[3.3] Theros's Budget MoM/Acro Ele Hit Trapper - Uber Elder Down!

Alright, first things first: the way I built this character is such that it will only work in HC if you have immaculate game sense and play with extreme caution. Some more investment and a few passive tweaks will make it tanky enough to handle even better in HC, but I've not made those changes myself - I make a few suggestions for where those can come in in the Improvements and Investment section, but for now this is primarily a SC-focused build.

With that out of the way, do you want to dropkick Uber Elder like the little bitch he is? Do you want to throw fiery traps up Atziri's butthole until it burns worse than mine after Taco Tuesday? Do you want to trivialize T16 Incursions with a wide variety of map mods? Do you want to do all of this without spending a ton of cash? If you answered yes to any or all of those, then you're in the right place, my friend. Welcome to the wonderful world of Elemental Hit Trapping.


So, for those who are familiar with more advanced theorycrafting and just want to get rolling with the tree/gear I used, here's the Path of Building code for my character in its current budget state. I tried to not check too many bullshit boxes; everything there should be a reasonable representation of what the build can do.



I realize I can be a bit wordy when it comes to guide-writing, so for everyone who just wants to know how this works, here's the short version.

The endgame passive tree is here. Before you can try to get your merciless lab done, just path out of Scion into the Shadow/Ranger area, then respec after you've got Path of the Shadow. (Obviously, this means you want to push for Path of the Shadow by merc, then Inquisitor from Uberlab.) For bandits, side with Alira.

For gear, the mandatory bits are cold/lightning blocking Combat Focuses, Pyre, Call of the Brotherhood, and a Chin Sol in the endgame. Roth's Reach is a godsend for leveling, and Effigon is better the higher you get. Gear is otherwise similar to archers (life/res/crit), with the exception of a Transcendent Spirit, which I use in the Ranger area to get a truckload of mana; and the ability to get trap throwing speed on jewels, which is very nice.

On pantheon, I tend to use Soul of the Brine King because I hate being CC'ed and Soul of Ralakesh/Ryslatha so I don't bleed as hard (or to fill up flasks in the Labyrinth.) Overall, just use whatever souls seem best for the situation, they're not exactly the most impactful things anyways.

The main gem setups are Ele Hit/Trap/Cluster Traps/Chain/GMP/Charged Traps for clearing, and Ele Hit/Trap/Cluster Traps/EDA/Slower Projectiles for single-target. I only picked Slower Proj because it's what can spawn on Shaped gloves; if you're willing to 6L your Chin Sol, use Combustion instead of Slower Proj. Everything else is utility; the usual CWDT/Immortal Call for safety, a Siphoning Trap/Bear Trap setup to amplify damage, a Blink Arrow setup for movement, and a Vaal Grace/Clarity setup for extra safety against those chaos incursion things.

Intro and Reasoning

So. Why did I choose to build this way, and why did I handle gear the way I did?

First and foremost, I started with wanting to build something with Chin Sol and traps. Now, Chin Sol as a bow has a massive damage amplifier, but low base damage and attack speed, as well as a pretty nasty range restriction on its damage - enemies have to be close to where the projectile started from in order to take Chin Sol's extra damage.

However, there are methods for bypassing this, in this case namely Elemental Hit and traps. Elemental Hit grants a massive amount of added base damage, which makes up for Chin Sol's lack in that area, and traps allow you to "start" projectiles very close to enemies without actually having to be close to the enemies, making things much safer. Traps also bypass Chin Sol's speed, since traps always throw at a base rate of 2 throws per second, as opposed to Chin Sol's slow attack time of 1.38-1.43 attacks per second. Furthermore, traps get Cluster Traps and Shaped gloves which allow for large damage amplification with minimal cost. It all ties together quite nicely.

Now, as for the gear, a lot of it is due to peculiarities of Elemental Hit. Essentially, the gem provides that truckload of base damage of 3 elements - fire, cold, and lightning. It then "chooses" an element whenever you attack, and removes any damage you would deal that's not of that element. However, we can take advantage of this by forcing the skill to always "choose" Fire, and then converting most of the other damage into Fire to benefit from it. That's why this build has a Call of the Brotherhood and a Pyre - those convert damage down the chain to eventually turn into Fire damage and be added to our fire-based elemental hit.

One last couple notes on gear: I use the Effigon along with the Ascendant Saboteur node to remove any need for accuracy on the tree as well as get a little bit of free fire penetration, and I use Transcendent Spirit in the Ranger area to give a bit of movement speed and a boatload of mana for Mind over Matter.

Leveling and Thought Process

Now let's start off where pretty much every character starts off: leveling. The first 12 or so levels of your character are going to be pretty piss-easy, and you can run basically anything to get to the point where you can use Elemental Hit. I'm partial to Freezing Pulse, but pretty much any skill will work. While on your way to level 12 (or Merveil, whichever comes last) pick up a Bear Trap, a Trap Support, a Volley Support, a Multiple Traps Support, a Siphoning Trap, and a Blink Arrow from Nessa - some of these will be quest rewards from Tidal Island and story quests, others you'll probably have to buy from her. You'll also want to pick up gear that lets you socket these skills and start leveling them, and a bow - any bow will do, although you'll probably want to prefer ones with more sockets.

If you've already played a bit in-league before, this is also when you want to pick up leveling gear such as Tabula Rasa or Wanderlust to get you going faster; those 2 are the biggest players in your ability to get through the early game quickly (and the midgame, in the case of Tabula), but if you have spare currency burning a hole in your pocket, you can also buy a Lifesprig, Karui Ward, or a well-linked Silverbranch/Silverbough to get through those first few levels faster.

After Merveil (or level 12) you can start using Elemental Hit. Buy 2 of them and put one in your offhand weapon to level for a while. As for the one you're using, socket it with just Volley for now while wielding your bow, then add in Trap and Multiple Traps once you get a 4-link.

While gaining these levels, you should be pathing west out of the Scion start through the mana nodes, then toward Avatar of Fire and Mind over Matter, taking both jewel nodes along the way and putting Combat Focuses in them. You'll want to take Avatar of Fire before you start investing points into Mind over Matter, though. At around level 20, your tree should look something like this. Once you have the Cold Combat Focus in place, do what you can to buy a Pyre and wear that shit. It'll take your fire hit from strong to stronger, at the expense of the cold hit that you're no longer doing in the first place. If you can afford it due to some lucky drops or a previous character, this is also a good point to get a Call of the Brotherhood for similar reasons.

While doing this leveling, you'll run into the Bandits quest. Side with Alira; her resistance, mana, and crit benefits are great for this build in the lategame.

This is when the build starts to ramp into high gear: once you have that basic tree filled out, buy a Roth's Reach and equip it; take a 30 dexterity node or wear a jade amulet if you have to. This item will be your best friend up until Level 62, it is that strong. This amplifies your clear so well that you won't need to use anything like Chain or Pierce until you switch bows in the lategame, and gives a reasonable boost to your singletarget damage to boot.

Once you have your Roth's Reach, Combat Focuses, Pyre, and Call of the Brotherhood, you should be pretty much set gear-wise to push through the story - every slot you don't already have a unique in should be filled with gear that has life, resistance, or movement speed on it. On your tree, you'll want to path down to Constitution for life, then east out of Scion toward the trap and mine wheel in Shadow. Don't take the jewel nodes near Scion in this area; we'll be respeccing it later, and every node you take now is either a regret orb or quest you'll have to do then. Your level 55-ish tree should look like this.

For gems, you'll want to pick up Elemental Damage with Attacks (EDA), Faster Attacks, and Culling Strike Supports from Yeena in act 2. Link the Faster Attacks to your Blink Arrow, then link the rest to whatever else you want. If you're using a Tabula, put EDA and a Trap and Mine Damage Support in with your Elemental Hit.

In act 3, buy 1 Advanced Traps, 2 Charged Traps and 2 Increased Durations from Siosa in the Library. Yes, the quest is out of the way, but it's still a good idea to start leveling these jewels early. Tabula users, put Charged Traps in as a substitute for Trap and Mine Damage and throw Trap and Mine Damage away; it's served its purpose. Put Advanced Traps and Increased Duration on your Bear Trap/Siphoning Trap setup to make their effects last much, much longer.

In act 4, buy a Cast when Damage Taken Support and an Immortal Call, then link them to an Increased Duration. The first time these skills show that they can level up, right-click them to dismiss the prompt and keep them at a low level so they'll trigger easily. You'll also want to pick up 1 Greater Multiple Projectiles (GMP), 1 Chain, and 2 Cluster Trap Supports; put Cluster Traps in for Multitrap, and GMP in for your Volley. Throw Volley and Multitrap away; they've served their purpose.

After this, you shouldn't need to get any gems for a while. While progressing through the story, I primarily used the Soul of the Brine King and Soul of Ryslatha, but you can use pretty much whatever you want.

For further leveling, grab Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics, then start pathing down towards Point Blank, grabbing the life nodes on the way. The damage nodes can wait a for a bit - if you don't already have your Call of the Brotherhood, this is around when you should really be looking to get one. When you hit around level 65, your tree should look something like this.

After this, do your Normal and Cruel Labyrinths. Take Saboteur, then put the last point toward Path of the Shadow so you have more passives to work with. This is also a good point to pick up an Effigon if you can afford it, since you'll be consistently blinding any enemy that would otherwise have significant evasion with the Saboteur node.

When you hit level 62, you can finally use a Chin Sol, the main damage source for this build. However, there are a few things you have to sort out once you start trying to use Chin Sol - namely, that you'll need separate singletarget and pack-clearing setups once you drop Roth's. So in order for this to work, you'll need to run around a bit with Roth's until you have 2 5-links - this is less difficult than it sounds, since you can use Deerstalkers as a cheap, effective 5-link setup for one of these, and a 5L chestpiece for the other. You'll want your setups to be Ele Hit/Trap/Cluster Traps/GMP/Chain for packs, and Ele Hit/Trap/Cluster Traps/EDA/Charged Traps for bosses. Once you have those sorted, swap from Roth's Reach over to Chin Sol and never look back.

Once you do that swap, you should be geared out enough for the Merciless Labyrinth, and have enough story progress to actually do it. Put the ascendancy points into Path of the Shadow, then it's time for some shenanigans. Spec out of a bunch of the points you've already allocated - if you've been following my trees, you'll need to temporarily drop 13 points out of the Ranger/Templar areas to reach the node at the start of the Shadow area, then spec out of the long line of 10 DEX and attack speed nodes near the Scion that you used to get over there before to replace the nodes you temporarily removed. Getting the respec points necessary to do this can be done through a combination of quests and dropping a bunch of cash on Orbs of Regret; I wish there were a better way for Ascendants, but there isn't so we just gotta deal. At the end of these shenanigans, your tree should look something like this.

At this point, you're ready to start taking on maps. Get gear that covers your resistances and has a bunch of life - if you don't have a Call of the Brotherhood by now, this is where it's more or less mandatory. Farm Blood Aqueduct for cash and Humility cards to sell to get one. It's that important.

As you map, you'll want to invest in better gear. Your first priority will be a pair of gloves with the "Skills which Throw Traps throw 1 Additional Trap" modifier, and the "Socketed Gems are supported by Level X Slower Projectiles" modifier if you can afford it. This should cost in the neighborhood of 5-15 chaos for gloves with just the trap modifier or 20-40 chaos for gloves with both the trap modifier and the Slower Projectiles modifier, depending on how picky you are; it's a bit of a steep price, but the extra damage is very much worth it. These gloves also come with a "Socketed Gems are supported by Level X Trap" modifier, which is a perfect place to put your single-target setup. Once you have these gloves, start making good friends with Haku until you can craft life on them. These will last you into the end of the endgame if you get Slower Projectiles, so don't be squeamish about spending!

The next thing on your shopping list is a 6-linked chest; corrupted is alright if it has 6 green sockets, but you can usually find either a Tabula or a 6L uncorrupted evasion chestpiece for relatively cheap. If you go the evasion chestpiece route, you'll want to mastercraft life on it, same as you did the gloves. This lets you use Charged Traps on your pack-clearing setup, which will greatly increase your speed.

Otherwise, you'll want to make incremental upgrades, picking up more life, elemental damage with attack skills, and crit modifiers while keeping your resistances above 75%.

When you hit the Uber Labyrinth, take Inquisitor.

As for pathing in the mapping stage, you'll pretty much just want to expand into whatever you feel you're lacking. Putting a Transcendent Spirit in the Ranger jewel slot will give you a lot of mana and a smidge of movement speed. Your final endgame build should look a bit like this, with maybe some of the damage nodes exchanged for life nodes if you're less fond of dying than I am.

Aaaaand congratulations! The build should be well-leveled and in its prime, ready to powderize whatever you put in front of it!

Budget Elder-Killing Gear

All of this in total cost me in the neighborhood of 150-200 chaos (rounding waaay up and overpricing some of the things I bought before they were popular), so around 1.5-2 ex at time of writing. You can farm that much with this build using cheaper gear as specified in the Leveling section.


All gems are listed in order of importance.

For packs:
Elemental Hit/Trap/Cluster Traps/Chain/Greater Multiple Projectiles/Charged Traps

For singletarget:
Elemental Hit/Trap/Cluster Traps/Elemental Damage with Attacks/Charged Traps/Slower Projectiles
Elemental Hit/Trap/Cluster Traps/Elemental Damage with Attacks/Charged Traps/Combustion
Trap and Slower Projectiles are for if you're using this setup in Trap gloves; if you have a 6L Chin Sol, Combustion will get you more damage.

For utility:
Bear Trap/Siphoning Trap/Increased Duration/Advanced Traps
Throw these on bosses to get more damage, some sustain, and chill to let you maneuver more easily.

For movement/utility:
Blink Arrow/Culling Strike/Faster Attacks/Vaal Clarity
Vaal Clarity's here only because there's nowhere else for it to be.

For survivability:
Level 1 Immortal Call/Level 1 Cast when Damage Taken/Increased Duration/Vaal Grace
Cast Vaal Grace manually when entering dangerous areas (incursions mostly), the other spell here will cast itself.

Proof of Uber Elder

It's ilvl 86; not sure if the forum supports ilevels. And yes, I bricked it because I thought it was trash. After looking up the mods, I realized I was horribly wrong, but fuck it, I was riding an adrenaline high after downing my first Uber Elder. And now you, too, can unnecessarily ruin expensive items because of an adrenaline rush!

Improvements and Investment
"But Theros," I hear the cries in the distance, "what if I want to spend unholy truckloads of cash? What if I want to see this build go as far as it can? Or what if I'm HC, you said to go to this section!"

Well let's talk about that. The first and most obvious upgrade would be to 6L your Chin Sol for your pack=clearing setup, then swap your chestpiece to a Kaom's Heart, getting rid of a couple supports on Bear Trap and probably dropping Siphoning Trap outright in the process. This would make the character significantly more tanky. This is also significantly more expensive.

You could also pick up a Stygian Vise that's comparable to the build's current belt, but abyss jewels don't do that much for this build - your best bet would be picking up jewels with life and res and using that to make gearing up the rest of the build easier, since flat damage doesn't do that much for Ele Hit and this build is relatively inconsistent about "killed recently" modifiers, since kills via trap hits don't count toward killing recently, but kills via trap DoTs do; and Ele Hit can leave a pretty significant ignite on enemies unless you swap gems around to Elemental Focus.

Oh, and there's enchants. Again, boot enchants might be kinda inconsistent with this build depending on what you want to use it for, since it kills/doesn't kill relatively often as far as those are concerned; I'd just grab the penetration enchant for boss killing and leave it at that. On gloves, you're better off trying to corrupt, since glove enchants are shit; and if you can afford it, a 40% increased Ele Hit damage or Bear Trap Damage Taken Increase enchant will serve you well.

From here, sadly, the build doesn't have much in terms of colossal improvement options. You can squeeze some more DPS out by corrupting a Chin Sol to have crit chance (assuming you can afford to brick a fuckton of Chin Sols), or your Effigon to give you +1 max res or EDA, or your trap gloves to get some form of + levels for your singletarget setup, but these are all relatively minor improvements on the whole that take a lot of currency to get to.

For the HC folks, you'll want to modify the tree to have more life at the very least, pushing the endgame tree into something like this. I haven't tested it, and I'm not sure if it'll handle uber as well as its SC counterpart, but it's got substantially more survivability built in at the expense of a large portion your damage.

And of course, I am merely human, so there's a pretty good chance I forgot something. If there's anything more you want to know about the build, feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer.

Edit 1: I apparently forgot to finish the gems section, whoops

Edit 2: fixed broken tree links, my bad

Edit 3: Added Intro and Reasoning
Last edited by TherosPherae on Jul 7, 2018, 2:59:22 PM
Last bumped on Jul 11, 2018, 5:46:44 PM
Would you be so kind as to explain the reasoning behind call of the brotherhood? If you're running avatar of fire, how are you freezing to benefit from the 100% shock?
Would you be so kind as to explain the reasoning behind call of the brotherhood? If you're running avatar of fire, how are you freezing to benefit from the 100% shock?
joshato wrote:
Would you be so kind as to explain the reasoning behind call of the brotherhood? If you're running avatar of fire, how are you freezing to benefit from the 100% shock?

I'm not freezing or shocking. Call of the Brotherhood is there to convert some of the large amount of lightning damage provided by Elemental Hit into cold damage, which is then converted to fire damage via Pyre and AoF and applied in the fire hit portion of the skill.
But the jewels are forcing you into fire regardless...

I dont understand :[
I am very sorry, I don't know why i keep double posting... this has been a problem for an absurd amount of time -_-
Last edited by joshato on Jun 30, 2018, 10:46:23 PM
i will suggest you make a short into to how Ele hit works and why certain Uniques enhance it. els new players dont understand the way it works. also say why you chose a trap setup.

lastly some gameplay video(clear/boss) to let people see how it works.
a video says a thoudsand words.

Basically when elehit is used it does all its cold fire and lightning damage at once, but because of the way ele hit works only one of the damage types works, all other is discarded. So if you have added lightning damage on one ring and added cold on the other, when you hit cold, you get the added cold but not the lightning. So instead of doing that, you take avatar of fire where 50% of everything is now fire damage. Now, 50% of the cold damage applies to the fire damage, and 50% of the lightning as well. So instead of that damage from the gem going to waste, you get 50% of it as extra fire. Then, you use call of the brotherhood to turn 50% of the lightning damage ( the rest of it) into cold damage. so now your lightning damage does 50% cold, 50% fire. The pyre ring turns 40% of cold to fire damage, so now you deal 90% of your cold damage as fire, and because of the lightning to cold, 40% of the lightning as well. so instead of like 600 added fire damage you do 600 fire damage and 1000+ added fire damage because of the conversions from lighting > cold > fire. And then you use the jewels to force ele hit to only do fire, because when you deal lightning hit you do 0 damage because of avatar of fire, and the conversions on top of that.

Hope that helps explain it a bit, not op but thats the general idea of it, as i understand it.
joshato wrote:
But the jewels are forcing you into fire regardless...

I dont understand :[

It's a sort of quirk of how elemental hit works. Let me explain.

Normally, with Elemental Hit, it 'deals' some large amount of fire, lightning, *and* cold damage, but when the attack is performed, it 'picks' one of those and only does damage of that type. So normally, if you have an Elemental Hit that does 100 fire, 100 cold, and 100 lightning, attack with it, and it picks fire, you'll deal 100 fire damage. If it picks cold, you'll deal 100 cold damage, and so on.

However, with this build, we make it so Elemental Hit can only choose fire, and convert those other damage types to fire so that the fire hit gets super beefy. To use the example from before, imagine we have an Elemental Hit that does 100 fire, 100 cold, and 100 lightning. The combination of CotB, Pyre, and Avatar of Fire turns those 3 into ~270 fire damage; and since we can lock Elemental Hit into only ever 'picking' fire, we'll always get that 270 fire damage. Compared to before, we're getting 170 extra damage per attack, or 170% more damage.

Hope that helps!
i will suggest you make a short into to how Ele hit works and why certain Uniques enhance it. els new players dont understand the way it works. also say why you chose a trap setup.

lastly some gameplay video(clear/boss) to let people see how it works.
a video says a thoudsand words.

Fair enough; I'll try to write in an intro as to why I chose what I did.

As for a video, I'm trying, but my connection to the server is bouncing around pretty heavily today so I might not be able to get one made soon.

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