[3.8] Holy Flame Totems Chieftain Blood Magic - Beginner Friendly League Starter Guide Revamped


This is my first guide please be kind, if you see any typo's English is not my first language I will try fix them a soon as possible.

A little about me, I'm a PoE veteran (playing since the vaal expansion 2014) and put more hours in this game than I'm comfortable to say. I made this guide mostly for me and to try to get some of my friends to give PoE another chance since some of them feel like this game is too daunting or take to much time to get to the endgame (which for a new player without following any guides, stumbling in the dark, It is definetly true).

So I made this guide for a simple playstyle easy to understand,to get you to the endgame with minimun effort required, for those people who want to have an smooth learning expirience.

This is not a full explicative guide like Enki's (Props to him the amount of work in his guide is stunning) since I want it to be short and sweet, it is expected to search the wiki if you don't understand basic PoE terminology (https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Path_of_Exile_Wiki)

Also it is expected that you know how to trade in PoE (Check out Nathan's guide in how to use the trading website and check the value of your Items https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wASTB5WWH4Y)

Lastly it is expected to use Path of Building (Software that help us to create easier character builds) you can get it here https://github.com/Openarl/PathOfBuilding/releases

Here is the current PoB for 3.8 https://pastebin.com/cnte0wSA


All parts of this guide are subject change.

Before starting the game

I recommend some 3rd party GGG aproved software for having an smooth expirience:
Auto Hotekey: necessary to run other software. (https://www.autohotkey.com/)
PoE Trade Macro: For price checking and seeing detail information about items like DPS. (https://poe-trademacro.github.io/)
Item Filter: this is the most important thing in a game like path of exile efficency is what is going to save you the most amount of time leveling up, using a good item filter could shave a lot of hours in your first play through I recommend starting with the Regular Strictness in the Filter Blade website and start putting more strict versions when you start mapping (https://www.filterblade.xyz/)
Check out the Engeneering Eternity guide on how to use the item filter's here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY1x92eibB0)

Pro's and Con's


Reflect immune can do all mods.
Cheap to start
Don´t have to worry about mana at all
Blood Magic Chieftain dual wielding wands hipster factor
A lot of room to grow
Easy 100% Conversion to fire
Very Tanky a lot of life and totem leech
Beginner friendly


You are not completely immune to curses
You can only use 1 aura
Is not the highest possible damage version
Blood Magic Chieftain dual wielding wands hipster factor

Who is this guide intended for?

This build is intended for beginners and people who wanna try a simple yet effective league starting character that can farm higher tier map on a budget, that also is tanky and has a lot of room to grow.

Detailed explanation and FAQ.


Elemental Overload

This is probably the less intuitive mechanic of the build, it is a node in the skill tree that give us 40% more elemental damage if we have crit in the last 8 seconds, we proc this node with our Storm brand setup and is only necesary on bosses and tough rares. This mechanic is necessary to recoup some of the damage we lost for not going crit.

The ancestral bonde make us do no damage ourselves but doesn't stops us from doing crit's so it doesn't interfere with Elemental Overload.

Why Chieftain?

I choose chieftain for the easy conversion, the tankiness for you and your totems and easy access to blood magic, It is a straight foward ascendancy easy to understand and reflect immune.

Why not Hierophant?

Hierophant is a viable option, it has some nice quality of life for casting totems but is a little bit less straight foward than the chieftain, since the objective of this guide is to make the build as simple as possible.

Why Not Crit?

The objective of this guide is to make the build as simple as possible and having a very smooth expierence from the beginning to endgame maps.

Why Dual Wield Wands?

I choose dual wielding wand for a couple of reasons, first and most important of all is the stat "Increased projectile speed" it should increment our clear speed a good bit (Faster projectiles means that the fire beam from the totems goes farther away increasing our capability to clean the map faster)

Secondly is the Dark Arts passive wheel that give us "15% Cooldown recovery speed in movement skills" this is going to help us greatly with the clear speed since we are using flame dash.

Why Ancestral Bond and why Multiple Totems?

Easy to use with only 2 cast you have 4 totems thats more than enought for what this build is setup to do.

Why Blood Magic?

No need to worry about mana flask or mana regen in you gear or the tree you can spam totems to your heart's content.

Hardcore viable?


What about Shield + Scepter?

If you want to transform this build in a full Endgame boss killer or a deep delver and you need the maximum DPS possible the Scepter with physical damage as extra and the shield for another totem certainly is going to boost your DPS but you would need probably to go crit, and it is a more advance setup you can check out the other chieftain guides for that, but don't worry you can easily start with this guide and then change to any other chieftain Holy Flame totem in the forum when you feel comfortable (Around Level 90 is my recommedantion)

How do I level this build?

Leveling this build is fairly easy although somewhat slow for the first 15 levels.

Caster Leveling *Preferred way* (Thanks to reddit User Grottenolmlurch777 for the idea and leveling tree)

Mule (Create a disposable character just to get the gems at level 2 in town) a witch to lioneye's and pick up wands Freezing Pulse (FP) Arcane Surge and explosive trap switch to your marauder and use FP + Onslaught + Arcane Surge and use Explosive Trap until you get Holy Flame totem, keep an eye for RRB (Red Red Blue) wands or scepter and BBG for the FP, try upgrading them if you can with the + Fire or Ice damage recipe (Prioritizing the Holy Flame Totem Wand).

Around Level 15 you should be getting Ancestral Bond, the level with it the rest of the way, for links if you can buy or someone get it for you would be Holy Flame Totem, Elemental Focus, Controlled Destruction if not, you can use Added fire + Combustion and also use Herald of Ash + Anger if you can handle the mana.

Caster Leveling Tree


After completing respec accordingly if you feel like you need damage pick up the spiritual aid and divine judgment nodes.

Leveling uniques (Thanks to reddit user IShouldStudyHard for the suggestion)

None of them are required to level the build

Karui Ward (Probably the only one I would buy while leveling)



Nycta's Lantern (Good buy if you don't have a 4 link for your flame totem when you take Ancestral Bond)


Ascendancy progression

Ngamahu, Flame's Advance
Tawhoa, Forest's Strenght
Arohongui, Moon's Presence
Tukohama, War's Herald

Kill them all

Main Gem Links

Holy Flame Totem
Multiple Totems
Added Fire Damage
Controlled Destruction
Infused Channelling
Elemental Focus

Other links

Check out the POB.



Preferred Uniques and explanation

Good balance between damage and defence.
Budget Option: Tabula Rasa or Any 6 link rare

Help us with the projectile Speed life and damage subject to change depending on how the clear feels with it (You can replace them for good rares if you already feel that the damage is good enough).

Budget Option: Regularly this item is quite cheap but you can use any other rare with good stats.

Both flask we want them for the same reason the conversion as extra cold and chaos, the taste of hate has the added bonus of being very good defensively too.

Budget Options: Any Utility flask that you like, Quicksilver, basalt or sulphur.

Gearing Rares stats to look for

Wands: Projectile Speed,Spell Damage,Fire damage to spells, cast speed are all good, elemnental as extra chaos *UPDATE* in 3.8 + Gem stat now is top tier, shold be number on priority when looking for one.

Ring: Life, Resist, fire as extra chaos.

Boots: Life Resist, movement speed.

Belt: Life and Resist.

Helmet: Life and resist and if you can find any of the Holy Flame totem enchants go for it.

Flasks: Bubbling Life Flask of Staunching, Experimenter Basalt's Flask of Warding, Experimenter's Granite Flask of Heat, Experimenter's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline.

Jewels: Life, Stats, resists, damage depending on what you need.


Quite frankly, I think it is amazing what this build can achive with a low budget and how simple to play it is, around 200k dps with crappy gear using elemental overload, arcane surge and exposure debuff with a little more investment you can double that DPS and do all the content in the game. Not the highest DPS or the fastest clear by any means but is one of the best all rounder beginner and league starting builds I can think off.

As I said before this is my first guide, so any suggestions in content, typos or format and will be glad to check them out, I will try to keep it updated as frequently as possible, its been fun since it is also my first original build and hope that it could be of use to anyone.

Last edited by Nonaco on Sep 5, 2019, 2:27:11 PM
Last bumped on Dec 1, 2019, 9:52:27 AM
Your PoB links are not correct. Linking to a ranger.
bodhe wrote:
Your PoB links are not correct. Linking to a ranger.

Don´t know how that happened I don't even know Who's build that is, it should be fixed now, thank you!
Last edited by Nonaco on Mar 7, 2019, 10:51:38 PM
Spell Totem cannot support another totem skill, so you won't end up with a higher mana cost from using Soul Mantle.
Boomdog83 wrote:
Spell Totem cannot support another totem skill, so you won't end up with a higher mana cost from using Soul Mantle.

Nice to know! A version without blood magic is an option now, I will add a tree later to the guide and try it after I level the BM one.
Last edited by Nonaco on Mar 7, 2019, 11:34:55 PM
Soul Mantle + Self-Flagellation = Suicide ?
Last edited by Chiga on Mar 8, 2019, 2:44:37 AM
Hikara wrote:
Soul Mantle + Self-Flagellation = Suicide ?

You can do it without Self-Flagellation and use anti curse flask
Between the Diamond Flask of Warding and the totem consecrated ground, I think you are like 95% of the time curse immune, for me that's good enough for softcore.
Last edited by Nonaco on Mar 8, 2019, 3:41:58 AM

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