[3.4] Collezio's Raider Caustic Arrow Guide (DSC)

A Brief Introduction:
Starting out with saying this is my first guide I will be writing. I have been playing PoE for 4 years now. I would be considered a "casual" player as far as play time goes over the past 4 years. However, I've been actively playing a lot since Bestiary league.

Why Raider?

Defense and QoL - "Every good offense needs a better defense" - Someone
For this simple reason is why I chose Raider over a Higher DPS option

This build is capable of easily acquiring 6k life, stupid high evasion (95% evade chance cap) dodge/spell dodge. Immune to ailments, all map mods. Running 2 instant life flasks easily solves any damage not missed at this point. This build is fully capable of clearing all content in the game at this point. There is even a option to add magic find to this build by using 2 Ventors and a good IIQ Amulet once you're into Maps if MF is your thing.

With the updates to CA and my vast useless knowledge of the skill tree and Rangers in general I wanted to build a character that was an overall well suited character for new people and experienced people as well

-- Cheap to start league - Gets expensive based on Min/Maxing
-- Easy to play, low level content clearing can require some kiting depending on your gear/level
-- Tanky end game with High life/evasion/dodge
-- Quick w/o Flasks
-- Easy to modify build (change MF/Tank/Damage)

-- Single Target Damage is Meh
-- Can be expensive with end game gear

Note: Because of the current Delve league and changes made to CA/Toxic Rain expect increased end game gear costs especially bows

Passive Tree, Ascendancy, and Bandits

Passive Tree PoB Link


The idea with this tree is to start off grabbing your evasion and life and heading towards Finesse and grabbing HoO. Then we make our way pathing through Herbalism over to Acrobatics. After acrobatics we get Heavy Draw then fill out the top of the tree. Once the top is filled out we grab Deadly Draw and then make our way to the "Rectangle of Life" by the Scion start. Finishing up with the final section of the tree.

Kill them all +2 Points OP

Way of the Poacher (Frenzy Charges) > Quartz Infusion (Dodge/Phasing) > Avatar of the Veil (Movespeed/Phasing/Immune to Ailments) > Avatar of the Slaughter (More Frenzy/Movespeed/Damage)


Major God: Soul of Lunaris
Only one worth anything

Minor God: Soul of Shakari or Ryslatha

Shakari if it is upgraded otherwise use Ryslatha
If you want to set it and forget it use Ryslatha. (I use Ryslatha)

Gem Setups

Caustic Arrow (Bow) (GGGGBR):
Caustic Arrow - Void Manipulation - Swift Affliction - Vicious Projectiles - Concentrated Effect (5th) - Empower Lvl3/4 (6th)

First 4 Gems are your core set up and are pretty mandatory. Concentrated Effect has no real down side compared to other options, and Empower's only downside is needing level 3/4 before its useful.

For clearing/general mapping I use GMP instead of Swift Affliction

Cast When Damage Taken (Lvl 1)- Immortal Call (Lvl 3) - Increased Duration (Lvl 20) - Summon Stone Golem (Lvl 20)

This is the Generic CWDT Set up. Its not mandatory but it's highly recommended. Useful in Labs

Stone Golem is used for the increased life regen. You can substitute this for a Flame Golem for increased damage or Lightning Golem for attack speed. Stone Golem is my personal preference

Note: Gems follow a specific Order starting at top left and following the links from there. CWDT has to be first in the priority of links in order to work properly.

"Curse" Set Up(GGGR):
Barrage - GMP - Withering Touch - Ranged Attack Totem

Drop your totem before boss fights / hard rare mobs / whatever / wherever and let Barrage do the work. Barrage with GMP makes you fire 9 additional projectiles from the totem each one has a 25% chance to inflict withered on hit. Barrage does a little damage and the "cursing" is a big help with hard areas.

Herald of Agony (Chest) (GGGBR):

Herald of Agony - Vicious Projectiles - GMP - Minion Damage - Damage on Full Life

The new addition of Herald of Agony has been a nice addition to DPS from the 20% chance to poison on hit and 10% more poison damage the Agony Crawler feeds off Virulence and gets virulence when you poison an enemy.

Support Gems for Herald of Agony make the Crawler an incredible minion support / Herald

Additional Gems
Blink Arrow - Faster Attacks (GG)

2 Extra Gem Spots - I keep my GMP for swapping into CA in one Spot and a Portal Gem in the other (I'm Lazy)


Use what is within your budget and what you need to make the build work for you.

Prioritize these mods on your rare gear:

--Chaos Damage
--Projectile Damage
--Damage Over Time
--Int/Str (For Requirements)

+3 CA Bow

The first CORE item of the build.

Caustic Arrows damage is very limited when it comes to increasing its output. Additional Levels are the only way to make CA really end game viable. With the +3 Gem levels you increase the damage by 40-50%

+1 to Socketed Gems (Prefix)
+2 to Socketed Bow Gems (Prefix)
+15-30% increased Damage Of Time (Prefix - Crafted by Leo Lvl 3)

Any additional affixes are a pure bonus.

I have self crafted the bow and it is honestly the cheapest and easiest way to do so. It is easy to make one for leveling and keep the same bow into the end game with crafting.

Recommended Bases for crafting:
**Must be item level 64 or higher for crafting**
-- Maraketh (+6% MS)
-- Steelwood / Reflex (+4% MS)
-- Anything else

How to Craft your own +3 Bow

A brief overview of crafting:
Magic Items can have 2 affixes: 1 Prefix and 1 Suffix
Rare Items can have 6 affixes: 3 Prefix and 3 Suffix

To see which mod is a prefix/suffix make sure you enable Advanced Mod Descriptions through (Options > UI) then you can hit ALT to display more info.

Classic Master Craft Method:

Avg Cost: Total: 6L ilvl 64+ bow, 2 exalts, ~150 Alterations, a few Regals, a few Scours, maybe 20 Aug's, at least 5 Alchemy orbs
Required Masters: Catarina Lvl 8, Tora Lvl 7, Leo Lvl 3

Step 1: Spam alts/augs until you hit +2 to Socketed Bow Gems (prefix)
Step 2: Add a suffix with augment orb if it doesn't have already
Step 3: Regal and pray for another suffix. If it's a prefix, scour the bow and return to step 1
Step 4: Craft lvl 8 Catarina's "Cannot roll attack mods" (Costs 1 Exalt)
Step 5: Slam the bow with exalted orb for guaranteed +1 Socketed Gems
Step 6: Use Tora 7 to remove the crafted mod, and then use Leo 3 bench to craft 15-30% increased damage over time. If you're not satisfied with the DoT roll, repeat this step

Fossil Crafting Method:


For Armour there are 2 options in my opinion and we can break down both

This is my personal choice. It is absolutely amazing for mitigating 1 shot potential damage from bosses. The real keystone to this armour is the "Additional 50% evasion if you get hit". This is a huge bonus for mapping/delving. The "20% Less Damage Taken if you've not been hit recently" works on degens (Lab) until you've been hit.

In my opinion Kintsugi is mandatory. High Evasion, High Dodge.

The Coming Calamity
This would be another viable option to allow yourself to push the Herald of Agony set up even further. +2 to Socketed Herald Gems and Less mana reserved allowing you to run Vaal Grace in a CWDT set up for additional defence or even Vaal Blight for additional offense. I personally havent used this set up yet but I have been bouncing around the idea.


Starting quivers I would be using a rare pierce quiver with life or resistances until getting pierce on the skill tree. After you get pierce on the skill tree I would begin working on getting a Shaper/Elder quiver with +1 Arrow Shooting 2 arrows from CA is a huge QoL and AoE Damage Increase.

Quiver's will be used as glorified stat sticks with Life being priortiy and Resists being 2nd priority after +1 arrow/Pierce accordingly.

Helmet, Gloves, Boots

These are all combined because you want the same stuff from all of them

--Movement Speed (Boots)

Evasion Bases are preferred, especially for helmets.

Rares are perfectly fine to use. If you're capped on all resistances without boots I would suggest Atziri's Step Slink Boots they're a huge defensive boost.

Lab Enchantments

Gloves: of Spite

Boots: 80% chance to avoid stuns

Other than that, 8% chance to Spell Dodge if you've taken Spell Damage Recently is better at the endgame (Lvl90+).

#1 Option - 40% increased Caustic Arrow Damage
#2 Option - 30% increased Caustic Arrow Duration

First gives ~7% more damage, second gives 20%+ increased duration. Both of them are great, pick one based on preference/RNG.


Sticking with tradition here life and resistances are your main points.

I'd use Leather Belt as the best base for the life

Use this until you can get a Stygian Vise with Reists/Life

Rings and Amulet

Like everything else:

-- Life
-- Resistances
-- Strength and Intelligence
-- Rings you can get "Increased Mana Regen Rate" getting over 50% on both rings is a huge help with mana management. Be careful with your mana regen if you plan on using Divination Distillate (see flasks)

Attributes will need to reach ~150 requirement for lvl 20/21 gems. You'll need quite a lot of intelligence to hit the recommended value. Lapis or Agate amulets with one high intelligence suffix should fix the problem entirely tho.

For leveling you can always use a good rolled Onyx Amulet in order to meet all your attribute requirements.


The set up I personally run is:

Instant Divine Life Flask (Seething Divine Life Flask of X)

50% Instant Divine Life Flask (Bubbling Divine Life Flask of X)

Divination Distillate Large Hybrid Flask - for MF and 4% max resistances. Run "no regen" maps without changing a setup. (Be careful with your mana regen if you plan on using this)

Quick Silver - Chemists QuickSilver Flask (Reduced Charges Used - Needs at least 24%)
Other Option for Quicksilver is Experimenters Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (Increased Move speed and Increased Duration)

Chemists Jade Flask of Reflexes - Reduced Charges used and additional increased evasion during flask effect


There is only 1 recommended unique jewel and it is "Spreading Rot Cobalt Jewel" - (7-13%) Increase Chaos damage is Huge the additional Increased Blight Damage from having 40 Int in radius is a nice addition if you decide to use it. This jewel is a quest reward from "Death to Purity" Act 5

Other Rare Jewels should prioritize the following mods:

--You want any 3 out of these mods on your jewels in order of priority--

-- 5-7% increased maximum life
-- 9–13% increased Chaos Damage
-- 10–12% increased Damage over Time
-- 10–12% increased Projectile Damage
-- 10–12% increased Area Damage
-- 8–10% increased Damage

--Other useful mods that can benefit you are--
-- 14–18% increased Evasion Rating
-- 4–6% increased Rarity of Items found
-- Any resistance / strength / intelligence mods

Leveling/Progression Section

I was debating adding this section. I wanted to have a "introductory" guide to leveling without writing a novel.

Act 1-10


Caustic Arrow - Pierce - Void Manipulation - Vicious Projectiles

You can start out using Caustic Arrow at Lvl 1. On Ranger you get this as a quest reward for completing "Enemy at the Gate"

With Caustic Arrow at Lvl 1 you will want to use Pierce Support until you get Pierce nodes on the tree.

You can get Void Manipulation at lvl 8 and Vicious Projectiles at lvl 18

Once you have Pierce on the tree switch to Swift Affliction (buy from Siosa at the Library)

Caustic Arrow - Void Manipulation - Vicious Projectiles - Swift Affliction

This Gem set up will last you all the way until early maps.

Herald Of Agony
- Minion Damage - Damage on Full Life - Vicious Projectiles

Herald Of Agony (lvl 16)- Intruders in Black Act 2 (Quest)
Minion Damage (lvl 8)
Damage on Full Life (lvl 18) - Siosa Act 3 (Vendor)
Vicious Projectiles (lvl 18) - Sharp and Cruel Act 2 (Quest) and Siosa Act 3 (Vendor)

Blink Arrow - Your Movement Skill

Purity of Elements - Good to use for leveling if you need resistances.

Cast When Damage Taken - Immortal Call - Increased Duration - Summon Stone Golem

CWDT (lvl 38) - The Eternal Nightmare Act 4 (Quest)
Immortal Call (lvl34) - Fallen From Grace Act 6 (Quest)
Increased Duration (lvl 31) - Fallen From Grace Act 6 (Quest)
Summon Stone Golem (lvl 34) - Breaking the Seal Act 4 (Quest)

Note: Don't forget to level additional CA gems in your 2nd weapon slot. They still level even if you don't use them. And you'll need a few to Vaal when they're level 20

General Leveling Guide:


First and most important to remember - when searching for equipment, your priority on them is Life and Resistances. Links are equally as important, be sure to look out for correct socket colors. This applies to all acts.

Act 1-3 should be very easy in general. That's where you slowly shape up your main skill. Majority of the necessary gems are rewards from quests. The ones you can't get as a reward, you can buy from Nessa, Yeena and Siosa as you progress through the main story.

In act 4 it's important to have good resistances, especially fire resist. Outside of that, it should be a breeze. It's a good idea to enter Labyrinth after you find the waypoint inside Crystal Veins.

Act 5 is where things get little bit tougher. Monsters out there are quite dangerous and it's also recommended to have capped fire and lightning resistances. It's also a time where bleed removal life flask becomes useful. I recommend to farm Chambers of Innocence until you reach level 45 and then face Innocence. Next boss is Kitava, 1600 life is enough to tank all of his abilities.

Once you arrive in act 6, check your resistances. If they're below 60%, you should pick up Purity of Elements from Clarissa (act 3) - use it until you solve the resistance problem. It's recommended to have them capped before the final boss.

Act 7 is quite easy. Beware of ghosts inside the Crypt, they can hit quite hard.

Act 8 features Deodre, the hardest boss you encounter during leveling. It's relatively safe if you have 2500 life, but that might be hard to acquire. After that, the act is going to be easy. It's nice to have a freeze removal flask for Lunaris area, in case you don't have it already. Kill the final boss of this act and proceed to Blood Acqueducts.

Preparing for maps:

The area with a long stream of blood is where you'll spend next 1-2 hours. It's a great place to farm experience. Farm here until level 71. Look for gear upgrades and slowly replace your gems to recommended final setups. Before you proceed, you need a Tabula Rasa which you can farm div cards for in Blood Aqueducts OR you can buy 5-link bow with ilvl 64, high attack speed base if possible. The second option is better in general. On your newly purchased 5-link you can craft +2 bow gems with alteration/augmentation orbs. You should roll it within ~100 tries, still a bit RNG dependant. The 5-link CA setup is:

CA - Vicious Projectiles - Void Manipulation - Swift Affliction - Concentrated Effect

Now you're ready to get into maps. Finish last 2 acts and defeat Kitava. 4000 life is enough to not get one-shot in this fight.

Credit to DankawSL on the forums

Super Fast Leveling Guide:

1-30 kill only blue packs and massive packs, skip all sidequests except quicksilver flask and never. stop. running. Kill shit when your quicksilver is on cooldown, run otherwise.

30-60 transition into a useful build and be more careful with your judgement to kill mobs. If your build is strong at this point feel free to kill any decent pack in 1-2 shots, if not just keep running and farm XP. Whenever you feel low in power go back and pick up passive points.

Always try to stay a couple levels under the zone level in 1-60. If you need to grind XP do it in the highest possible of one of the following zones: ledge, riverways, city of sarn, docks, dried lake.

60-75 farm dried lake, except on day 1 in a new league where you get stuck if you don't immediately start building a map pool.

75-90 map anything, running your highest non-red map you can afford to roll.

90-95 try to build a high map pool and farm mad currency.

95-100 buy t12-14s constantly and run them non-stop. If you have a very fast clearing setup (e.g. bower + support) you will get similar XP in gorge, canyon (yes, a 75 map is competitive in xp with an 80 map even at level 99, just because you kill so much at once), arid lake and plateau. This stage costs a lot of currency and you will pull your hairs out if you ever end up dying.
Credit to /u/nightcracker on Reddit.

Early Maps

White maps:

This Tier can be a real gear check. If you are struggling to survive then you need to re-evaluate some of your gear.

Most map mods are easy. running them blue is completely viable. No real danger outside of few bosses like Pen, Grotto or Spider Lair. For this map tier, you have 2 goals:

-- 6-linked bow with +2 gems (ilvl 64+)
-- Divination Distillate (optional)

It's possible that you've acquired money for this before killing Kitava. If not you can do the chaos recipe while farming to get the money you need.

Refer to the Equipment > Bow Section on crafting your bow

Divination Distillate might be a bit hard to use early on thanks to low CA mana cost, but with smart mana management it's possible to use it's full potential.

The links on the bow should look like this:

CA - Vicious Projectiles - Void Manipulation - Swift Affliction - Concentrated Effect - Damage on Full Life (until you get Empower to lvl 3/4)

Yellow maps:

This is where you'll be living mostly, recommended level is 80-90. This Tier can be a real gear check. If you are struggling to survive then you need to re-evaluate some of your gear. Gear goals for this tier:

-- +3 gems 6-linked bow
-- Level 21 CA gem
-- Empower 3/4
-- General gear upgrades

The +3 bow is the primary goal in yellow maps. Refer to the Equipment > Bow Section

You should get level 21 CA through vaaling all the gems you're leveling, once they're ready for it. If you're unlucky and didn't get one, I recommend buying it.

Once you get the bow, the next upgrade should be Empower gem. Level 3 is easily enough for majority of the content. Level 4 would be Min/Maxing. Price is very high early league and drops over time. You can try collecting The Dragon's Heart divination card too, but that might be tricky sometimes. Empower replaces Damage on Full Life OR Concentrated Effect, your call.

Lab enchantments will play a vital role in this tier. The helmet enchantment will be a noticeable improvement in overall DPS. Keep your gear upgraded to whatever you can afford whenever you can.

End Game Maps

If you've gotten this far, then you are beginning to utilize the full potential of this build with a lvl 27/28 CA gem.

Red Maps:
Mapping can become challenging at this point. The high evasion/dodge starts to be ignored. Monsters hit hard, bosses are tanky. Your damage should be sufficient at this point to carry you through most maps depending on map boss/map mods.

Goals for this tier is to get your Kintsugi if you haven't yet at this point. Kintsugi is a very underrated unique in my opinion and gives a large defense boost to your character.

Optional Onslaught Path:
Switching to Onslaught from Frenzy Ascendancy - There are a few downsides but majority of the time you don't notice. Its like having a more pure frenzy path. The more damage you have, the faster you go, the stronger onslaught path becomes. What it does in nutshell:

-- Makes you invincible (mostly)
-- Gives you more movespeed (Sonic)
-- Less frenzy generation and duration

Since with onslaught you don't generate frenzies on kill anymore, you need another source. Without it the build doesn't have the same smooth feeling while mapping. This can be easily remedied by one of these:

-- ilvl 84 Elder Quiver: (7–10)% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill
-- ilvl 84 Elder Gloves: (7–10)% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill
-- The Green Dream: 18% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill (duelist jewel slot)
-- Precursor's Emblem: 10% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill

Jewel is the easiest way to get them, but you lose decent amount of life/damage you would get from normal jewel. Cheapest way would be crafting the Quiver, but you lose potential for +1 arrow.

The ring is new 3.4 unique.

The best option but also most expensive of them all is crafting Elder Gloves. That way you can have a jewel slot and +1 arrow quiver at same time.

7-10% change for frenzy is required to have reliable upkeep. 4-6% chance can sustain charges only if you speed run the maps, otherwise you will lose charges often.

End Game Bosses


Shaper himself isn't an issue, but the portal phase is problematic. The spawned monsters have too much health to die quickly. Decoy totem can be used to protect Zana. Swapping in The Writhing Jar for the talking phase is also recommended (Keep Frenzy Charges).

Shaper Guardians: You shouldn't have many issues with them. Chimera and Phoenix are the easiest. Hydra's turrets can be deadly if you don't watch out. Minotaur's lightning gates apply deadly debuff that can easily be a death sentence.


Once you get to know his moves, he's very easy. In first phase you should prioritize killing spawned minions, so they won't drop decaying ground (phys degen). Damage elder whenever you don't have to focus minions. Second phase, just protect Shaper. Third phase can be tricky and even deadly, but overall try to burst down the Elder while killing mobs to recover flask charges.

Elder Guardians: They shouldn't be a problem. All of them have some scary attacks, but you can avoid them easily. Using Purity of Lightning against Eradicator is wise idea as well, his damage can be spiky sometimes.

Uber Atziri:

Atziri is a mechanics based fight. You can dodge everything, until RNG kicks in and you die. It's possible to kill her without getting hit at all, but you want to be prepared for anything. Kintsugi reduces damage by another 20%, Purities gives 4% resist each. It won't save you from everything, but gives you chance to actually take a single hit and live. Not sure which resistance flask is more important, so choose it yourself or take both.

As for Alluring Abyss itself, the zone can be really dangerous. Take it slow, don't tank mobs (rare soldiers hit super hard). It's nothing too hard. Vaals are probably the hardest part to be fair. Use The Writhing Jar to fortify and refresh frenzy charges in waiting phase. Trio is pretty easy, see Vaal Temple below. Start using PoF/PoL for Atziri, also fortify yourself between phases.

Vaal Temple:

Shouldn't be a problem. Additional speed, double damage mod, temp chains or twinned are probably too risky. Titty chick -> Dual strike dude -> Cyclone. You can kite dual striker with Barrage totem easily. Beware of Titty's physical blade rain, it's good idea to remain mobile until it's on cooldown.


Elemental breachlords are weak enough to be killed with ~22 level CA. Uul-Netol is more dangerous, CWDT-IC setup is required to prevent one shots. Chayula's domain might give you big troubles. It's doable tho, be sure to kill rare mobs as you go. Boss can be really dangerous, equipping Ming's Heart / Chaos resistance breach ring is a good idea.

Hall of Grandmasters:

Requires: Scorching Ray
Easy for the most part. The tough part are few exiles that can deal absurd damage in short time. Lethal map purely thanks to them. CI forces us to use Scorching Ray against them, Balefire unique is the easiest way to get the setup. Use it in or even 2 of them in a weapon swap. You need chaos resistance yourself, at least make it positive. Be elemental weakness capped.

Poorjoy's Asylum:
Considering CA can't off-screen mobs and shatter / explode corpses, it's a scary map. Those Detonate Dead mobs are capable of killing you in split second. 1/10 Wouldn't Recommend

Uber Lab: This might not be the safest build for a full key run, but kills Izaro quickly enough for it to be possible. Kintsugi's amazing for lab traps.
Credit To DankawSL

Map Mods

Run whatever you want

Hard Mods (Not Impossible - Use Common Sense) include:
- Player Dodge Chance is Unlucky
- Monsters have increased Crit strike chance/multi
- Monsters fire 2 additional projectiles
- Two Unique Bosses
- Increased attack/movement speed
- Players are Cursed with (Whatever)
- No Regen

Magic Find Setups

CA is a great build to be able to go MF. If your not gonna use MF then don't go Ranger. Other ascendancy just aren't as good at MF.

Item Options:
-- Divination Distillate (always used by me)
-- Ventor's Gamble (Can be VERY expensive for good rolls)
-- Bisco's Collar
-- Sadima's Touch
-- Greed's Embrace
-- Shaper IIQ Amulet (Expensive)
-- Rare IIR Jewellery

Jewellery have best unique items for magic finding. Well rolled Ventor's Gamble is great addition to this build, even if you don't want to focus on MF. Shaper amulets fall in the same category since they can roll 10% IIQ. Combined together they give great IIQ+IIR mix without hurting your defences too much.

Personally I do a Semi-MF build

Items: 2x Ventor's, IIQ Amulets
Max IIQ: 48%
Max IIR: 170%

This setup is preferred and allows you to still clear all content without throwing your defense out the windows. Ventor's can keep you ele capped and don't lose too much life and still use Kintsugi's.

If you want to learn more about Magic Finding I would suggest searching the forums.

If you wanna see video gameplay of this build. Please check out my twitch channel www.twitch.tv/collezio and you can review past videos of game play (check the title for CA) as I get further into endgame content I will have shorter highlight videos.

Saving for later

Final --
I'm really glad I finally decided to make a guide. I've talked about making a guide and being more active in the community. As anyone who has made a guide before knows it takes a lot of time and effort to do this. If there are any changes going forward with this build I'll do my best to keep it updated.

I hope that someone somewhere got some use from this guide. As always if anyone has any questions, ideas, criticisms or anything feel free to reach out to me.

Contact Me:
On Forums

On Twitch

In Game
Last edited by EternalSessions6 on Sep 15, 2018, 6:00:34 PM
Last bumped on Sep 15, 2018, 3:12:40 PM

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