[3.10] Winter Orb League Starter Build

UPDATED 20/03/2020 3.10 - decided to roll a WO and I am actually still enjoying it
UPDATED 06/01/2020 3.09 - major changes! - also added crafting guide (thanks to a friend)
10/01/2020 PoB updated

I have too many frame issues with 3.10 to be able to play the game. I was hoping the patch would fix a lot of it but it did not. I cannot play at 0 frames when theres more than 10 enemies on the screen. So this game is dead to me at the moment.
I really liked the build tho and it has good potential to be finetuned - but not by me. See you in 3.11 when they maybe release a stable client.

3.10 Notes
I just leveled and equipped my WO character. So far a lot of things have changed for me. The 3.9 guide should still work nicely, and if you have some money to spare the PoB posted by someone else in the comments.

I will just quickly update on what I use now and rework the guide when I find the time.

Tree: https://bit.ly/2wgwQHg
Ascendancy: Paragon (for Lifeleech) > Pendulum > Mastermind (Heralds) > Shaper of Desolation (endgame DPS push)
Bandits: Alira ( or kill all if you want more points for the cluster jewels, Alira is fine though)

3.10 Gear (for now):

Yes the weapons are atrocious! I realize.
Look up the cluster jewels in the tree plx

3.10 Theory and thoughts:
I figured the cluster jewels plus some adjustments might actually safe this build. eHP is getting at where I want it to be. I plan to skip a few maintree areas and go for the cluster jewels instead - a lot of them.
Damage is fluctuating and I call it the "conditional love". When I take damage and I chilled shocked ignited recently my damage is great. If not then its okay.
Farming the tier 10 content is easy tho - I invested around 1 ex for everything I am wearing.

The skills have not changed much - I use energy leech support now with winter orb.
Still - none of these skills is set in stone yet. It's a work in progress but playable and the old winter orb fun.

Thanks for your interest in the build :) will update the whole guide soon



This guide aims to give you a basic, playable and powerful Winter Orb build.
Since it is set up as a league starter it requires absolutely NO superrare or superexpensive items. This build will work on a use what you find basis.

Winter Orb used to be way stronger and profits little from the changes that happened in 3.9 making it only viable for yellow maps with a little investment and for red maps up to t16 with investments around 10exalts.
I like the spell a lot, but at the moment it is a really good mapfarmer - okay bosskiller and really bad endboss killer.
A t14-16 Drogg is kind of the limit. Elder is currently not possible. Sirius I don't know but don#t think so.

My advice is to use this as league starter and switch to something more powerful later on. It is supercheap as starter and easy to play.

Me and this build did our first UberElder UberAtziri and 100% Atlas completion in 3.5. And it was cheaper and more efficient than any other build I played before. This build allows you to find the items it needs by itself. You do not need a headhunter or a superrare unique.

Table of Content
* Introductions
1. Pros and Cons of this build
2. Current Patch Info
3. Additional Infos
4. Mechanics of this build
5. Current and past Gear
6. Gear options for each slot (Order of Upgrading for expensive items)
7. Tree - Ascendancy - Bandits - Pantheon
8. Gem Links
9. 9. Crafting with influenced Item bases

1. What's nice about this build?
  • cheap league starter
  • SSF viable (as a league starter - not endgame)
  • high damage - single target and AoE
  • Easy to play
  • Good beginner build
  • Easy to gear (no uniques required until endgame!)
  • Reflect is no problem at all

HC viable?
Would not recommend at the moment. I struggle hard to get decent damage from the tree while being halfway alive.

Annoying Map Mods:
  • No regen maps (is fine with a mana flask but annoying)
  • ele resist maps
  • Cannot inflict elemental ailments - no chill = no fun
  • reduced chance to inflict ailments - see above. 30% is fine, 90% is not
  • No leech - we kind of need the life leech most of the time

I cannot (maybe I find a solution to this):
  • kill Elder
  • kill Sirius

2. Current Patch 3.9 Info

Winter Orb has been nerfed in the past but is still a strong and fast clearing spell.
However it is a bad Bosskiller now and I am trying to find a fix to this.

- Life leech now only comes from the ascendancy Paragon of Calamity
- Mana leech is non-existent and we need to regen
- Movement speed got more important so get the Onslaught Abyssal Jewel
- The Life and Resist Buffs on Enemies are noticeable to ALL builds. You now need a 5 link for maps. A 4link may be enough to start but try and get the 5 link as fast as possible
- Spreading Elemental Damage to Cold, Fire and Lightning no longer works. I get way better results sticking to cold damage only. The tree supports mostly Damage over time now - which we don't do. So rip that spell.
- Carcass Jack is definitely the best choice for Body Armor now

3. Additional Info

Leveling guide is in second post in this thread. if you feel lazy click here

3.9 Video Guide:

Outdated Video Guide:
(might still be useful)

3.9 Lootfilter if you need one:
This is my starter Lootfilter adjusted for this build specifically. It shows you pretty much everything I ever consider picking up at some point.
Please download this Filter once Neversink has updated the Filterblade website to 3.9 - the build will work before but it might not highlight new league items like you want to. I will adjust this filter for Mid and Endgame.

4. Mechanics of this Build
Winter Orb is your main Spell doing most of the damage
Cold Snap is an AoE that lowers the enemies resistances and is used for tougher enemies mostly and later in maps to quickly apply a chill to a group and avoid most damage from them / put a degen under them. Cold Snap is also really powerful against enemies with the shield globe around them!
Flame Dash is your movement spell - which also procs Arcane Surge
Ice Golem will Cull the enemy with Culling Strike

For sustainability you need life leech from the Paragon of Calamity Ascendancy.

Profitable Stats
Spell Damage is your main stat and can be gotten from:
- % spell damage
- % cold damage
- % elemental damage
- +1 Level of all Cold Gems / AoE Gems
- Cast Speed

Global Critical Strike Chance ("normal" Critical Strike Chance does not work for spells!)
Critical Strike Chance to Spells
Critical Strike Multiplier (this works for spells and attacks)

+# Cold Damage to Spells
You profit most from flat Cold damage - the other elements can pretty much be neglected at this point for endgame. During leveling any flat damage to spells is good!

Resistances 75 to all at least!
Chaos Resistance try and get as much as you can. It is more noticeable than in the past if you don't have it!

We are pretty set on Intelligence and Strength from the tree BUT we need a lot of Dexterity.
111 Dexterity and no less! Get whatever you are missing from the tree with Alacrity and Physique nodes, on your Rare Gear Slots or on jewels.
We need 111 because that is the amount a level 20 dexterity based support gem needs - and we use a few of those.

5. Current Gear
for more detailed info and alternatives look further below!

3.9 Current Gear

3.9 midgame

Gear from past leagues

A lot has changed over the leagues - especially leech mechanics so only some of the items are still interesting today
3.7 SSF Gear Endgame

everything but UberElder and UberAtziri done - stopped progressing. sry.

3.7 SSF Gear

shaper done, red elder done, vaal temple done, 151 maps completed. still working on questline for UberElder

3.6 Gear UberElder done

3.6 Gear Mid red Maps

3.5 Gear Endgame

6. Gearing options for each slot

Order of Upgrading Endgame Items

1 - Weapons with high ColdSpell Damage and Crit chance / multiplier (cold as extra chaos is a nice extra; so is +1 all cold gems) 20-30c

2 - Gloves, Helmet with life resist - Dexterity if possible
Boots - the same but 30 % movement speed
Chest: 4L from Leveling should be upgraded into a 5l as soon as possible
5l should be around 10c a 6l from 15 to 30c
Starting the league you can find a 5L or 6L corrupted chest yourself doing vaal side areas or every sacrifice fragment apart from the Midnight fragment (which is worth more than the others).
If you find one with the right colors - use that. Otherwise sell it and use the currency to buy one that has the colors you want.

3 - Carcass Jack 5l

4 - Intuitive Leap Jewel 15-20c
5 - Impresence for Cold (Frostbite) 20-30c

6 - Mark of the Shaper + Elder Ring
This is where it gets expensive. Now we spend the exalts. At this point you have to decide how much to invest or if you want to play a different build with more boss dps. However the Mark of the Shaper can easily be used in a Vortex build atm and that is a bosskiller. So it's not wasted currency.

7 - Helmet enchant, crafting weapons, crafting helmet or gloves and so on.

8 - get a Hatred/Zealotry Watcher's Eye. Okay at this point you really gotta ask yourself if you want to spend this money... again Vortex could use that as well but we are talking mirror prices at this point.

Weapon & Offhand

Main Hand: (cold) Spell damage + extra chaos damage + (maybe) cast speed

Shield: (cold) Spell damage + cast speed (expensive) + Life + resist

maybe +1 all cold gems.

Shield or Dualwield?
I currently recommend dualwield. We need the damage. Unless you find a high damage shield it is better do use two weapons. Staves are not interesting at all btw.

Wand? Dagger? Scepter?
Using Wands gives you more spell power and makes damage more even
Using Daggers gives you critical strike chance which makes damage spike
Using Scepters gives you the best stats.
I just use whatever I find. Scepters should be shaper-items or Atzoatl Temple drops to give you an edge over the other choices. Otherwise they are about the same.

Cheap-ish unique options:


Once you get to maps you want to replace your 4 link with a 5 link. 5 links can be bought for a few chaos usually, 6 links on corrupted chests need the right socket color and are around 30 chaos. A Tabula Rasa will do for a while, but doing red maps with a Tabula will just be a horrible experience because you are missing a lot of life.
For red maps you definitely want a 5 link Carcass Jack or a 6 link Rare with life and resist on it. For any Endgame bosses I strongly recommend the 6 link Carcass Jack in 3.9

Currently in my opinion the best option for endgame.
For two reasons: The AoE damage increase is just like an additional link. And the Increased AoE lets the AoE of each Winter Orb projectile overlap so more projectiles hit the boss!

Everything below is more of an SSF option or an option if you have a fully linked one from a different build.

probably most expensive. comparable in a lot of ways to Carcass Jack otherwise.

good damage, definitely possible to use

good defense but very hard to color. consider going 2red 2 green 2 blue and use cold>fire and increased duration

very defensive, but if you don't have enough evasion you will be superslow. We do not have a lot of dex on the tree so getting evasion will be hard



Rare - Life + Resist + open Prefix for AoE enchant!
Lab enchant +2 Winter Orb stages is best. any other Winter orb enchant will do as well.
A Herald enchant might be nice for a while or an enchant for your second attack



Life + Resists + any of the below.
with + % damage against chilled enemies (Atzoatl Temple from Omnitect or certain Architect chests)
projectile / AoE enchant is an option.

Shaped Gloves with:
* slower projectiles & projectile damage
* faster casting

Obviously anything beyond life and resists is going to cost you more and more.
increased damage while leeching is to be used with care since you only leech as long as you are not on full life or mana.
I'd rather use a Increased Damage during Flask effects enchant

A unique option for gloves are:

But mind the mana cost increase! it will almost certainly be an issue without mana leech.


Life + Resist + movespeed
I recommend having at least 20% move speed, better 30 and if you can afford 35%.
35% can be gotten from itemlevel 86 boots.
70 Life and 2 resistances above 30 should be the minimum and affordable.

A unique option - but not the best choice - is:


switched to this lategame because I needed more survivability.
Make sure to set it up so that it provides ignite and shock resist. Freeze remove comes from a flask. Int > Str > Dex


your run of the mill Stygian Vise with Life and Resists


Life (70ish) + Resistances
Cold Damage or Cast Speed are nice to have.
Dexterity as well

is a high damage unique option if you use it with the corresponding elder ring.
This one is expensive - but worth it / required to run high tier red maps.


Is probably the highest damage output you can currently get. It's expensive and a rare will also get the job done for most of the content

I you want to run Frostbite Curse with it - also hard to obtain in 3.9 I suspect


A shaper based Amulet might be nice as well since it can roll projectile damage. Otherwise the same old Life - (cold)Spell damage - resistances game.


Bleed remove and quick life

Freeze Remove and Speed

curse remove for lab or temp chains maps

Nemesis league item a little harder to get maybe but very nice life refill

Very Expensive but worth it!

Damage and life leech. make sure Elemental>Chaos is rolled 15%

Wise Oak requires Cold res to be highest and is less profitable than other dps flasks

Found this during leveling - an easy way to get charged if you don't get them anywhere else yet!

NOTE: I put in a Mana Flask instead of the Crit Flask or Dying Sun for no regen maps. Also with curse remove! Do not switch out Atziri, Adrenaline or any Life Flasks for this!


I now have 2 "mandatory" or highly recommended unique jewels for endgame. This is part of the reason why ssf is just not possible for endgame any more.
We only touch 3 Jewel Slots now - a 4th abyss maybe in your belt.
So this is your setup:

Cold Snap now gives Power Charges and uses Power Charges! This gives extra damage if you make sure things die in your Cold Snap from time to time.

this is where it goes:
Right above the witch starting point.
Getting the additional power charge there is also an option.

Some Life 5-8% chance to get onslaught for faster casting
and the third is an extra.

Make sure you have NO PHYSICAL damage to spells on your abyssal jewels. Because then you have to watch out for physreflect maps.

7. Tree - Ascendancy - Bandits - Pantheon

3.9 tree
Actual tree I use atm:
Level 91

Path of Building?


Note that my PoB will never have min/maxed items!
You can import my character yourself at any time. Currently My Winter Orb Character is named: Metamorb

I don't craft a wishlist of items in PoB. I use Items that are self found or I can afford. No mirrorworthy 200ex items. A build should be playable by everyone and not just 1% who can actually afford the top items in the league

Beginners or only Starter Build players: Alira
Everyone who wants to sink a few exalts into this build: Kill All

The reasoning behind this is that Alira helps you round up your build by giving you mana regeneration and resistances - which you will both starve for later on.
If you kill everything you get a jewelslot more endgame but it requires you to invest more currency into your gear in order to have enough resistances and whatnot.

Solaris or Lunaris is Major
I prefer Solaris
Minor: Shakiri because it handles Poison resistance

For Shaper/Elder I pick Brine King and Yugul to counter the Frost damage a little more

Ascendancy Pathing - Labyrinths
The order of the first three is not important, I recommend this one:
1 - Pendulum of Destruction
2 - Paragon of Calamity
3 - Mastermind of Discord

4 - Shaper of Desolation / Liege of the Primordial

I currently run Liege with three golems total. I am not sure if I want to keep this, but it works. Will update if anything changes.

8. Gem Links

A lot has changed since I decided to only go for cold damage. No more triple herald, no more conversions and so on. I keep the old links below if you want to experiment.

Gem Links for Cold Damage only - 3.9



All of these are preferably 20/20 or above.
You can switch LMP with GMP for Mapping faster. Your Herald does most of the time enough AoE damage tho.

Vaal Cold Snap 4l anywhere or shaper helmet with Hypothermia:

if you use a shaper helmet with Hypothermia get this as 4th

All of these are preferably 20/20
You need the Vaal Gem!

CDWT anywhere you can get at least 2 reds:

Increased Duration can be 20/20 - the others you have to play around with. The higher you CWDT the more damage you need to take before the proc happens. So keep it at around 6-8 and then level Immortal Call to the exact same required level. This is NOT the same gem level but character level needed! For CWDT 8 its IC 10

Flame Dash - Wand + 1 other spell:

Faster Casting is possible for leveling - I ditched it because I needed the gemslots for golems.
Flame Dash 20/20
Arcane Surge 4/20 - ish. Again, the higher Arcane Surge gets the more mana you need to spend to proc. Make sure one Flame Dash is enough to proc! A maximum of 2 is possible if you play more exact.

Herald of Ice, Zealotry, Vaal Righteous Fire:

Herald and Vaal RF are preferably 20/20 or higher.
Zealotry only gains Radius from quality so no need to upgrade this.
Socket these where you have room left.


Ice Golem is your First, Flame second, Chaos last. Have at least one of them linked with culling strike it will make fights a lot shorter.
20/20 on all of them

Frostbite Curse:

Lategame you want the Blasphemy setup because it's way more QoL and reliable to put on bosses / metamorphs

Early on you want to use

The reason that it is bad for endgame:
Herald only applies the Curse if one enemy actually dies and damages the next with the AoE. So Single target enemies will not be affected by this until something dies close to them. For a while I took out the Curse on Hit gem and manually cast Frostbite on bosses. Overall it's not worth doing this endgame.


21/0 if you can get. Quality affects area only
The higher the level the more mana is reserved. I currently do not have this equipped. I highly recommend it for leveling! If you don't run Blasphemy you can easily use this. With Blasphemy I have barely enough mana left to cast spells reliably atm. So that is why I dropped it.

Sample Setup endgame

+ Hypothermia from Shaper Helmet

Cull is nice to have on Herald and Chaos Golem

golem preferably not linked or he will cast a flame torrent foreeever

old Links pre 3.9

2 Herald Setup Example with 5 link

Chest 5 Link:

6 Link:

Gloves (or any of the 4 Link slots during leveling):

Helmet (if you have the AoE enchant on it - otherwise any 4 Link)

if you use Clarity or Vaal Righteous Fire somewhere else you can use a Frostbite Curse here or an Empower + Enlighten

Boots (or any other 4L)

You can decide whether you want to trigger Phase run with CWDT or not - also you can use Vaal Righteous Fire here so you get increased duration.

Weapon 1:

Weapon 2:

as a 3rd you can use Clarity or Vaal Righteous Fire here!

3 Herald Setup Example with 6 link

Chest 6 Link:

Gloves (or any of the 4 Link slots during leveling):

Helmet (if you have the AoE enchant on it - otherwise any 4 Link)

instead of Enlighten if you have enough Mana Regen/Leech to permanently cast Winter Orb

Boots (or any other 4L)

You can decide whether you want to trigger Phase run with CWDT or not - also you can use Vaal Righteous Fire here so you get increased duration.

Weapon 1:

Weapon 2:

as a 3rd you can use Clarity or Herald of Ash or Vaal Righteous Fire here! Depending what you chose fore your Herald setup.
Vaal is not needed on Clarity!

additional Gem-Setup infos

Winter Orb 6 Link:

Those 5 are "set". as a 6th I recommend one of these

Cold to Fire Support is your endgame choice. We touch some Cold&Fire nodes on our tree, spell damage as well as elemental damage increases apply to this. The Damage with burns is actually nice.
If you use this I recommend using Herald of Ash as well, and to have +# fire damage to spells on either a weapon or jewel. So that your Heralds and other spells also apply some fire damage

just useful for damage

this one helps you keeping the stacks at 10 a lot. which results in a lot of damage as well. if you replace it with Cold>Fire then you have to drop Herald of Ash as well - because it will no longer be useful to you.

It is also possible to run Increased Duration with Cold>Fire. Then you either drop Infused Channeling (defenses) or Efficacy.

Ice bite is your number one frenzy charge generator!
Greater Multiple Projectiles should NOT be replaced with Lesser Multiple Projectiles. Yes it shows more damage, but it is actually feeling a lot less powerful!

Second Spell

I use Vaal Cold Snap instead of Arctic Breath - support gems stay the same.
Those are my reasons:
- more powerful
- a lot more AoE than Arctic Breath
- Instant
- has a Vaal AoE skill that you can use as a cooldown

Arctic Breath, Ice Spear, (Vaal) Arc are Gems that I played around with before. In 3.7 they are inferior to Cold Snap.
The second spell is actually doing a lot more now! Applying Bonechill lets you kill enemies a lot faster. Cold Snap has a cooldown that can be circumvent by using a frenzy charge.

Flame Dash

If for some reason you need an additional socket on your gear drop Faster Casting. It is only Quality of Life
Also make sure Arcane Surge is 20% Quality and Level 8 and not higher. This way using Flame Dash twice gives you the Arcane Surge Buff. Level 9 is fine as well, using a level 20 as shown here is not too smart.


All Heralds should be at least 20 - 20% since quality on Herald gems does not increase the Aura like on Wrath Zealotry and the like but gives us damage
Herald of Ash is ONLY required if your Winter Orb uses a Cold>Fire support gem - otherwise it is pointless to use it.
Enhance support is recommended because we do not need our mana for anything else

Can be a quality of life addition if you need more mana regen. Quality not needed on this one, Vaal also not needed! I recommend it for leveling
It is possible to run 3 heralds plus clarity - if you can somehow squeeze an Enlighten Gem can be used but since mana leech is bad with spells at the moment you might want something else.

Vaal Righteous Fire is a damage cooldown! Get it with 20% quality if you can afford it. you can socket it with the Heralds in your Head or Glove slot to get the +1 level of AoE gems on it!
We do not ever use righteous Fire! just the vaal skill from it!

Golems and Culling Strike

Use either Lightning or Ice Golem with culling strike.
Lightning Golem = faster casting for quality of life if you do not use increased duration on winter orb
Ice Golem = crit = damage
Culling Strike will kill bosses faster.
I always have Culling strike linked to my golem, if need be I recast him when the enemy gets close to cull range. I sometimes link Herald of Thunder with it. The other two Heralds only do AoE damage around the enemy you kill. If nothing dies close to the boss it won't cull. Herald of Thunder strikes lightning at enemies when it is procced - culling enemies.

Cast when damage taken CWDT

Option 1:

"Classic Setup" which I recommend
I rarely use phase run at the moment. so it might be a better option to put righteous fire here.

Option 2:

Set up so that Cold snap is auto cast and Vaal Cold Snap is your cooldown. Allowing you to take something else as second spell, but also depriving you of excellent Cold Snap Damage.

CWDT support only works on Skill Gems that require the same level as CWDT requires or lower!
Meaning a level 4 CWDT will support and trigger a level 6 immortal call - but not a level 7 immortal call!
It will also trigger a level 6 phase run but not a level 8 phase run!

Here is the whole logic to it:
The higher your CWDT the more damage you need to take before it can trigger. A level 4 requires you to take less damage than a level 10 before immortal call is cast. Immortal call gets very little bonus to any level upgrades. So we don't care as much what level it actually is and just adjust it to our CWDT gem.
I usually use a CWDT level 4 for early maps and once I reach 6000 life I use a level 6 CWDT - HOWEVER:
Since the highest gem that absolutely needs level 20 in our build requiring dexterity is a support gem we need 111 dexterity. getting dexterity on gear is expensive and takes up modslots - so we want to be as close as possible to 111 Dexterity.
This means a level 8 Phase run is the highest we can go because level 9 requires 113 dexterity and it is not worth buying new phase run gems all the time. Especially since we want it at 20% quality.
Support gems are not triggered by CWDT so increased duration can be as high as it wants

The maximum we can go is:
CWDT lvl 6 - 0% quality
Immortal Call 8 - 0% quality
Increased Duration 20 - 20% or higher
Phase Run 8 - 20% or higher quality but not higher level.

This way we can still self cast Phase run - which is affected by increased duration and Immortal Call is Autocast with increased duration support!

Same goes for Option 2:
Make sure your Cold Snap is autocast by CWDT
You can still cast your Vaal Cold Snap as a cooldown! and it will also apply Bonechill

9. Crafting with influenced Item bases
This information was gathered by a friend of mine; since I am not too deep into crafting. I may not be able to answer too indepth questions into this, but they wrote a very extensive explanation for your options.

Also: Keep in mind that crafting in PoE basically means gambling. Only do this with currency that you can spare. this is like getting a 6link: I got one with 20 jewelers and 10 fuses on a 0% quality item - but I also sank 10 ex worth of fuses in a 26% Queen of the Forest and ended up with nothing.

Nevertheless - it is fun and a good way to get rid of funds.
So many thanks to my friend for this great collection!


Shaper/Hunter/Warlord Helmet

Shaper has cold damage to spells
Hunter has cold damage to spells and the possibility of hitting chilling/shocking conflux.
Warlord has +1 to power charge, %inc ele damage and crit multi

To craft on Shaper/Hunter helmet you’d be looking for life, cold damage to spells and -9% to nearby enemies cold resistance.
Warlord Helmet can roll +1 power charge, increased ele damage and crit multi.

Shaper Helmet (ilvl 83 for the highest cold damage to spells rolls) is likely the cheapest option, all you need to hit is life, added cold damage to spells and -9% res to nearby enemies, you can do that crafting with 2 socket Resonator Fossils: frigid + pristine

Hunter Helmet needs ilvl 75 to hit highest cold damage to spells (same numbers as shaper) and ilvl 80 for conflux, due to the way shocking works, I wouldn’t recommend going for it, unless you have A LOT of damage to actually shock, chilling conflux is an option but not a big one since you’re already chilling stuff, either way with that you should be able to spec out of shaper of desolation and into liege of the primordial for a second golem for even more damage.
Hunter helmet might be cheaper due to lower ilvl but has other less desirable types of damage added to spells than Shaper
Resonator Fossils: frigid + pristine

For both shaper and hunter helmets a 3 socket resonator may be used with frigid + pristine + aetheric/prismatic to increase the chance of cold damage to spells, be aware that this also increases the chance of hitting lightning damage to spells on shaper and chaos/lightning/physical damage to spells on hunter, chaos and physical being very undesirable and lightning adding a lot of dps, while adding another 2 suffixes to the pool which make the -9% hit harder, so not recommended unless you know you can afford the cost.
The craft can be made cheaper by just hitting cold to spells and nearby enemies have -9% cold res and an open prefix, crafting life and calling it a day. Since having the combination of those two mods, beat the +1 AOE crafting by quite a bit.
A 4 socket resonator with Aetheric+Prismatic+Pristine+Frigid can be used to increase the likelihood of a cold damage to spells + lightning damage to spells + life helmet, but it’s very expensive, and honestly not worth it unless you’re already amazing at every slot.

The Warlord helmet
That’d be the hardest craft, due to power charges not being enhanced by any of the fossils, be aware, this craft is by far the hardest to hit on a lower budget and has less outs, but beats the shaper and hunter by about 100% (around 9k on current POB from hunter and shaper crafts vs. 20k for warlord setup).
For the best possible warlord helm you’d need to hit both Power Charges and Inc Elemental damage prefixes, as well as global crit multi and nearby enemies have -9% res suffixes. For the ones that never crafted let me emphasize hitting 4 desired mods out of the entire mod pool is VERY, VERY, VERY hard
Any 3 combo of those also beats the Shaper/Hunter Helmet duo, in the order of the most added damage to the least added damage it’d be -9% to nearby enemies/crit multi/power charges/increased elemental damage.
Resonator Fossils: aetheric + pristine

Absolutely BIS would be a dual influence with warlord 4 mods and cold damage to spells, be aware, trying a craft like that might cost dozens and dozens of exalts, so absolutely not recommended unless for some reason you really want to min max the cold version of this build

Recommended craft overall: Frigid + Pristine on Shaper/Hunter helmet.

A Shaper armor can beat Carcass Jack
You’d need to roll +1 to active gems/int gems and spells have +#% crit chance.
Resonator setup is Faceted + Pristine, using Faceted+Pristine+Corroded is very recommended since it removes 2 prefixes from the pool and Faceteds are very expensive, using Faceted+Pristine+Corroded +Aetheric is also possible since the cost of faceted is so high that its worth a 4 socket resonator to maximize the chance of hitting everything , ilvl 86 is recommended to roll the highest possible life modifier.
Be aware, this craft is expensive due to faceted fossils and not recommended as first craft, hitting +1 to gems is possible without it, but extremely hard.

Warlord gloves with +1 to frenzy charges, spell damage and culling strike is a very powerful option, unfortunately culling and frenzy charges are not affected by any fossils directly.
Using corroded+pristine+aetheric cut some undesirable mods from the mod pool and lower other’s likelihood to show but still a very hard hit. Just getting +1 to maximum frenzy already beats damage against chilled enemies, unfortunately generating charges during boss fights is tricky.
Getting a warlord gloves with culling strike and maybe spell damage is probably the most attainable upgrade over damage against chilled enemies, but it’d easier to just buy it.

Only real possibility here is onslaught on kill(redeemer) for damage while clearing or tailwind for movement speed(Hunter).
Either way the Resonator Fossils would be: shuddering + pristine
Hitting those + move speed will be hard, using essences of zeal is a possibility.

On a “normal” crafting budget it’s close to impossible to beat elder ring + mark of the shaper.
Dps can be lost here in favor of dual shaper rings with cold damage to spells, spells damage and life on hit by spells, due to the very good level of sustain that a fast firing skill like WO will give with life on hit, frigid + pristine would be the fossils to hit that, but not recommended.

Only two possibilities beat the pandemonius
Redeemer amulet ilvl 82 with +1 to cold skill damage damage penetrates cold res and crit multi, also possible to hit spell damage and cold damage
Frigid + Pristine is best
Hunter amulet with +1 to int gems, damage penetrates ele res and crit multi, also possible to hit spell damage and cold damage
Prismatic + Pristine is best
They beat the pandemonius by about 30~50% might be actually cheaper to craft it then to buy the pandemonius, I’d not risk it tho.

Not worth it, unless you want a pathfinder belt, in this case there is plenty of youtube videos going very in depth about the usual way to craft it, and the new influence types do not add anything too wild, unless double influence crafting, which is not covered due to how expensive it is.

Most of the new influences don’t add anything for spell casting, so the best option is still a shaper scepter
The obvious thing to hit is gain elemental as chaos/cold as chaos, other things that the weapon need to have are some of those hits:
+ level to all spells, + level to all cold spells, increased spell damage, increased cold damage, damage penetrates ele/cold res, cast speed, global crit multi.
Resonator Fossils: Frigid + Aberrant
and optionally Frigid + Aberrant + Aetheric/Prismatic (both can make some insane weapons, but obviously bare the cost of 4 socket resonators)

I hope you enjoyed this guide and if you have anything supportive to say please do so :)
Questions are welcome!
Last edited by JeansJoe on Apr 16, 2020, 1:17:36 AM
Last bumped on Mar 20, 2020, 6:06:31 AM
Leveling Guide for this build or similar Winter Orb builds

It's my first leveling guide so I might forget some things. It should have you covered for the most part tho. Especially if you have some experience in the game already.

Leveling Trees:
3.6 ready and good to go - but not optimized yet!
19 points = level 15 ish
Pick either [Frost Walker] or [Lightning Walker] - depending if you level with Freezing Pulse or Arc. Arc is level 12 so by this point you should know. you can remove these two point when switching to winter orb and allocate them really late.
80 points = level 50 ish
100 points = level 70 ish

General Advice

  • pick up all the currency you can get - you will need Chance orbs once you get to Zana, you need Alchemy Orbs to make good socketed items rare and so on
  • Use portal scrolls during hard bossfights to reset your flasks in town
  • get all the waypoints you come across!
  • When you enter an area and the quest for an Ascendency trial pops up search for that trial and do it! (if it pops up in town don't mind)
  • Your character level (push C for character sheet) should be within 3 levels of the zone level. Do not fall below. If you are above it is fine - but you can try skip a lot of mobs if you are above the current zone level. The reason behind this is you will get less experience from the monsters if you are out of their level range. being 4 levels below makes the fights harder and gives you about a third less experience.
  • Do not vendor unidentified items! In the first act it will be very hard to collect enough Wisdom Scrolls so only identify items that you will likely use or that are a potential big upgrade. In later acts you always want to identify items before vendoring because the vendor will then give you more currency in return. This does not take effect on "recipe" items such as Chromatic recipe or Jewelers Recipe.
  • Use a smart lootfilter. Neversink is fine but not perfect.
  • Vendor Recipes: Wiki Link

    Wisdom Scrolls
    A good way to get wisdom scrolls early on is vendoring Blacksmith and Armorer Scraps. they give you a couple of wisdoms.

    Chromatic: any item with red-green-blue sockets linked together will result in a Chromatic Orb. Definitely pick up small weapons 1x3 inventory spaces and small armor pieces like small shields, boots, helmets gloves with 2x2 inventory spaces. Do not pick up Body armors and big weapons unless you really want to go to town a lot.

    any item with 6 sockets - linked or unlinked in any way will give you 7 Jewelers Orbs.

    Alchemy Orbs
    A big portion of Alchemy orbs will come from Rare items endgame. But if you find unique items and vendor them identified they are also a great source of Alchemy Shards - resulting in Orbs. Provided the Unique item is not worth anything and useless to you

    Chaos Recipe
    You will need Stashspace for this - probably 3-4 tabs. A full itemlevel 60+ armor set + weapon + amulet + rings will result in a chaos orb. read the wiki for further information.

General Advice on Upgrading Gear

  • Upgrade your Flasks with the 3:1 recipe at the vendors. Collect 3 of the current life flasks vendor them together and get the next tier
  • We switch gear a lot during leveling. Focus on items that already have the socket setup for your main spell. Fill all the other gear with life resist and spell damage rolls. It is not advisable to "craft" sockets or links early on. because you just might get unlucky and not get the desired outcome. During leveling you should mainly make do and just wait for a better drop if an item doesn't fit your setup. just keep it in your bag / stash and wait till you find something else.
  • What stats do I want on which gearslot?

    You cannot get everything all the time. First mentioned means more important.
    Head, Gloves, Chest: Life and 1-2 Resistances
    Boots: Movement Speed, Life and Resistances
    Rings: Life, Resistances, Cast Speed, Cold Damage,
    Amulet: Life Resistances, Cold Damage, Spell Damage, Crit Chance or Multi for spells
    Weapons: Spell Damage, % Cold Damage, adds x cold/fire/lightning damage to spells, critical strike chance for spells
    Shield: Life, Resistances, Spell Damage, Cold Damage, Cast Speed
  • What weapons do I use? Shield?
    You start out with Wands - always use the highest spell damage wands you find. Press C to view your character sheet, click on your main attack skill and check the damage. if you switch with a new wand or weapon it will show you if you do more or less damage now.

    Weapons are for damage. Do not optimize weapon slots for resistances or anything else apart from damage. The physical damage on a weapon is uninteresting to us.

    A shield can help you surviving a lot of things better but you will also sacrifice around 20-40% of your damage. I advice you to not use a shield in Softcore.

    You have 3 weapon types available to you:
    Wands: are Spell Damage bases
    Daggers: are Crit Bases and less interesting than wands.
    Scepters: are Elemental Damage bases - which count towards spell damage and are very neat.
    The problem is that wands are exclusive - meaning you can only dualwield a wand with another wand.
    Scepters and Daggers can be dualwielded in any combination.

    I recommend using scepters once you find decent ones. Most of the time I have been more lucky on getting high Elemental+Spell damage on those than on Wands. A good shield with high Spell damage can also help you make the swap between a wand setup and a Scepter setup - so make sure to keep a spell damage shield when you find a good one. meaning having around 50-70% of the spell damage of your current weapon.
  • Vaal Side Areas
    Do them all the time as long as the don't have elemental reflect.
    there are a few reasons for this:
    1. you want vaal gems of righteous fire and cold snap (and maybe arc for leveling)
    2. These areas can drop fully linked items of the maximum sockets.
    meaning on ilvl 25 - 4 linked
    on ilvl 35 - 5 linked
    on ilvl 50 - 6 linked
    Whether you are on a trade league or SSF these fully linked items come in handy. Especially if they match the colors you need. Even if a 6 linked item only matches 5 colors you need you can fill the 6th with a not as good support gem. And if all fails trading them for 20-50 chaos is a nice compensation as well.
    3. Sacrifice Fragments will drop.
    Make sure to collect full sets. Sacrifice at Midnight is the rarest of them. It is the top right corner.
    So any spare Dusk Dawn and Noon can be run once you hit Maps for additional chance on vaal gems and 6 linked Chest items!

Act I

1. Pick up wand, equip it, kill zombie, put *Fireball in Wand. Walk along the beach and pick up *Arcane Surge. Link it with Fireball. Kill Hillock
Pick up ALL the gear and vendor it if it is not an upgrade.

2. Enter Town, Get *Freezing Pulse as Quest reward and replace it with your Fireball. Vendor said Fireball.

Advice what gear to look out for:
Boots with 10% movement speed. Check the vendor once every level up if you can and identify rare and magic boots.
Any 3 Link item with [3 Blue] or [2 Blue 1 Green] sockets that are linked!
Any belt that gives you a lot of energy shield or life!
Keep all Chain Belts for Crafting! Dagger/Wand/Scepter + magic or rare Chain belt + Blacksmith Whetstone = Weapon with spell Damage
A quicksilver Flask for movement speed from the quest and maybe a drop, Use 2 if you can.
Your Flask setup should be: Life Life Quicksilver Mana Mana
If you have a second Quicksilver drop one Mana.
Two Weapons for your offhand. I recommend using a 2blue 1red and 2blue 1green setup. This way you can passive level every color and we mainly focus on blue gems. Your offhand weapons should have 3 sockets in the desired colors. a shield is fine as well. we just use them to store gems for later or level them for later. In endgame we use them to level our main gems a second or third time to get a desired vaal outcome.

3. The Caged Brute
Make sure you have upgraded your life Flasks for Brutus. then you can facetank him.
After killing Brutus set up these gems:
* Added Lightning Damage
Link with *Freezing Pulse *Arcane Surge
* Flame Dash
can be on it's own
* Clarity
can be on it's own. Use it for mana regen. It will get stronger later. This is just a quality of life choice.
* Lesser Multiple Projectiles
Has to be bought from vendor
Link with *Freezing Pulse *Added Lightning Damage
In this case link Flame Dash with Arcane Surge.

Gear at Brutus

4. The Siren's Cadence
Around Level 12 you should enter Merveils Cavern. In town you can now get the * Arc Gem. It is up to you if you want to continue using Freezing Pulse or Arc from this point on. I usually use Arc because it gets the job done a little cleaner.

Act 2

1. leave town towards the right. Do sidequest for the belt reward if you feel like it or if you want an energy based belt for the vendor recipe.

2. Keep to the roads in this act. When you reach Crossroads waypoint go north first and do the chamber of sins + Ascendancy trial.

3. Go back to Crossroads and if you feel like getting the Ascendancy trials out of the way and you need some leveling go south towards the Crypt and finish that. Sidequest not needed but since you are there...

4. Last time towards Crossroads, go East towards Broken Bridge and kill Kraityn.
Kill all if you want to invest currency endgame - help Alira if you want to switch to a different build later. If you are unsure roll a dice.

5. Leave town towards left. Grab Riverways waypoint and go further West.
Note: From the riverways waypoint there is always a path towards the north leading to Oak. Also stay on the main path and use Flame Dash to cross gaps.

6. Stay on the main path in Western Forest.
This area has a fixed setup. On one side of the main road is Aliras Camp - the path towards it is marked by a lit torch and a pathway next to it. Follow that path and kill/help Alira. (see 4.) keep on that side of the road and walk towards the very west end of the level and kill the NPC there. use the seal on the thing and then circle back on the opposite side of the area (meaning opposite from the Alira side) and find the entrance to the Weavers Chamber. Kill weaver and go to town. and Act 1 town for your quest rewards.

7. Riverways waypoint, go north, kill Oak in Wetlands, grab Waypoint there, go to town for Bandit reward and move on.

Gems in this Act:
Herald of Thunder
Herald of Ice
use at least one of them. If you also use Clarity you might hunger for mana. One of those + Clarity should be fine. Both + Clarity depending on your mana regeneration.
Herald of Ash (passive level this one in offhand) One of the heralds can be picked as quest reward, the others have to be bought.
Cold Snap for passive leveling in offhand

Controlled Destruction used with main attack instead of Arcane surge. passive leveling if you use Freezing Pulse until you get a 4link.
Faster Casting - used with Flame Dash if you can, else passive level it.
Elemental Focus is up to you. Freeze/Shock increases your damage and using Ele Focus removes those Ailments from the spell. I'd rather not use it.

8. Vaal Oversoul Boss does Lightning Damage.

Act 3

Gear to look out for:
Get at least one 4 linked item with those colors:
[4blue] if using Arc
[3blue 1green] if using Freezing Pulse
[2blue 1green 1 red] For Winter Orb which we use soon-ish-tm
Do NOT craft these but find them. If you cannot find any of them just make do. you are not swimming in Chromatics at this point. if you are you need an INT item base to reforge a 4 link item. Do not think you can make a Strength item base change into 4 blue sockets.

Sever the Right Hand gives you Winter Orb.
Level it first or start using it right away. Depending on your gear and general feeling. I mostly just level it for a while before using it. Once you have Greater Multiple Projectiles and Increased Duration Support it feels way better. But it is a good damage dealer as well. You can use it with your other mainspell from this point onward. At some point you will realize you use it way more than the other spell.
Winter Orb - Added Lightning Damage - lesser Multiple Projectiles - Controlled Destruction.
Added Cold Damage from Siosa might be an idea.
Efficacy Support from Fixture of Fate Quest

Lost in Love reward:

A Fixture of Fate reward:
Efficacy Support - Great for Winter Orb!
buy this from vendor for passive leveling:
Cold Penetration

Questwise it is pretty straightforward.
Do the Siosa Quest and buy Warlords Mark. You can either use it as a Blasphemy aura or selfcast it. It gives you survivability on bosses

Act 4


Lightning Golem - Cast Speed - Quality of life for Winter Orb leveling
Ice Golem - more Crit - nice for Freezing Pulse or Arc.

Bonechill support - for Cold Snap CWDT setup
Greater Multiple Projectiles (GMP) - replace with lesser Multiple in Winter Orb

Cast when damage taken Support (CWDT)
Immortal Call
Both only obtainable from Vendor

In this act you definitely want this:
Boots with movement speed and life
At least two 4 link items for Winter Orb and your other spell or Winter Orb and a CWDT setup
A three link will do for CWDT
A two or 3 link with blue gems for Flame Dash - Faster Casting - Arcane Surge

CWDT - Cold Snap - Bonechill [1 Red - 2 Blue]
CWDT - Immortal Call - Increased Duration [2-3 Red]
Make sure to not level your CWDT! only level the supported skill gems up to the point where they are still supported by your CWDT. if this puzzles you take 5 minutes and read the text on your Cast when Damage taken gem and the linked skill gems. Other support gems are not affected by this!

Winter Ork Setup as Following:
WO - Efficacy - GMP - Controlled Destruction [3 blue 1 green]
WO - Efficacy - GMP - Increased Duration [2 blue 1 green 1 red] for quality of life

Arc - Added Lightning - Controlled destruction - Arcane Surge
From this point onward Arc is more of a support damage dealer. proccing Arcane surge for you and making WO stronger.

Keep WO at 10 stacks if possible. Cast Arc/freezing pulse on bosses

Curse on Hit Support
you might want to use a curse on hit or Blasphemy setup now.
Warlords Mark can be obtained in Act 3 after completing Siosa Quest in the Library.
Use Cast on Hit - Warlords Mark together with either Herald of Ice or Thunder. Both if Possible. Depending on your free 3 or 4 link items and their
Still DO NOT use Herald of Ash. we still passive level this one.

If you haven't done your Ascendancy Trial yet - now would be a good time. It is level 33 and you should be overleveled by now and have enough life and damage to make it easier.

Act 5 and onward will come soon-ish-tm.

Finished the soryline. Was quite the cakewalk. already have capped resistances so this is what I will use to start maps.
I'm not a good speedrunner and the Synthesis content got me sidetracked a lot. So I was mostly overleveled by 3-10 levels. Did all the labs like it was nothing - except uber of course.
PoB: https://pastebin.com/xjNdfisy

End of Storyline Gear and links

Last edited by JeansJoe on Dec 10, 2019, 3:57:41 AM
srsly ? now 20+ same builds with DPS < 200k GJ
use pandemonius

0 reason to use shit frostbite neck
Pandemonius is little overrated imo.
Somethin like this is better imo, and cheaper
Last edited by Fornal89 on Feb 5, 2019, 4:42:06 AM
Can you maybe give us a pastebin of your end game items?
Added the pastebin.

Also if you want a cookiecut build go somewhere else. I am not claiming I have the best build.
Switching to pandemonius gives me a very small damage upgrade. While messing with my resistances. So I don't use it.
My shoddy amulet is cheaper hence more accessible. if you don't like using it don't use it and use something else. A good shaped Amulet will do as well.

Fact is I did a ton of things this league with this build and found a lot of gear myself. Weapon and Gloves for example. I crafted my abyssjewels and and and.
I don't even have the friggin head enchant and I do good damage.
So thanks for constructive input - not.
With the 3.6 patch now published do you think that this build was hit in any way?
I am quite a newbie and it's the first time when i play from day 1 of a new league, so I want to start with this build.
vaidaraul wrote:
With the 3.6 patch now published do you think that this build was hit in any way?
I am quite a newbie and it's the first time when i play from day 1 of a new league, so I want to start with this build.

yes it was "hit". But it's still viable.
Winter Orb had a slight damage nerf - not too serious tho. And the support gems might change.
I'll publish a leveling guide for this build in the 2nd post of this thread.
I expect it to be a little less powerful but still very good - especially as a starter build it can still carry you to at least red maps without big investments.
flu3r wrote:
srsly ? now 20+ same builds with DPS < 200k GJ

man winter orb use 5 PROJECTILES = <200k dps x 5 = 1 mil dps +-

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