[3.5] Cast on Ignite Elementailst - Not Beginner Friendly, Not Cheap, Not HC/EndGame viable


Welcoming statement

HI! Welcome to my guide, I am SenselessGeek and I’ll be your host. I am a streamer on twitch, trying to be a Youtuber (gotta learn some video editing first) and this is the build that I used in 3.5

What is this guide about?
I wanted to revisit an old favorite build of mine in betrayal league and stumbled upon some others who had carried the mantle after the Vaal Pact changes.

Forbidden Build by OMGItsJousis
Youtube Guide old version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWyV0kIp5n4
Sequel build https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYRHRzhRelQ

Rainbow Nuke by Captain Warlord
Youtube Basic Guide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Egj23QU0eH4
Written Guide https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2033965

IF YOU USE THESE, YOU WILL HAVE A MUCH BETTER TIME, but if you like to make your own, then keep reading.

We are talking about Cast on Ignite and my iteration on the build. We will also go over some build tips and other various ways that the build can be done.

Basic build concepts

Basic build premise

You take Eye of Innocence, Two Ngmahus Rings and Loads of CWDT Gems. You then grab 100% ignite change from the tree and run around through things while your spells run in a loop casting more spells for more ignites and more spells for more ignites and more spells for more ignites, until one of two things happen.

1. You kill all the things, huzzah!
2. The server screams in agony and you're left crying as your high quant, high pack size, red tier map goes POOF!.

Mechanics of the build

Eye of Innocence causes you to take 100 flat fire damage when you ignite an enemy, this damage is reduced by Fire resistance. So normal resistance cap at 75% and you've reduced that self damage to 25 flat fire.

When you add Ngamahu's Sign rings to the build, every time you ignite an enemy you heal for 20-30 hp. This completely negates the self damage and can heal for a lot when you find ways to ignite a bunch of times.

We are then using nothing but cast when damage taken setups in every slot and a single gem slot for a self cast spell to start a loop. Getting to 100% ignite chance and adding 1+ damage to spells, allows every spell cast with CWDT to cause ignites, which then deal self damage, which trigger more CWDT setups, which cause more ignites and on and on in an infinite loop.

Requirements for the build

Eye of Innocence and a high ignite chance is really all that is needed to make this work. The things that make it work well are adding in two Ngamahu's Signs.

There are other ways that the damage from Eye of Innocence ignites can be countered, but Ngamahu's are the most reliable. Outside of these two items there are no real requirements to sustain the infinite loop.

Lots of money is required to make this build viable for late game. I didn't get that far in 3.5 due to real life sucking it away.

General stats required

The best stats to look out for are in this order.

1. Ignite Chance up to 100%
The build can function at 80% ignite, how ever each additional point you get up to 100% is noticeable and at 100% you can start counting on things to work the way you think they will. I personally didn't feel comfortable using this until I hit 95% and I wouldn't want to play it at less than that.

2. flat damage added to spell, ie. Abyss jewels.
Flat damage to spells is by far the most significant damage you can get for this build, since we use unmodified spells, and rely on frequency of spells over big single hits, flat damage provides the biggest boost we can get.

3. Health, lots and lots of health
Getting as much health as you can is very important for the survivability of your sanity. This build is not for those that hate seeing that XP bar go down, and it will. The more health you have the better your methods for regaining that health work.

4. Resists to at least 75%
Sure getting more than 75% fire resist means that you cast your spells less often. But the increased survival will feel so much better. This is down a ways, cause I was able to take this build to T10 maps with my resists at 76 fire/ 50cold /50 lightning.

5. Percent Spell/Elemental Damage
Since we use a multitude of spells, percent damage that applies to all elements is important over single element damage. This is much lower on the list as it doesn't boost our damage as much as flat damage to spells, but it is a nice to have if you can fit it in.

Building the tree

Main points to go for in the tree

Breath and Flames straight up from Witch start, that 25% ignite chance for that wheel.
Holy Fire next to the Avatar of fire Keystone is an additional 20% ignite for that wheel .
Holy Dominion near Templar start for 5% ignite plus some really nice to haves.
Celestial punishment for another 5% and some nice to haves.
Celestial Judgement for Elemental Penetration

Outside of those, you want to grab as much health and jewel sockets as you can. Jewel sockets are giant boosts to this build and far outweigh any damage node you can get. The best jewel slot to get early is the elemental damage wheel between Breath and Flames and Holy Fire.

I went for Paragon of Calamity first for the life leech and then Mastermind of Discord and then once I got my uber lab done, i respecced from Paragon into Beacon of Ruin.

I went Alira for mana regen and resists, but skill points are the better option if you can get your resists from gear.

Lunaris most of the time, and Ralakesh most of the time. Swap them around as needed for bosses.

What are some nice to haves

Elemental Penetration - since we do low amounts of damage with each hit, ele pen can be the difference between doing no damage due to resistance and doing any form of damage.

Resistances from the tree - Some forms of this build can over utilize unique gear which is usually pretty lacking in the resistance department and resistance from the tree helps with gearing in general.

Skill Effect Duration - several of our spells that are used to generate ignites, generate more ignites when the spell duration lasts longer and in some instances this can enable the build to actually push through some of the tougher content.

The tree I ended up with

I came out the Witch's spell damage side grabbing Arcanist's Dominion as well as the Heart and Soul health/mana cluster before rushing up to Breath and Flames grabbing the health and jewel socket on the way.

I nabbed the Quick Recovery wheel before heading up to Elemental Overload and over to the Holy fire wheel. After that I came down through the Templar area through Retribution and getting the health around Discipline and Training.

Headed through Holy Dominion and straight over to Celestial Punishment before heading down through Sanctity and getting all the health nodes in the Marauder area.

I respecced the tree as I went along grabbing Jewel sockets if they made sense and respeccing out if a node on my path was better, then respeccing back in if I got jewels that made up for it.


Gear Used

Required gear and why it is required

Eye of Innocence
This causes our self damage
Ngamahu's Sign x2
This heals us from the damage cause by Eye of Innocence

Nice to Haves, Why

Disintegrator Staff
This adds tons of flat physical damage to our spells and really makes them hit hard.

Watcher's Eye with Vitality Mods
The Vitality mods will keep you alive when the going gets rough. If you get a good enough one, you can possibly replace one of your Ngamahu's with a damage ring and only rely on the one to counter the Eye of Innocence damage.

Rat Cage
This one item can be used in conjunction with Vaal Molten Shell to cause a big burst of damage. It can allow for the negating of one of the harder problems this build deals with and that is Client/Server lag when you get a bunch of enemies that do not die quick enough.

Rare Jewels with Ignite

Jewels with ignite as well as the other stats you are looking for can allow you to spec out of the ignite nodes on the tree and use those points for nodes that provide better bonuses.

Can I get away with less?

In theory, yes. You can use Cybil's Paws if you don't have access to Ngamahu's, or even in conjunction with them for more healing factor. This build doesn't really require much to get going.

Stats to look for on rare gear

The items I looked for were high life, and at least 2 resists. anything else was a bonus.


Skills Used

Which Gems, Where did I put them, any particular level requires?
In a 6 Socket 5-link staff I placed
Firestorm (lvl 8) + Ball Lightning (lvl 5) + Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 2) + Unearth (lvl 9) + Greater Multiple Projectiles (lvl 20)
Storm Brand in the single socket.

In 4 Link gloves
Cremation (lvl 20) + Volotile Dead (lvl 20) + Spell Cascade (lvl 20) + Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 20)

6 Link Chest
Arc (lvl 20) + Frostbolt (lvl 20) + Vortex (lvl 20) + Blade Vortex (lvl 20) + Increased Duration (lvl 20) + Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 20)

4 Link Helm
Herald of Thunder (lvl 20) + Herald of Ice (lvl 20) + Herald of Ash (lvl 20) + Vitality (lvl 20)

4 Link Boots
Phase Run (lvl 20) + Enhance (lvl 3, only cause lvl 4 was expensive) + Warlord's Mark (lvl 13) + Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 10)

Why did I pick these particular Gems

There is a method to the setups and there are most likely better setups. I was trying to go for a mostly self found way of playing and lost a bit of efficiency in doing so.

Staff Setup
this is the low level CWDT which is used to trigger the higher level CWDT setups.

Firestorm is used purely for frequency of ignites.
Ball Lightning creates more ignites and is good for life leech in groups
Unearth is there to create corpses for Volatile Dead and Cremation

Storm Brand is in it's own slot as it is only used to create the initial ignites in each pack. I didn't use brand recall as one cast was usually enough to get the ball rolling. I did opt for Rune Binder in the skill tree which helped a little bit against single targets.

I used a +2 AOE gems Starkonja because the stats are decent.
Herald of Thunder is for damage
Herald of Ash gives additional fire damage to spells from the physical we get from the Disintegrator
Herald of Ice aids in freezing enemies and preventing on kill effects from totally killing us when delving.
Vitality is used to keep us alive in addition to Ngamahu's

CWDT at lvl 20 to cast our lvl 20 Cremation and Volatile Dead
Cremation is a good duration skill that does good single target damage while creating ignites over time
Volatile Dead is good for both Single Target and Groups while created multiple ignites
Spell Cascade supports both active skills and triples their output.

This is the main damage setup
Blade Vortex is used to damage but is really good at sustaining the low level CWDT setup
Frostbolt is there to cause some damage and provide some freeze
Vortex is there for damage and the synergy with Frostbolt
Increased Duration supports both Vortex and Blade Vortex.
CWDT at lvl 20 to cast all of them.

Phase Run is my favorite movement skill
Enhance increases Phase Runs speed and also supports the curse
Warlord's Mark is to provide healing, mana sustain, and Endurance charges.
CWDT at lvl 10 keeps Phase Run on manual activation and Warlord's on automatic. Level 10 was the sweet spot anecdotally where I felt Warlord's was being cast every time it came off cool down.

How do you level using this build

Can I level as this build
Yes and no. The build becomes the true version of itself when you equip the required items. Until then, lvl as something fire related. You can also opt to lvl the gems as you go, but my experience says you'll have a bad time.

Gear for leveling

If you chose to level as something fire related, at level 28 equip your Ngamahu's and enjoy lots of healing. Then just grab whatever gear you see fit for making it through the main story until you can equip your Eye of Innocence.

Twink Gear
Standard leveling gear applies here, such as dual LifeSprigs, Tabula Rasa, Perandus Signets, Praxis, Goldrim, Seven League Step, Wanderlust, Meginord's Girdle, Atziri's Foible, Karui Ward. If I've missed some twink items let me know in the comments.

What level can you transition
At level 68 you can transition over to the full Cast of Ignite setup assuming you have the required items. While you may be tempted to make the switch as soon as you can equip the Eye of Innocence, you may want to wait until you have enough ignite chance as well, waiting to swap could be a bit boring but you'll save headache if your setup is more complete when you swap vs muddling through a poor experience.

Building Your own

The great thing about this build is that there is no real cookie cutter way to play it. The only thing the stays the same between the variations is that you use ignites to cast spells. But what spells? What sockets were they put in? Did they opt for all lvl 1 CWDT setups for more casts, or lvl 20 setups for more damage output? How did they counter the damage? Did they stick with Ngamhu's or go with something different? There are multiple ways to play this and I'm gonna go over some points to consider if you plan to build your own Cast on Ignite build.

What to look for in active skills

There are several things you want to look for in the skills you choose.

1. Number of ignites
Does the skill possess the ability to create a loop of casts?

2. Damage potential
If the skill is not creating a loop is it doing a lot of damage on its own.

3. Supportability
Can the skill be supported to achieve 1 or 2.

What to look for in support gems

Some of the setups can use support gems to enhance the effect you are going for at the sacrifice of an active skill gem.

1. can this support gem support multiple active skill gems

2. when supporting a skill gem, does the support enable less active skill gems to perform better than just having an additional active skill gem.

3. will having this support gem cause the setup to be worse at dealing damage or igniting things. A good case in point, increasing the area of effect may increase clear speed when mapping, but could reduce the setups ability to create a loop when faced with a single target.

building around flaws in the skills

When choosing your skills you want to be thinking about what the skill does well for sure, but more importantly, what does the skill not do very well. For some examples.


- really good at creating and sustaining ignites on groups of enemies.
- has trouble causing ignites on single targets that move around.


By using this in our low level setup, we cast it more often creating more blanket coverage for the skill which doesn't eliminate the downside, but helps alleviate it. You could also add in duration via Increased Duration and Efficacy to make it last longer.

Volatile Dead

-Has great damage potential and chases single target.
-requires corpses and only consumes three corpses.


By using GMP with unearth in the low level setup we create plenty of corpses, and then using Spell cascade in the volatile dead setup we create more orbs which is what we are looking for.

what skills cannot be used, and why

It's not so much that skills cannot be used, but it's more that using a skill has a trade off. If you use a skill that is not increasing ignites or damage then it's benefit needs to be weighed accordingly. If you want to go fast, then fitting phase run in may be useful to you. Maybe you want a gap closer, then flamedash or another skill may be in order. Maybe you did the math, and adding in a golem will boost your damage enough to be worth it. The possibilities are nigh endless.

With that said, things to consider when adding in skills to this build.

Is the damage from you or another source is really the only thing to consider. Minions will not provide ignites to your loop, nor will traps. Herald's do not gain your flat damage bonuses, so they also not get fire damage to feed the loop.

Spells that cause a single hit are usually not worth unless the damage is decent ala Arc.


What did I like about the build

For me, the build feeds into my inner Timmy/Johnny {https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/making-magic/timmy-johnny-and-spike-revisited-2006-03-20-2}allowing me to see how the interaction of each addition to the build changed the way it played as well as getting to be able to cast so many spells at once.

The chaotic nature of casting every spell you can fit into your gear makes it very satisfying visually albeit a bit hard to watch even for myself. It also sounds awesome.

What problems did it have

This excelled at mapping yellow tier maps. It felt very good, all the way up to T10, but felt horrible to try and push past that. As the health of mobs increased, the client/server lag increased with it, cause multiple lost instances. The fix was to increase the damage of the build. Getting 20/20 gems and +lvl gem gear I was able to push the build into T14, but past that there were just too many situations where the mobs didn't die quick enough.

It did not feel very good to see the game slow to a crawl and then try and hit my flasks, skills, try to move, only to see the game catch up and I had died quite a bit earlier. Or to see it start to catch up only to crash the instance and everything on screen is lost. As well as having a roll back on items I had already picked up.

League Starter?

I do not recommend this build as a League starter. I did this as my second character and admittedly stuck with it far longer than I should have. Every bit of currency I earned this league went into attempting to make this variation viable in the end game. I spent 10+ EX just to pull out of yellow maps. With more currency this has the potential to push into end game bossing, but I was just burnt out trying to get it to work.

Hard Core?

NO! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! My total death count when I stopped is now at 230 deaths to get this build going.

Would I play it again?

Yes, Absolutely. I won't do it as a second character with no capital to throw at it to start though. I may jump into it in 3.6 depending on how the patch notes treat it.

The next iteration will have more thought put in to the spells choices. There are many improvements to skills and CWDT setups that I thought about while putting this guide together but did not occur while actually building the character.

It will also be after I have built a significant pile of wealth.

Will I play it soon?

Not the foreseeable future, but if I can scrape together a ton of currency next league I may try to make it work again.
Last bumped on Feb 15, 2019, 10:55:15 PM

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info