[3.9] Diabloyd's Avatar of Ballista (Fire Tornado or Barrage) / 7k Life / 6M+ Shaper DPS / Ez EG

Hi! So I've basically skipped 3.8 just to play this new amazing content of the Conquerors in 3.9!

Before we start, by any chance if you're interested, check out these other builds I've made previously, they're not quite updated to 3.9 but they should all work properly (I only recommend the Jugg one for this league tho):
[3.7] Diabloyd's Avatar of Voidforge Jugg Cyclone / 7K+ HP / 3~4M+ Shaper DPS
[3.7] Diabloyd's Avatar of Voidforge Berserk Cyclone / 6~8K HP / 5~8M+ Shaper DPS / 2 Variations
3.7 Diabloyd's Frenzy Void Slayer / 3~4M Shaper Dps / 8 Endurance Charges / Very versatile
3.7 Diabloyd's Icy Cat Flicker Raider / 5M+ Shaper DPS / Sword & Shield / Fast & Boom

Here's a GIF for Lvl 83 Baran with 4 Watchstones, Awakening level 6:

T16 Full gauge metamorph boss.

The basic concept of this build is to use Tornado OR Barrage supported by Ballista, with all the damage fully converted to fire, along with tons of fire res reduction. At the same time, scaling with lots of additional arrows to increase the single target DPS. And at last, fully utilizing the combination of Ascendant's passives which gives you life leech from ballistas while providing tons of damage.

With my current Metamorph character (level 95), I have:
- 6M+ burst dps to shaper/guardians (with Barrage, theoretically.)
- 7K HP
- 40% Dodge, 30% Spell Dodge, 50%+ Evasion (from Blind,optional)
- Life leech from Ballistas.
- 3x Frenzy & Power Charges for sustained single target boss fight.
- 3x Endurance Charges via Enduring Cry (optional).
DPS note to prevent salt
The "theoretical" scene I meant was: enemy at close range (<10 yards), flasks activated, frenzy/power charges, lightning golem alive, 5 ballistas activated.

I did not calculate the maximum damage from Arborix (I took an average damage output from both rotations instead). And I did not take the whole value of CWDT+Wave of Conviction into the calculation due to its unpredictable proc, nor did I assume I will have 3 power charges on all the time.

Thus, the real "theoretically maximum dps" of my character should be somewhere near 7M dps.

As you can see, it's highly possible to reach the "theoretical" DPS I mentioned above.

Sirus done with ease.
Only have 27 watchstone collected right now, so I could only do a level 6 Sirus. But since the only difference from level 8 is 6% life, I don't see a reason why I couldn't do the Level 8 Sirus.

Actually,it's soooooooo easy once you figure out how to deal with the chaos storm.
Kinda dissapointed, I was expecting something like Uber Elder and this is almost like a WoW Raid Boss (figure it out once, crush it forever).

Ok this is kinda off-topic, let's talk about the build.

(only got time for these, can record other contents if required)
Baran (level 83, 4 watchstones): https://youtu.be/hrQHFp-43Qk
T16 Farming (with high damage mods): https://youtu.be/jh6HNJ0Sz-g

Both are recorded at awakening level 6.

1, Lots of additional projectiles without GMP, 8 for Tornado, and 13 for Barrage, and both Skills can do the job of map clearing plus single target.(I've killed Sirus with a Tornado Setup).

Sources of additional projectiles?
- Ascendant's Deadeye: 1
- Arborix: 2
- Dying Sun: 2
- Rain of Splinters: 2
- Helm enchant (if Barrage): 1
and potentially
- Corrupted Quiver: 1 (optional, I don't even have it myself xD)

2, All damage converted to fire, applying tons of fire res reduction to any monster including bosses (-139% fire resistance at full buffs/debuffs).

What are the fire res reductions?
- Elemental Equilibrium: -50% fire res.(Sustained)
- Wave of Conviction: -25% fire res. (CWDT, uptime depends)
- Boots' enchant: -10% ele res.
- Xoph's Blood: -10% fire res.
- Combustion Support: -20% fire res (level 21)
- The Wise Oak: -15% fire res
- Rare Helm made by Scorched Fossil: -9% fire res.

3, You are attacking yourself too! (say no to boring totem builds).
Using Frenzy to get perma Frenzy/Power Charges, cursing enemies as well via Curse on Hit.

- 7K+ life possible.
- 40% dodge, 30% spell dodge and Blind (50% evasion).
- You can potentially get to around 0% chaos res (depends on your choice).
- Knock back (sometimes it's a debuff though.)
- Some life regen, plus life leech from ballistas (20% life leech per sec).
- Chill effect via Skitterbots (slowing the enemies by 10%)
- Using the Ballistas as meat shields (they can block lots of projectiles).

Build's self-evaluation:
- Sustained DPS, almost no dps loss while moving. (It's a totem build after all).

- Knock Back can be painful when you don't have enough damage to burst down normal bosses. You can use Empire's Grasp early on to counter the negative effects of Knock Back.

- No effective damage mitigation mechanics, most of the time you rely only on damage avoidance and your HP. For example, a Jugg can be as double tanky as this build with the same HP. (you can use Endurance Cry to get some End. Charges though).

- Starts cheap, but truely shines when you get all the right pieces. Well this is my first character this league, but I won't say it's "starter friendly".
(I never RMT, but I always have a way to proceed). My build is basically completed, and I will put the estimated prices for each of my gears below.

- Delayed damage (the nature of totem builds).

- Despite being a totem (ballista) build, I don't feel boring at all since I always have stuff to do.

- Reliable life regen from leech as a totem build.

- I'm having fun (it's my very first totem build).

Bow 6L:
Barrage/Tornado Shot - Ballista - Combustion - Immolate - (Awakened) Elemental Damage with Attacks - Slower Projectiles/Faster Attacks/Critical Strike Damage

- Both Barrage and Tornado are viable for mapping/bossing. But swap to Tornado even if you're using Barrage while Delving.
- Less priority for the awakened support.
- As for the last support choice:
- Don't use Slower projectiles if you're using Tornado.
- Crit Damage Support has the same damage buff as Slower Projectiles, but without the negative effect.
- The only reason that we're using Faster Attacks here is because it's a green support. Because having the bow with 1G2R3B requires some luck. (I got lucky tho, so I'm using Crit Damage support).

Frenzy 4L:
Frenzy - Projectile Weakness - Curse on Hit - Power Charge on Critical

Clarity, Flesh and Stone(defensive) or Herald of Ash(damage), Summon Skitterbots

Other skills
- CWDT + Steelskin + Wave of Conviction
- Dash
- Blood Rage or Endurance Cry.

Choose one skill to put it the ring Malachai's Artifice.
Summon Lightning Golem / Summon Holy Relic / Summon Chaos Golem / Summon Stone Golem / Herald of Purity

Da hell is this for?
- Minions in the ring to trigger Elemental Equilibrium for you.

- Using Lightning Golem as default. If using other types of minions, you must have "Minions deal additional XXXX lightning/cold damage" on your Abyssal Jewel.

So which one should I get?
- Well I have tried all of these minions, each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Just use Lightning Golem by default, the downside of LIghtning Golem is it dies a bit more frequently than other minions.

- Holy Relic is a solid choice which is the fastest way to apply EE within the close area of the player. It also provides some life regen for you and your ballistas. But, you'll have to "attack" to trigger the AoE of Holy Relic. It is recommended for delving though.

- Chaos Golem provides the additional phys reduction we need the most. The downside is that it requires lots of Int (155), and is not that effective when applying EE.

- Stone Golem gives you life regen, taunts for you, and is the most tanky minion you can get (less re-summon). Less effective when applying EE.

- Herald of Purity, the most "lazy" one to use since you don't have to summon it. Keep in mind that only YOU can trigger the minions from the Herald of Purity. You can have all 4 minions while mapping, but kinda depends on luck while you're dealing with a single target since it only has 20% chance to summon a minion when you hit a rare/unique enemy.

My Gears:

Arborix. Estimated cost (excluding 6L cost): 40-100 chaos

Kaom's Heart. Estimated cost: 60-80 chaos

Signal Fire with Point Blank. Estimated cost: around 1 Ex

Malachai's Artifice. Estimated cost: 1 chaos

Xoph's Blood. Estimated cost: 1.4 Ex
Estimated cost fot the enchanted passive Tenacity: 2+ Ex
(you can get any passive you want though)

Sygian Vise. Estimated cost: ???
Just get anything you can, just make sure it's s Stygian Vise.
Use Scorched and Prismatic Fossils to craft if you want a similar one as mine.

Rare ring. Estimated cost: ???
Get anything you can.
Better get more than 320 accuracy on this rare ring to get 100% hit chance.

Rare gloves. Estimated cost: ???
Well I bought this one with 1Ex. Try to get:
- Chaos res
- Life
- Ele res
- Attack speed

Rare boots. Estimated cost: around 1 Ex
Try to get a decent pair of boots and run the "10% ele penetration" enchant on it. If no luck with the enchant, anything will do the job.
At least get 20%+ movement speed.

Rare helm (crafted by Fossils). Estimated cost: around 1 Ex
Go buy a iLvl 84 helm with the enchant you want (+1 secondary projectile for Tornado, and +1 arrow for Barrage). Craft it with Scorched Fossil.

Jewels. Estimated cost: ???
The two unique jewels are mandatory (-1% mana reserve is not needed), the others are up to you.
Just get enough stats and life/resistances. Best damage mod is attack speed.

Dying Sun. Estimated cost: 1.5 Ex
Wise Oak. Estimated Cost: 10-30 chaos.
Others' estimated cost: ??? (craft it yourself)

My Gears (Overall):

Lvl 95.

Allocate Point Blank if you don't have it on your quiver!
Deadeye - Ranger Starting location - Chieftain.

How to level up?:
Follow the arrows and numbers:
Passives early on:


Use Quill Rain, or Death's Harp/Death's Opus to level up, get Chin Sol at lvl 62.
Other Items are up to you, but get as much "added XXX damage to attacks" as you can. Any type of damage will do the same.

And better NOT use Ballista+Tornado/Barrage to level up if you don't have 6 link, try Shrapnel Ballista or Artillery Ballista instead.

Once you get 5 or 6 linked,
Link like this to get as much damage as you can with literally no investments:
Barrage/Tornado - Ballista Support - Added Cold/Lightning Damage - Elemental damage with Attacks - Elemental Focus

Keep in mind, any type of added damage is the key.

For example, Wake of Destruction is a good option for leveling.

Use Empire's Grasp if you don't have enough damage, I mean, just get it for leveling.

Path of Building & Ninja link:
Barrage version (my current setup): https://pastebin.com/ugL9LYKn

Tornado version: https://pastebin.com/nGPd47Ev

Ninja link: https://poe.ninja/challenge/builds/char/diabloyd/LowborneFarm
Last edited by diabloyd on Jan 7, 2020, 6:44:57 PM
Last bumped on Mar 13, 2020, 4:41:11 PM
I am confused about you using Avatar of Fire (xoph's) and self attacking. Every time you attack you will be giving mobs +50% fire resistance.

Are you just counting on your minion in the ring to constantly counter your fire damage?
teknotronic wrote:
I am confused about you using Avatar of Fire (xoph's) and self attacking. Every time you attack you will be giving mobs +50% fire resistance.

Are you just counting on your minion in the ring to constantly counter your fire damage?

No, ofc not.
First of all, Elemental Equilibrium is NOT allocated in the passives, that means, you, the character won't apply Elemental Equilibrium.

The source of EE comes from this ring, https://poedb.tw/us/unique.php?n=Malachais_Artifice
Read the description, "Socketed Gems have Elemental Equilibrium", means only the gem socketed in this ring will grant Elemental Equilibrium. And because we have Avatar of Fire, we cannot use any skill that can be casted/attacked by the character, thus leaving us the only option for the type of gem socketed which is the minions.

For example, if you put Orb of storms in Malachai's Artifice, you now CAN apply Elemental Equilibrium via Orb of Storms even if you don't have EE allocated in your passives.

To prevent further confusion, allow me explain a lil bit more.

As we know, minions do not inherit "your stats", meaning the minions are not affected by Avatar of Fire, nor are they affected by mods like "added XXX damage", thus they can only deal their original damage type.

Only mods which have specifically stated "minions" would affect them.
(such as "Minions deal XXX added XXX damage")

For example, if you've socketed Summon Lightning Golem in this ring, only the Lightning Golem will grant Elemental Equilibrium.
So everytime the Golem casts a spell or attack, the enemies will be affected by Elemental Equilibrium, and because Lightning Golem only deals Lightning damage, enemies will have +25% lightning res, and -50% fire/cold res.

Same applies to other types of minions I've mentioned in the post, one thing in common is that they all do physical (or chaos) damage. So once you get "minions deal added cold or lightning damage" from any source, your physical damage minion can deal that type of damage as well, thus serving the same purpose as Lightning Golem.

Last edited by diabloyd on Jan 4, 2020, 1:28:35 PM
Ahh gotcha okay thanks. I didn't notice you didn't allocate EE in the tree. Makes sense now.
how does this build preform on blight maps and breach?
Last edited by MrPeetree on Jan 4, 2020, 6:30:40 PM
MrPeetree wrote:
how does this build preform on blight maps and breach?

I've done a few red tier Blight maps with my friends, well as long as your FPS doesn't drop, I'd say it's quite easy since you can just walk around building towers while your ballistas doing the dirty work.

Tornado with one or two additional pierce feels better than Barrage in Blight maps.

Haven't done any Breach map yet this league, but it should perform rather smooth. Will test it when I get enough splinters.
I would like to start this build, could you post a leveling section? Thanks so much.
Yeah a Leveling Section would be great
Ignore me, I was half asleep at work.
Last edited by Tainted_Turkey on Jan 7, 2020, 2:40:45 PM
Azial wrote:
Yeah a Leveling Section would be great

Updated some leveling tips in the post.

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