[3.10] Lightning Stacking Slayer, Scourge Arrow & RoA | 6/7k HP | All Content Viable | In Depth

Welcome to the guide.
This is a 3.9 Lightning Stacking Scourge Arrow & Rain of Arrows build. I will keep the build updated with eventual changes and will be available to clarify any doubt.

3.10 UPDATE:
The build received a very minor nerf (<1% less dps) consisting of the reduced effectiveness of the Precision aura at low levels. The practical only difference consists in how we acquire our helmet.
The helmet was previously crafted through Metallic + Pristine fossils on a non-influenced enchanted base. Now we need a Crusader's influenced helmet if we want to get the -9% lightning res on nearby enemies. This means we either get a crusader's helmet and enchant it on our own (not recommended) or we buy an enchanted helmet and then slap a crusader's orb on it to get the influence. If Conqueror's Orbs are gonna be more common in the 3.10 patch, this is gonna be more expensive but still easily doable.
To roll the minus lightning resistance mod we can either spam alterations and regals on our item (until we hit the mod and high life) or we can proceed with the old fossil crafting method. Essence crafting is also doable but depending on how common the lightning mod is gonna be it might be not recommended.
Abyss being 2c as a zana map mod is gonna make tombfist and
bubonic trail even cheaper, unless they become meta for some reason.

We received a lot of new toys to play with. No notables stand out as incredibly strong for us, but many elemental nodes are exciting and powerful and should definitely be considered when building your character. Our best options comprehend free blind, elusive buff while mapping, more attack speed, faster leech, etc...
If you get clusters with three or more of the following nodes, I'd recommend using them (on caps lock the really good ones):
Precise Commander,
Pressure Points,
Spiked Concoction,
Drive the Destruction,
Corrosive Elements,
Prismatic Heart,
Inspired Oppression,
Evil Eye,
Eye to Eye,
Prismatic Dance,

POB Link: https://pastebin.com/g5JdsV7A

Take a look at the pob as you read the guide.
We have around 2M dps against Shaper on a 5 link (plus Mirage Archer), 6-7k Life (depending on body armour choice), 75% chance to avoid melee attacks, 30% spell dodge, 3k life leech per second, 130% movement speed while mapping.


After the huge nerf to Scourge Arrow in 3.9, making the skill deal around 30% less base damage, I wanted to try and bring Scourge Arrow back to success like in the good old days. And so I started to build a bow based lightning damage stacking Slayer, using Scourge Arrow for the single target and Rain of Arrows for the clear.
I started the character using Kaom’s Heart to more easily survive metamorphs utilizing Scourge Arrow as a do-it-all skill, and slowly decided to opt for Inpulsa’s Broken Heart due to the slightly faster clear enabling a second six link and much more satisfying playstyle. I’ll expand more on my choices in the gear section.
We scale our damage by having as many Adds # Lightning Damage to Attacks on our gear as we can, high critical strike chance and critical strike multiplier, high attack speed and elemental damage increases. Our projectile damage is increased by Point Blank.
We pick Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics for our dodge chance, we have good chance to evade attacks with the blind on hit we get through jewels, have insane overleech and stun immunity with Slayer mechanics and the Vaal Pact keystone.

Pros +++

Viable for all content (not Hall of Grandmaster)
Satisfying clear and explosions with Inpulsa
Scourge Arrow bossing is as comfy as ever
Slayer overleech feels good (3k life/second)
20% cull is magnificent
Over 7k life with Kaom’s Heart and 6k with Inpulsa
Can scale as much as you have currency to invest
Leech, Blind, Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics as defensive mechanics
Not as common as a meta build (easier itemization)

Cons ---

Not recommended as a league starter
High Intelligence attribute requirements
Not a budget build
Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics won’t always save you from oneshots
Not as OP as it once was

Passive Tree

Here’s my passive tree at level 94
I included a leveling tree in the full character POB, at the beginning of the page. If you don’t feel comfortable leveling with a low amount of life, feel free to invest more in it and leave damage nodes for later. More on the leveling section.


For the minor god we pick Soul of Shakari for the invaluable poison immunity, and for the major god we pick either Soul of Solaris or Arakaali, as we already have Stun immunity from the ascendancy and Lunaris isn’t that appealing to us. I picked Solaris to survive multiple crits and reduce the chance of one shots with the less area damage and less elemental damage taken, but Arakaali is very interesting too with the 50% increased recovery rate of life affecting our leech rate. Whatever you pick, remember to fully upgrade the pantheon with your divine vessels, as it does make a difference.


If you have enough currency, opt for the Awakened Version of the gems. As of now (end of 3.9), nothing we use costs more than 2ex. No Level 21 gems are required, quality helps a lot though. If you don’t have a 6 link, drop the sixth gem.

Bow 6L - Scourge Arrow, Added Lightning Damage Support, Elemental Damage with Attacks Support, Inspiration Support, Mirage Archer Support, Lightning Penetration Support.

Body Shield 6L - Vaal Rain of Arrows, Elemental Damage with Attacks Support, Added Lightning Damage Support, Inspiration Support, Lightning Penetration Support, Innervate Support.

Helmet 4L - Cast When Damage Taken Support, Immortal Call; Summon Ice Golem, Blood Rage.

Gloves 2L - Dash, Precision.

Boots 2L - Wrath, Herald of Thunder.

A lightning based Scourge Arrow doesn’t need the Infused Channeling Support so we can focus on its mana cost and penetration instead. Rain of Arrows utilizes his Vaal version in order to get a nice boost in dps against bosses.
I like using Innervate Support on the Rain of Arrows setup, as it gives us a useful boost in dps when fighting metamorphs (it helps our Scourge Arrow damage).
You can swap Dash for Blink Arrow if you want to. I couldn’t fit Faster Attacks so I decided to stick to Dash. Wrath and Precision are non-negotiable, even though you can forgo Herald of Thunder for an Aspect Aura (Spider/Cat) if you feel like it.
I’m using a low level Cast on Damage Taken setup, if you opt for an higher one, remember that the level of the Immortal Call can’t be higher than the CWDT’s level (otherwise it won’t proc).

My Current Gear

This gives you an idea as to what the build looks like. Note that your gear doesn’t have to be this good to be successful in red maps. I’ll talk about high end and budget options in the next section.

Gear (divided by type and budget options)

The gear showed is what I'm using or what I've used in the past on my character. I'm including budget options for those who need it. Prepare for the wall of text.
Bow -

The best budget bow for the build is The Tempest. This item will carry you all the way to the endgame and it’s gonna be outscaled only by high tier lightning damage bows (around the 8ex mark). This bow has low amount of flat lightning damage but it has incredible attack speed and a nice 100% increased lightning damage mod. A 6 link is really appreciated as we are gonna socket our Scourge Arrow in this item. If you want to upgrade it, look for T1 Adds Lightning Damage, high Attack Speed / Chance to Deal Double Damage, High Critical Strike Chance bows on the market.

Body Armour -
We use 2 different body armours for this build. We use Inpulsa for basically 98% of the content of the game, making the most out of the second 6 link for the clear (Rain of Arrows), exploding everything on our screen (we have basically 100% chance to shock) and a Kaom’s Heart for the toughest encounters of the endgame (it gives us 1200 more life). You should only swap chests for real tough encounters, like Conquerors, Shaper / Elder Guardians, Shaper and Elder themselves. Find high Life and Damage rolls on Inpulsa (shock effect is nice but not needed). Kaom’s fire roll is not important.

Quiver -
We use a rare quiver. We need high life and global critical strike multiplier, as we don’t have too many good sources of it. Attack Speed goes a long way. Only craft resistances here if you can’t cap them otherwise.

Helmet -
A rare helmet suits our need; search for high life and resistances. If you find yourself already capped, try to craft a good helmet via fossil crafting. You can use Pristine and Metallic fossils together on a high level enchanted base to craft something really good, ideally with +90 Maximum Life, -9% to Lightning Resistance of Nearby Enemies and some resistances.

Amulet -
The build needs a high amount of intelligence so I utilized this amulet to throw as much intelligence as I possibly could in one single slot. A rare amulet with high intelligence and attributes (we also need high strength for the Kaom’s Heart) suits our needs. If you already have high attributes, aim for Life, Global Crit Multiplier, Flat Lightning Damage, Elemental Damage with attacks skills.

Ring 1 -
In the first ring we want to get the Assassin’s Mark on hit curse. We utilize no Curse and Assassin’s Mark lets us get some nice critical strike chance, more damage with crits and Power Charges while mapping. In order to get this mod we need a Shaper’s Ring (at least level 75). If you can’t afford this type of ring, opt for a high life high resistances ring with some flat lightning damage.

Ring 2 -
The second ring helps our resistances. Again, search for life, resistances, and lightning damage. Adding a -3 mana cost to channeling skills is a nice quality of life for the build. You don’t need it but it’s highly suggested.

Gloves -
TOMBFIST. One of the greatest pair of gloves ever released, even after the nerfs. This pair of gloves gives us Intimidate (10% more damage), Maim on hit against enemies (30% less movement speed), increased maximum life and up to 2 abyssal jewel sockets. Tombfist is a must for this build and can’t really be skipped. You can get a one socket pair if you are going budget (remember to socket a Murderous Jewel if you do so).

Boots -
Our boots will be the Bubonic Trail boots. Once very expensive, those boots are now barely 30c for a 2 abyssal socket version. They give us a much needed 30% movement speed increase, good life and some corpse destruction. Again, if you can’t afford them, pick the one socket version.

Belt -
A rare belt is what we are looking for. The Stygian Vise base if by far the best one, as it’s gonna allow us to use one more abyssal jewel. We aim for high life and high resistances. Being able to craft Elemental Damage with Attack Skills is a nice bonus. Note that those belts get expensive fast, buy a Leather Belt instead if you are on a budget.

Jewels -
Jewels represent a good portion of our total damage, if you feel like you are lacking in damage, invest more in those.
When buying abyssal jewels you should be searching for the following mods: Lightning Damage to Bow Attacks, Lightning Damage to Attacks, Attack Speed if you’ve dealt a Critical Strike recently, Global Critical Strike Multiplier, Maximum Life. You can get nice and inexpensive jewels with double T3 lightning and life for 20c if you snipe them on the trade api. Viridian jewels with damage mods (like the 2 I’m using) are really good too. You don’t need to get a Watcher’s Eye, but if you do, remember that Elemental Penetration by Wrath and Critical Multiplier by Precision are our best mods for damage.

Note: you should be getting “#% chance to blind enemies on hit” through your jewels. Having blind gives us around 60% chance to evade attacks, which is very valuable against bosses. Abyssal jewels can roll low tier variants of this mod. Our other option is utilizing a Brutal Restraint timeless jewel to the right of the Ranger area, with some additional chance to blind on hit my jewel (6307) gives us 10% blind, 5% movement speed, 25% critical strike chance, 5% chance to gain a Frenzy charge on kill - whatever you get with blind on hit is gonna be fine).

Flasks -
Our first slot is gonna be a life flask. Since we don’t need a bleed immunity flask due to the Slayer immunities while leeching, we can opt for The Writhing Jar, which gives us two worms to leech from if we need to regen life. Killing the worms also procs the "killed recently" tag, which enables many of Slayer's damage nodes. If you don’t like using life flask with Slayer, you can opt for a defensive Jade Flask with increased Evasion, to bring our total chance to evade even higher.
Our second flask is both an offensive and a defensive one. We use The Wise Oak, which increases our Lightning Penetration if lightning is our highest uncapped resistance and reduces the elemental damage we take for whatever type of ele damage with the lowest uncapped resistance. Ideally we want all 3 of our resistances to cap at the same exact number, to achieve maximum damage reduction and maximum damage output. If you can’t do that, make at least sure your uncapped lightning resistance is the highest.
Our third flask is a Diamond Flask of Heat; making our critical strike proc lucky, this flask is a must and can’t be substituted out for no reason at all. The "of heat" suffix helps us against chills and freezes, an ailment we are not immune to.
The fourth flask is gonna be a Silver Flask. We can use either Cinderswallow Urn with Critical Strike Chance or a Silver Flask of Warding, giving us a much needed immunity to Curses. Cinderswallow is a huge damage increase, but you gotta make sure you have some source of Fire Damage to Attacks when using it, in order to proc the 10% increased damage taken by ignited enemies. You can get Fire Damage to Attacks on your rings, your amulet, your quiver or your jewels.
The last flask is a Quicksilver. I really wouldn’t map without one. Take one with increased movement speed during flask effect.

Enchantments, Anointments, Corruptions, Upgrades, Costs

The only helmet enchant actually worth getting is also an expensive one (usually at least 1ex), Scourge Arrow creates an additional spore pod at maximum stages, which is a really good quality of life and increased of dps for the build. On the boots you can go for one of those three enchantments: adds 1 to 160 lightning damage if you have not killed recently, damage penetrates 10% of elemental resistance if you have not killed recently, 16% increased attack and cast speed if you have killed recently.
Good anointments for the build include:
Arcing Blows, which gives us Lightning Damage, Penetration and shock effect;
Soul of Steel, giving some physical reduction and a +1% to all resistances (very high end option, taking Arcing Blows is recommended).
Good endgame corruptions comprehend +1% to All Max Resistances / 40% Increased Damage on your chests and +1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges / Attacks have +0.x to Crit Chance / Curse Enemies with Ele Weakness on hit (we won’t need an Assassin’s Mark ring anymore) / Increased Attack Speed / Increased Maximum Life on your Tombfist.
I highly suggest you exalt your endgame gear if you have empty prefixes or suffixes. You can use the new conqueror’s exalted orbs to have a chance for a really nutty item. Check the mods on poedb.tw to be aware of the possible outcomes. Crusader’s Orbs have a lot of Lightning related powerful mods.
Bottled Faith is a really good flask which gives us around 25% more damage. If you have the money to do so, you can go for it.
All in all I paid around 26 Exalted Orbs for the build, including 21/23 SA gem, awakened gems, the Watcher’s Eye, and random end of league slams with the new exalted orbs, but you don’t really need to invest that much. The build is gonna clear endgame on a 5ex budget and a 6 link The Tempest.

Map Mods
The only map mods we can’t do are the No Leech and Elemental Reflect mods. Everything else is doable, but remember Curse can be annoying, especially if you don't have a Curse immunity flask.

We help Alira, as we really appreciate the added resistances and the critical strike multiplier.

Take Endless Hunger and Brutal Fervour first for reliable leech as you level, and then Headsman and Bane of Legends last.

If you are league starting with this, I’d suggest you pick Lightning Arrow, due to its high amount of added lightning damage. But remember this is not a starter build.
The leveling tree is included in the PoB link.
When leveling, I’d suggest using the following items as soon as you have the requirements to do so. Note that a pair of leveling gloves (no level required, lots of flat elemental damage - you need fossils to craft them) is gonna carry you hard (not needed though).
In order of level requirements: Tabula, Goldrim, Wanderlust / Seven League Steps, Storm Cloud, Karui Ward, Atziri’s Foible (helps with the early int requirements), Berek’s Grip (lightning damage to attacks), Prismweave, Wake of Destruction, The Tempest (upgrade your Storm Cloud). You should have no problem breezing through the 10 acts due to the high amount of flat lightning damage. As far as skills go, use Galvanic Arrow from level 1 to 12, Rain of Arrows from 12 on and pick up Scourge Arrow at 28. You want to link them with Onslaught Support (lv1), Mirage Archer Support (lv4), Added Lightning Damage Support (lv8), Elemental Damage with Attack Skills Support (lv18), Lightning Penetration Support (lv31), Inspiration Support (later on, when you can drop Onslaught). Use Herald of Thunder, Precision and Blood Rage from level 16, and socket Wrath when you can comfortably handle the mana reservation. Use Summon Ice Golem at level 36 and socket a Cast When Damage Taken setup when you feel the need to.

Gameplay Mechanics
We use Rain of Arrows as we clear the map and Scourge Arrow against bosses and Metamorphs (tougher targets in general). When using Scourge Arrow remember to release it at 5 stacks to achieve maximum damage potential. Even though we have overleech and good dodge chance, I wouldn't recommend face-tanking the toughest encounters in the game. If you have the nearby enemies take % increased lightning damage, remember to stand closer to your foes.

I will reply to the most commonly asked questions here


T14 Burial Chambers with Crusader's Proc and Legion Monolith
(sorry about the framerate, that's my pc for you all)

Hope you guys enjoyed the read. Let me know if you have any questions. I will update the guide with every patch notes release in the future. Stay sane exiles!

Last edited by metmaver on Mar 11, 2020, 7:40:56 AM
Last bumped on Apr 1, 2020, 4:32:04 PM
Reserved just in case
Updated the guide with the 3.10 changes, as the build remains basically unscathed. Added a list of useful new notables from the cluster jewels.
lightning stacking defintely most op bow build
min-max lightning stacking
Decided to give this build a go as I happen to have had a Slayer lying around.
invested some in gear, having 21/23 attacks (not support) and an awakened lightning pen on the scourge arrow link.
Rest of the gems around level 17, and missing most of the flasks. also running tempest 6 link.
So nowhere near perfect, but should be good enough to run some red maps.

Clearing maps is fine, and quite fast. decimating packs, only occasionally need a scourge arrow on elites.
Quite enjoying this at the moment, doesn't feel overpowered, but fine and certainly capable of improving with gear.

Now single target (bosses) is a whole other story.
Scourge arrow just feel weak single target. It feel indirect and cumbersome.
According to the guide I should get up close (for point blank) and shoot on 5 stacks and repeat.
Getting up and close on bosses means a lot of getting 1hit.
Of course my gear is lacking, but with 5.2k HP I should be able to kill bosses on tier 10 maps, along with the metamorph.

I've tried switching it to barrage, and even a level 1 barrage gem (in the 6link)it feels like it does more damage than a 21/23 scourge arrow.
it doesn't force me get up and stand still as much to channel.

Am I overlooking something here? it doesn't make sense, you picked scourge arrow for a reason, it's just I don't see it.

On my build, even a 21/23 Barrage + Dying Sun (more projectile investment) is not enough damage to beat the amount of dps Scourge Arrow achieves.

The reason why we attack close to the enemy is not to proc Point Blank, but to activate the "Nearby enemies have -9% to Lightning Resistance". Point Blank counts the distance between the pods and the enemy, and, unless you really messup your aim, should be on all the time.

I'm afraid I can't really help you unless I get to know more about your setup.

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