3.5 Cold EleHit Slayer/Raider

Hi guys,

Wanted to share my cold elehit slayder. The build provides a good balance of dps with some layers of defensive mechanisms, and can easily handle t15-t16 syndicate bullshit, mobs and bosses, and I managed to squeeze my first deathless Shaper kill with it.

This build is very budget friendly as it is relatively off-meta. Entire build cost me probably less than 8ex grand total, however I may have been lucky on some purchases. Live-search is your friend - I had 90% of the build's endgame equipment ready in my stash, including well rolled uniques, before I even created the character.

Currently sitting a level 91, 5135 life, 1.4M shaper dps with flasks and vaal haste, 1.16 without any flask or vaal haste, and additional defensive mechanics as further explained. There is a lot more room for fine tuning in this build, especially in terms of gems (level, quality) and life rolls on gear, so these stats can (and should) definitely be improved.

PoB link: https://pastebin.com/RL8eWvFd


I went with Slayder (Slayer+Raider), but of course other combinations can work or even an entirely different ascendancy. Slayder is mainly used for the slayer leech, culling strike, and reliable frenzy charge. The dodge bonus from the Raider ascendancy also works well with our mechanics, and of course additional speed and damage bonuses from the Slayer and Raider ascendancy.

I debated whether to pick elementalist or raider, but ended up going the raider. One of the main reasons was the high cost of Yoke of Suffering this league, without which we would lose on a big benefit of going elementalist as I have no other way to shock. Only real benefit for it without it is the ele reflect immunity.

Core Mechanic

The build (ab)uses the conversion mechanics of ele hit. By placing 2x Comabt Focus in our tree we force only cold damage, and by wearing 2x Call of the Brotherhood we convert total of 80% of lightning damage to cold for a great boost. Fire damage is MIA, but not far behind fire ele hits with similar budget.

Some equipment explanation

I use the new and improved Hyrri's Ire chest armor, which as of 3.5 provides a huge chunk of flat cold damage to bow attacks, from (173-188) to (240-262) as opposed to (50-60) to (70-80) on prior versions. The chest also provides us an additional +10% to spell dodge and attack dodge on top of Acro and Phase Acro and 4% Raider dodge chance, for a permanent 54/40 dodge, or 64/50 with quartz flask active, and chunk of evasion. The chest is very cheap and probably BIS as it synergies well with the characteristics of the build, and you can easily find one for 3ex 6-linked.

The bow I am using now is a budget thicket bow I bought for 3ex (6linked) with increased attack speed, increased crit chance, +2 to gems and chance to deal double damage, which are the main stats to look for IMO (and an additional inc move speed and flat cold damage, which are simply a cherry on top as they are both useful for us). I mastercrafted t4 increased cold damage/chance to freeze prefix which is huge boost to damage and often overlooked, providing more dps than 13% pen [-4.8% dps] or additional 13% chance to deal double damage [-3.3% dps] mastercraft in this setup.

Ele hit bows are not +3 or bust, and the surrounding affixes have a huge impact on your damage. Check your PoB before splurging on a +3 with almost no other stats, as the +2 are very budget friendly and can out perform +3 with the right affixes.

On the quiver we are looking for life, %inc ele damage, accuracy, crit multi and a suffix to craft on. We craft increased attack speed as a suffix, as the crafted attack sped can go up to 12%, while "naturally rolled" attack speed can only reach a maximum of 13% and it leaves you with a flexibility for the remainder of the stats. I was very lucky to get my quiver for next to nothing (15c) with the "arrows pierce an additional target" implicit which is a great qol for clearing. +1 chain will obviously be BiS if possible, but very pricey and I am not sure it's worth it. If you can't get pierce, you may want to consider taking the +2 pierce for 3 passives nodes at the ranger tree.

Starkonja's as the go-to for most builds. Fairly easy and cheap to get the +40% ele hit damage enchant, I think I got mine for like 30c.

Tombfist are corrupted with a temp chains on hit for defensive purposes. They are also very cheap, I got mine for 10c. two abyssal sockets are obviously better than one, if you can afford it.

On my boots, belt, and amulet I worked to triple balance my wise-oak, while gaining some life. Ele damage belts are all the rage right now, but I wanted to keep my build budget friendly. If you can get int on your amulet, that's even better - I had to make up for that missing int by taking a +30 node on the tree. If you can improve upon it, all the power to you.


The build uses the following defensive mechanics:

Constant freeze/chill all mobs (except immune).

Temporal Chains on Hit.

the difference on maps that have the "enemies cannot be slowed below based speed" mod is very noticeable. However, these maps are very much doable).

54/40 dodge (64/50 with quartz flask)

Slayer leech

Decent lifepool (Nothing fancy, but can reach 6k without a big investment)

Tripe balanced wise-oak (If you can be bothered to do it. I was adamant about achieving it, which obviously resulted in compromises in other places, such as life rolls on boots and belt)

Destroy everything 1/2 screens away (We take Point Blank, but that doesn't mean we can't shred things from a far when we feel pressured)


Knockback on crits

Some gems

Chin-Sol was nerfed bad, so what used to be a clear bow in previous leagues now out-performs it for both single target and clear. This allows us to use one setup of bow and quiver, with our single target set up in the bow (for the +2 bonus, or socketed attacks deal 20% more damage if you have that affix on your bow), and clear setup on the chest. You could use Quill Rain + quiver for clear if you got addicted to that crazy fast attack speed, but I dislike the need to switch setups so I stick to that one.

I am using the following gems and skills:

Single Target ele hit: ele hit - ele damage with attacks - cold pen - ele focus - inc crit strikes - cold pen - slower proj

Clear ele hit: ele hit - ele damage with attacks - cold pen - gmp - mirage archer - hypothermia

lvl 21/0q vs lvl 20/23q ele hit gem: the difference is about 4% in favor of 21/0. Mind you that a lvl 21/0 ele hit is about 60c and a lvl 1/23q is about 2-3c, so consider either depending on your budget.

Additionally we use:

Frost bomb + Inc duration - place under bosses and tough encounters for - 25% cold resistance. I just spam it whenever things get hairy: bosses, inside forts, next to abyssal spawns, breaches, you name it.

Blood rage + Inc duration - frenzy charges and attack speed

CWDT+Immortal Call - for brief physical damage immunity and pantheon proc (see below). had to give up on inc duration but due to lack of end. charges the duration was short anyways

CWDT + Ice Golem - because I hate to manually cast golems. The bonus is quite small, and I might remove it for something else.

War Banner - additional accuracy for a mere 10% reserved which we can afford.

Blink Arrow + Faster attacks - get outta dodge.

Herald of Ice - for the ASMR shatters, and helps a lot with clearing. Especially when paired with pierce.

Vaal Haste - for when you need to mean business. I tried to run HoI + Haste aura, but even with enlighten and without war banner the mana sustain wasn't comfortable enough, especially on bosses.

Passive Tree

Pic for convenience: https://i.imgur.com/f0XQ0sO.jpg

Start out by connecting the life and resist at the scion area of the tree with the slayer side via master of the arena. We take all frenzy charges, reach close to 200% inc life from tree, and all cold pen nodes we find. If you can afford massive jewels, go to town. I used up my sockets with the unique jewels, but I'll probably get one more jewel socket for dmg/life after I level a bit more. Our keystones are Vaal Pact (for slayer leech), Acro, Phase Acro, Point Blank. Lioneye's Fall is very cheap this league and thus very recommended. I opted not to go for Vitality Void as 3 passives, 2 of which grants me nothing, felt too costly.

For ascendancy, while levelling you can either go first slayer (for survivability) or raider (for speed).

For bandits we take Alira, as with most crit builds, and especially in this res starved build.

For pantheon: Major - Arakaali + Arachnoxia for life regen boost when IC procs and stops blood rage degen. Minor - I like Ryslatha + Gorulis, Will-Thief for the life flask charge when I get pushed into a corner while doing trials.

levelling : there are plenty of bow levelling guides out there. I slap on Hyrri's bite, The Tempest, Thief's Torment, and use rain of arrows until I can equip my endgame gear. Don't forget to level up your gem if you opted for buying them at a low level with high quality.

That's mostly it.

Put on headphones and enjoy your ASMR experience exiles.

I will happily answer any questions, and any suggestions are very welcome.


Last edited by Ridge9876 on Feb 4, 2019, 9:04:29 AM
Last bumped on Feb 1, 2019, 8:23:14 AM
i've been playing a similar build this league as raider but was struggling with getting my health high enough without swapping out the hyrri's ire.. will definitely give slayer/raider a go! thanks for the guide

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