[3.6] Winter Orb CWC Ice Spears. 8.6k hp ,slayer leech, 9.8-10.7 mil dps ,Depth 749, easy Uber Elder

3.11 update
The current build is now retired since winter orb just feels terrible(relatively)

The build fundamentally works(take note of nerfs to shaped,fossils and benched mods) but winter orb just feels terrible now(relatively speaking) and as there are no other good channeling skills that synergizes with ice spears I have transitioned to Cast on Crit.


Sorry for not having an edgy name for my build

PS. Much of this build relies on crafting your own gear including a Cast While Channeling Staff ..if you are on a really tight budget I have a super budget version of the build[~ 5 mil dps] for you in the Pob pastebin section 7.4 at the end that requires 0 crafting (besides adding aspect of the spider) and should have enough dps to take on all content

Feel free to copy the build as it is...but the main purpose of this guide (and all guides really) is to lay out most of the options that are available to you so you can pick and choose options that will fit your play style and budget. Even if you don't end up reading the guide it will be great if you can walk away with the knowledge that a winter orb cwc ice spears setup is pretty good.

Important! I have been getting Pms from newer players in game telling me that the 2 PoBs below are broken because the passives in the witch area do not connect with the scion starting area. This is the characteristic of the ascendant... an ascendancy that lets you take passives from the starting areas of the other characters. This means you will have to connect your passives to the witch area of the tree while leveling and THEN use some regrets( not too many) to free up those points used to connect the areas when you obtain the ascendancy passive that lets you start at the witch area

Changes in 3.6

-Slayer nerfs: This is still a pretty viable build even with the nerfs to the slayer ascendancy for the ascendant.
-Winter orb loses some dps but we are only using it to clear
-Ice Spear gains additional base dmg
-Vaal RF is less powerful (-11% more dmg)
-No changes to cast while channeling

There aren't going to be much changes to the build in general

The channeling nodes aren't important to us since winter orb is only used for clearing and additional cast speed does nothing to increase the number of times ice spears is cast (it is a fixed 0.35 seconds interval)

1. Making small changes
In lieu of the changes to how Bone Helmet (and all other bases) can keep its implicit while having an enchant.. I have specced into spiritual aid. This will also allow us to replace the % inc damage while leeching mod we have crafted on our gloves with % inc minion damage from the bench if we are moving away from the slayer sub ascendancy. You can of course still choose to stick to the old pathing and take Divine Judgement instead (and get 1 point in hand)


2. Defensive options now available
We do have a lot of room to maneuver on the tree simply because we are already doing plenty of damage. The new(and changes to) staff nodes are also an option if you want to get some block/spell block without losing out too much on damage (Enigmatic Defence + pathing clockwise on the staff wheel towards Counter weight).
With 10 points of investment we get
- 19% block
- 19% spell block
- 47% increased damage
- 30% crit multi
- 60% crit chance

here is a pastebin with the block nodes and a change in base of the staff from eclipse to maelstrom

-8.3k hp
-10.17 mil dps
-39% block chance
-19% chance to block spells

Blunt trauma seems to provide knock back chance if you crit with the staff not while wielding a staff

Minotaur - Most recent gear

Phoenix - Most recent gear (1st form of ice spears)

Hydra - Most recent gear

Uber Elder - Most recent gear

Shaper - Old setup with 3.5 mil less dps

The dps is still pretty silly even without the active/conditional buffs though. Check out the videos below
some numbers for ice spear ONLY (note that winter orb does a decent chunk of dmg too) :
with vaal pact
- ~5 mil dps with no Vaal RF and no focus
- 6.4 mil dps with vaal RF no focus
- 9.1 mil dps with focus + vaal RF

without vaal pact
- ~5.7 mil dps with no Vaal RF and no focus
- 8.1 mil dps with Vaal RFand no focus
- 10.5 mil dps with focus + vaal RF

This is the top Ice spears build(both self cast and cwc) in Betrayal(amongst the chars with public profiles anyway!). It manages to have the best dps while having 8.6k hp with defensive choices like taking the slayer ascendancy etc.

1. Build Overview

1.1 Skills and Mechanics

We are simultaneously dealing damage with 2 skills here: Winter orb and Ice spears. Winter orb is our trigger skill and ice spears is indirectly cast while we channel winter orb via the use of the support : Cast While Channeling

While channeling winter orb , ice spears is cast every 0.35 seconds. This is a fixed interval that is not affected by cooldown recovery mods.

This build clears pretty fast as expected of a winter orb setup while dealing millions of dps to obliterate bosses and syndicate members with ice spears.. The idea here is to combine the fastest clearing spell build that has built in auto targeting with the highest dps spell in game to create a build that is both fast at clearing and has amazing single target. The scion ascendancy gives us the option to obtain slayer leech as well as reflect immunity on top of the good clear speed and single target we already have

It should be noted that the ice spears projectiles have a 2nd form which is much more powerful than the 1st form (more crit and crit multi) and hence there is a need to position yourself at a suitable distance to maximize your dps. You can check out the gif of my character downing minotaur above where I stand at just the right distance to hit and shotgun the boss with all the 2nd form ice spears projectiles.


Try to path to the witch starting area as soon as possible. Level with whatever skill you feel the most comfortable with (storm brand/freezing pulse).

You can start using winter orb at level 28 . When you get the gem you can link it with
lmp- controlled destruction- elemental focus.
If you feel the need to, you can take some increased skill duration nodes to make using pure winter orb smoother. Start leveling ice spears(level 12 req) in an offhand or on weapon swap. You can also experiment with spell totems (ice spears, spell totem , lmp, <additional dmg support>) if you wish

At level 38 or at the end of act 4. You will obtain the cast while channeling gem (buy it from the vendor) and GMP(take it as the quest reward) after killing malachai. This is when the build really takes off. Your links should look like
Winter orb - Ice Spears - GMP - Casy While channeling in a 4L

If you can afford the mana reservation you can have a herald setup that looks like

Herald of ice - ice bite - onslaught

to make clearing smoother

When to transition to using a staff?
At any point really. The best time is probably when you already have the Arcane Potency and Annihilation spell crit cluster and have some passive points(4 points) in hand. Using a staff will allow you to pick up the Serpent Stance cluster which gives 60% crit multi and 100% crit chance

Take note that lmp/gmp is the most important damage support for winter orb /ice spears since the projectiles from both overlap/shotgun

1.2 Overview of defensive mechanics
1. Knock back on hit jewels
2. Slayer leech
3. 8.5k hp
4. Vaal pact (acuities or via pathing to the keystone)[Optional]
5. Blind from Pandemonius
6. Slow from aspect of the spider
6. increased life recovery from a vitality's watcher's eye + soul of arakaali( up to 6.12k hp leeched per second)

you will be pretty much unkillable in all map level content

As expected of a scion, the dps ceiling is pretty high if you want to invest in the holy trinity (x2 might of the meek and unnatural instinct ) but generally speaking the build isn't too expensive and you can get a build that is tanky has good single target and be decently fast at clearing at about 15 ex...and maybe 1/2 that if you use a 6 link chest with average wands/daggers/sceptres just to get a feel of the playstyle

Much of what make this build works is pretty mainstream so I won't go into too much details but I will talk about the core piece of equipment that are needed

2. Equipment Choices

2.1 CWC staff


How to craft it?

A staff like this takes about 10 ex to craft

1. Get an ilevel 75+ shaped Eclipse Staff
- You should always attempt to 6 link it before proceeding to step 2)
- Use a perfect fossil or hillock's weapon quality bench
to get the quality to 28-30% and bench a 18% quality suffix (4 chaos)
to bring the total weapon quality up to (46-48%)
- This will make socketing and 6 linking a much cheaper process

2. Use alterations/ regals until you hit the Cast While Channeling (prefix) and the double damage(suffix)
3. Use beast craft to imprint the magic item with 2 mods . The beast you will need is the craicic chimera

4. Regal the magic item
5. Annul whatever mod that is added via the regal
6. If you succeed in annuling the mod you can proceed to step 7 else you will have to restore the item using the imprint and try again (back to step 3)
7. Simply multi mod the 2 mod rare item
- [Suffix] Can have multiple crafted modifiers [2 ex]
- [Prefix](64-75%) increased spell damage + Gain 12% of Non-Chaos damage as extra chaos damage [4 chaos]
- [Prefix] + 2 level of Socketed Support gems [1 ex]
- [Suffix] (29-36% chance to deal double damage while focused)[1 divine]

You will notice that most people will go for the PCoC support prefix for the crafting of their shaped staffs but I decided to ditch it in favour of a crafted spell dmg + extra chaos dmg prefix.

The main rationale is that the 2nd form of ice spears has a 600% increased critical strike chance which makes additional power charges not very useful and PCoC itself requires a rather heavy investment of specing power charges in order to benefit much from the % more dmg. We can instead take those points and dump them into more jewel sockets/hp! Having to just obtain a prefix + suffix combo while doing the alt/regal part makes it much cheaper to craft too as opposed to needing x2 prefix

It should be noted that a staff with PCoC will still be better for mapping since winter orb does all the heavy lifting for map clearing.

The double dmg on focus mod is pretty much a must have considering we can have it up quite often !

If you are crafting with aetheric fossils and got the socketed spells deal 20% more dmg or land a + 2 cold gem prefix ...those will work too in place of the + 2 support gem mod but it should be noted that the aetheric prefix will give you slightly less dmg

2.2 Gloves


2.2.1 option 1
One of the main reasons to pick Scion is to be able to abuse the powerful slayer ascendancy that gives us life leech that isn't removed at full life. Vaal pact further enhances this defensive option letting us face tank a lot of content

One option to get vaal pact is to simply use an acuities

2.2.2 option 2
However this isn't the only option. I will provide a pastebin that will show an alternative way of pathing to vaal pact and using a strong pair of dps gloves. This will be a cheaper option.You can of course not bother with vaal pact at all if you are comfortable with the survivability of the build

A pair of gloves like these give up to 138% increased dmg while you are leeching and have any flasks up! Crafting process

You start off with a pair of magic gloves from the temple(crucible of flames room). the mod you are looking for is 'of Puhuarte' which gives '46-48% cold resistance' and '41-50% increased damage with hits against chilled Enemies'


The crafting process depends on the current supply of such gloves in the market. If there are many of them in the market for a decent price (50 ish) ...simply regal and annul for a 50% chance at isolating the 'of Puhuarte' mod

If these bases are expensive or if you are crafting on an expensive base like a fingerless silk glove..you will have to imprint the item using a craicic chimera before you regal and of course revert the item back to its imprinted state if you fail the annul

The notable dmg/utility mods on the bench are
'[prefix] + 1 to level of Socketed Aoe Gems, 8-10% increased Area of Effect'
'[prefix] + 1 to level of Socketed Projectile Gems, Projectiles pierce an additional Target'
'[prefix] 37-43% increased damage while leeching'
'[prefix] 24-28% increased damage during any Flask Effect'
'[suffix] You have onslaught during Soul Gain Prevention'
'[suffix] Non-Vaal skills deal 53-60% increased damage during soul gain prevention'
'[suffix ]15-16% increased Global Critical Strike Chance 20-22% increased elemental damage if you've dealt a Critical Strike recently'

Choose 2 prefixes and 1 suffix out of these . You can see my choices made on the item above. I chose to maximize my dps but the utility options are pretty strong too such as onslaught during soul gain prevention and additional pierce for ice spears. That said I think it is important to at least have + 1 pierce somewhere and this can be either on your helm or on your gloves. The 2nd form of ice spears grants massive projectile speed and additional pierce will not only allow you to clear much more cleanly but also ensure that you are able to hit a syndicate member amongst all the spawned adds.

3.3 Rings

3.3.1 option 1
This is where we traditionally get our mana and life leech from with a combination of a

1. warlord mark ring and a
2. mark of the shaper.

This is a tried and proven setup which works at a decent cost(mid to late game).

3.3.2 option 2
There are other options of course. As a cast while channeling setup our mana consumption is rather low and with the availabity of '- 7 mana cost of skills' on the bench now ( We need about -14 to -17 depending on the amount of mana regeneration you have) we can totally ditch mana leech. This means we are free to use other rings that provide life leech. This might actually end up being much cheaper early league and give more dps at end game than the above mark of the shaper + warlord lord ring combo.

Crafting options

Fossil crafting
I will recommend using a combination of Frigid + Prismatic + pristine

The 2 main mods you will want on your ring are
'[suffix] 30% increased elemental damage'
'[prefix] 0.2% of cold damage leeched as life'

We will also want an open prefix to be able to craft '-7 mana cost to skills'

If you have a life roll with an open prefix you are pretty much good to go.

If you looking to min max your character you will want to isolate the 2 mods(3 if you have a decent life roll) and the way to do this is probably with annuls or the split item recipe+ imprinting.

The notable mods on the bench are
'[prefix] - 7 mana cost of skills'
'[prefix]20% increased damage'
'[suffix]16% increased cold damage'
'[suffix]+1 minimum frenzy charges'
'Shock Nearby Enemies for 4 seconds when you Focus'

The 1st 3 mods are self explanatory so I will talk about the last one

All shocks applied not through hits increase damage taken by 20% . That's a straight up massive 20% increase in total damage when we focus. However there is a catch...

As you can see the shock radius falls a bit short of the 2nd form of ice spears which is the distance required to reach our maximum dps potential. That is not to say this mod isn't useful because of this... because there are many times were we have problems with keeping our distance to maximize our dps in small arenas( uber elder) or vs bosses who are able to close in quickly with skills (Aul)

3.4 Watcher's eye

This is a hard section to elaborate upon since there are many options available to use depending on the choices we have made with our other gear slots

There are a couple of options here depending on what you want to achieve
1. Ability to sustain winter orb channeling without mana leech
2. Ability to do hex proof maps
3. High sustain

It should be noted we are using vitality here.
The cheapest way to achieve [1.] without sacrificing too much dps is to use a clarity watcher's eye that grants "-9 to Total Mana Cost of Skills while affected by Clarity" with an additional rare ring(this will normally be your warlord mark ring) benched with the - 7 mana cost prefix.

To achieve [2.] We will need a watcher's eye that grants "1.5% of Damage leeched as Life while affected by Vitality" while getting gear that lets us achieve [1.]. By achieving [2.] we won't need to use a warlord mark ring and can hence use really nice shaped opals(assassin's mark/fossil craft etc) crafted with -7 mana cost prefixes etc/

To achieve [3.] We will need a watcher's eye that grants "30% increased Life Recovery Rate while affected by Vitality".

I decided to not bother with not being able to do hex proof maps and went with a watcher's eye with the clarity mana cost mod and the vitality life recovery mod

tldr : "-x to Total Mana Cost of Skills while affected by Clarity" mod is the easiest mod to build around since we just need a ring with -7 mana cost on top of this to eliminate the need to use mana leech which is important to make it comfortable to channel.

3.5 Helmet

You will want a helm that gives additional ice spear projectile since the projectiles from ice spears can and will shotgun if you are positioned right.

You will want to use a frigid fossil and pristine fossil to get the -9% cold resistance to nearby enemies mod on it as well as the % life mod.


Ideally you will want a strength or dex based NON elder or shaped helmet. ES based helms can roll the undesirable mana mod while there are just too many other mods on shaped and elder helms.

The crafting process is simply to just use Frigid Fossils and Pristine Fossils in a 2 socket resonator.

Repeat until you get the combination of - res and % life .

If you are lucky enough to get an open prefix this will be a good chance to craft +1 pierce from the bench

'[prefix] + 1 to level of Socketed Projectile Gems, Projectiles pierce an additional Target'

3.6 Belt
Like most builds in PoE these days a stygian belt is your best option

These days with fossils we can get a decent amount of % dmg on the belt but just a simple belt with life and resistance and 1 open suffix to craft aspect of the spider will be good enough to get you started

Craft on an ilevel 86 stygian in case you hit t1 WED

The fossils used here and the mods we want from them are
1. Frigid Fossil (increased cold dmg prefix])
2. Prismatic Fossil (increased elemental dmg [suffix])
3. Pristine Fossil (maximum life)

Use these fossils in a 3 socket resonator and the ideal situation is getting a belt with all 3 mods ( life, inc ele dmg, inc cold dmg) with an open prefix as well as an open suffix

These 2 open slots will allow us to craft
1.[prefix] % increased dmg
2.[suffix] Aspect of the spider

The belt or helm are generally the best slots to craft Aspect of the spider on since they offer a bit less utility in terms of available mods

3.7 Amulet

%increased dmg, blind, chill, penetration

This is pretty much the go to amulet.

In the event you can'y get hold of one or want other options ..an amulet like the one below will give similar dps

To craft an amulet like this you 1st start with and elder amulet >= ilevel 75
...you can use aberrant fossils + pristine fossils to try to hit the extra chaos dmg mod and life. You can the craft t2 increased damage while leeching for a regal(iirc) and use it as it is.

2.8 Boots

2.9 Jewels

2.10 Body Armour

2.11 Flasks


Using a staff frees up the chest slot for us to use a kaoms heart ! You can use any body armour of your choice just remember that if you are only optimizing for ice spears dps... you won't benefit that much from a + spell crit shaped armour since the 2nd form of ice spears already has a huge built in crit bonus.

3. Gems





I use empower here for maximum dps but the logical chocie for most would be to use an onslaught support for your herald of ice to make mapping smoother

4. Ascendancy choices
Probably elementalist + inquisitor for this league
elementalist + slayer is fine too. 2.5 seconds of overleech is still pretty decent and we do have a high leech uptime when moving through maps because winter orb is an auto targeting duration skill

5. Pantheon
6. Bandits
Help alira! Obvious choice for a crit build
7. PoB pastebin

7.1 old setup with warlord rings ~7.2 mil dps

7.2 updated setup with fossil crafted opal rings with no acuities and has vaal pact~ 9.8 mil dps

7.3 Current updated setup with fossil crafted opal rings with no acuities and no vaal pact ~ 10.7 mil dps


7.4 The super budget no staff, no multi modding and no pandemonius option ~ 5 mil dps
- 5 mil dps with vaal RF and focus
- 3.7 mil dps with vaal RF and no focus
- 3.6 mil dps with no vaal RF and focus
- 2.7 mil dps with no vaal RF and no focus

7.5 A defensive option for 3.6
- 10.17 mil dps
- 39% chance to block attacks
- 19% chance to block spells

7.6 Small update to 7.4 to spec into spiritual aid
-10.47 mil dps (without a bone helmet!)

8. Gear Dump

9. Videos

More to come if there is interest.
1. Crafting guide
2. Alternative pieces of gear/staff
- SSF options etc
3. Different setups for clearing
4. Delving beyond depth 700+
5. Progression from a league starter to an end game beast

Last edited by TheVengefulOne on Dec 11, 2020, 5:23:26 AM
Last bumped on Aug 6, 2020, 12:37:03 PM
Recorded an uber elder kill.

Again I will keep the videos up but I might take this 'guide' down over the next few days. I don't want the hassle of maintaining/polishing a guide that isn't being read and this build might become obsolete anyway with the new changes in the upcoming league...fingers crossed!
Last edited by TheVengefulOne on Feb 28, 2019, 5:56:17 AM
Just wanted to say that i Will be Reading the shit out of this guide. I have been looking for a scion worb guide.
I am looking at this as my first scion attempt. Thanks for the writeup. If you have any suggestions for leveling, I'm all ears. Cheers.
Hello! I am very interested in playing with Winter Orb. Is it good for league start?
Very interested in an orb variation for next season, please update it!
Interested in reading more!
Like leveling tips/league starter tips, thank you
Last edited by Skip511 on Mar 1, 2019, 11:10:15 AM
Thank you so much for writing up your build design and making it available for noobs like me. Please refrain from any thoughts to remove this build from this forum;) I need it !

Would you mind to explain in more detail the crafting ?
Thx again
I'm very happy to see you've decided to update some. Cheers!

I'm currently back in standard playing with a new test toon, currently lvl 44 and just linked CwC to both Ice Spear and Winter Orb at lvl 40 just before running first lab and it was a huge upgrade from just Winter Orb and/or Ice Spear.

I can see why some have lamented the slow start but really its not too bad. I did Freezing Pulse> Ice Spear> Winter Orb.

Suggestions for order of ascendancy?


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