[3.4] Whispering Ice & Firestorm Totem + EE Build

Hello everyone. This build Blizzard Blaze uses:

2 x Spell Totem + Whispering Ice & 2 x Spell Totem + Firestorm with Elemental Equilibrium.



Shaper Kill Video

Main Offense

This build utilizes the beautiful synergy between whispering ice and firestorm where EE is in full effect. The Ancestral Bond keystone and Hierophant ascendancy passives grant a total of four totems. The totems achieve off screen kills and fights which make most boss fights a lot easier. We also easily get power charges with hierophant ascendancy passives.

Main Defense

We go for an ES build because a high intelligence (a necessity for WI) provides a bonus to ES. We go for Chaos Inoculation instead of Low Life because we need the extra ES from a good, rare chest armor.

Our primary defense is ES regeneration provided by the Zealot's Oath Keystone. Totems (and also the gloves enchant) cause nice distractions and provide a good overall damage mitigation. Moreover, they allow "off screen" killing both in maps and boss fights. We've decent attack block and a bit spell block from the staff and staff passives. Also, we're immune to chaos damage (CI), ignite and shock (see the unique belt). Like the power charges, we easily acquire the endurance charges as well which work well with immortal call.

Pros

+ End content viable (Shaper, Uber Atziri, Uber Elder)
+ High map clear speed
+ Immune to reflect damage, chaos, ignite & shock
+ "Off screen" kills and fights
+ High defense: high ES, decent ES reg. and damage mitigation
+ Relatively cheap gear (less than 10ex in standard)

Cons

- Neither the damage nor the defense is very high.
- No ES leech and primarily relies on kiting and ES. regeneration. Also, the movement speed is decent but not very high.
- Not possible to run no reg. map mod.
- ES gear can get expensive.

Skill Gems

As we use two main skills with 7-link and 6-link setups, the other supplementary skill setups are pretty much limited and set in stone. Note that the Whispering Ice staff "DOES NOT" need to be six-linked.

7-link: WI + Spell Tot. + Faster Cast. + Ele. Focus + Cont. Dest. + Added Cold + Conc. Effect/ Inc. Area

6-link: Firestorm + Spell Tot. + Faster Cast. + Ele. Focus + Cont. Dest. + Conc. Effect/ Inc. Area

Use the Con. effect against bosses and inc. area gem while clearing maps.

4-link: Flame Dash + Faster Cast. + Arcane Surge + Inc. Duration

A versatile setup. The movement skill triggers a damage buff which further triggers the ascendancy passive buff where three birds are hit with a single stone. The arcane surge gem is "NOT 20/20"; i.e. it is not at maximum level. It is left at "level 12" so that two casts of flame dash triggers the buff.

4-link: Cast When Dam. Tak. (Lvl 1) + Imm. Call (Lvl 3) + Inc. Durat. (Lvl 20) + Enfeeble (Lvl 5)

A classic setup which provides good defense both in maps and also against bosses.

4-link: Vaal Discipline + Vitality + Enlighten (Lvl 3) + Inc. Dur.

Vaal Discipline gem provides both the ordinary aura and also the vaal aura. Inc. Dur. only supports the vaal aura and does not increase the mana reserve of the other two auras.

Gear

We need as much intelligence as we can get to pump WI and each item in our gear increases intelligence. The following two unique items are inexpensive in standard.



The following unique chest is a strong option for this build:



It offers a high elemental mitigation (6% additional) as we are CI and some boost to our damage. I was not aware of it when I created this build and took down the shaper. My rare ES chest is still okey as it has higher ES and also boosts my intelligence.

Get rare gloves, boots and helmet with high ES, resistances and intelligence. Get high intelligence and resistances on rings as well.

Place the following unique jewel

near the witch's wheel. There are a lot of good rare jewel mods: damage (spell, staff, area, totem, elemental), cast speed, inc. ES, intelligence.

The following gloves and boots enchantments are strongly recommended as they are much easier to acquire than a helmet enchantment.

Gloves Enchantment: Commandment of Reflection
Boots Enchantment: 2% Life & Mana Reg. when hit recently

A helm enchantment is not necessary but if you seek one there are multiple options for buffing firestorm, flame dash or immortal call.

My current gear:

Spoiler


Screenshots

The first screenshot shows my ES, intelligence and ES reg. with 4 totems and auras but without the boots enchant. With the boots enchant, I should have around 12% ES reg. The second screenshot shows fully buffed WI and Firestorm damages but without any flasks:

Spoiler







Passive Tree

PoB link: https://pastebin.com/X6364vCk

Level 92 Passive Tree

Bandits: Side with Oak for life regeneration.

The 20% elemental resistances and additional 15% fire and cold resistances from the passive tree enable us to cap our resistances more easily and use cheaper gear.

Spell totems have high mana multiplier (x2). An investment into just two mana passives near the templar wheel completely solves our mana problem and we can quickly place 4 totems in succession.

The increased skill duration passives are very useful. Not only do they increase the duration of whispering ice and firestorm skills (which should be regarded as an effective damage increase because multiple casts stack) but also they increase the duration of arcane surge and immortal call buffs.

My level 93 passive tree is slightly different from the above one becuase I've got unnatural instinct jewel. My passive tree has welcomed that gift and placed it right next to the scion wheel where I get movement speed and spell crit in addition to some other useful bonuses.

Flasks

I recommend the following flask which are good in general both in maps or against bosses (and even shaper!)



When a map has some curse mods, I swap the first and last flasks with the following two flasks to remove the curses more easily:



Additional Notes & Comments

1) This build has been created and enjoyed with end game content in mind like Shaper, Uber Atziri and Uber Elder. The shaper kill video link provided at the beginning has licensed this build guide. I wouldn't have prepared any of this guide without that video at hand.

2) When I was creating this build, I had primarily EE in mind and not the totems. I've played mostly a spell caster myself in PoE. I've asked myself how to create an effective, strong EE build and I've successfully came up with this one.

This build guide is my very first one. I've still some other EE ambitions at the moment. Why not EE and Righteous Fire altogether? I envision or hope for a stronger EE build with higher damage. I've recently played this game too much though and should give some break to it and play it less.

3) As shown on the Shaper video, I removed unnatural instinct jewel to cheapen the gear budget and took down Shaper. I forgot about the other luxuries like Watcher's Eye and 21/20 firestorm. I would have probably killed Shaper even without those luxury items. I reached level 93 yesterday and immediately took down Shaper twice one of which was recorded and provided in the video link.

4) This build has been partially influenced by a sole whispering ice build. We invest somewhat in intelligence in the passive but not fully. WI amounts to only half our damage as the other half comes from firestorm. The 31% increased int. bonus from staff and belt is not high enough to solely invest in intelligence in the passive tree.

5) The rings and the belt can be corrupted with "increased intelligence" mod. These corruptions on rings will make the gear more expensive as we will lose the possible implicit resistances rings.

6) This build cannot benefit from Elemental Overload Keystone or Damage on Full Life Support Gem. The latter effect should work with CI but not with both CI and Ancestral Bond. I believe that Ancestral Bond further disables the use of Elemental Overload.

7) Is this build hardcore viable? Probably. Totems should provide a safe play for hardcore players. I've played only in standard though.

8) I'm still waiting on some cosmetic sales before I post an image of my mighty Blizzard_Blaze.

Cheers & Enjoy!
Last edited by Varvarel on Dec 3, 2018, 5:45:50 PM
Last bumped on Dec 7, 2018, 6:21:13 AM
This looks like a very solid budget build to me!

Probably great for beginners thanks to how totems work but also for more epxerienced players who can get tons of es. Uber elder should be no problem at all.

What weapon effect did you use on the staff?

Thumbs up!
"
Completed 7 ChallengesAquaFreeze wrote:
This looks like a very solid budget build to me!

Probably great for beginners thanks to how totems work but also for more epxerienced players who can get tons of es. Uber elder should be no problem at all.

What weapon effect did you use on the staff?

Thumbs up!


Thanks man. I haven't killed uber elder with any character yet but I believe that this build can take down uber elder.

The weapon cosmetic shown in the shaper video is "stalker weapon effect" and I'm still waiting for a sale on ice weapon effect. (I own flame and lightning weapon effects but they don't work in this theme). I'm also waiting for a sale of a specific helmet enchantment (let me keep this detail as a secret). Once I obtain these two enchantments, I'll put an image of my char into the build guide.
any chance for a POB link? or ring suggestions? I am running the build now. just hit lvl 43. its been hella fun. just feeling kinda squishy atm. only 800 life and 870 ES

Still trying to figure out gem placement as well.


Last edited by Samkrow on Nov 14, 2018, 4:48:50 PM
"
Completed 6 ChallengesSamkrow wrote:
any chance for a POB link? or ring suggestions? I am running the build now. just hit lvl 43. its been hella fun. just feeling kinda squishy atm. only 800 life and 870 ES

Still trying to figure out gem placement as well.


You're welcome. Yay, I forgot to post my rings. I've posted them now. Thanks. As for the unique jewel: there are passives near witch wheel which provide booth life and ES at the same time. The jewel slot is at the lower right of witch wheel. You can check it now on PoB as well. This is my first build guide and I've just created my PoB link: https://pastebin.com/wEm5nRBG

I'm now going for a RF EE Blade Vortex & Ball Lighning build now. I'm level 16 at the moment :P. There is no shaper kill video of it and the build is still in theory and embryo stage.

Also, Incandescent Heart is a strong choice for the chest. I've added it to my original guide.
Last edited by Varvarel on Nov 15, 2018, 2:05:10 PM
This may be insane, but I'm thinking of trying this for SSFSC in Betrayal...WI is easy to get. The others uniques aren't 100% mandatory (though would be good upgrades). Probably RIP alot, but seems fun.
looks hella fun, might be my next starter

could you post some recommended leveling trees and gear? ty
Last edited by wackygoose on Dec 1, 2018, 8:20:01 PM
Hey I fell in love with your build, but i saw you run out of flame dash charges a lot in shaper fight to sustain arcane surge. I dont know how totems work, but i think
could help sustain that better (if it works with totems ofc) - it would require to switch to life based build tho instead of ES to get full benefit. Cheers and thx for next league starter ;d
Last edited by Makakarer on Dec 2, 2018, 11:44:58 PM
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Completed 9 ChallengesAnunnaki wrote:
This may be insane, but I'm thinking of trying this for SSFSC in Betrayal...WI is easy to get. The others uniques aren't 100% mandatory (though would be good upgrades). Probably RIP alot, but seems fun.


This build is very strong provided that you can get the ES gear. My RF EE PB (point blank) Chieftain Freezing Pulse with Kitava's thirst (equipped with frost bomb and blade vortex) turned out to be a huge disappointment at lvl 93 and 8 unique items. After his failiure, I realize that this build is really strong with good offense and defense. Totems offer safe play and they usually ruin some challenging fun of the boss fights though.

Also, do not underestimate the cwdt + ic setup. It had been a very long standard setup and it is still effective (in the past, there used to be also enduring cry in the setup). The enfeeble curse is really a plus there. Moreover, our endurance charges boost ic.

You are right though as ES had been nerfed and it should be problematic in SSF but as I've said already that the totems offer a safe play. The other unique items are still important though. Int is really important and necessary for WI. WI will be weak Without much int but it is only 50% of our damage and you can still crush monsters with firestorm.


"
Completed 10 Challengeswackygoose wrote:
looks hella fun, might be my next starter

could you post some recommended leveling trees and gear? ty


WI should have around level 33 requirement. I got my EE, AB and WI right after first lab run choosing +1 totem ascendancy first. Right after first lab, I switched to totems where I could spawn 3 totems in a row.

I got CI after reaching level 70 and gearing with items that I had bought in standard.

I'm reluctant to give a specific low level tree but I can tell you this: I did few respecs when I've leveled up to 70 and grabbed CI. You can follow directly the provided tree. For example, wandering around the passive tree and grabbing some int passives don't go to a waste in the early levels as int boosts WI directly.

Also, I've modified the tree a little bit. I've missed the increased cast speed & movement speed nodes near templar. I've thought that they just give accuracy but not, they also give cast speed. Also, I've made a small change to the jewel slot near the scion (which assumes that you don't have unnatural instinct jewel).

"
Completed 3 ChallengesMakakarer wrote:
Hey I fell in love with your build, but i saw you run out of flame dash charges a lot in shaper fight to sustain arcane surge. I dont know how totems work, but i think
could help sustain that better (if it works with totems ofc) - it would require to switch to life based build tho instead of ES to get full benefit. Cheers and thx for next league starter ;d


I'll still stick to a rare ES gloves with int. You'll realize how Int is important for WI. High int boosts ES and a life build would be really inferior. If you worry that flame dash is used too much to keep the buff up, then you can easily tinker with the AC gem by lowering its level (with scouring orb recipe) so that it triggers with a single cast of flame dash.
Last edited by Varvarel on Dec 5, 2018, 9:11:23 PM
I do not think it would be that inferior if you gona go full retard on MoM with Cloak of Defiance, Watcher's Eye with (6-10)% of Damage taken from Mana before Life while affected by Clarity. After all, int gives lots of mana too.

If not, the watcher's eye can also give Gain (12-18)% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity which would by itself be better than anything really ;d.

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