[3.8] Winter orb autobomber - Ultimate 6link farmer!

Introduction and Build concept:

Updated for 3.8: A slight nerf to regen, as you can't regen mana anymore, but shouldn't be a problem, as you can comfortably stack up to 7 stacks of WO with the remaining mana. Now when you self chain yourself you have a very big uptime of WO and can stack the last 3 if you so like after 2 seconds of regen. You don't really need to do it as trash mobs die with the chain explosion and you only need 2-4 stacks to kill the first monster.

Furthermore, you can now choose mistwalker instead of opportunistic if you so like for the extra survivability instead of single target damage. (this is a buff)

Feel free to ask me questions if you have some.

Hello, exiles, BunnyOnCrack here.

This is my take on a self-chain autobomber that utilizes various mechanics to extend the duration of both winter orb and the vaal winds prophecy, to farm 6 sockets and the more valuable 6-linked items.
Oka, so the first thing you are asking is, how it works? well, the vaal winds prophecy corrupts all items that are dropped when you have the buff active from the tempest. A corrupted armor chest or 2 handed weapon has 1/144 chance to be 6linked (https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Vaal_Orb#Equipment ), which means you can get multiple 6-linked items each map. Because of this, it is in our best interest to extend the duration of vaal wind buff, as the base duration of 5 seconds expired way to fast before you can do anything worthwhile.
This build utilizes self-curse temporal chain and solstice vigil to extend the duration of vaal winds from 5 seconds to a whopping 20 seconds!

Now, why are we using Winter orb?
Winter orb too has the duration tag, which means you can scale the duration, and have insane uptime on 10 stages. Furthermore, you can consider it as an extended clear speed ability, as it can hit monsters that are far from you and can start the chain reaction of Herald of Ice (HoI). Lastly, it is still a rather good single-target ability, even after the nerf, and can clear every boss, except endgame bosses such as atziri, guardians, shaper and elder for this build.
If you don't like the playstyle of WO you can do blade vortex (also duration) conversion shenanigans if you prefer that, but IMO WO is superior to BV because the reach is far greater than BV.
So how does the chain reaction work? The short answer is that you are starting the chain reaction when you kill a monster and it shatters. Herald of Ice works by shattering an enemy, which then explodes and deals AoE damage around it. If the damage is enough to kill the next monsters with HoI, it will then explode too and deal AoE damage, and so forth.

The video below demonstrates how the build works in action.

Video showcase
With budget gear:
https://youtu.be/n34daJ3plLo - Vaal winds farmer: Double beyond lair
https://youtu.be/qLp1hl61SC4 - Vaal winds farmer: double beyond minotaur map Without boss

With expensive gear:
https://youtu.be/bTa4-0lntmI - Vaal Winds farmer: Fast Lair run
https://youtu.be/3LVcfGP_FXA - Vaal winds farmer: Tower double beyond
https://youtu.be/E-Ary07-q2M - Vaal winds farmer: Infested valley
https://youtu.be/3XgPjOnInCs - Vaal winds farmer: Average Lair run

Budget version:
Timeless jewel used: glorious vanity to give me curse effect

expensive version (currently using myself)
Timeless jewel used: I have enough curse effect (helm enhancement) to swap glorious vanity for a lethal pride, which gives me 20% MORE damage, which is not calculated in PoB.

expensive version like last with 35% MF

Pro´s and Con´s
20-second vaal winds uptime!  insane amount of 6links and 6 sockets
Fast map clear
Satisfying ice shatter and fun playstyle

Expensive if you want to scale it
Not a league starter or an HC build!
Can’t run reflect maps
Maps with 90% elemental ailments, no regen and hexproof is a pain in the ass but can be done.
NOT an endgame boss killer

Gear with explanation


Chest (Core):
This chest is a necessity if you want to reserve everything. The only thing we really want from this chest is the last line: “Mana Reservation of Herald Skills is always 45%” which means that even if you are using support gems with your heralds, it will be a fixed 45%.

Gem setup in chest:

Expensive version:
If you want to scale the damage of Winter orb even further, then you can invest in a double corrupted version which has 2 of either:
+2 to level of socketed AoE gems
+2 to level of socketed projectile Gems
+2 to level of socketed duration gems
+1 to level of socketed gems (Is a little weaker than one of the above, as you need to use empower instead of another multiplier)

Gloves (core):
The gloves are another essential part of the build, as these gloves enable you to curse yourself with the socketed gems. The reason why you would want that, is that the temporal chain (which is socketed in this item) has a line “other effects on Cursed enemies expire 40% slower”, which means that effects such as winter orb, Vaal winds and flasks will expire slower. This can be further amplified with curse effect from either helm enhancement/skill tree/timeless jewels and the quality of curse on hit support gem. Herald of thunder will periodically curse enemies, which is then reflected back to you.

Gem setup in gloves:

Expensive version:
Buy a corrupted one which has Spells have +0.xx% to Critical strike chance
And if you want the even more expensive version, then a double corrupted which additionally have either +1 frenzy charge or % max life.

Additional gloves for when vaal winds don’t proc:
You can either just run with self-cursed gloves for the uptime on winter orb and other buffs, or shift to gloves like these. These gloves are also nice if you do anything else than using vaal winds. Shield charge setup is going in these, with the addition of additional accuracy support gem. Commandment of frost is very nice on this build, as it fires a nova of projectiles on kill that deals cold damage.

Amulet (core):
This item is also core for the build for the sole reason of shaper’s presence. This effect increases the duration of buffs on you which means even higher uptime of vaal winds and winter orb. Furthermore, with this item, you only need 45% increased curse effect to maximize temporal chain. In my expensive version of the build I got:
30% from helm enhancement
10% from curse on hit
5% from skill tree
A rather good explanation on the subject is made from Whissp, which you can check here:

expensive version:
don’t even bother, a corrupted +1 additional curse on enemies Solstice vigil amulet is worth more than all the items for this build. And you really don’t need it, as you kill monsters faster than utilizing the second curse on them.

Helm (core):
Now the helm is very important to the build, as you will link your HoI in it. As mentioned before, each additional support gem would have increased the reservation of the mana, but as you are using the body armor, you can link as many mana multipliers without going over 45%. You need a shaped helm (preferably with the 30% increased temporal Chain curse effect), with the mod socketed spells have +3% to critical strike Chance. This is important as HoI don’t inherently have any base critical chance. Another affix which is important, is socketed gems are supported by level xx increased area of effect, as you want to increase the explosion radius of HoI explosion. If you don’t get it as an affix, you are needed to sacrifice a socket for Increased area of effect gem.

What you are looking for is these mods in order of:
+3% to critical strike Chance (mandatory)
socketed gems are supported by level xx increased area effect
+xx to maximum life
Socketed gems deal 30% more elemental damage (essence of Horror craft, can be rather expensive)
socketed gems are supported by level xx Hypothermia
socketed gems are supported by level xx Innervate
Adds xx to xx cold damage to spells
Adds xx to xx Lightning damage to spells

Some examples:

Gem links:

Expensive version:
Well if you get one that has all the right affixes together, then congratulations, you got a mirror tiered helmet. Try to get as many of the mods as you can from the list. I crafted this myself, which took me about 25 ex (rather cheap) to craft. What I did was getting the +3 to critical strike chance, augment and regal, got 2 crappy prefixes, and used the beast craft to turn a prefix to a suffix two times. I got one hypothermia and the lightning resistance. Now I had a base with 3 suffix’s I used suffix cannot be changed and exalt slammed 2 times, I got crappy affixes the first 5 times or so, then finally I hit Increased area effect and added lightning damage. Now I crafted life from bench and finished it up.

Ring 1 (core):
Essence worm is pretty much core, as you need to be able to run hatred in it. The socketed gems in it don’t reserve any mana, but every other gem that reserve mana has a 40% increased mana reservation. The bad side is fortunately negated, as your chest piece prevents the herald to reserve anything else than the fixed 45%.

Gem in the ring:

Ring 2:
This is the first of the items which are not core for the build but are very strongly recommended. You need a shaper ring that curses the enemies with assassin’s mark on hit. This is very strong, as you will cap your resistances for HoI to crit every monster and thereby make them chain explode. Even though monsters can have a single curse on them, this will override temporal chain right after the monsters are inflicted with it (and self-cursed).

What you are looking for is these mods in order of:
Assassin’s mark on hit
Resistances (if your other gear can’t compensate)
Adds xx to xx Cold damage to spells and attacks
Shock nearby enemies for 4 seconds when you focus (for boss’s)

Expensive version:
Opal ring base or double corrupt with either:
Cannot be ignited
Bleeding cannot be inflicted on you
5% increased Quantity of items found
Hatred has xx increased aura effect

I myself have not bothered with double corrupting these, as I need the resistance, and the cost doesn’t justify the small increase in power. And if you want to look in the market for one, then you probably need to pay 20+ ex just to find one suitable for your build.

This weapon although not core, gives you to much to skip on. After the nerf to cospri’s malice, this weapon will give you many different stats to the build. First of all, you get some AoE, which makes the explosion of HoI bigger, thereby easier to chain explode monsters. Spell damage and added spell damage is always nice for winter orb. Spell cascade can be augmented with support gems in the weapon and can be proced with shield charge, and can start the chain reactions. And finally, Harbinger of the arcane casts arcane surge every 4 seconds with a downtime of 8 seconds. The good thing is, that arcane surge (which gives 20% MORE damage, 20% cast speed and 1% mana regen) will be constantly up because of slower expiration from temporal chain!

Gem setup in weapon:

Expensive version:
The same sword, just with single or double corruption in the order of:
xx% chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on kill
xx% increased area of effect.

You have two options either go with esh’s mirror or zeel amplifier. I chose esh’s mirror because I had enough area of effect from both skill tree and gems, and the 50% increased wasn’t worth it with the diminishing returns from stacking so much. Furthermore, Esh’s mirror gives you a lot of flat damage for both winter orb and HoI, and can pretty much double your damage after a couple of packs. This item is perfect for a zoom zoom build which kills fast and can stack pretty quickly to insane numbers. Just make sure you got some flat lightning damage anywhere in your build, as you need to kill shocked enemies to gain the flat added damage from esh’s mirror. This item additionally gives you life and resistances which is pretty good.

Gem setup:

Expensive version:
The same shield, with single or double corruption in order of:
Xx% of physical damage from hits taken as cold/lightning/fire damage
Xx% increased maximum life

This slot is primarily used for capping your resistance. The belt I have is crafted with frigid + prismatic and pristine fossil on an ilvl 86 base stygian vise. Try getting max life, cold damage, and elemental damage and resistances. The stygian is also very nice, as you can get an abyssal jewel that gives life and more resistance if you need it. The damage mods aren’t obligatory but is very nice quality of life.

Priority order of stats to look for:
+xx to maximum life
+xx resistances (whatever resistances you still need)
Xx% increased cold/elemental damage (frigid and prismatic fossils)
Xx% increased damage from bench craft

Expensive version:
This is my current belt which I am using:

The jewel just needs to have life and resistances. Here is an example:

Tip: If you can't find a corrupted sword with onslaught, then buy an abyssal jewel that has onslaught on kill.

Oka the boots are the last piece of the equipment. You would want some boots with as much life, resistance and dodge chance to spells as you can. Try to get Cannot be frozen crafted on it, as that empty a slot for another modifier in the flask slot. Furthermore, you need the lab enhancement which gives leech to life and mana, as those are the only way to regen mana. (not anymore)
Here is an example:

Gem setup:

Priority order of stats to look for:

Xx% of damage leeched as life and mana if you have killed recently (mandatory to generate mana)
+xx to maximum life
25-30% increased movement speed
+xx resistances (whatever resistances you still need)
Xx% chance to dodge spell hits
Xx% chance to dodge attack hits

Expensive version
If you can get your resistances just right with all the other items, you would want a goldwyrm for the 20% increased quantity of items found. This will increase the amount of 6 socketed items and 6links and just overall make more items drop.
If you are extra frisky, then try to double corrupt for either movement speed, %life or dodge chance.
These boots still need to have the enhancement for life and mana leech, and also have the same gems socketed in it as the previous boots.

Flask setup
I am using these flasks, you can always swap for others if you feel like it.

The bubbling divine flask is nice for close calls, and I am running of staunching for removal of bleeding

Atziri’s promise is good for the elemental damage as chaos, try to get a perfect one. And the chaos resistance isn’t bad either.

Dying sun is very good for the build, as you increase the projectiles of winter orb and get increased area of effect for both winter orb and HoI explosions, would probably say this is a mandatory flask.

The diamond flask makes critical strike chance very easy. If you can get one with increased critical strike chance during flask effect, it will immensely increase the chance to crit.

Lastly, a surgeon’s quicksilver flask of adrenaline makes the movement part of the build smooth.

Budget version is 3x grand spectrum

Expensive version is some of these:

what you want is
primary: multiplier’s (cold, global, elemental) and % life
secondary: cold damage/ projectile damage / Area damage / increased damage / crit chance
you probably also want 1 of the jewels with dex on it, if you cant keep up with the dexterity requirement.

Timeless jewel/watchers eye

This part is very tricky, as you need the jewel that is right for your build.

Glorious vanity: If you are struggling to get the helm enhancement, then I would suggest that you get a glorious vanity, to try hitting the 45% curse effect mark. This jewel should probably be placed under the pain attunement keynote, as to not lose a lot of attributes (you really need them for the build).

Lethal pride: If you on the other hand already got the required curse effectiveness, you would want a lethal pride with as much double damage as you can get.

The watcher’s eye is pretty much mandatory, as your HoI doesn’t inherently have base critical strike chance. What you are looking for is one that have +xx% to critical strike chance while effected by hatred.

Ascendancy, pantheon, and bandits

Normal lab: Take Ambush and assassinate for the 100% more critical strike chance, so HoI always lands a critical strike.

Cruel lab: unstable infusion, this node is meh, but you need it for the next two.

Merciless lab: deadly infusion will give you +2 to base critical strike chance for your spells.

Eternal labyrinth: You can chose between mistwalker for defensive layer or opportunistic for a little more damage vs bosses, I would probably prefer mistwalker, as this build dont focus on bosses but rather trash mobs.

Pantheon: take whatever you feel like, I have taken soul of lunaris for physical damage reduction and movement speed and soul of abberath.

Bandits: Alira gives you everything you need, critical strike multiplier and resistance.

Leveling tips

There are so many guides on leveling, so just follow one of those. Just find one with either mines, traps, storm brand or something entirely different. Re-spec to this build when you get the items and can comfortably clear the map.

Some things that I would recommend, is using a frigid and metallic fossil on a low-level glove to produce something like the gloves below, which is very strong early on and is added damage to both spells and attacks alike.

Another great item that many doesn’t utilize is sacrificial heart when you are at level 32, which also gives flat added damage to either spells or attacks.

Finally, corrupted rings can give very good implicit which gives A LOT of added damage from level 32 forward, like these:

How to roll maps
For the build to work properly you need to maximize the amount of loot dropped from monsters. This means as you increase pack size and quantity, the amount of 6socket and 6links increases. Let’s look at this example:

The number of items dropped from a normal white map is X.
When you have 100% quantity you will get 2X amount of loot.
Now let’s say that you rolled 40% pack size, which means that the amount of loot you get is: 1.4 * 2X = 2.8X
This means a map that has 100% quantity and 40% pack size almost triple the amount of loot.

This can further be amplified by sextants (increased monsters), fragments (which increase quantity), Chisels (increases quantity) and scarabs (increase monsters), Zana mod (beyond).
Sextants and scarabs are especially important as you will get more pack size in the maps and thus increase the chance of beyond monsters spawning.

You can ofc play with friends which gives 50% MORE items for each one with you. This can ofc both be positive and negative. The positive side of it is that you will increase the amount of 6links for each person at the party. The negative side is that you only have 6 portals, and thus can’t carry everything out from the maps, and you are splitting the loot.

Tips and tricks
Open chests and execute syndicate members after vaal winds have proc’d, as those items then will be corrupted.

You have almost 100% uptime of vaal righteous fire and vaal grace, don’t forget to use them.

You don’t HAVE to sell the 6links you find. Sometimes you will get some with good stats that can sell for more than the divine orb you would have gotten if you sold it to a vendor. Have sold some of the 6links for up to 1 exalts late in the league.

Will write more as I remember them.

“why can’t I get long uptime from WO / vaal winds?”
This build needs the specific item to function properly. If you don’t have solstice vigil, you need over 125% curse effectiveness to have the full effect (again check the video from Whissp), so the amulet is pretty much mandatory.

“Why can’t I zoom zoom as fast as you?”

You really need to quality your shield charge and faster attack support. Shield charge has been changed and now gives 1% increased movement speed for each quality. And Faster attack support gives 1% faster attacks per quality. And try to get “of adrenaline” as the suffix on quicksilver flask, as that will increase your movement speed and consequently your shield charge animation speed. Additionally, you need onslaught, either vaaled on the sword or from brutal restraint timeless jewel, as that is 20% increased attack and movement speed!

“My damage is lacking what can I do to increase it?”
Firstly, the more damage from lethal pride and arcane surge from the sword isn’t calculated in PoB, so that could be the reason why the damage is low for your build in PoB.
But if you feel like the damage is low in-game, then try to see if you got a level 21 winter orb, as winter orb scales by a higher level. Secondly, if you opted to use zeel’s amplifier then you are potentially missing on a lot of damage, as esh’s mirror is very nice for a fast-paced build like this one. Lastly, try utilizing vaal righteous fire, frost bomb and focus (which gives shock) on tougher enemies. Finally, the jewels are very important, as this is a critical strike build, and you almost always are landing a critical strike, critical strike multiplier will increase the damage immensely. If you find that the damage is still lower, then pm me and I will look on your build if I have time and tell you what you could do better.

“Why are you taking faith and steel and frost walker? Are you some kind of noob?”
The reason why these 2 points are taken is because faith and steel give me 5% double damage from my lethal pride. Furthermore, I really need the resistance’s as I am running very strict equipment setup, which doesn’t have a lot of room for resistance. Frost walker helps with the resistance, but also gives my WO increased cast speed and increased damage.

will add on as people asks questions
Last edited by bunnyoncrack on Oct 27, 2019, 10:44:25 AM
Last bumped on Mar 26, 2020, 7:29:40 PM
Thanks for the guide. Bought all of the required uniques and will be trying it out on standard to see if I like the playstyle.

could I also do this on a inquisitor?

All I know is that I know nothing.
Last edited by darciaz on Aug 1, 2019, 4:23:15 PM
Thanks for reminding that this prophecy exist!

How you don't get slowed down by self-Temp chains? Or you do, it's just not noticeable for some reason?

Tankiess is fine, right? Or build doesnt't really need to wait for tempest, because it lasts a while?
darciaz wrote:
Thanks for the guide. Bought all of the required uniques and will be trying it out on standard to see if I like the playstyle.

could I also do this on a inquisitor?

Will be very very hard to do the chain reaction explosion of herald of ice. HoI does not inherently have any crit chance, and I have it up to about 60% without the assassin ascendancy. One of the nodes gives 100% MORE critical strike chance, which means that you double up on it, and can hit 100%

SunL4D2 wrote:
Thanks for reminding that this prophecy exist!

How you don't get slowed down by self-Temp chains? Or you do, it's just not noticeable for some reason?

Tankiess is fine, right? Or build doesnt't really need to wait for tempest, because it lasts a while?

You are only using a level 4 temporal chain, as you only need the 40% reduced expiration of other effects. So the effect isn't that noticeable, you also have a lot of movement speed and attack speed, which helps.

Yeah the tankyness is oka. But you need to be on the move VS legion monsters as those hit like a truck. And regarding tempest, you only need to refresh it each 20 seconds, which is very nice, as you then just kill monsters without waiting for a tempest after each 5 seconds.
bunnyoncrack wrote:
darciaz wrote:
Thanks for the guide. Bought all of the required uniques and will be trying it out on standard to see if I like the playstyle.

could I also do this on a inquisitor?

Will be very very hard to do the chain reaction explosion of herald of ice. HoI does not inherently have any crit chance, and I have it up to about 60% without the assassin ascendancy. One of the nodes gives 100% MORE critical strike chance, which means that you double up on it, and can hit 100%

Gotcha, will do assassin ascendancy then when my characters move to standard. :)
All I know is that I know nothing.
PoE and cats natural attraction: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2331585
Last edited by FedeS on Aug 15, 2019, 2:52:59 PM
FedeS wrote:
Thanks for the guide :)

Would you say this farmer can compete with Glacier monolith farmer this league? Since price of Divines are raising.

Would you recommend to farm in Breachstones or Apex of sacrifice? or normal maps with high quantity are the best?

Can this build compete with Magic Find vaal winds farmer? (even with only 5 sec vaal winds, let's say in breachtones is easy to maintain the buff?)

How many exalteds would you say we need for the budget version?

Thanks in advance.

If you proc vaal winds, this build is 100% more profitable than glacial farmer. I got some maps which dropped 6+ 6links (some even had good rolls which sold for higher than 1 divine), and the rest of the inventory full of 6socket items for jewllers orb, which nettet over 200c in about 6 minute which translate to about 2000C in 1 hour. But the problem is, that you are not guaranteed to proc every single time. I think the chance is about 35-40% to proc vaal winds each time you open a map.

Good question about breachstones and AoS, that needs testing. If there drops more items in those zones, then you would drop more 6linked items. (will probably test it now xD)

I dont think it is easy to maintain the buff, as you need to refresh each 5 seconds, which is a very small window to kill monsters. And it is a pain in the ass to wait around for the tempest to spawn after each 5 seconds. Tried it, and it felt horrible with only 5 seconds, even with insane magic find.
but hey, made a 35% magic find version which is a middleground from both worlds :P

The budget version is very cheap (dont know how much it will cost now late in the league). The only thing that is expensive is the watchers eye with crit and ofc a 5 or 6 linked chest armour. The amulet is probably 1ex now late in the league as not many people are doing shaper anymore.
all in all I think you can get it for about 4ex or something if you are happy with a 5linked armour (excluding the watchers eye)
PoE and cats natural attraction: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2331585
Last edited by FedeS on Aug 15, 2019, 2:53:18 PM
FedeS wrote:
Thanks for your answers!

I finally finished the build yesterday after studying your build. It wasn't easy to get all required items but I'm happy with the result.

The helmet with the required 2 mods (crit and aoe) PLUS the temporal chain enchant is extremely rare and expensive! I don't think we can buy these kind of helmet, and I'm too poor and dumb to craft one. So I had to spend 7 extra points in the tree taking Skittering Runes plus 5 points (extra nodes from Glorious vanity area) getting 14% effect of curses totaling +44%. I have 4% more at my disposal using 1 point but I don't think it worth it if the cap is 45%?

Anyway I think I was lucky and got a decent helmet for the build for 50c (not really sure tho xD)

Could you take a look at my character and give me some recommendation or feedback?

I tried the build and it's really powerful... Tried some vaal winds maps, but I don't really feel good with this prophecy. It's really hard to get the pace with the winds, sometimes is really hard to find one vaal wind! I guess it's a matter of practice? If you have any recommendation on this please go on!

Char name: FedeFo

Overall it look pretty good. Some recommendation I could give is that corrupted items of the cheaper items is rather accessible. Such as +xx to critical strike chance with spells on a shackles of the wretched (just buy one whatever the sockets and colour and use bench to get 4link and the desired colour) and maybe the rippling thoughts could have the onslaught on kill.
can see your winter orb isnt corrupted, try to corrupt it to get a lvl 21, as that gives even more power.

Remove fire walker from skill tree (as you got enough fire res) and put it maybe in faith and steel. Everything else looks fine tbh. you should have vaal winds up for like 19 seconds and in that time you would probably see 2-3 winds spawn. If you get the onslaught on kill, you will get 20% movement and 20% attack speed which both increase the movement of shield charge, which makes it easier to hit those vaal winds. :)

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