[3.11] Low Life Ivory tower Essence Drain: a potent all round endgame build

Originally played this build during Metamorph league, I kind of left off this guide because it started to feel more like a build showcase, but since the Ivory Tower is still not really popular I feel like I should do the service of showing how good it can be


Would not advise for new people as it is a low life build, which can be a bit too complex

It's been a while since we've received a build defining unique item of such power with proper tradeoffs. I've played a ton of essence drain builds in the past and this felt the most complete so far.

As of now the build is capable of taking down every endgame encounter without too many issues.

Pob link: https://pastebin.com/Zfk2tZZX

Make sure to have capped chaos resist and at least a 1000 unreserved mana

I would advise leveling as CI until around level 90, you should find plenty of guides for that.

In case you don't then here's the pob of what I played in Synthesis, as well as before transfering to the low life build:

trimmed the tree a bit to be lower level, Plese note the gear is just for reference (elreon jewelry doesnt work like that anymore so if u reserve too much mana then you won't be able to use Blight continously)
it is imported from my other character, a 5 link Restless ward will carry you a long way, but splendours don't tend to be expensive either

The build includes no rare jewels, simply because I don't like the concept of them, and also I managed to strike the balance for offense and defense I wanted so at this point I would say it is good enough
That said, the new cluster jewels look very juicy and could make the tree a bit more efficient.


* Compared to a shavs build, you have way more ES
* Relatively affordable to start out and minmaxing has high ceiling
* Retains the tankyness of a CI build and the dmg of a lowlife build
* Can clear any mapmod, altho I would not do noregen because you can get shredded if you don't pay attention
* Won't feel bad to use corupting chamber on the chestpiece as it is kinda cheap, just 6 socket and color it so in case of a good implicit you can bench link it
* 6link isnt mandatory as the bulk of your dmg comes from blight (approx 2m blight 1m ED with my current setup)

* Not beginner friendly
* It is a high level build, meaning it isn't for people who reroll after reaching level 90
* Uses a lot of uniques, which can make balancing stats and resists difficult


Please ignore the corruptions, as I don't have normal copies of the items anymore

ENDURING Eternal Mana Flask of anything (preferably poison if you are not immune to it, and probably you won't be since they nerf the Pantheon power in 3.11), That is a constanst 400 mana/sec regeneration, it will protect you from being shredded by chaos dmg
Guess this isn't surprising
* Allows you to have a high ES pool, arguably higher than what you could get with Shavs for a build like this
* As long as you have capped chaos res and 1000-1500 unreserved mana, it is very unlikely to die (1500-2000 is advised for later)
* Overall very solid stats on the item

Chaos res and more ES with stun immunity, pretty much best in slot
People don't give enough credit to this item, 20 stacks of blight with this gloves deal about twice my ED dmg, not to mention it is a cheap item, so you can try vaaling some for a desirable implicit
Dex, Int, Evasion and a large amount of ES, you need all of that
Maximizing what we can reserve on life and a ton of resists, also an affordable vaal foddler unique if you can afford to give up the 12% all res implicit
Having 2 of this will ensure you have those Wither stacks on the boss pretty fast, with my current cast speed it takes me less than 2 seconds


Ailment immunity should be one of the things you aim for

Even without the implicit if you can, use one of this ring
Makes the Sirus fight and the uber atziri trio trivial
In order to be able to reserve 3 50% auras on your life a 15% reservation helmet enchant for oen of your auras and 5% global reservation is required, which of 4% can be picked up on the tree easily and the last 1% can be aquired for a few chaos on this jewel
In addition the helmet with the -9% craft can be made fairly easily with fossil spamming (dense+aberrant, takes approx 10-20 tries for a usable one)
A wand with high chaos dmg over time multiplier and spell dmg, cast speed is an extra, I would not try to get + level of gems as it makes it disproportionally more expensive while not being much better
The clarity mod is by no means required, but incursions and Green influende mobs start to hit very hard on 8 mod T16 maps, and ever since I have this, I don't even see my mana move
The dmg multiplier mod should be less of a priority than the mana mod if you are planning on grabbing one


Just get Tranquility when you can afford it.

"increases and reductions to Maximum Energy Shield to also affect Spell Damage at 30% of their value"
You have a lot of increased ES, this is a huge dmg boost

Otherwise annoint something cheap


Malevolence - Must have
Zealotry - Still a lot of spell dmg
Grace - Makes up for the loss of evasion for not having any from our chestpiece and helmet
Discipline - love me some more ES


With prism guardian you can have 2 50% and 1 35% aura reserve most of your life if you also take 4% from the tree

Reserving the last 50% on mana might be risky, but as long as you have 1000-1200 unreserved mana, then it is worth it
Otherwise chose one of them not to use


Your 50% auras

Make sure your helmet has one of the enchants for 15% reduced reservation as well as a jewel with 1% and 4% from the tree to be able to run them, this way we also reserve as much life as possible which is one of the goals to maximize the ES we get from the cheastpiece

Your 35% aura
Discipline - The reservation cost is low enough it leaves enough mana to be safe from chaos dmg
(Level 1 Clarity - Only if you have a watcher's eye mod)


Aura reservations are the interesting thing, but
if for some reason you actually read trough and not just look at the Pob, then here it is:

ED - Void Manipulation - Controlled Destruction - Efficacy - Swift affliction
6th link: level 4 empower, but if you don't have it, then use energy leach as it is as good as a level 3 empower

Contagion - Arcane surge (low level) - inc aoe - intensify

Blight(gloves) - controlled destruction - efficacy - infused channeling
- void manipulation

Awakened swift affliction is probably the first awakened gem to get because the gem quality gives dot multi

4.0 patch notes

* Armor sources have been replaced with condensed milk.

Players can't feel the difference at all
Last edited by krenderke on Jul 8, 2020, 6:42:06 PM
Last bumped on Jul 3, 2020, 3:54:37 PM
All right, I tend to over-explain things, tried to keep this guide a bit more minimalistic. (probably forgot something important, but I will fill it in in time)

In case you have any questions feel free to ask.

Might add a leveling section, but I'm very busy and it doesn't feel important for a not beginner friendly build.

A list of alternative items will be added to the guide later (+ a better format overall, but right now I'm happy enough to have the motivation to actually finish the writeup)
4.0 patch notes

* Armor sources have been replaced with condensed milk.

Players can't feel the difference at all
Last edited by krenderke on Jun 16, 2020, 5:56:35 PM
This is definitely an interesting build, I'd love to play it when I get back to the game.
Awesome build, feels great to play.
Keep it up!

Also what pantheons do you recommend using?
right now I'm using Arakalli and Shakari but I feel my choices may be lacking.

Thank you!
Dah_Bard wrote:
Awesome build, feels great to play.
Keep it up!

Also what pantheons do you recommend using?
right now I'm using Arakalli and Shakari but I feel my choices may be lacking.

Thank you!


I would still use shakari, unless you get a ring with "can not be poisoned".
The deadliest things to the build are poison and ignite, but there's a chance 5 stacks can even be just outregened, or be low enough to give you a chance to remove it with a flask.

The other pantheon can be whatever you feel like using
4.0 patch notes

* Armor sources have been replaced with condensed milk.

Players can't feel the difference at all
Last edited by krenderke on Jul 3, 2020, 3:55:15 PM

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