 8k evasion

- Low DPS and clear speed
- Requires paying attention to keeping flasks up
- Vulnerable to big physical damage hits


Gear swaps for certain map mods and bosses:

Gear explanation:

Note that none of the enchantments are necessary, they are just nice bonuses if you happen to get them.

Helmet: Alpha's Howl
Enchantment: BV duration, BV aoe, Wither duration, Wither aoe

Alpha's Howl provides reduced mana reserved, as well as boosting the level of the aura gems socketed in it by 2. Purity auras provide +4 maximum resistance at gem level 20, so this means that we only need level 18 purity gems to get their full effect. Try to get a high evasion roll here.

If you have level 20 purity gems, an alternative is a helmet crafted with a Deafening Essence of Loathing, which will provide 5% reduced mana reserved and can have life roll or be crafted onto it.

Body Armor: Dendrobate

Dendrobate provides a significant damage increase and brings our chance to poison to 100% because of the Lesser Poison support. Make sure you have at least 300 dexterity and 150 intelligence to get the damage bonuses. I recommend buying a well rolled one (95%+ poison damage, 23%+ poison duration), and buying a Jeweller's Touch prophecy to 5 link it when you can afford one.

Weapon: Obliteration

Obliteration is a big boost to our damage and helps increase our clear speed because of the explosion effect.

Shield: Lioneye's Remorse / Saffell's Frame

Lioneye's Remorse has high amounts of life and armor, as a high block chance. Saffell's Frame should be kept in your weapon swap along with a second Obliteration and duplicate gem setups. Use your weapon swap against bosses that do purely elemental damage.

An alternative to Saffell's Frame is Ahn's Heritage. It has 1% lower maximum resistances, but has life and armor. Note that you lose the maximum resistance bonus if you have any endurance charges, so you will lose the bonus when you gain endurance charges from Warlord's Mark. This won't happen frequently versus bosses, but it excludes this shield from being used for mapping.

Gloves: The Embalmer
Enchantment: Commandment of Spite

The Embalmer provides life, damage, and chaos resistance. Try to get high rolls here on everything here.

Boots: Atziri's Step / Kaom's Roots
Enchantment: Life and mana regeneration, chance to dodge spell damage

Atziri's Step provides life, evasion, movement speed, and spell dodge. Try to get a high life roll here. Kaom's Roots are used only for Elder. Try to get a high life roll here too.

Amulet: Rare

Stats in order of priority: Life > Cast Speed > Mana Regeneration > Mana

Try to get 70+ life, and get any attributes you need here.

Rings: Rare / Ming's Heart

Stats in order of priority: Life > Cast Speed > Mana Regeneration > Mana

Try to get coral rings with a total of 90+ life. Keep a Ming's Heart with you to swap in for when you need more damage or chaos resistance. Prioritize getting one with 5% reduced maximum life.

Belt: Rare

Get a rustic sash with 80+ life and 19%+ reduced flask charges used. You will also need either 14%+ flask duration, or an open suffix and level 5 Tora to craft flask duration. If you get a bad roll, you can either remove the mod with a level 7 Tora or buy a new belt and try again.

Jewels: Conqueror's Potency / Rare

Conqueror's Potency gives flask and aura effect, which provides another 1% maximum resistances.

For rare jewels, anything with 7% increased life and increased poison damage will work. Some other nice mods include strength, cast speed, and reduced mana cost of skills.

All flasks except for the life flasks must be 20% quality, and the utility flasks must have either the Chemist's mod with a roll of 24% or better, or the Perpetual mod with a roll of 36% or better to have permanent uptime. I recommend using the bauble recipe to reduce the cost of buying baubles.

Life flask:
Any life flask you want to use, but some good options are Catalysed Eternal life flask and Bubbling Divine life flask. In less recovery maps the Bubbling life flask will be better because the recovery rate doesn't affect the instant recovery.

Granite Flask of Iron Skin:
Provides a huge amount of armor, which is our main form of physical damage mitigation.

Ruby, Sapphire, and Topaz flasks:
You will need a flask with Warding, Staunching and Adrenaline. It doesn't matter which resistance flask has each mod, but you should have all of these mods before attempting high tier maps or endgame content.

Coralito's Signature:
Provides a significant damage increase for when one of the other flasks isn't necessary to use. Try to get a roll of at least 70% poison duration.

Atziri's Promise:
Provides damage, some leech, and chaos resistance. This flask can't be sustained permanently, but it is used instead of Coralito's Signature for bosses with high chaos damage. Try to get a high roll on the physical damage mod.

Skill gems

Main setup:

Blade Vortex - Spell Echo - Vile Toxins - Deadly Ailments - Unbound Ailments

If you have a 6 link, use Void Manipulation as well.


Purity of Fire - Purity of Ice - Purity of Lightning

If you use an Alpha's Howl, put the aura gems in the helmet.

Other gems:

Wither - Spell Totem - Faster Casting

Phase Run - Increased Duration - Clarity (low enough level to be able to cast Blade Vortex)

Orb of Storms - Curse on Hit - Despair - Flame Dash

Cast when Damage Taken - Warlord's Mark - Immortal Call (all level 1)

Passive Tree and PoB link

Level 90 tree: http://poeurl.com/bTo2

Ascendancy: Nature's Boon - Master Herbalist - Master Alchemist - Nature's Adrenaline

Path of Building link: https://pastebin.com/2b3DRTBs

Leveling trees are in the Leveling section and in the above PoB link.

Bandits and Pantheon

Bandits: Kill all
Pantheon: Soul of Lunaris + Soul of Gruthkul

We use these pantheon powers because together they can provide up to 13% physical damage mitigation.

All of the upgrades for both souls are useful, but none of them are necessary. For endgame content, use Soul of Solaris instead (capturing "Shadow of the Vaal" is useful for Shaper).


Keep all your flasks up, cast Blade Vortex, and travel between packs with phase run. You can often leave monsters to die to the poison to save time. Summon your Wither totem and use your Curse on Hit setup for tougher enemies and bosses. The life flask can be used to heal quickly, and it can be used very frequently, even against bosses with no adds. Precast Blade Vortex before bosses.


35 points

Use any skill you find until you can equip blade vortex at level 12. Focus on getting the duration nodes on the tree, then take the flask nodes. Begin leveling your aura gems at level 24. At this point you should be using phase run, a quicksilver flask, and flame dash to get around quickly, and blade vortex in this 4 link (take out added lightning if you can't sustain the mana cost):

Blade Vortex - Added Fire - Added Cold - Added Lightning

80 points

Do normal lab as soon as possible, take Nature's Boon, equip your granite flask and resistance flasks, and equip The Magnate. Use a mana flask instead of the granite flask if you need it. At this point you should always keep your flasks up.

Equip a Cybil's Paw at level 37, which provides good sustain on big packs. Swap to this blade vortex setup as soon as you do cruel lab and take Master Herbalist:

Blade Vortex - Spell Echo - Lesser Poison - Vile Toxins

Once you take the aura nodes, you can run all three purity auras which will cap your resistances and boost your maximum resistances.

96 points

Take the flask effect nodes, equip a Conqueror's Potency, and take the poison damage nodes. While filling out this tree, you should equip your final gear as soon as you can. At this point you should be using your final gear, flasks, and skill setups, and can start running low to mid-tier maps.

Run merciless lab, and either take Master Alchemist, or the small node leading to it and the small node leading to Nature's Adrenaline. The second option will give slightly better flask sustain versus bosses, and 1% higher maximum resistances a little sooner if you feel you don't need the elemental ailment immunity.

Level 90

Take the remaining jewel sockets, then the life nodes. As you take more life nodes, you can start running higher tier maps. If make it past level 90, you can take Thick Skin for more life, Growth and Decay for more damage, or another jewel socket.

You should be able to run uber lab around level 80. Once you do, take Master Alchemist if you didn't take it after merciless lab, and Nature's Adrenaline.

Bosses, map mods, and gear swaps

Watch out for monsters with the Nullifier mod, or Thief's Grip. A monster with either of these mods will remove your flask buffs when they hit you, so try to avoid getting hit by them.

This build can do all map mods, but that doesn't mean some of them aren't dangerous. Here are some map mods you should pay attention to:

Chance to avoid poison, blind, and bleed: This reduces your damage significantly, avoid if you want to.

Physical reflect: It will hurt, but it isn't significant enough to kill you most of the time. In combination with cannot leech or curse immune monsters, this mod can be dangerous.

Reduced flask charges gained: This won't affect you much while clearing a map, but if the boss fight will be long and without many adds, you may have to use a portal to refill your flasks eventually.

Cannot regenerate life or mana: The mana leech from Warlord's Mark will be enough to replace the regen, but it is linked with Cast when Damage Taken, so it can be inconsistent. In these maps you can use a hybrid flask instead of the life flask to recover mana if the Warlord's Mark isn't enough.

Less recovery rate of life and energy shield: Use the Seething Divine life flask instead of the Eternal life flask.

Also, beware map bosses with big physical damage hits such as in Wasteland and Core. Just avoid their slam attacks and you should be okay.

The gear listed in the gear section should be used while mapping most of the time, but occasionally you may run into certain situations where it makes sense to swap some gear.

For bosses (and sometimes monsters) that do high amounts of chaos damage, such as the toxic sewers map or infested valley map boss, you can swap the Granite flask for the Atziri's Promise. If the boss also deals a lot of physical damage, keep the Granite flask and swap a ring for the Ming's Heart.

For bosses that do purely elemental damage, use a Saffell's Frame instead of the Lioneye's Remorse. You can have duplicate gem setups and a second Obliteration in your weapon swap along with the Saffell's Frame to have easy access to it. You can also swap the Granite flask for the Coralito's Signature for more damage if there is no physical damage in the fight.

Tips for specific bosses are listed below.

Swap to the Saffell's Frame for Atziri herself. Dodge the slam from the Vaal Oversouls, the attacks from the ranged boss in the trio, and the big flameblasts from Atziri. Not very dangerous.

Uber lab:
Swap the Granite flask for any 20% quality Quicksilver flask while running, swap back to the Granite flask for Argus and Izaro fights. Only Argus is dangerous here.

Swap a ring for the Ming's Heart for chaos resistance. The poison immunity mod on the life flask helps here. Not very dangerous.

Swap to the Saffell's Frame for more maximum resistance. Not very dangerous.

No gear swaps necessary. Avoid the big slam, but not very dangerous overall.

No gear swaps necessary. Deals a lot of physical damage, dodge as much as you can. Fairly dangerous, but if you keep moving it should be pretty safe.

Swap the Atziri's Step for the Kaom's Roots because there are many slows here that can get you killed. Swap a ring for the Ming's Heart for more damage. Swap the Ruby flask for the Coralito's Signature for more damage because there is no fire damage in the fight. Elder's melee attacks hit hard so you will have to use your life flask often. Try to dodge the tentacle slams, and any big slam the Elder does. Avoid his life drain attack if possible. Try to take out the Madness Propagators as soon as possible to avoid spreading the ground degeneration effect. This fight has a lot of physical damage so it is very dangerous.

No gear swaps necessary. Dodge the big charged shot and the cannons. Not very dangerous.

Swap the Sapphire or Ruby flask for the Coralito's Signature for more damage because there is no fire or cold damage in the fight unless the map has those damage mods on it. Dodge the slam, the burrow attack, and don't stand in the circles that the Minotaur puts down. Fairly dangerous because there are many things to dodge that deal physical damage.

Swap the Topaz or Sapphire flask for the Coralito's Signature for more damage because there is no lightning or cold damage in the fight unless the map has those damage mods on it. Dodge the explosion and spin attacks, and kill the little birds when they spawn. Fairly dangerous because everything in the fight deals a lot of damage when the Phoenix reduces your fire resistance.

Swap the Sapphire or Topaz flask for an Atziri's Promise (but keep your staunching flask) for more damage and for chaos resistance against the snakes. You can facetank Chimera as long as there are no damage mods, but the adds are dangerous. If too many surround you they might kill you so it's safest to either kill them in small groups, or run around them with phase run and slowly kill them if too many group up.

Swap the Granite flask for the Coralito's Signature, and swap a ring for the Ming's Heart for more damage. The four bosses you fight before Shaper can be dangerous, so swap your flasks and gear accordingly. The rest of the fight is pretty simple. Just dodge the slam and frostbolts, try to keep Zana alive, and deal as much damage to Shaper as possible. In the third phase you must dodge attacks from the Shaper clone as well. Due to our low damage, anomalies will fill the floor, but we have such high elemental resistances that it doesn't really matter.

Uber Atziri and Uber Elder: If I am successful in completing these bosses, I will put a video here, but I do not currently plan on attempting to do so.


Shaper kill:

Defense stats at level 90:


All videos were recorded in 3.2 with a character representative of the build on a budget. Some parts of the character may be outdated because of updates to the build guide. Here is a PoB link to the character including gear swaps: https://pastebin.com/vZcPn8ik

Elder guardians:
T13 Constrictor (deathless): https://youtu.be/H8fJOkL0_T8
T14 Eradicator (deathless): https://youtu.be/OywBHr2WV8g
T13 Enslaver (deathless): https://youtu.be/AnQ5Lm27CJs
T11 Purifier (deathless): https://youtu.be/zsTYOnxY1Yw

T11 Elder (4 deaths): https://youtu.be/eY7lxRgQ3Co

T16 maps (easy mods):
Lair of the Hydra (deathless): https://youtu.be/IHfeVGwRwKA
Maze of the Minotaur (1 death): https://youtu.be/zaX7rpJtvpg
Forge of the Phoenix (2 deaths): https://youtu.be/4MhzhnLO6R8
Pit of the Chimera (1 death): https://youtu.be/IOmdkSslhDk

Shaper (2 deaths): https://youtu.be/E3YXvPv6c70

Uber lab: https://youtu.be/PERlHusngR0
Atziri (deathless): https://youtu.be/M8zbruwj3UY
T12 Castle Ruins (easy mods): https://youtu.be/idulgegH6rI
Last edited by Pengowen816 on May 19, 2018, 3:40:09 PM
Last bumped on Aug 28, 2018, 7:40:15 AM
hey m8, how do you see your build for upcoming changes to pathfinder and maybe some port gem?
might be a big dmg increase or still staying on low dmg even with more 100% poison dmg increase?

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