[3.8] CWDT Ignite Juggernaut [Flashy][Lazy][Budget]


I have been writing about this build a few times on the PoE subreddit when people asked about lazy or unique builds. Writing this guide does not only save my own time by being able to link it instead of rewriting the same info, it also provides a single place to keep all the info about the build so that I can easily update it as new versions of the game client are released.



This is an automated Juggernaut spellcaster build that deals most of its damage with spells triggered by Cast When Damage Taken Support, henceforth referred to as CWDT. This build can handle almost any map mod and does not require fast reflexes or lots of button pressing. Flasks can make it slightly faster, but are entirely optional. Playing the build is extremely simple. You mostly just walk around and watch things die. Understanding how it works can be a bit complicated for a beginner, but I will try to explain everything in a clear manner. I wanted to link all mechanics, uniques and gems to their respective wiki pages, but the forum does not allow it. Instead, I have marked those with colors. If you need more information about anything, just search for it on the wiki.


+ Durable thanks to high life, high armour, 8 endurance charges and an amazing amount of life gained per second
+ Can easily handle hard map mods such as No Leech, No Regeneration, Phys Reflect, Elemental Reflect (more on that below)
+ Very flashy
+ Lazy play style (Netflix friendly if you will). Walk into pack, watch pack die, repeat
+ Budget friendly
+ Full effectiveness with a 5L body armor

- Not as fast as a meta build, if that's what you're after.
- Very trigger heavy, which in rare cases causes disconnects. Using Predictive Networking Mode instead of Lockstep helps a lot.
- The map mod "Monsters have 90% chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments" disables the core mechanic of the build


Each time you take enough damage from any source (that is a hit), your spell gems linked to CWDT will trigger, casting them. Those spells all deal some fire damage thanks to added flat fire damage from Ngamahu's Sign and Anger. All our fire damage has a high chance to ignite thanks to items like Gang's Momentum, Ngamahu's Sign, Eye of Innocence and some passives and jewels with ignite chance. For each enemy ignited by our fire damage, Eye of Innocence deals 100 fire damage to us. This is considered a hit and will trigger more spells supported by CWDT.
To offset all the damage we take from enemies and that we deal to ourselves, we use items that makes us gain life instantly when igniting or hitting things. Options include: Ngamahu's Sign, Razor of the Seventh Sun, Watcher's Eye with the mod "+(20-30) Life gained for each Enemy Hit while affected by Vitality", and Shaper rings with "# life gained for each enemy hit by your spells".


* Eye of Innocence
* Any combination of items that let you gain more life than you lose from enemies and the amulet
* High ignite chance (100% is possible, but ~80% still feels good)


This build is a bit different than most in that it scales in odd ways. The metric we want to optimize for is not "Damage Dealt per triggered cast of spell" which is easy to see in PoB, but rather "Damage Dealt per Damage Taken". In a selfcast build, leveling our damage dealing spells has no downside. It only deals more damage as it levels. For us, the spells deal more damage, but they also require more damage taken to be cast. This makes things a bit complicated when CWDT and the spell it is supporting does not have the same steps in level requirements per gem level.

Let's look at CWDT and Discharge as an example. Follow this link to see a spreadsheet with a chart.

Notice how the required character level for CWDT increases by 2 for each gem level, up to CWDT level 14. From there, it takes 1 character level. Most spells however keep going in the same increments all the way to 20 (and beyond). This means Discharge can only be leveled every second CWDT level after CWDT level 14, as opposed to every CWDT level. The damage threshold of CWDT starts to increase faster than the base damage of Discharge, and "Damage Dealt per Damage Taken" actually starts to decline after that point. The sweet spot seems to be level 14 CWDT and the highest level of the spell gem that can be supported by level 14 CWDT, in this example level 17 Discharge.
Triggering weaker spells more often for slightly higher Damage dealt per Damage taken also means we ignite thing a lot more often, which translates to more life gained.


Weapon 1 - 3L - CWDT, Flammability, and one more CWDT spell, see below.
Spells linked to CWDT have a damage threshold. When it is reached the spell cast and the damage counter will be reset. We have several different links with level 14 CWDTs, and they will fire at the same time. But not exactly at the same time. They actually are triggered in a specific order:
Main hand ⇒ Amulet ⇒ Helm ⇒ Off hand ⇒ Body armour ⇒ Gloves ⇒ Boots
This means that if we want Flammability to affect the other spells, it has to be linked in the main hand weapon. The location of other spells doesn't matter that much.

Weapon 2 - 3S - Anger, Herald of Ash, movement skill of choice
Anger provides flat fire damage that serves several purposes. It's one of the better ways to scale unsupported spells. But it also makes sure that Wave of Conviction always deals more fire damage than any other element and applies exposure to fire for stronger Discharges.

Herald of Ash is a great way to further scale the damage of our spells. You can replace the herald with Vitality if you have a Watcher's Eye with the mod "+(20-30) Life gained for each Enemy Hit while affected by Vitality" and would like a more defensive setup.

When it comes to movement skills, I prefer Flame Dash or Charged Dash. Flame Dash is the best for dodging. Lightning Warp can be useful in the labyrinth, but we can just ignore most traps anyway.

Helmet - 4L - CWDT (level 14), Discharge (level 17), Combustion Support, Controlled Destruction Support
This will optimally be socketed in a rare helmet with inbuilt Concentrated Effect Support, Immolate Support and/or flat damage added to spells. Discharge is our heavy hitter when it comes to spells and it makes sense to make the absolute most of it. We could have socketed 2 more spells in the helmet if we skipped the supports, but no other setup comes close. If you really want to min-max, get the "40% increased Discharge Damage" uber lab enchant.

Body Armour - 5L+1 - CWDT (level 1), Firestorm (level 8), Blade Vortex (level 8), Ball Lightning (level 4), Wave of Conviction (level 7).
The purpose of this link is to create as many ignite triggers as possible, maximizing the amount of damage taken from Eye of Innocence and the amount of life gained. This link fuels itself and the other CWDT links. Wave of conviction also applies Fire Exposure to the enemy, lowering their fire resist for all our spells.

The last socket is used for Vaal Breach, which is a white gem. This makes coloring the body armor a bit easier, but getting RGBBB can still be expensive on pure STR or DEX bases.

Optional Righteous Fire
I chose to run Righteous Fire as an additional way to buff my spell damage. Righteous Fire does not need any support gems as we are only after the buff it provides, not the damage it deals itself. It can however still help pick off stragglers that might be left from a pack. In combat, we gain much more life than we lose from burning, but adjustments have to be made in the passive tree to provide some extra regen for when we are between packs. We have decent regen anyway as a juggernaut with Warrior's Blood, Golem's Blood, Master of the Arena, and the Unbreakable ascendancy node. The 39% more spell damage Righteous Fire provides at level 20 is well worth investing some extra points in Sanctity, Arsonist, and Life regeneration per Endurance Charge. If you want to be able to fully passively sustain Righteous Fire, you probably need to run Vitality, Stone Golem and/or Purity of Fire. I just turn it off as needed with an "of Dousing" flask.

Remaining Sockets
Fill out the rest of your links with spells supported by CWDT. It will be another 6-7 spells supported by CWDT. My latest build uses Arc, Glacial Cascade, Ice Nova, Shock Nova, Flame Surge, and Purifying Flame for the remaining 6 but you can pick whatever you prefer.
See my Pastebins below for details of how I set it up.


Level as any marauder build you prefer. In Blight I tried Tectonic Slam for the first time and it felt like a solid option. You can also go selfcast spellcaster and rush the Templar area in the tree and grab some solid spell damage and mana. Another option is to level with RF, especially if you plan on using it in the late game build.

If you are like me and don't get a lot of time to play PoE, Eye of Innocence and Razor of the Seventh Sun will have dropped to a few chaos by the time you reach level 68. In that case buy those, a Ngamahu's Sign, and a Singularity. These items will let you get through early maps no problem.

Important note on leveling CWDT gems: CWDT gives each linked spell a damage counter. Once it reaches its threshold, the spell is cast and the counter is reset. The damage threshold increases with the level of CWDT, as does the level of gems it can support. CWDT can support gems that requires up to the same character level as the CWDT gem itself. Therefore, it is important to always make sure that the spell you are about to level can still be supported by the CWDT it is linked to after leveling.


This build clears trash mobs quickly, safely and easily but bosses can be a bit slow just using the spells cast by CWDT, since most bosses hit slow and hard. We want to get hit often. The solution is to make boss fights into group fights using Vaal Breach.

- GEAR -


This is a very budget friendly build. You can go deep into red maps using very cheap gear.

The items below are examples from different characters, not a complete gear set from one character.

When hitting level 68 / on a budget

Eye of Innocence is the key that unlocks the entire build. Also provides some increased damage when ignited. See Mokou's Embrace below.

Early on, just get any 6S 5L RGBBB body armour. In Blight, I switched to a 6L Kingsguard after a few levels. Only cost 20C.

Singularity is great for us, since we are almost always in hinder range of the mosters we are fighting. A perfect Doryani's Catalyst is roughly equivalent, but costs way more. Use Razor of the Seventh Sun if you need more ignite chance or more life gain per ignite.

Gang's Momentum provides decent movement speed and 15% chance to ignite is great for us. Increased damage against ignited enemies is actually pretty strong too and boosts our damage by ~5-6%.

Ngamahu's Sign provides instant life gain whenever we ignite something, and is a vital part of the build. Use two or a Razor of the Seventh Sun if you need more life gain. Mokou's Embrace provides self-ignite, damage and resistances.

Perandus Blazon provides lots of stats and some quantity. We are pretty strained on both INT and DEX. Corrupt it later for resists.

Try to get a helmet with in-built Concentrated Effect Support, Immolate Suppport and/or flat damage to spells. Life and resists are a bonus. For gloves just get a rare with life and resists.

End game gear

Shade of Solaris is great for us. We are already using Elemental Overload and Controlled Destruction Support, so losing some damage from critical strikes is not a big deal. 40% of elemental damage as extra chaos plus 400% increased spell damage however is HUGE. Even the worst roll is better than a perfect Singularity, and switching from 2x Singularity to these bad boys will more than double our damage.

The big thing about Brass Dome is the immunity to crits, but it also provides MASSIVE armour in conjunction with the Unbreakable ascendancy node. It's not very expensive to buy or 5L, but it'll take a few hundred chromatics to get RGBBB.

For gloves we want a rare with Life, resists, and the veiled mod "Non-Vaal skills deal 51-60% increased damage during soul gain prevention". This does not boost our damage against trash mobs, but it speeds up the boss fights when we activate Vaal Breach. Vaal Breach has a very long duration of 40 seconds.
Doedre's Tenure provides the same 60% increased damage all the time, but does not have any other useful stats.

Gang's Momentum are pretty much best in slot for boots when it comes to damage output, but if you (like me) prefer more durability, Death's Door can be a solid option. They provide +1 maximum endurance charge for tankiness and Discharge damage, some resists, bleed immunity, and good movement speed.

Anointing your Eye of Innocence with Breath of Flames is somewhat costly (1x Golden Oil), but will increase damage output and make reaching 100% ignite chance a lot easier, especially if you chose to switch to Death's Door and lost the 15% from Gang's Momentum.

Jewels like this are great. Life, Ignite chance (3-5%, go for 5%) and 1-2 more useful rolls such as missing resistances, stats or just more damage.

Watcher's Eye with the mods "Consecrated Ground you create while affected by Zealotry causes enemies to take (8-10)% increased Damage" and "Gain Arcane Surge for 4 seconds when you create Consecrated Ground while affected by Zealotry" will boost our damage ~20%. Zealotry only creates Consecrated Ground against rare and Unique enemies, and that's when we need the damage the most, but we can easily run a Sulphur Flask to get Consecrated Ground on demand.
This jewel of course requires running Zealotry, which is a great aura anyway. There are however downsides to this setup. Anger + Zealotry will reserve 100% of our mana. So to have any mana left for movement skills, we need to spend 2 skill points getting a mana reserve node in the Templar area. The ~20% more damage from Watcher's Eye is still very much worth it for 1 jewel socket and 2 skill points.


The four points we are aiming for are:

I picked the ascendancy points in this order last time around. You can choose to be more defensive by picking Unstoppable last, or pick it earlier if you value the movement speed more than survivability while leveling. Another variant is swapping Unbreakable for Unyielding for another boost to damage. The order can be customized to your liking and depending on what you level as, but I would recommend having both Unflinching and Unrelenting by the time you start maps.


Kill all. Alira is an option to make gearing a bit easier/cheaper, but it's not really needed. We can get away with slightly uncapped resists thanks to almost permanently having 7 endurance charges.


Major God
I chose Soul of Arakaali. It has the least useless stats. Solaris is an option too for the crit avoidance if you don't use Brass Dome.

Minor God
I normally use Soul of Gruthkul and switch to Soul of Yugul for elemental reflect maps.


Gear at end of act 10
Facetanked Kitava with ease.

T9 maps finished
No troubles so far, cruising through yellow maps.

Optimized end game gear
This set of gear is not realistically obtainable, but it rather serves the purpose of showing what to aim for when it comes to gear, enchants, corruptions etcetera.



Non-mods: Doesn't really affect us at all. Some slow us down a little, some actively help us.

Monsters are Hexproof
60% less effect of Curses on Monsters
We are not relying on our curse, Flammability. It only provides a slight damage boost.

+40% Monster Physical Damage Reduction

Monsters have a 65% chance to avoid Poison, Blind, and Bleeding

All Monster Damage from Hits always Ignites

This is actually good for us. Eye of Innocence makes us deal more damage when ignited. same goes for
Monsters have a 20% chance to cause Elemental Ailments on Hit

Monsters reflect #% of Physical Damage

Physical reflect can safely be ignored. We deal some physical damage, but not enough to be any threat.

Monsters have (360-400)% increased Critical Strike Chance
+(41-45)% to Monster Critical Strike Multiplier

No effect because of Brass Dome.

Players are Cursed with Enfeeble

Players are Cursed with Temporal Chains

Unstoppable makes this almost a non-mod

Cannot Leech Life from Monsters
Cannot Leech Mana from Monsters

Monsters take (36-40)% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes

Shade of Solaris makes this a non-mod. We don't deal crits anyway.

Player chance to Dodge is Unlucky
Monsters have 50% increased Accuracy Rating

Players have 40% reduced Chance to Block
Players have 30% less Armour

We don't use block and actively want to be hit

Monsters' skills Chain 2 additional times

Monsters fire 2 additional Projectiles

Monsters' Action Speed cannot be modified to below base value
Monsters cannot be Taunted

Players have Point Blank

Players have 60% less Recovery Rate of Life and Energy Shield
Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield
These two really only affects our ability to keep Righteous Fire up.

(25-30)% increased Monster Movement Speed
(35-45)% increased Monster Attack Speed
(35-45)% increased Monster Cast Speed

This makes us faster without taking more damage per hit. This mod is great.

Unique Boss has 35% increased Life
Unique Boss has 70% increased Area of Effect

Monsters cannot be Stunned
(25-30)% more Monster Life

(40-49)% more Monster Life
+25% Monster Chaos Resistance
+40% Monster Elemental Resistance

Slow us down a little, not really noticable

Read carefully. These mods need rerolling or special attention

Monsters have 90% chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments
This must be rerolled. It all but turns our engine off. With 90% avoidance, our damage output and life gain are at only 10% compared to a map without this mod. The lower tier versions of this mod are 30% and 60% avoidance. I recommend rerolling those too as they slow us down a lot, but they can be run if needed.

Monsters reflect #% of Elemental Damage
Elemental reflect is deadly, but there are options to reduce it greatly. I swap one of my rings for a Sybil's Lament and my lesser pantheon power to Yugul when I do Elemental Reflect maps. There is also the Watcher's Eye mod "(50-40)% reduced Reflected Elemental Damage taken while affected by Purity of Elements" if you want to play it safe. Swap to Razor of the Seventh Sun if you want to feel even safer.


This map barely has any mods for us except Twinned. The others have minimal impact or none at all.



- 3.7 UPDATE -

I didn't play this build in 3.7. I played another favorite of mine, Flicker Strike. Sadly, this was the patch that killed the Vaal Molten Shell + Rat Cage + Eye of Innocence combo and our best burst damage/boss killer with it. But going into 3.8 I have decided not to let it discourage me, but rather see it as an opportunity to explore new options. I've tried other chest pieces on standard, and Brass Dome looks interesting. We could also go for something more damage oriented, like Inpulsa's Broken Heart. The best option for burst I've found so far is using Vaal Breach to keep the CWDT triggers flowing in boss fights. More on that below.

- 3.5 UPDATE -

There has been some interesting balance changes for this build. I will update this guide more when I have had the time to test and theory craft more.

Martyr of Innocence now has more added fire damage to spells. This is an upgrade compared to Singularity by a few percent, but would require 6-linking either the staff or the body armour to not lose CWDT linked spells. With both 6-linked we get one more CWDT supported spell compared to dual wielding Singularity.

Razor of the Seventh Sun now grants 25% ignite chance. It doesn't have any damage added to spells, or any increased damage with spells, but this change does however make capping ignite chance much easier in the early game.
Last edited by KoomZog on Nov 15, 2019, 9:03:26 AM
Last bumped on Feb 19, 2019, 6:30:19 PM
This build is awesome! Thank you KoomZog!
Expanding on my last post, yea I dig this one a lot.
I'm spec'ing out an existing jugg out on standard but going to try going at it in Betrayal, maybe leveling as a molten strike jugg and pivoting as necessary. Current version in Standard isn't min-maxed, just rolling with some decent gear.

Only connection issues I had was when leveling up ALL the CWDT/spells at once from scratch on my high level character. Too many procs and not enough damage to kill. Once they got level ~10 it smoothed out and haven't had an issue at all. Not at level 20s yet, but it's already great mapping and melts single target (as long as boss isn't phased or vaal charges can get back up quickly for next phase).


Built just like the guide here, took a couple different approaches. Didn't go for a Watcher's eye, since I found the life per ignite on Ngahamu's sign to be pretty solid. For sure more would work. I also swap with Razor of the Seventh Sun from Singularity if more tank is needed.

Also rolling with Arctic Armor as my third mana res instead of a movement skill (although I have it to swap in). Once I hit 100% ignite with jewels I found the cold left by Arctic Armor helped get the ignites (and CWDT) proc'ing faster from pack to pack in case of a lull. Since I'm rolling with that, I can adjust the tree to spec out of Quick Recovery and mana regen since all mana is reserved.

Never been a lab farmer, but did a couple tries and this is really smooth.

@KoomZog, be interested what you think of the slight differences, but no worries. Good luck in Betrayal and thanks again for the good guide!
Last edited by the_rolling_chunder on Dec 6, 2018, 11:33:30 AM
Last edited by bugz0r on Jan 5, 2019, 4:44:23 PM
Hey man, thanks for the build guide!

Barring anything breaking, I'm going to make this my 3.6 league starter!
I ran this all Betrayal (when I could), just hit 90 and had a blast. Would have gone further if I had time. I ended up snagging some rings that provided heralds so I didn't have to take those as gem slots. Also just ran with dual razors for some tankiness. I'm well into red maps with ~7.9k life and it basically rolls. Only issue is with phased bosses (or stronger ones where my weak VMS doesn't kill fast enough). A better helm is my next upgrade for that purpose.

My character definitely isn't min-maxed yet, and yet has what feels like a really fast clear. It's even faster in higher maps with the quicker CWDT procs from stronger enemies.

Only bad map mod is enemies avoid elemental ailments, for obvious reasons.

100% would do it again. Found a Tabula really early which helped with leveling via Molten Strike until I saved to get the Eye of Innocence and a cheap 4-link Rat Cage. GLHF!

Edit: I don't have issues on elemental reflect, maybe because of dual Razors, and it got better with the ring mod with reduced reflect damage taken.
Last edited by the_rolling_chunder on Feb 19, 2019, 6:32:11 PM

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