[3.10] VolaBomber | CwC - Volatile Dead Chieftain | All Content


Hello guys, this is first build guide I wrote since I started playing POE in 2014.

I played Poet's Pen Volatile Dead when this skill was introduced in the game. Later I wanted to make another Volatile Dead character, but I really don't like to repeat myself. So I found few interesting setups, tested them a bit in 3.6. And finally in 3.7 I managed to create characted I really like. I don't play game a lot, so my gear not as good as it can be. Anyway, 36 challenges completed in Legion softcore without any assistance from other players.

I nave Necromancer build variant posted here:


+ Great single target
+ Great mapper
+ Great delver
+ All content doable
+ Fun to play

- Might be hard to setup
- Need some item swaps for elemental reflect
- FPS drops


Budget setup lvl 70 | PoE 3.10 Delirium

Leveling as Necromancer in 3.8

Sorry, I didn't shoot any leveling footage of my Chieftain but here are some videos of the same build based on Necromancer ascendancy:

Necro VolaBomber | Leveling with Incinerate
Necro VolaBomber | Early mapping with Tabula
Necro VolaBomber | Full setup lvl 80


The idea is to cast Volatile Dead without any headake that comes with this skill. I mean we don't want to create corpses manually and we don't want to stand still while casting. So I choose Cyclone + Cast While Channeling combination to trigger Volatile Dead.

Next step is to give our chieftain some kind of passive skill that creates corpses infinitely. We want to cast Volatile Dead in any situation (even in hideout). I decided to use CWDT setups to trigger Unearth and Desecrate. Last thing to do is to find the way to deal damage ourself constantly. I found 2 effective solutions.

3.11 Update

1. Doedre's Malevolence is dead item for us now. Looks like we should use Voidbringer gloves now. It's fine because Doedre's always been quite expensive early in the league.

2. New Infernal Cry gem looks fantastic. It can be used for extra explosions.

3. New "Undertaker" passive skill point is A-WE-SO-ME. 30% increased damage, 2% life regen and 2 additional corpses spawned for both desecrate and unearth.

4. Cyclone is nerfed and now we CAN be stunned while spinning. That's bad news but we will find some kind of solution. Just need to find few items with "stun avoid" modifier.

5. Supreme Ego keystone is awesome in pair with high lvl clarity gem. Great for mana sustain.

6. Kitava's Teachings jewel also now available through delirium encounters. It helps a lot too.

Solution #1 (Don't try it if not sure)

1. We are consuming corpses by casting Volatile Dead.
2. Soulwrest keeps summoning phantasms until we have maximum amount of them.
3. After that on each new cast we will kill old phantasm and resummon new one.
4. Heartbound Loop will deal us 350 physical damage for each killed phantasm. It is more then enough to constantly trigger CWDT.

I used this combination from start of the league until late endgame. I even killed Shaper and red Elder using Soulwrest. But damage output was not as great as I wanted it to be so I switched to "Solution #2".

Solution #2

1. This helm and gloves make manacost of Cyclone extremly high.
2. We are dealing phys damage to ourself and triggering CWDT.
3. We can use any weapon now. Disintegrator and Martyr of Innocence are great.

For this setup we need a lot of mana regen. Here some items that helping us to sustain mana.

Also I'm using Glorious Vanity unique jewel. After equiping it any keystone turns to Corrupted Soul which gives us 20% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield, but 50% of Non-Chaos Damage taken bypasses Energy Shield. This jewel is optional.

*Avoid all armour on tree and items to make this setup work effectively.


Level 40

Level 70

Level 90

Level 100

Make sure to use the latest update of LocalIdentity's Fork for PoB.
It's simply improved version of Path of Building:

3.10 Path of Building code
3.7 Path of Building code
Pastebin code for Necromancer variant

Bandits: Kill All

- Major: Arakaali (Stun Immune) or Brine King (DoT mitigation)
- Minor: Shakari (DoT mitigation) or Yugul (Elemental reflect immune setup).


My final gear for Legion

Swaps for Elemental Reflect

Soulwrest build variant


Main damage setup:
1. Cyclone / Incinerate
2. Cast while Channelling
3. Volatile Dead
4. Spell Cascade
5. Concentrated Effect
6. Fire Penetration / Combustion / Elemental Focus / Energy leech

CWDT #1:
1. Cast when Damage Taken | lvl 1
2. Unearth | lvl 8
3. Greater Multiple Projectiles
4. Greater Volley

CWDT #2:
1. Cast when Damage Taken | lvl 1
2. Wave of Conviction | lvl 7
3. Spell Cascade
4. Desecrate | lvl 7

CWDT #3:
1. Cast when Damage Taken
2. Assassin's Mark

1. Frostblink
2. Arcane Surge | lvl 7-12

1. Anger / Zealotry
2. Herald of Ash
3. Clarity

Additional Gems:
1. Summon Ice Golem
2. Vaal Righteous Fire


PoB says that with my shitty gear 1 ball deals 182 982 fire damage. We have 6 balls per 1 Volatile Dead cast. We cast Volatile Dead each 0,35 seconds (2,86 casts per second).

182982 * 6 * 2.86 = 3 139 971 dps
Cyclone itself deal 59 079 dps

So in total we are dealing around 3.2 million dps against mobs and 2.1 million dps against Shaper.


SiCH13 wrote:
KleeziE wrote:
Having a hard time sustaining w/ mana... even with Atziri's Foible

With your posted current gear, are you able to sustain it because its only a 4L? How do you plan on sustaining a 6L? It that just the min-maxing enchants etc?

Just feel like im missing something or I just need to constantly spam mana pots :(

I'm sustaining mana on both characters (Necro and Chieftain) with 6L setup even in my hideout. But for Chieftain it's a bit trickier to sustain mana than for Necro.

1. Use high level clarity
2. Try to find watcher's eye with clarity mod on it. Like this one:

3. Invest some skill points on tree to Mana regeneration rate.
4. Craft Betrayal master mod "Damage taken gained as mana" on your rare rings and amulet. If you haven't unlocked one, there are a lot of crafting services. Here are my collection:

5. Use Praxis or Victario's Flight. They are super cheap.

Proof of concept and items showcase for both character:
Volatile Dead Chieftain | Showcase and Spinning in HO
Volatile Dead Necromancer | Showcase and Spinning in HO

SiCH13 wrote:
Tupactheon wrote:
any budget gear to start with? i mean soulwrest is 2,2exp right now.

I know dude. For some reason in this league Soulwrest is insanely expensive. I bought 2 6-linked soulwrests in 3.7 for about 50c each. That's why it was so easy to start.

In 3.8 I farmed Blood Aqueduct using Incinerate-CwC-VD-Concentrated-Combustion for Tabula rasa divination cards because we need any 6-link to start. After I discovered that can't afford Soulwrest I started to farm Jungle Valley map for 5-linked staff divination cards. My gem setup for Tabula was:

Cyclone - CwC - VD - Desecrate - Spell Cascade - Concentrated

It was enough for early mapping. Then lucky exalted orb dropped and I bought Disintegrator because it was much cheaper than Soulwrest and much better in terms of dps. After I bought Scold's for 8c and Doedre's for 10c and build started to work properly.

Total cost: 1 lucky Exalt + 18c

JermStudDog wrote:
BigGrizzlyD wrote:
The original build does look sweet, but im curious what exactly does necro provide compared to chief?

Pros of Necro over Chieftain:

Better Positioning on the Passive Tree - Witch is right in the middle of where this build wants to be on the tree, you end up with something like 20 passive points that are more flexible than if you are running a marauder, this results in more optimized passives and more power at the end-game as a result.

Easier leveling experience - start with incinerate, add CwC + VD when you get the gems. That takes you all the way into maps with a pain-free experience.

Easier transition into the build - Once you have Essence Glutton + any 5 link, you can set up Cyclone + CwC + VD + Spell Cascade + Desecrate and transition into a weaker version of this build. Add in Doedre's Malevolence + Mistress of Sacrifice and you can transition into the full build easily and painlessly.

Stronger Defense - I have accidentally powered through 20+ Corrupted Blood stacks without even noticing, the free ES generated from Spirit Offering is insane for tanking.

Flexibility - I have recently been experimenting with Flesh Offering for white maps and it works extremely well. With a single gem swap, we can gain 17% movement speed at the cost of survivability, that's something chieftain doesn't have the option of doing.

Easier Mana Management - Because your mana concerns are taken care of by the ascendancy class alone, you are free to invest your $$$ into survivability and damage, meaning your character gains more raw power at a fraction of the cost.

The benefits of Chieftain are basically all damage-related, he does a TON of damage once you get him set up, but Necromancer has competing damage as well. Free 20% bonus damage from Shock on Corpse Pact, 15% bonus chaos damage from Spirit Offering, 10% more bonus damage Plaguebringer, and the passive minion damage bonuses from the passive tree and your ascendancy points once you pick up Spiritual Aid. Her damage package isn't quite as good as Chieftains, but it is a real package and leaves little room for Chieftain to truly be the better class in comparison.

[3.8] Buffed - YAY! Desecrate now have no cooldown. More corpses = more damage.
[3.8.1] Fix - Fixed a bug introduced in 3.8.0 where Volatile Dead's targeting was very indecisive.
[3.9] Nerf/Buff - YAY! We are safe. Volatile Dead now has a limit of 60 Orbs which is fair change. Introduced Awakened versions of Spell Cascade and Cast While Channeling support gems.
Last edited by SiCH13 on Jul 15, 2020, 2:47:40 PM
Last bumped on Oct 7, 2020, 10:45:00 AM
" ... to let them know the game isn’t going to be very fair from here on out."
- Qarl
Look interesting! I think I'll give it a shot. Do you pick and choose when to use RF or run it often?
looks pretty nice!, i picked this for my starter character, any tips on leveling skills, gear, etc?
How do you sustain mana exactly? Could this work better with assassin?
I saw you play Necro with Incinerate instead of Cyclone, will you switch later? Thanks either way.
Last edited by Psykrom on Sep 7, 2019, 8:35:00 AM
Psykrom wrote:
How do you sustain mana exactly? Could this work better with assassin?
I saw you play Necro with Incinerate instead of Cyclone, will you switch later? Thanks either way.

I'm trying to make Necromancer variant of the same build cose new ascendancy looks pretty nice. Right now I'm leveling with Incinerate - CwC - Volatile Dead then I'll buy Soulwrest, Heatbound Loop and switch to Cyclone.

It can work great with Assasin but PoB says that we have pretty much same damage as Chieftan but less HP and It's a bit harder to cap resistances.

For mana sustain on 6-link gem setup we have Watcher's Eye with clarity mod and jewelery with crafted mod "% of Damage Taken Gained As Mana". On tree I picked some points with mana regeneration rate. Also Cinderswallow flask gives us huge mana regen. In 3.8 clarity gem was changed and gives us even more mana regen.

UPD: Forgot to say that mod "% of Damage Taken Gained As Mana" works because we are dealing damage to ourself all the time and it counts as Taken Damage so we gain a lot of mana while spending a lot of mana.
Last edited by SiCH13 on Sep 7, 2019, 9:17:11 PM
Thanks for the reply, sounds plausible!
Is Avatar of fire useless without chieftain? I was wondering how good soul glutton from necromancer would be in order to sustain mana (and life MoM). Considering that, have you thought of combining it with eldritch battery?
Last edited by Psykrom on Sep 8, 2019, 9:17:35 AM
Psykrom wrote:
Thanks for the reply, sounds plausible!
Is Avatar of fire useless without chieftain? I was wondering how good soul glutton from necromancer would be in order to sustain mana (and life MoM). Considering that, have you thought of combining it with eldritch battery?

Avatar of fire probably useless without Chieftan in my opinion. Necro's Glutton node looks pretty nice, looking forward to test it. I don't really want to use eldritch battery for mana regen because I want ES to work as additional buffer of HP, but until you found master mode for jewelry and clarity watcher's eye eldritch battery may be useful. Especially with Soul Tether belt. I'll test it, thank you for idea.
UPDATE: Necromancer variant of this build is insane. We don't need master mod "% of Damage Taken Gained As Mana", we don't need clarity watcher's eye too. No issues with mana because of new Essence Glutton ascendancy. Fells smooter than Chieftan. Damage output is a bit lower but I'm only lvl 79 now and all my items pretty much trash.

And I forgot about one important thing. Necromancer have no sources of life leech on tree. So I'm trying to find the way to solve that problem right now. Soul tether not usable probably because of absence of life leech. I'm using CWDT - Spirit offering now to mitigate damage that we deal to ourself. Anyway, I should make separate post about Necro setup.
any budget gear to start with? i mean soulwrest is 2,2exp right now.

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