[3.6] MooMMeme - surprisingly viable self-casting hierophant: >2M DPS, >13k eHP, >9k eHP/s recovery

After running several glassy casters, I wanted to create something really solid. Something that will bring me to the days of the old Berserker casters with Vaal Pact. Tried MoM, lot of MoM... do not regret it!

+ Meme power of being viable self-casting hierophant
+ Tanky: 11k-14k eHP
+ Very tanky: 9k - 11.5k eHP/s recovery
+ But also dpsy: over 2M shaper DPS, can clear T16 on 4-link
+ Relaxed play-style: 2 buttons, immune to elemental-ailments, immune to stun-locks
+ Syndicate(lag)-proof: built-in AFK defense mechanics
+ Decent clear speed: can fully clear T16 incursions
+ Can do all map mods*

- Overconfidence may get you killed (yes, you can die sometimes)
- *Elemental reflect is annoying as you need to lower your damage to run it


Some videos from my potato PC:
T16 elder grotto run (still need to learn audio settings): https://youtu.be/DjQKiD_aJaE
More to come.

If you want to share your videos, just post them in forum, and I will link them here.


We have up to 60% damage taken from mana before life through Cloak of Defiance, Hierophant mini-MoM and optional watcher's eye. The mana is recovered through Mind of the Council, which allows to recover 3% of mana on shocking an enemy. So we want to shock often, and we do so via crits on ball lightning. We also take Shaper rings with "life gain on hit by spells", so every hit we recover some life and a lot of mana.

Offense details:
The offense mechanics is quite simple. Throw storm brand, which is linked to culling strike, onslaught, and innervate. Then, keep casting ball lightning until everything dies. The enemies will be actually killed by the storm brand due to culling strike, so your onslaught and innervation buffs will be almost always up. For bosses, innervation will not trigger, but you can easily get around it by getting “added lightning damage, if you haven’t killed recently” enchant on boots. This way, you will always get flat added lightning damage on all occasions.

Defence details:
This is where the build goes meme. The idea was to recover as much eHP as possible (VP days nostalgia). This can be done as regen, leech and eHP gain on hit. Except for the energy shield, these are very difficult to obtain for casters, and ES leech cap just got nerfed. The only thing available for casters are shaper rings with +15 life on hit with spells. Thus, we simply cannot rely too much on life leech. However, casters have easy access to Mind over Matter (MoM), and instead of recovering life, we can focus on recovering mana, which is much easier for casters. With this build we want to abuse MoM mechanics as much as possible. We take up to 60% of damage from mana before life, which goes to 90% for lightning damage. The first 40% are obtained through the Cloak of Defiance, which also adds a lot of flat mana. Next 10% we get from the Hierophant ascendancy. The final 10% comes from clarity watcher’s eye (not mandatory).

But how to recover mana? The easiest way is through Mind of the Council, which allows you to recover 3% of your maximum mana on shocking the enemy. So yes, we need to use lightning skill that hits frequently, and almost nothing hits more frequently than ball lightning, which can easily hit 15 times per ball with slower projectiles. If every BL hit would shock, then you could recover almost full mana pool in just two casts. Unfortunately, not every hit shocks, so you need to work on shocking mechanism. The easiest one are crits, which always shock, if the hit damage exceeds 0.2% of enemy’s life. So you guess it right – offense is the best defense. You want to cast fast, you want to crit often, and you want to have high crit multiplier, so you get through the 0.2% threshold (yes - you can shock Mr Shaper). If you also add ring with life gain on hit with spells or vitality watcher’s eye and you complement it with CWDT+firestorm (AFK defense), you get around 4k life recovered per second and 5.5k mana recovered per second without flasks.

Even though recovery is nice to sustain high consistent damage like Shaper’s beam, it will not save you from one-shots. For this you need to stack eHP. Hierophant is also very safe here. You can easily get 5k-6k mana, 4k life, and you get 30% of mana as energy shield (this is more than multiple ex watcher’s eye). Without any problem you can push to 11k eHP, which will save you from the most of these rare, but nasty one-shots. To make our life even easier we take ES leech nodes, so we leech 20% of ES per second.

The biggest drawback of having low life-pool is being prone to stun-locks and freezes. The first one can be dealt with either Brine King pantheon (like almost everybody does) or by equipping Skyforth boots (really great for this build), which will make the stun threshold based on 500% of maximum mana (good luck with stunning 25k-30k life character). For freeze immunity take Arcane blessing ascendancy (fits my lazy style better) or run antifreeze flask.

Finally, we need some physical mitigation. With this eHP and recovery, we can easily run Tukohama that will give up to 8% of physical damage reduction. Another 6% or 8% can come from Solaris and Lunaris pantheons, and if needed, one can drop ailment-immunity for extra 12% from 3 endurance charges with Conviction of power. Arctic armour is also great for extra 13%, if you do not have vitality watcher’s eye.



This one allows you to calculate the BL dps (thanks to Vayce): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Rz9F8-PfsijZ_kNUNWURiRQabMCRbuaVGaLTie_oLDw/edit#gid=975172529

Here is my spreadsheet showing how to shock Mr Shaper and the corresponding eHP recovery rate:


For bossing use:
Ball lightning - spell echo - lightning penetration - arcane surge - power charge on critical - slower projectiles

The biggest boost comes from slower projectiles, but it is almost impossible to map with it. Actually, it is only needed for Shaper and friends, so this is why I am posting it as a last link of importance. If you do not dual-wield void batteries AND you have Skyforth, you can replace power charge on crit with added lightning damage. Try to get 21/20 ball lightning by leveling 6 copies of the gem in the weapon swap. Never-ever use elemental focus – we need to shock.

For clearing use:
Ball lightning - spell echo - lightning penetration - increased critical chance - power charge on critical - faster casting

You can see that the mapping and bossing colours are different, but this can be solved by having 6 blue sockets and using Vorici in research safehouse (working on it). Anyway, mapping setup is more than enough for T16.

Storm brand - culling strike - onslaught - innervate

Permanent onslaught and innervation while mapping. Look at it as +1.5 link added to ball lightning. You can also replace innervate with item rarity, if you want.

Cast when damage taken (lvl 1)vaal cold snap (lvl 6)curse on hit (lvl 20) conductivity (lvl 20).

The moment you get hit you apply the conductivity, but also after killing the mobs you get frenzy charges to boost your damage further. For bosses use vaal cold snap to get charges.

Cast when damage takensummon lightning golem
Golem gives you extra cast speed, but also has a nasty habit to die for no reason. Keep him alive with CWDT.

Flame dashfaster casting
Escape mechanics or a way to traverse obstacles.

Utilities without watcher's eye
If you do not have watcher’s eye (which is perfectly fine) you may want to use:

Herald of thunder/arctic armourenlighten
More dps or more survivability – depends on you. Enlighten level 3 is fine.

Cast when damage takenimmortal callincreased duration
Can save you from time to time – always nice to have.

Utilities with watcher's eye
Clarity (lvl 1)vitalityenlighten
Enlighten lvl 3 is perfectly fine as we already have 16% reduced mana reservation thanks to ascendancy and Skyforth.

Cast when damage taken (lvl 1)firestormincreased duration
Provides extra life gained through hits, which can be useful with lag spikes.


Even though this build may look quite expensive, it can start relatively cheap as basically any caster build. The basic uniques are quite popular and affordable. As it can clear T16 on 4L, it should be viable league starter, but I have not tested it.

Body armour
Cloak of defiance

Gives 40% of damage taken from mana before life, and a lot of flat mana. With 3.6 the ES also got boosted, so this is BiS defensive chest piece for this build. When you have cloak of defiance you can also drop MoM and the following nodes from the tree. 4-link is enough to clear T16 and even Shaper.

Mind of the council

Another core item for the build. All good. Allows you to recover 3% of mana on shock, which is one of the strongest recovery mechanics in the game. Additionally, extra 30% of lightning damage is taken from mana before life, so things like Shaper’s beam become a joke. This is also why you can run elemental reflect maps (see the notes first). As everybody in the league will eventually run the council, and poet pen is not meta anymore, you can get this helmet quite cheaply. The best enchant is increased ball lightning damage, but this is very pricey. I bought the AoE one for 4ex in std, but it is just for clear. If you are up for such things, instead of enchanting, seek for +1 power charge corruption.

Good rare wands will be BiS here, but by good I mean: crit chance, crit multi, cast speed, spell damage. Such wands can be extremely expensive, so either you are a lucky sniper or you can stick to the lesser alternatives, which are Shimmeron and Void Battery.


Always aim for 10% crit multi per power charge. Fortunately, as people run elder market will be flooded with these so the one I show was only 10c. The lightning damage might seem scary, but thanks to Mind of the council, it will barely touch life. However, the ES will receive full damage, so its recovery will suffer. Dual wielding these wands will give you highest damage.

Void battery

The expensive brother of Shimmeron, but definitely worth its price. While Shimmeron is great for DPS, the Void battery shines at defense. High cast speed (many hits – high recovery), high crit chance, high damage, and even some flat mana. While dual wielding will have around 20% less damage than a pair of Shimmerons, but with over 2M Shaper dps it is not really an issue. Almost the same damage as two Shimmerons can be obtained with Shimmeron + Void battery, so you can upgrade your gear gradually.


BiS in terms of offense and defense. Makes the stuns calculated based on 25000 to 30000 eHP, which makes you almost stun-immune. Add a lot of flat mana, power charge on crit, and high movement speed, and you have a dream pair of boots. For many leagues they were very expensive, but due to modern PoE power-creep the price dropped a lot. These were bought for 120c. Take your time and run labs few times (with twice enchanted) to get the lightning enchant (yes - you can facetank Izaro and traps). It synergizes greatly with innervate, so either way, you have killed or not, you have flat lightning damage added.


Diamond flask - the biggest source of offense, but also defense through multiple crits.

Atziri's promise is important as it is the only source of chaos resistance, which is the most threatening damage to this build. Also dps boost is great.

Wise Oak - run it if you can min-max your resistances.

Rest of the gear
This is where you cap your resists. Remember to have at least 30 dexterity somewhere on gear, so you can save one node on the tree.

You will want to have at least one Shaper ring with “life gain on hit by spells” for life recovery. The other stats are: life > mana > cast speed > lightning damage.

Generic ring with life, mana and crit multi. Cast speed is also nice, but you can easily craft it.

Fingerless silk gloves with life, mana and some resists. Cast speed, crit chance, etc. are nice to have, but not mandatory.

Generic stygian vise with life, mana and some resists.

Rare jewels with life + mana > crit multi > cast speed > damage > AoE.

Healthy mind – high mana boost. Equip it once you have you have 50-60% of damage taken from mana before life.

Watcher’s eye – I personally hate builds showing watcher’s eye as their core elements. Fortunately, the clarity watcher’s eye is highly undervalued, and you can buy one dirt cheap. It is not even needed for the build to fully function – it is just a nice to have.

That one was 80c, and I actually bought it for another build for freeze immunity (uber elder fight).

You can also sacrifice some eHP for life recovery through vitality watcher’s eye. These ones are more expensive, but are not mandatory at all for the build to function. This one was bought for 7 ex in standard.


Please keep in mind that most parts of the gear were scrapped from another build (poet’s pen elementalist). Thus, some stats are irrelevant to this build.

I have created this build in standard where I have most of my gear pieces scrapped from the poet pen’s elementalist (you will be always remembered), and where I had already lvl 91 hierophant. Thus, I can only give you an approximate guide how to level, and hope that somebody will post more detailed instructions. I will try this build as a league starter next league, and post leveling trees. The path is probably to go elemental overload, then path to the right side of the tree for more dexterity, and around lvl 60 start going crit and drop overload. After lvl 80 start grabbing power charge nodes to finish the build.

You can begin with spark, and level it until you get ball lightning at level 28. In the meantime, at level 12 add storm brand to boost your clear speed. Do not forget about flame dash + faster casting at level 10. At level 16 you want to get herald of thunder for more dps. The ball lightning at level 28 will be relatively slow for clear, so use it on bosses/tougher enemies. After level 31, make sure you have herald of thunder + culling strike + onslaught + innervate somewhere as it should really speed up your leveling. Do not be afraid to reserve your mana! At level 38 add CWDT + (Vaal) cold snap + curse on hit + conductivity, and CWDT + summon lightning golem (which you should run from level 34). You should be fine like this up to Shaper – you will just miss some of the defensive mechanics of the build. This will come later with, but, to my experience (softcore), the leveling problems are mainly related to low dps, not defense. The defense is actually really needed only after level 90 where deaths begin to hurt your progress.

Some useful leveling uniques may be: tabula rasa, goldrim, storm prison (lvl 12), reverberation rod (lvl 24) and amplification rod (lvl 36), wanderlust (lvl 3), shavronne’s pace/gambit (lvl 32).


Help Alira – resistances, mana regen, crit multi – all good.

Ascendancy order
1. Illuminated devotion – life leech, more damage and more AoE, which is both offense and defense for this build.
2. Divine guidance – a lot of flat mana and 10% of damage taken from mana before life. Great defensive node.
3. Sanctuary of thought – another good defensive node. By this time, you should already have quite some mana to make it worthy. It will also help you with later uber Izaro fight
4. Arcane blessing – get rid of the elemental ailments the moment you hit enemy. Simply great!

Honorable mentions: you can also take Conviction of power instead of Arcane blessing for easy charge generation and physical reduction. This can be a good choice, if you are not as lazy as I am in bashing flasks, or, for some reason, you want to facetank Shaper’s slams.


Soul of the Brine king until you get Skyforth. From then on, either Lunaris for mapping or Solaris for Shaper and friends.

Tukohama (upgrade it, if you do not have Skyforth).


This build can run all map mods, but several precautions have to be taken.

Elemental reflect mod
All your reflected damage is lightning one, which means that even 90% of it is taken from mana before life (extra 30% from Mind of the Council). This means that you need to match your hit damage with your mana recovery (3% per crit + high regeneration). You can easily do it by replacing void batteries with some generic high cast speed, high crit wands (but not high-damage). You can also use some staves like pledge of hands, but this may be an overkill. If you have vitality watcher’s eye, you can also simply switch off the clarity for more damage taken from life. Otherwise, reroll such maps.

No mana regenaration
This one is tricky, as you may not even notice it due to high overall mana recovery. However, it may leave you in situations where you have very little mana after some encounter, and you get prone to one-shots. If you notice this map mod, just be more careful, and when you see that your mana is drained – move back, wait until your ES fully recharges, and you are free to spread BLs further at no mana cost (due to ascendancy).


Most of the time you do not have to change anything in the set-up, but there are few exceptions.

Hall of grandmasters
HoGM is manageable with this build, but be careful. Take into inventory reduced block chance support and faster projectiles, which you should swap as the 6-th link for BL. Never use slower projectiles here! Start every wave by placing storm brands, running to the enemies, and using flame dash to teleport back to safety. Just after you teleport, start spamming ball lightning, and hope that you killed everything. By default use faster projectiles, just to make sure you can hit enemies off screen. If you see that some enemy cannot be killed like that, try reduced block chance support. If this fails (mull gubben most likely), fry them with scorching ray from balefire, which you should bring as a weapon swap. Also bring Brinerot’s flag with a warcry in the weapon swap to generate charges, if needed. Watch out for chaos damage!

Mr Shaper
Shaper is special due to high life pool, so you will have lower mana recovery. You may follow two strategies:
1. Softcore one/not reaching gear breakdown. Forget your tankiness for a moment, and approach the Shaper as the rest of the world does. Kite his balls and slams, and deal damage while he is casting his beam. The only difference is that you can actually facetank the beam, so you can deal damage more consistently. You can also take 2-3 balls in a row, but do not rely on it. Follow this strategy, if you just want to kill Shaper for Zana questline.
2. Hardcore one. First, make sure that you have enough hit damage to shock Shaper - check PoB and maths. Next, change your ascendancy from Arcane blessing to Conviction of power for extra endurance charges (remember to bring antifreeze flask). Together with Solaris and Tukohama pantheons you will get already 26% physical damage reduction, which can be increased to 41% with basalt flask. This is already enough to stand at melee range of Shaper, at which he does not cast his balls, and to facetank his slams, if the ES is up. For even more physical damage reduction, take arctic armour for extra 13%, so you can get 54% of total physical reduction. Not bad as for a caster.

Temple guardians and delve bosses
Surprisingly one (or maybe a few) of temple guardians have one-hits stronger than the Shaper’s slam. The same applies to delve bosses. With these encounters you should stay mobile with flame dash and kill them from distance.


Can I change this or that?
Sure. The build is work in progress, and all improvements are very welcome! It's also my first build BTW, so I would like to learn more.

SSF viable?

HC viable?
No idea. It definitely has a potential for hardcore, but I never played this mode.

Gear checks?
Do not PM me, but post your gear in the forum. I will try to help you, but since I am a very casual player, there is high chance that some other players might help you quicker.

Last edited by sprawdzampoczte on May 3, 2019, 9:09:08 PM
Last bumped on Apr 13, 2019, 7:19:21 AM

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