[3.22] Frostbolt/Ice Nova Hierophant | 45m DPS | All Content

[3.22] UPDATE 9/5: I've posted a video update for 3.22! The PoB has also been revamped with multiple progression levels, starting from leveling all the way up to the final build. There's an item set, skill set, and passive tree for each progression level.

Video update: https://youtu.be/UvWxjKVPYIE
PoB: https://pobb.in/5e1T1zQ3n81f

My chacter is fairly minmaxed, apart from high-budget upgrades like lv5 Awakened Empower and Mageblood. It is ailment immune, curse immune, crit immune, and stun immune if killed recently. I can clear wave 30 sim without much difficulty. I can kill ubers but may die a couple times.

There are a lot of options to increase uber boss damage at the cost of safety, if you want to. For example, you can replace Rumi's with a Diamond Flask, replace stun avoidance boot enchant with ele pen, replace Stormshroud or Glorious Vanity with dps jewels, give up suppress and instant leech on the tree for Frost Walker/Divine Judgement/Throatseeker/crit clusters, etc.

Surprisingly not much has changed in my build compared to previous leagues. I added spell suppress and instant leech in the tree, and focused more on flat mana on gear. Patch 3.21 (Crucible league) had an Arcane Surge rework which was a major buff to Hierophant.

NOTE: Only the above PoB is up to date for 3.22. All info below this point is out of date, although some of it may still be useful.

[3.17] PoB of my character (level 94, 10 ex budget): https://pastebin.com/JG8595zX
Final build (level 96, ~70 ex budget): https://pastebin.com/XdhbkkRm

[3.16] I'm revisiting this build and have provided an updated PoB for Scourge league:
This is a late endgame PoB (level 97, 100 ex budget). Currently this build is pretty mediocre and requires significant investment. I would only recommend it for experienced players who really liked it in the past, or just want to try an off-meta self cast playstyle. I would not recommend this build to newer players or people just wanting a meta league start.

Update 10/23: With the Essence Worm mod change to "80% reduced Reservation Efficiency of Skills", even a medium level Clarity reserves an absurd amount of mana. If you want to run this you can grab the Mana Mastery for "Clarity has 100% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency".

Major changes in 3.15:
* Overall damage nerfed by over 65%.
* Swap out Controlled Destruction, it is a huge dps loss now. Instead use something like Inspiration, Increased Critical Strikes, or Awakened Cold Pen.
* The Cold Conduction cluster jewel is no longer useful and can be swapped out.
* Smoke Mine can probably be swapped out too.

Hi friends. This is my version of the Frostbolt/Ice Nova Hierophant build, a well rounded build with high single target DPS and EHP. I first developed the Hierophant variant of this build in 3.8 in response to the mana rebalancing patch. Since then I've been playing and refining the build almost every league.

+ 30m+ Shaper DPS
+ Tanky with 11k EHP
+ Very fast cast speeds
+ High AoE and offscreen ability
+ Deletes endgame content
+ Great scaling with investment

- Need to stand still and cast for maximum boss damage
- Can feel clunky early on with low cast speed
- No on-death explosions
- Requires pressing 2+ buttons

Video Showcase:
Original Video (3.8): https://youtu.be/ksmSPvk8ya0
Metamorph League (3.9): https://youtu.be/HYYGIZNea6g
Delirium League (3.10): https://youtu.be/q_ghAjKtyGw

PoBs for 3.13:
Use the PoB Fork: https://pathofbuilding.community/
* Basic Build (League Start): https://pastebin.com/BMvWiQbB
* Final Build (Level 100): https://pastebin.com/YkxvLUyV
For the leveling tree, check Slide 12. None of these PoBs have leveling trees.

Detailed Guide (read the notes at the bottom for extra info):

How to see slide notes if "some tools might be unavailable due to heavy traffic in this file":
At bottom left:

2021-01-15: Updated for 3.13. Included adjustments I made in 3.12 such as Replica Farrul's and the freeze duration reduction helmet mod.
2020-09-27: Updated LCJ section again with an eye toward more budget selections.
2020-09-25: Updated Large Cluster Jewel section.
2020-09-18: Small updates for 3.12 to slides and PoBs.
2020-06-24: Updated Large Cluster Jewel crafting for 3.11.
2020-06-21: Added slide on how to craft the Medium Cluster Jewels.
2020-06-19: Leveling node order adjusted to further delay staff-specific nodes. Wicked Ward moved to the end.
2020-06-19: Significantly improved and streamlined the slides prior to 3.11 release.
2020-03-31: Slightly adjusted the Final Build PoB. Now Level 98 and has some cheap defensive upgrades for helm/gloves/belt to increase Chaos Res and Phys Reduction.
2020-03-29: Added Final Build PoB for 3.10.
2020-03-20: Updated slides with more detailed info about optimized Cluster Jewel setup. Added crafting guide for the Large Cluster Jewel.
2020-03-16: Updated the League Start PoB with a slightly more optimized setup. Fixed "Standard Build - Items" slide notes with updates to Glorious Vanity location and Helmet crafting.
2020-03-15: Added a PoB for League Start from my actual character. This is even more budget than the budget build and represents actual early character progression.
2020-03-12: Updated slides and Budget/Premium Build PoB for 3.10. Other builds coming soon.
2020-01-15: Updated slides with more info about Conqueror Slams, Cinderswallow Urn, full PoB config options, Zealotry, Frostbite/Ele. Weakness
2020-01-10: Fixed an issue with the Premium Build PoB.
2020-01-09: Added new 3.9 showcase video. Updated slides with more streamlined layout of build variants & gem setup. Added Smoke Mine. Replaced 6L 4-offcolor body armour recommendation with an easier setup. Added Premium Build info (Farrul's/Tailwind). Other miscellaneous fixes.
2019-12-23: Updated slides with detailed info about Ice Nova support gems, including Awakened gems and swap setups for ailment immunity maps.
2019-12-11: Updated slides with more info on budget build / league starting / leveling.

Old stuff

[3.10] My notes & adjustments so far:
* Current experimental setup (April 13th) has 2x Disorienting Display (instead of Prismatic Heart) for Blind Nearby Enemies.
* For the Large Jewel setup of [Blanketed Snow/Disorienting Display/2 Jewel Sockets], the last (not-taken) affix can be either Prismatic Heart or Snowstorm to ensure the correct ordering.
* There was thought to be a bug with Greater Spell Echo causing this build to do 35% less damage, in reality it had always worked this way.
* GGG post: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2817565/page/5#p23088769
* My thoughts: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2687717/page/110#p23089126
* I ended up removing the Written in Blood / Doom Cast section in order to fund the passives for the Cluster Jewels.
* Best setup for Medium Cluster Jewels, easy to buy/craft:

* Best Large Cluster Jewel:

* Large Cluster Jewel crafting instructions (costs average 5-10 ex to craft, more if unlucky):
Large Cluster Jewel
Item Level: 75-83 (NOTE: 84+ can be used but it's more complicated)
Adds 8 Passive Skills
Added Small Passive Skills grant: 12% increased Cold Damage
Not Corrupted / Mirrored

List of TARGET affixes and their CLASSES:
PREFIX Class A: Blanketed Snow
PREFIX Class B: Sadist OR Corrosive Elements OR Prismatic Heart
SUFFIX Class A: Widespread Destruction OR Doryani's Lesson OR Disorienting Display
SUFFIX Class B: 2 Jewel Sockets

List of BLACKLISTED Combos:
BLACKLISTED: Prismatic Heart + Doryani's Lesson
BLACKLISTED: Prismatic Heart + Disorienting Display

A Rare Jewel, 4 affixes, with one TARGET affix from EACH of the 4 affix CLASSES, and without a BLACKLISTED combo.


Normal Jewel, 0 affixes:
Use Transmutation.

Magic Jewel, 1 affix:
Use Augmentation if your ONE affix is any of the TARGET affixes.
Otherwise, use Alteration.

Magic Jewel, 2 affixes:
Use Regal if BOTH affixes are TARGET affixes and the combo is not BLACKLISTED.
Otherwise, use Alteration.

Rare Jewel, 3 affixes:
Use Exalt / Leo Slam if ALL of the following apply:
* One affix MUST be Blanketed Snow
* ALL 3 affixes are TARGET affixes
* ALL 3 affixes are from different CLASSES
* The affixes do not contain a BLACKLISTED combo
* IF two suffixes are present, then one of them MUST be Widespread Destruction
Otherwise, use Scouring.

Rare Jewel, 4 Affixes:
You are DONE if ALL of the following apply:
* ALL 4 affixes are TARGET affixes
* ALL 4 affixes are from different CLASSES
* The affixes do not contain a BLACKLISTED combo
Otherwise, sell the jewel and buy another base, or use Scouring.

* I took Wicked Ward for the League Start build temporarily. I got rid of it when I got Heart of Ice anoint on my Pandemonius (free ES leech). It's also unnecessary if you use Cinderswallow.
* Glorious Vanity should now be placed in the socket near Pain Attunement, since the outer sockets will be reserved for cluster jewels.

PoBs for 3.10:
* League Start: https://pastebin.com/cd7e9jVy
* Final Build: https://pastebin.com/yNNeKgdL
* Final Build Adjusted (experimental, updated April 15th): https://pastebin.com/RxPQ6W0b
* NOTE * League Start PoB is a snapshot of my current character at 3.10 league start (Level 91, 2-3 days into the league), around 2 ex budget. Final Build is mostly maxed out, ~80 ex budget. For best results, use LocalIdentity's fork of PoB.

Old PoBs (don't use these, check the 3.10 ones above):

* Budget Build: https://pastebin.com/bw0VKUnC
* Standard Build: https://pastebin.com/45TaWGtH
* Delve Build: https://pastebin.com/y91p7Zbv
* Premium Build: https://pastebin.com/07QQPJT7
* NOTE * These have not yet been updated with my 3.10 Cluster Jewel recommendations or the new location for Glorious Vanity (it's near Pain Attunement now). Also the Standard and Delve build are somewhat outdated nowadays.

Original Reddit thread:
Last edited by Arcinde on Sep 5, 2023, 12:04:38 AM
Last bumped on Sep 30, 2023, 5:57:43 AM
Very detailed guide! I look forward to using this as my bosser this upcoming league with all the new bosses :)
Looks very good.

Suitable for league starter?

Pledge of hands 6L is gonna be pretty tough to get early on.

Build looks awesome, what would you suggest using in place of PoH early on? May try to use this as a league starter!
Pretty cool build and nice video!

It feels to me like a bit clunky as a league starter, but definitely going to try this out later on!
As league start: I have less expertise here, but I can make a few suggestions. As league start it's viable but feels sluggish until you get more cast speed. Before you get a Pledge, you can use rare staff/dual wands/dual sceptres with good stats: %cold, %spell, flat cold, cast speed, crit multi, crit chance, maybe mana/res. If you do use dual wands/sceptres make sure not to take Serpent Stance/Counterweight in passives tree. Examples:

You should switch to Pledge ASAP, it's the single biggest upgrade in the build and 5L Pledge shouldn't be too expensive. At this point you have 35-40% the DPS of the full build, definitely not bad considering the full build is 20-30m DPS.
Thoughts on the new Nova ring? Any shenanigans possible with your build or would it be entirely different?
Last edited by Microchaton on Dec 11, 2019, 5:35:45 PM
Microchaton wrote:
Thoughts on the new Nova ring? Any shenanigans possible with your build or would it be entirely different?

Interesting, I hadn't seen it before. I don't think it's useful for this build, assuming it works the way I think it does. If you had Frostbolts out, it would cast around them even with the ring. If you didn't have Frostbolts out, you'd lose the shotgun/no-lockdown mechanics that give you the 12x DPS multiplier.
very nice build showcase , but don't mind if i ask , did you level it with frostbolt and ice nova or something else ?
NoobInAction wrote:
very nice build showcase , but don't mind if i ask , did you level it with frostbolt and ice nova or something else ?

For leveling I did something like holy flame totem + a self cast spell (I forget which). Frostbolt/Ice Nova is completely unplayable for Templar until at least Act 3 Library when you can buy LMP from Siosa. After that it's workable but will feel clunky until you get some cast speed.

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