[3.11] Agnostic Arcanist | 3.11 Build Idea | League Start |

This is my first build guide ever so it's probably not going to be as well written as other guides. This build is also very experimental as I'm writing this before any of the patch notes come out. If this build ends up working I'll try to update this guide as I go, I am also open to any suggestions. I've played since sometime around Incursion League with around 1600 hours played so I feel like I understand most of the systems of POE, plus brand are one of my favorite skill types in the whole game (The main reason I'm making this build). Now, with all that out of the way, time to get into the guide.

This is a Heirophant build using the new Arcanist Brand Skill. On top of that we also stack mana which scales both our defenses and our damage. For the gear and passive tree as well as some supplemental gem setups the POB is linked at the bottom.

Pros and Cons


+High EHP
+Off Meta
+Not a 1 Button Build
+League Starter
-Not Super Speedy
-Not a 1 Button Build
-Actually Requires Thought



The offensive setup for this build has been drastically changed from the original plan for this build. Before Arcanist brand was going to be linked directly to Ice Nova and there would be no need for Frostbolt. However because gems linked o Arcanist brand are triggered and not cast as I originally thought the damage was going to be severely lacking. And so now with some gearing and gem changes the new offensive setup while not as ludicrous as the original plan should still be able to clear all content with proper investment.

For the Arcanist Brand setup, gems in order of importance are-
Arcanist Brand
Greater Multiple Projectiles
Slower Projectiles
Ice Bite (Might work might not, either way not super needed)

This gem setup is in the Sire of Shards Unique Staff which adds 4 projectiles to socketed Gems and releases the projectiles in a nova. With this our Frostbolt will be sending out 9 projectiles which all do quite a large amount of damage and could possible clear white or blue packs by themselves.

But for the tougher packs of monsters and bosses there's the Ice Nova setup in the chest armor. Again in order of importance-
Ice Nova
Spell Echo
Elemental Focus
Lightning Penetration

This is the big damage setup of the build. With the use of Unleash we are able to sustain the mana cost of Archmage and also grants us great quality of life with the ability to dodge attacks instead of being stuck casting Ice Nova multiple times for high damage. We are taking the new Unleash nodes on the passive tree for 4 charges of Ice Nova as well as later on going for a +1 Unleash charge helmet which will bring the total up to 5 charges.

There is the option of the Lavianga's Spirit flask for easier mana management. which I will test later in the league but for now I am planing a league start and this build is already gonna be semi-difficult to build as it is.



Now the defensive section. Many of the defensive layers in this build rely on mana. Which is both great but can also cause some issues with mana management.

Mind over Matter (50%)
40% from Cloak of Defiance
10% from Ascendancy

This adds a lot of effective health, bringing up our effective health pool to around 10000. Which protects us from most 1 shots.

Now that this node is being put on the passive tree its much more accessible and with it being one of my favorite nodes from Legion league I knew I had to use it. So for those of you who don't know how it works here it is, and some calculations.

Maximum Energy Shield is 0.
While not on Full Life, Sacrifice 20% of Mana per Second to Recover that much Life.

What this means is that whenever we take damage our mana drains at a rate of around 1200, and we regen that much life. For those of you who like to run lab this gives you the temporary health sustain of a RF Jugg.

Other Defenses
We have around 10k armor, 20 Block, and 8 Spell Block. These defenses are by far our weakest but they are nice to have and they do contribute sometimes. If you feel like the build is a bit too squishy for you then these would be the aspects you would want to increase. Though I find it difficult to do without sacrificing most of the damage and quality of life of the build which is a defensive layer in itself.

Mana Management
This is going to be one of the biggest problems with the build and its difficult to get around without sacrificing around half of damage of the build. This is because Ice Nova even without Fevered Mind jewels costs around 1000 mana, which if we are taking a lot of damage in that same instant can cause problems such as death. So we work around this in either playstyle changes or utility changes. The utility changes I have worked into the build to alleviate the mana cost of Ice Nova are Unleash and a mana flask which is highly recommended. The playstyle changes are as following, do not spam Ice Nova under any circumstances, wait until it reaches maximum charges to recast because the mana cost stays the same each time you cast it so your getting less damage overall if you spam it as well as losing a large portion of your survivability.

Other Info:Mana Flask Expanded

A mana flask is highly recommended as if you get stuck in a sticky situation it acts as almost a secondary life flask. I also use an instant life flask as that's what I'm accustomed to but if you feel you don't need it it's not 100% necessary.


Leveling Trees Included
(Work in Progress, definitely will change)

Thank you for reading through this and if you have any suggestions or questions they are welcome down below.
PS. Thank you for all the suggestions so far they have helped a ton.
Last edited by K33LIN on Jun 14, 2020, 7:04:58 PM
Last bumped on Jul 22, 2020, 6:27:00 PM
Unless ice nova + arcanist brand has some special interactions brands don't get repeats or more activation rate from spell echo / greater spell echo. You will cast multiple brands with one click though.
Yes, I realised the brands wont get any buffs just the multiple with 1 click, but that brought up a new issue so thank you for making me realise it. Arcanist brand triggers the spells it casts which means (maybe, by the wording on the Arcanist brand post by GGG) Ice Nova wont repeat like I originally thought. And after some thinking I came up with sort of a fix. Because arcanist brand casts spells in order of how they are linked then it can be a 1 button Frostbolt Ice Nova which should sorta work.

So a new link setup still on the Pledge of Hands is:
Arcanist Brand
Ice Nova
Swift Brand
Spell Echo

Because your placing all the brands at once there will be 4 frostbolts which the ice novas should cast off of essentially doubling the number of ice novas (from 4 to 8 novas per activation). Sadly not quite as good as if spell echo worked (16 novas per activation) but it still looks to be decently high damage.
Last edited by K33LIN on Jun 8, 2020, 1:27:41 AM
Archmage support will not support skills linked to Arcanist Brand. https://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/comments/gw6onf/new_brand_gems_and_brand_changes_in_path_of_exile/fsxb06b/?context=10
Hey yo Im playing this as a league starter. so far 20c in got essence worm, 4l sire of shards and tabula. it kind of works with 6l setup described in guide.

but damage aganst bossersis lackluster, cant really clear them comfortabily. also no alca possible because of that... what am i doing wrong?
3k life almost 3k mana
yummie wrote:
Hey yo Im playing this as a league starter. so far 20c in got essence worm, 4l sire of shards and tabula. it kind of works with 6l setup described in guide.

but damage aganst bossersis lackluster, cant really clear them comfortabily. also no alca possible because of that... what am i doing wrong?
3k life almost 3k mana

In looking the damage is heavily based on the amount of mana because of Archmage. Because the cost of skills is harder to scale now the damage would be lower than i originally suspected.
yeah i didnt put enough currency in to test. but it ight work out. frostbolts all over the place so your unleashed/echoed nova will always hit 3. i dont get how many waves of bolts one ice nova can trigger. prolly just one.

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