[3.8 UPDATED AT LAST!] Pirate's Sire of Shards Fireball Miner [Beginner/console friendly]


Welcome to the first (third?) build I've ever published on the forums! I'll do my best to make this not a total trainwreck.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
00. Notes on major patches
01. Introduction
02. Playstyle
03. Pros and Cons
04. Mechanical Explanation, feel free to skip this part because it's long
05. Gear
06. Gems and Links
07. Leveling Guide and Passive Trees
08. Path Of Building links
09. Ascendancy, Gods, and Bandits
10. Alternative ways to blow screens up
11. The Hardcore Section
12. The SSF Section
13. A Note on MTX
14. Media
15. What's Next?
16. Special Thanks
17. FAQ
18. 3.7 version of this guide


00. Updates!

3.7 Changes?
Nothing significant changed for this build in 3.7. Enigmatic Reach was moved, but you can pick it up with the exact same number of skillpoints. Happy blasting!

3.8 Changes?
EVERYTHING CHANGED in 3.8, so much that it was easier to completely rewrite the guide. The old version (in case GGG reverts the reservation changes among other things later) has been thrown at the very bottom.

01. Introduction
Spoiler
In a single sentence, this is a Life-based crit fireball mine saboteur shadow that uses Pyroclast mines for big single targets.

Patch 3.8 saw a total rework to mines, including big buffs to mine gems and a few inexplicable nerfs to the Saboteur ascendency. This saboteur uses a Sire of Shards to lay waste to an area multiple screens across with a sea of gigantic, overlapping fireball explosions, with salvos of pyroclast mines used to burst down tanky bosses:


02. Playstyle, aka "How-To-Explodify Things"
Spoiler
Throw some fireball mines around, push detonate, move to new area, repeat as needed. Each mine you place will release a full-circle salvo of up to 11 fireballs when detonated, showering an area larger than the screen with overlapping explosions.

Optional: throw pyroclast mines for some humongous localized damage, either to delete bosses or lock down a blight lane for several seconds.

CONSOLE PLAYERS: At the time of this writing, you'll have to manually add the Detonate Mines skill to your keybinds, which will only show up as an option after you equip a mine skill. Feel free to shoot GGG a message asking for this to be changed (unless it has already, in which case please do not bother those wonderful, hardworking folks).

03. Pros and Cons
Spoiler

+Fantastic mapper on a budget and great league starter. I am quickly and easily farming maps up to T13 on almost-entirely self-found gear, I'm instakilling map bosses, and I haven't 6-linked my Sire of Shards yet.
+Incredibly potent at Breach, Delve, Incursion, and Betrayal mechanics. Anything in a confined space with you simply stops existing.
+Total immunity to reflect, because remote mines. The only map mod you should avoid is zero-regeneration, which is more of an annoyance than anything else.
+Extremely beginner and console player friendly! This build cannot be aimed, so not having good twitch skillz is a total nonissue.
+SSF viable! You can farm your own Sire of Shards as early as act 3 (see Gear section) and effortlessly sends Uberlab Izaro scurrying back down his elevator.
+Tremendous Meme Factor and a lot of fun to play
+FANTASTIC uberlab farmer. The addition of Pyroclast mines allow you to delete uber Izaro effortlessly without obliterating his lieutenants, golems, etc.

-Annoys the crap out of party members and guildmates (possibly belongs up in the "pro" section)
-Not as tanky as it used to be due to losing 10% life regen in the Sab nodes and Mind Over Matter. This really hurt the defenses of the build a lot, and I can't recommend it for HC anymore.
-Can become difficult or impossible to see your screen with MTX.
-Reliant on Flame Dash for movement and dodging.
-Reliant on regeneration for sustain.
-Not a Juggernaut or Occultist (stuns are a problem).

04. Long-Winded Explanation of Fireball Mechanics
Spoiler
Fireball, for all its extremely generic RPG tropeness, is one of the weirdest skills in all of Path of Exile. Each Fireball projectile travels in a straight line until it terminates, where it deals area damage to everything nearby. Fireballs will explode when any of the three conditions are met:
1, The fireball reaches its maximum total travel distance, a little bit more than the full width of the screen at normal maximum zoom.
2, The fireball hits any terrain object
3, The fireball's final projectile/subprojectile hits an enemy directly

When a projectile pierces, forks, or chains upon hitting an enemy, the projectile(s) afterward are called "subprojectiles" and inherit many properties of their parent. These include obvious ones such as "was this a critical strike" but several more subtle things such as "total travel distance." So a fireball that has already traveled 90% of its distance-before-explosion that pierces an enemy will then explode right behind it, rather than restart its distance counter at zero.

Fireball does not explode against an enemy it pierces, or one from which the fireball chains or forks, but that enemy still takes full spell damage. This means that any enemies pierced by fireball can be hit twice, so long as the subprojectile hits a wall or reaches its maximum distance before crossing the radius of the fireball explosion. Enter the Fork Support gem, and it's time for this innocuous little spell to go from great to broken:



A single forking fireball can hit the first enemy struck up to three times, and all other enemies in a very generous area twice. By stacking as many projectiles as possible and using Fork, this build creates hundreds of fireballs with every use of the Detonate Mines skill. By scaling the size of these explosions with passive skills and equipment, these overlapping explosions deal a truly horrific amount of damage across a very, very large area. But the area doesn't have to be huge: if you can lure them into a closet or narrow hallway, almost anything in the game below Shaper Guardians can be killed with a single keystroke due to the final quirk of Fireball as a skill: it can shotgun.

"Shotgunning" in POE (and many other games) refers to hitting a single target with multiple projectiles fired simultaneously. In the olden days of POE when the game was 3 acts long and nobody had loot filters, multi-projectile skills (including those supported by GMP) would receive a substantial damage bonus if you stood close enough to an enemy for every projectile to cross its hitbox. Because this made every projectile skill as broken as barrage remains to this day, the mechanic was removed in the 2.0 update, but hybrid projectile-area skills such as Fireball and Molten Strike can still effectively shotgun where the area portions of the attack or spell overlap. This means that in any enclosed space smaller than the fireball explosions, all 11 fireballs launched by each of mines does full damage to every enemy inside of that area, plus an extra pair of subprojectiles from each enemy hit. This adds up to millions of burst damage (Shaper/Guardian resistances, it's even higher vs T15 and under bosses) and some pretty great moments of 100-0 bossing.

05. Gear
Spoiler
My gear at level 90 (119/159 maps, safely running T15s and filling Atlas in):

The only piece of equipment I'd consider mandatory is the Sire of Shards itself, because it's the entire point of this build.

Beyond that, your top priority is an elder helm with "concentrated effect" AND "immolate" built into it. If you have to pick between them, level 20 Immolate is most important. Then, just get as much life/resists as you can get on the rest of your gear. I picked up a Kaom's Heart already, but Carcass Jack is an excellent lower-budget option. If you can or want to get by with less life, a shaper chest with spellcrit would give you a lot more damage.

Flask-wise, I'd recommend saving up for Dying Sun before getting the Wise Oak. An Atziri's Promise makes a great transitional DPS flask, as does an Experimenter's Diamond Flask.

06. Gems and Links
Spoiler
Primary clearing setup, located in the staff itself (and listed in order of importance) is:
Fireball--High-Impact Mine--Charged Mines--Greater Multiple Projectiles--Fork--Added Cold Damage.

If you're having trouble getting 3 blue, 3 green onto a Sire of Shards (very possible, expect to spend hundreds of chromatics on this), you can substitute Fire Penetration or Combustion in for Added Cold (what I have right now at level 86, in fact).

4-Link 1: Helm and primary single-target
Pyroclast Mines--Minefield--Trap and mine Damage--Combustion. This skill will also have Concentrated Effect and Immolate from your helm.

4-Link 2: Movement and Golem
Flame Dash--Faster Casting--Arcane Surge--Summon Ice Golem. Make sure you keep the level of Arcane Surge low; at level 7, AS will trigger with every flame dash. Feel free to substitute in your favorite golem if desired, I'm actually on the fence about changing over to a Stone Golem.

4-Link 3: Auras, etc
Summon Skitterbots--Zealotry--Clarity--Enlighten. When I can get Enlighten 4, I'll be seeing if I want to put some more levels onto Clarity, but for now I'm keeping it level 1.

07. Leveling Guide and Passive Trees
Spoiler
Skills:
Fireball is a skill you can buy as soon as you reach Lioneye's Watch, and makes a great levelling skill. I recommend self-casting fireball until you reach the Act 3 Library, because the base damage of the low level mines is barely half of Fireball's and the Swift Assembly Support is trash. But if you don't have a Tabula Rasa lying around, don't worry: self-casting Fireball with LMP and your choice of Onslaught or Arcane Surge is an extremely potent way to reach the midpoint of Act 3. Sometime around the Battlefront/Docks you should find your first B-B-B-G equipment, at which point you can start mining immediately with Blastchain Mines or wait (as I did) until lvl 31 to use High-Impact mines.

VERY, VERY IMPORTANT: make sure that you hold onto the first two one-handed weapons or shields you find with 3 blue sockets, equipping them in your alternate weapon slot (new players: press X in town with your inventory open). Socketing these weapons with 6 additional Fireball gems will make getting a level 21 Fireball via vaal corruption much cheaper and easier later:


Passives:
When assigning your first few passive points, take the trap and mine damage nodes toward Trickery and grab Blood Siphon for some early life and sustain. The earliest priority is the Clever Construction node because it can be annoying when enemies smash your mines before they finish detonating, but unfortunately 3.8 made direct pathing slightly less efficient and we now want to go through Written in Blood to get there.
Your first 35 passive points, which you should have around the time in Act 3 that you switch to using mines, should look like this:

Next you'll want, Volatile Mines, Blast Cascade, and Successive Detonations in that order. If you have a Rolling Flames jewel, go ahead and pick up the Shadow socket, otherwise you can skip it until later. Build over into the Witch area for Cruel Preparation and Annihilation, followed by the Witch socket if you have a second Rolling Flames. Regardless, your next major nodes are Quick Recovery and Heart And Soul.
Around the start of Act 9, your passive tree should look something like this:

From here, you're just moving into the Templar part of the tree for tons of life and regen, filling out your damage with spell crit and AOE nodes. Tentative level 90 tree:

If you feel like pushing this build all the way to level 100, your final tree should look something like this:

But at that point the build is at least as much yours as it is mine, and you should follow your own best judgement :P

08. Path Of Building Links:
Spoiler
For those not in the know, Path of Building is an awesome tool to help you calculate exactly what changes a minor tweak to a build might incur. I can't recommend it enough, and you should download it now!

My build at level 90:
https://pastebin.com/afdEmNMM

My "finished" build:
(link coming someday)

09. Ascendency, Gods, and Bandits
Spoiler
Pyromaniac, Bomb Specialist, and Demo Specialist are your first three labs, after which you have a choice to make. For a tankier build, Born in the Shadows is one of the best defensive options in the entire game, and I would absolutely recommend it for most players. For a more offensive and meme-oriented setup, you can choose Explosives Expert like I did. They're both fantastic, and it really is down to your own personal preference.

God powers are equally subjective. I've been running Brine King and Gruthkul because I hate being stunned, but you can make a case for nearly all powers on this build.

For Bandits, you want to help Alira for a life-based build, or kill all if you go the energy shield alternative route (next section).

10. Alternative ways to blow screens up
Spoiler
Nearly every original design decision was based solely on maximizing the size, spread, and number of fireball explosions, after which 3.8 forced me to adapt this into the Frankensteinian monster you see before you. In many different ways, this is a sub-optimal build which prioritized fun over success. For those wishing to maximize their single target damage output, swapping out the Sire of Shards for a Martyr of Innocence, Tremor Rod, or rare Eclipse staff will give you much better results.

This build is FAR tankier (but much, much more expensive) if you get a Shav's and build it low-life instead, making the obvious minor changes to the passive tree (shield nodes instead of life, pick up Zealot's Oath and Wicked Ward). The only two reasons I didn't originally build this LL were 1, I wanted to reserve the right to swap in a Carcass Jack for extra spicy memes, and 2, I didn't know how much I'd want to invest into a league starter. If you do decide to go with the energy shield routes, kill all bandits instead of helping Alira, pick up a Presence of Chayula as quickly as you can, and move your Pyroclast Mine setup into your body armour.

11. The Hardcore Section
Spoiler
I want to make something clear from the beginning: I haven't played POE in Hardcore since Bloodlines (outside of races), because I tend to take stupid chances that get me killed.

If you're one of the many people with far more discipline and self control than me, but still want in on some spicy fireball mine action, there are a few changes I would strongly encourage you to make: a lot more life and life regen on the passive tree and working Enfeeble and/or Temporal Chains into your gem setups (via CWDT, blasphemy, Solstice Vigil, etc) for starters. More importantly, I would change out "Explosives Expert" for "Born in the Shadows" in the Saboteur tree, because Blind is an awesome defensive mechanic. I would also strongly suggest you build ES instead of life, because the Chayula amulet will make you 100% stunproof.

HC POB Pastebin:
(coming someday)

Suggested Level 90 HC tree:
Spoiler
(coming someday)

12. The SSF Section
Spoiler
Thanks to the magic of Divination cards, all versions of this build are SSF viable. The core item, the Sire of Shards itself, can be farmed as early as act 3!

Two Rolling Flames aren't as daunting as it sounds; I actually found two by the time I hit lvl 85 in Synth league (one from The Eye of the Dragon, one as a natural drop). They're pretty common!

The body armor might take you a while, but whether you're life or shield-based you can get pretty far with a decent rare. Eventually you're going to want to fill out one of these sets:

This build has absolutely no trouble dispatching Uber Izaro; I ran my own Uberlab around lvl 80 before picking up my Kaom's Heart, my 6-link, or any of my unique flasks. And if you're in SSF, you'll probably be well past lvl 80 by the time you find your last uberlab trial.

13. A Note on MTX
Spoiler
With great MTX comes great responsibility. Do NOT use the Dragon fireball skin if you or someone in your group suffers from epilepsy. I personally cannot recommend this MTX enough because it's great, but here is a side-by-side comparison so you can all make your own informed decisions:



14. Media
Spoiler
Unidentified T13 build demonstration so I have at least one bit of 3.8 media (unknown mods: shocked ground + Nemesis + ???):
https://youtu.be/mFBJifJYUfc

New gifs and hopefully some youtube clips and/or a video guide coming soon!

15. What's Next?
Spoiler
This build is a TON of fun to play, and isn't close to finished, so stay tuned for further updates.

I'll try to record some video of further Sire of Shards shenanigans and hopefully remember to turn off Spotify this time (YouTube keeps doin the copyright thing and yanking my videos! >:@). I also need to shoot some new gifs of map bosses instantly exploding, now that I'm using Pyro mines for single target.


16. Special Thanks, too special for Spoiler tags
Many thanks to eviL_Bison for his awesome build guide build guide (link below). Without it, the written portions of this guide would have been much, much worse.
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1904137

17. FAQ
Spoiler
Q: So how many fireballs am I looking at here?
A: It really depends. The minimum is a lot easier to calculate, so I'll do that first: 1 mine shoots 9 fireballs. My Sab, at level 90 with a Dying sun, will be able to place 19 mines that each launch 11 fireballs for a potential maximum of 627 balls and 418 explosions, if every single primary projectile finds an enemy. Obviously this will never happen. Even in the craziest delves it's rare to have more than 60 enemies onscreen at once, many of which will die to splash damage without ever receiving a direct hit. 100 fireballs is as good an estimate as any for a working average, you're probably seeing close to that in most of my clips and gifs.

Q: Are you done updating the guide yet? Are you done updating the guide yet? Are you done updating the guide yet? Are you done updating the guide yet?
A: Well... no. I have tons to still fill in re: the endgame specifics of my build, but hopefully there's enough here for people to use in 3.8.

Q: TL, DR. What's changed from 3.7, in the minimum possible number of words?
A: No more Mind Over Matter. New aura. New single-target skill setup in elder helm. Even more balls.


18. The Old Guide
Spoiler
01. Introduction
Spoiler
In a single sentence, this is a Life-based crit fireball mine Mind-Over-Matter saboteur shadow.

Patch 3.6 saw massive buffs to Fireball and added special increased-area nodes to the passive tree for staff casters. This saboteur takes advantage of these buffs and a Sire of Shards to lay waste to an area multiple screens across with a sea of gigantic, overlapping fireball explosions:


02. Playstyle, aka "How-To-Explodify Things"
Spoiler
Plant mines, detonate mines, move to new area, repeat as needed. Each mine you place will release a full-circle salvo of up to 11 fireballs when detonated, showering an area larger than the screen with overlapping explosions.

Optional: throw some traps to get frenzy charges and/or flame dash for arcane surge.

For bosses, breaches, abysses, and syndicate activate Vaal Clarity for uninterrupted explosion spam and added protection from your Mind Over Matter keystone.

CONSOLE PLAYERS: At the time of this writing, you'll have to manually add the Detonate Mines skill to your keybinds, which will only show up as an option after you equip a mine skill. Feel free to shoot GGG a message asking for this to be changed (unless it has already, in which case please do not bother those wonderful, hardworking folks).

03. Pros and Cons
Spoiler

+Fantastic mapper on a budget and great league starter. I was quickly and easily farming maps up to T13 entirely on self-found gear, and didn't even 6-link my Sire of Shards until I went after Shaper.
+Incredibly potent at Breach, Delve, Incursion, and Betrayal mechanics. Anything in a confined space with you simply stops existing.
+Total immunity to reflect, because remote mines. The only map mod you should avoid is zero-regeneration, which is more of an annoyance than anything else.
+Extremely beginner and console player friendly! This build cannot be aimed, so not having good twitch skillz is a total nonissue.
+Very tanky! Probably even HC viable with minor changes (see Hardcore section).
+SSF viable! You can farm your own Sire of Shards as early as act 3 (see Gear section) and effortlessly sends Uberlab Izaro scurrying back down his elevator.
+Tremendous Meme Factor and a lot of fun to play

-Annoys the crap out of party members and guildmates (possibly belongs up in the "pro" section)
-The total lack of precision makes this a terrible uberlab farmer. Good luck getting extra keys out of Izaro when your mines are instantly killing portals, essences, gargoyles, and lieutenants from anywhere in the arena.
-Can become difficult or impossible to see your screen with MTX.
-Reliant on Flame Dash for movement and dodging.
-Reliant on regeneration for sustain.
-Not a Juggernaut or Occultist (stuns are a problem).

04. Long-Winded Explanation of Fireball Mechanics
Spoiler
Fireball, for all its extremely generic RPG tropeness, is one of the weirdest skills in all of Path of Exile. Each Fireball projectile travels in a straight line until it terminates, where it deals area damage to everything nearby. Fireballs will explode when any of the three conditions are met:
1, The fireball reaches its maximum total travel distance, a little bit more than the full width of the screen at normal maximum zoom.
2, The fireball hits any terrain object
3, The fireball's final projectile/subprojectile hits an enemy directly

When a projectile pierces, forks, or chains upon hitting an enemy, the projectile(s) afterward are called "subprojectiles" and inherit many properties of their parent. These include obvious ones such as "was this a critical strike" but several more subtle things such as "total travel distance." So a fireball that has already traveled 90% of its distance-before-explosion that pierces an enemy will then explode right behind it, rather than restart its distance counter at zero.

Fireball does not explode against an enemy it pierces, or one from which the fireball chains or forks, but that enemy still takes full spell damage. This means that any enemies pierced by fireball can be hit twice, so long as the subprojectile hits a wall or reaches its maximum distance before crossing the radius of the fireball explosion. Enter the Fork Support gem, and it's time for this innocuous little spell to go from great to broken:



A single forking fireball can hit the first enemy struck up to three times, and all other enemies in a very generous area twice. By stacking as many projectiles as possible and using Fork, this build creates hundreds of fireballs with every use of the Detonate Mines skill. By scaling the size of these explosions with passive skills and equipment, these overlapping explosions deal a truly horrific amount of damage across a very, very large area. But the area doesn't have to be huge: if you can lure them into a closet or narrow hallway, almost anything in the game below Shaper Guardians can be killed with a single keystroke due to the final quirk of Fireball as a skill: it can shotgun.

"Shotgunning" in POE (and many other games) refers to hitting a single target with multiple projectiles fired simultaneously. In the olden days of POE when the game was 3 acts long and nobody had loot filters, multi-projectile skills (including those supported by GMP) would receive a substantial damage bonus if you stood close enough to an enemy for every projectile to cross its hitbox. Because this made every projectile skill as broken as barrage remains to this day, the mechanic was removed in the 2.0 update, but hybrid projectile-area skills such as Fireball and Molten Strike can still effectively shotgun where the area portions of the attack or spell overlap. This means that in any enclosed space smaller than the fireball explosions, all 11 fireballs launched by each of my 11 mines does full damage to every enemy inside of that area, plus an extra pair of subprojectiles from each enemy hit. This adds up to over 4.5 million burst damage (Shaper/Guardian resistances, it's even higher vs T15 and under bosses) and some pretty great moments of 100-0 bossing.

05. Gear
Spoiler
My gear at level 90, which can certainly improve:


The only pieces of equipment I'd consider mandatory are the Sire of Shards itself and an Essence Worm. The Sire of Shards because it's the entire point of this build, the Essence Worm because it's just crazy good with Mind Over Matter.

Beyond those, your top priority is a "place additional mine" shaper helm. Then, just get as much life/resists as you can get on the rest of your gear. I actually used a Carcass Jack until I was level 85 or so, swapping in a Kaom's Heart because... well, that's just what you do in a life-based build, unless you need your chest for your primary skill links. If you can or want to get by with less life, a shaper chest with spellcrit would give you a lot more damage.


Flask-wise, I'd recommend saving up for Dying Sun before getting the Wise Oak. An Atziri's Promise makes a great transitional DPS flask, as does an Experimenter's Diamond Flask. If you're playing in a league where Lavianga's is an option, I can't recommend it enough; it's a secondary vaal clarity for use during Soul Gain Prevention.

06. Gems and Links
Spoiler
My primary damage setup, located in the staff itself (and listed in order of importance) is:
Fireball--Remote Mine--Minefield--Greater Multiple Projectiles--Fork--Trap and Mine Damage.
If you're having trouble getting 3 blue, 3 green onto a Sire of Shards, you can substitute Fire Penetration or Combustion in for T&MD.
For particularly ridiculous Delves (or if you just really like freezing stuff), swap in Ice Bite for T&MD.

Essence Worm: Zealotry or Anger. I recommend Zealotry because it covers huge patches of your maps with Consecrated Ground, providing even more life regen for sustain.

4-Link 1:
Vaal Clarity--Cast When Damage Taken--Immortal Call--Increased Duration

4-Link 2:
Flame Dash--Faster Casting--Arcane Surge--Flame Golem. Make sure you keep the level of Arcane Surge low; at level 7, AS will trigger with every flame dash. Feel free to substitute in your favorite golem if desired.

4-Link 3:
100% optional! I've been running Fire Trap--Charged Traps for Frenzy generation, but you can put whatever secondary/supportive skills you'd like in here.

07. Leveling Guide and Passive Trees
Spoiler
Skills:
Fireball is a skill you can buy as soon as you reach Lioneye's Watch, and makes a great levelling skill. If you're SSF or this is your first build of the league, I recommend self-casting fireball until you reach Act 3, but those with a Tabula can use fireball mines as soon as they reach Axiom Prison in act 1. The reason I say this is that fireball mines don't feel very good for clearing until you have both LMP and Minefield, which requires a 4-link. But if you don't have a Tabula Rasa lying around, don't worry: self-casting Fireball with LMP and your choice of Onslaught or Arcane Surge is an extremely potent way to reach the midpoint of Act 3. Sometime around the Battlefront/Docks you should find your first B-B-B-G equipment, at which point you are officially in the mining business.

VERY, VERY IMPORTANT: make sure that you hold onto the first two one-handed weapons or shields you find with 3 blue sockets, equipping them in your alternate weapon slot (new players: press X in town with your inventory open). Socketing these weapons with 6 additional Fireball gems will make getting a level 21 Fireball via vaal corruption much cheaper and easier later.


Passives:
When assigning your first few passive points, take the trap and mine damage nodes toward Trickery and grab Blood Siphon for some early life and sustain. The earliest priority is the Clever Construction node because it can be annoying when enemies smash mines before they finish arming.
Your first 30 passive points, which you should have around the time in Act 3 that you switch to using mines, should look like this:

Next you'll want Saboteur, Written in Blood, Volatile Mines, and Blast Cascade, in that order. If you have a Rolling Flames jewel, go ahead and pick up the Shadow socket, otherwise you can skip it until later. Snowforged and Cruel Preparation are next, followed by the Witch socket if you have a second Rolling Flames. Regardless, your next major nodes are Quick Recovery and Heart And Soul.
Around the start of Act 9, your passive tree should look something like this:

From here, you're just moving into the Templar part of the tree for tons of life and regen, then picking up Mind Over Matter and filling out your damage with spell crit and AOE nodes. Level 90 tree:

If you feel like pushing this build all the way to level 100, your final tree should look something like this:

But at that point the build is at least as much yours as it is mine, and you should follow your own best judgement :P

08. Path Of Building Links:
Spoiler
For those not in the know, Path of Building is an awesome tool to help you calculate exactly what changes a minor tweak to a build might incur. I can't recommend it enough, and you should download it now!

My build at level 90 (end of Synth league):
https://pastebin.com/Has2NZDc

Updated in standard league to "new" (3.7) passive tree CLICK THIS ONE:
https://pastebin.com/j26vXvdt

09. Ascendency, Gods, and Bandits
Spoiler
Pyromaniac, Bomb Specialist, and Demo Specialist are your first three labs, after which you have a choice to make. For a tankier build, Born in the Shadows is one of the best defensive options in the entire game, and I would absolutely recommend it for most players. For a more offensive and meme-oriented setup, you can choose Explosives Expert like I did. They're both fantastic, and it really is down to your own personal preference.

God powers are equally subjective. I've been running Brine King and Gruthkul because I hate being stunned, but you can make a case for nearly all powers on this build.

For Bandits, you want to help Alira for a life/MOM build, or kill all if you go the energy shield alternative route (next section).

10. Alternative ways to blow screens up
Spoiler
Nearly every design decision was based solely on maximizing the size, spread, and number of fireball explosions, which in many different ways makes this a sub-optimal build. For those wishing to maximize their single target damage output, swapping out the Sire of Shards for a Martyr of Innocence, Tremor Rod, or rare Eclipse staff will give you much better results.

This build with very minor tweaks would work perfectly well as CI or LL; just pick up a high shield regalia or Shavs and make minor changes to the passive tree (shield nodes instead of life, drop Mind over Matter, pick up Zealot's Oath). The only two reasons I didn't originally build this LL were 1, I wanted to reserve the right to swap in a Carcass Jack for extra spicy memes, and 2, I didn't know how much I'd want to invest into a league starter. If you do decide to go with either of the energy shield routes, kill all bandits instead of helping Alira.

11. The Hardcore Section
Spoiler
I want to make something clear from the beginning: I haven't played POE in Hardcore since Bloodlines (outside of races), because I tend to take stupid chances that get me killed.

If you're one of the many people with far more discipline and self control than me, but still want in on some spicy fireball mine action, there are a few changes I would strongly encourage you to make: a lot more life and life regen on the passive tree and working Enfeeble and/or Temporal Chains into your gem setups (via CWDT, blasphemy, Solstice Vigil, etc) for starters. More importantly, I would change out "Explosives Expert" for "Born in the Shadows" in the Saboteur tree, because Blind is an awesome defensive mechanic.

HC POB Pastebin:
https://pastebin.com/2ZQh6eaw

Suggested Level 90 HC tree:

12. The SSF Section
Spoiler
Thanks to the magic of Divination cards, all versions of this build are SSF viable. The core item, the Sire of Shards itself, can be farmed as early as act 3!

Two Rolling Flames aren't as daunting as it sounds; I actually found two by the time I hit lvl 85 (one from The Eye of the Dragon, one as a natural drop). They're pretty common!

The body armor might take you a while, but whether you're life or shield-based you can get pretty far with a decent rare. Eventually you're going to want to fill out one of these sets:

By far the hardest part of building this SSF is going to be your Essence Worm. Not because it's super rare, but because you'll be farming the Cells map.

This build has absolutely no trouble dispatching Uber Izaro; I ran my own Uberlab around lvl 80 before picking up my Kaom's Heart, my 6-link, or any of my unique flasks. And if you're in SSF, you'll probably be well past lvl 80 by the time you find your last uberlab trial.

13. A Note on MTX
Spoiler
With great MTX comes great responsibility. Do NOT use the Dragon fireball skin if you or someone in your group suffers from epilepsy. I personally cannot recommend this MTX enough because it's great, but here is a side-by-side comparison so you can all make your own informed decisions:



14. Media
Spoiler
Basic build demonstration in Tier 13 maps, featuring the BEST POGCHAMP BREACH EVER!!! https://youtu.be/C4pO1TK-zVg

More gifs and hopefully some youtube clips and/or a video guide coming soon!

15. What's Next?
Spoiler
This build is a TON of fun to play, so I don't see myself abandoning it completely anytime soon even though I've already started my next 2 builds. There's still plenty more to improve, from getting up to level 95-ish and getting my support gems up to 20/20 to making one last round of upgrades to all of my rare gear. I also have a 5L Martyr of Innocence that I need to play around with, maybe get a weapon-swap-for-single-target setup going.

I'll try to record some video of further Sire of Shards shenanigans and hopefully remember to turn off Spotify this time (YouTube keeps doin the copyright thing and yanking my videos! >:@). I also need to shoot some more gifs of map bosses instantly exploding.

At any rate, I'll be coming back before the end of the league with a final POB update showing all of my changes post-level-90. EDIT: I basically got burned out and quit playing POE for the last 6 weeks of Synthesis, so this part didn't end up happening. I'll try to remember to shoot some more video after Flashback ends!
Last edited by ARealLifeCaribbeanPirate on Sep 17, 2019, 2:37:49 AM
Last bumped on Nov 18, 2019, 4:08:55 AM
Changelog!

-Reorganized the Gear section and added to the FAQ
-Added a video to the Media section: a pair of T13s (basic build demo)
-Fixed some grammatical errors that were up for waaay too long
-Updated POB link for 3.7! TLDR: nothing changed, I tested in normal and it's still a good ol' time. You just have to path slightly differently in the tree
-FINALLY UPDATED FOR 3.8! Thank you to everyone who has been unreasonably patient for what I could have done in 2 hours if I were willing to play in Standard League.
-Added my first 3.8 video, a T13 Crimson Temple where my mic is WAY TOO DAMN LOUD. You won't hurt my feelings if you watch this on mute XD
-Reached level 90 (almost 91) tonight in Blight, so as promised my gear and POB have been posted.
Last edited by ARealLifeCaribbeanPirate on Sep 16, 2019, 5:36:34 AM
okay i have to roll this miner next, it looks like a load of fun :) I can imagine with Tremor Rod this does ridiculous single target.

have you been able to take the Sire of Shards build all the way to Shaper/Elder?
Oh boy its a while since I looked over a guide. The memories tho.

There is one thing what grinds my gears, Firaball itself can't shotgun, that was fixed/nerfed long ago, but the secondary explosion of each projectile can hit the same target, thats why rolling flames jewel is so nice.

I think you should mention this.

And nice guide, great work! :)

cheers
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okay i have to roll this miner next, it looks like a load of fun :) I can imagine with Tremor Rod this does ridiculous single target.

have you been able to take the Sire of Shards build all the way to Shaper/Elder?


edit: ignore me, just re-read your post :) gonna be rolling this as my first SSF char!
"
okay i have to roll this miner next, it looks like a load of fun :) I can imagine with Tremor Rod this does ridiculous single target.

have you been able to take the Sire of Shards build all the way to Shaper/Elder?


Shaper and Red Elder yes, I haven't tried Uber Elder yet but I'd be surprised if I could take it down without a weapon swap. Either way, it's another thing on my to-do list.
I'm just chiming in to let you know that I am having a blast with your build! Currently in Act 10 -- it is starting to come into its own, and I needed to get to grips with how the mechanics work. It does take a little getting used to it after playing totems, melee and brands.

This is much more fun that it should be, judged from the plainness of the original Fireball. It does show what a good build can do with rather innocuous starting materials. Chapeau!

This build has provided some of the easiest boss fight I've had with the about eight builds I've tried so far. I've died a few times with boss fights I still do not get the mechanics of (and for which there are no videos on the Toob).

Now I'm off blasting everything to smithereens from 2 screens away again.

EDIT: I just remembered something I wanted to add. I think that especially while leveling and optimizing (which I'm obviously still in the process of) proximity shields are killing off some of the effectiveness of the build. I have solved that by adding a holy flame totem, fire buffs being in place already) (and a "summon phantasms on kill" support linked to it just for fun). The totem shuts down the proximity shield, and then the old adage applies: the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Fall they will. XD

EDIT #2: If this keeps being a fun and effective way to play, I'll have to name between me and a small group of friends. I have a few options: "Jihadi Jim" or "The Fresh Prince" (or "Boom, Shake, Shake, Shake the Room!").

EDIT #3: LOL. I died at least eight times to Kitava Act 10, mainly due to not seeing any ground effects at all (and them being pretty much instant and/or inescapable (the fire, for example)), and probably due to being just generally bad at this game. Eventually bursted the heart down with Vaal Clarity.
Last edited by Dekudibusei on Apr 26, 2019, 8:36:36 AM
PoB calculates every explosion hit at 37 836,8 damage.
So, be prepared, in case of open areas/single bosses, the damage will be very low.
This build is all about overlapping fireball explosions, so the damage is very situational.
Last edited by katmos on Apr 27, 2019, 2:49:46 PM
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katmos wrote:
PoB calculates every explosion hit at 37 836,8 damage.
So, be prepared, in case of open areas/single bosses, the damage will be very low.
This build is all about overlapping fireball explosions, so the damage is very situational.


Thanks for the feedback! I've actually had a couple people PM me with a version of this, so I added it to the FAQ section. TLDR, the POB calculation is a bit misleading because it calculates a single fireball, which is impossible. You'll always be doing between 4 and 12 times that damage with each use of the skill, even in a completely open no-shotgun scenario.

Hope this helps!
"
katmos wrote:
PoB calculates every explosion hit at 37 836,8 damage.
So, be prepared, in case of open areas/single bosses, the damage will be very low.
This build is all about overlapping fireball explosions, so the damage is very situational.


with my current gear, level 21 fireball and trap + mine damage, and power charges up, i get 60k+ per hit on shaper. i'm not sure how your numbers are so low?

this is with very average gear, and bad jewels (besides the 2 uniques), and level 77 char (in PoB)

with shock applied we get 80k, with lucky crit chance (flask), we get 100k per hit. now to find a reliably way to apply shock with the build... orb of storms with conductivity curse on hit, or lightning trap would work.
Last edited by biscuitpantsguy on Apr 29, 2019, 11:58:54 AM

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