[3.12] Hateful Hierophant- Non-Crit Glacial Cascade / Shockwave Totems! 5M+ sDPS
Hatred is a Powerful Drug
Significant update for 3.12! The build now covers two different skills: Glacial Cascade and Shockwave Totem. Last update: 9/24/2020.
- 3.12: Shockwave Totem & Astral Projector Showcase
- 3.11: Glacial Cascade Totems Video Guide and Gameplay Showcase
- 3.10: Review: Early Version of Glacial Cascade Totems
This is a non-crit, Totem-Based Hierophant build that uses Hatred for big damage!
This started on Glacial Cascade because of the inherent physical to cold conversion.
In Patch 3.12, Glacial Cascade was tweaked and Shockwave Totem also gained an alternate quality gem version which has physical-cold conversion - so we can apply the same concept to a different skill!
Both Glacial Cascade and Shockwave Totem scale the same way, so it's possible to cover them in the same guide. The gearing is slightly different -- please read that section carefully to avoid confusion.
Pros and Cons:
+ Freezes, chills, and knocks back enemies for safety. Good for bossing.
+ Immune to elemental ailments.
+ Totems have inherent defensive benefits and will tank for you in tough league content.
- Not SSF-viable as very specific uniques are needed.
- Some people don't like totem playstyle.
Core Concept: Hatred Scaling with Supreme Ego
The idea of the build is to have a skill which starts with physical damage and converts 100% to cold, in order to double-dip from the Hatred Aura and scale damage by boosting Hatred's effectiveness.
Hatred Aura (Level 20):
A Quick Bit of Math: first, Hatred aura gives 25% of physical as extra cold. Then, 18% more cold damage. If a skill converts 100% of physical to cold, that is
1.25 * 1.18 = 1.475 or 47.5% more damage!
With Supreme Ego and Hatred alone, we are getting
(1 + (0.25 * 1.5)) * (1 + (0.18 * 1.5)) = 1.375 * 1.27 = 1.746
or 74.6% more damage from the Hatred Aura.
This gets really nutty, however, when we start adding increased aura effectiveness from gear, the passive tree, and Vengeful Commander cluster jewel notables. With 100% increased aura effectiveness to Hatred (which is on the low side of what we can accomplish) the calculation becomes:
(1 + (0.25 * (1.5 * 2)) * (1 + (0.18 * (1.5 * 2)) = 1.75 * 1.54 = 2.695
or 169.5% More Damage from Hatred!
Totem Mechanics and Keystones: The Basics
If you're unfamiliar with how Totems work in Path of Exile, the Wiki page is a good place to start.
TLDR: totems inherit all of your offensive stats but have their own HP pool and resistances.
Totems count as "allies", but are not "minions" or "party members."
Totems cannot gain power/frenzy/endurance charges, but their damage does benefit from your own power/frenzy charges.
Increased cast speed will improve the rate at which totems cast their spells to damage enemies, but there is a separate stat (totem placement speed) which affects how quickly you can summon a totem. Placement speed is very helpful for a smooth playstyle!
The starting limit of totems summoned is one. With keystones, the Hierophant ascendancy, and gear it is possible to raise that limit to five totems summoned at once.
Sources of additional totems:
The other keystone we take is Elemental Overload (EO):
Note that the critical strike we deal to trigger this does not have to deal damage, so it still works with Ancestral Bond. We'll trigger EO with a separate spell (Storm Brand with Increased Critical Strikes Support) to get the buff for our totems.
One common annoyance for totem builds is that the mana costs for summoning a totem can become very high (150+ mana each). We solve this problem by getting Blood Magic as an effect from items and cast with life instead of mana - see the gearing section.
Glacial Cascade vs. Shockwave Totems
In Patch 3.12, Glacial Cascade was changed:
- Skill starts as physical with 100% converted to cold (previously, 60% converted to cold)
- Base damage lowered significantly, knockback effect added
- The skill's final burst deals 200% more damage.
GGG wanted to make Glacial Cascade more positional and remove some of the incentive to play it with mines (the "meta" way to use the skill). It also had the side effect of making it more challenging to use with totems - because positioning matters a lot more. If enemies aren't hit by the final burst, DPS is lower.
Enter Shockwave Totem, a skill that has not been meta for years. With pure physical damage, a modest (5%) crit chance, and no inherent damage conversion, it has always been difficult to scale for the end game. HOWEVER, 3.12 adds new Alternate Quality skill gems, and the Divergent Shockwave Totem with 20% quality now grants 40% of Physical Damage converted to Cold. Combined with gear and passives, it's now simple to reach 100% Phys-Cold Conversion on Shockwave Totem.
The main downside is budget, because the items to make this work are rare/expensive!
The suggested plan for this build is to begin on Glacial Cascade, eventually farming up enough currency to trade into the Shockwave Totem version. Both builds should be able to tackle all content but in my opinion, SWT is easier to play.
POB (read "Notes" section):
Glacial Cascade: https://pastebin.com/p2asLV0F
Shockwave Totem: https://pastebin.com/VbpXhiBB
You need to have the Forked version of Path of Building.
About Path of Building
The program was created by Openarl, and can be downloaded here:
You will also need the community-maintained fork version, which adds several useful features and more regular updates. Once PoB is installed, follow the instructions here:
After you update Path of Building to the newest version, follow these steps to load a build:
- Click "New" (top middle) for a new build
- "Import/Export build" at top left
- "Import from Pastebin", paste the URL given above, and click "Import".
Glacial Cascade Passive Tree (Level 93)
Shockwave Totem Passive Tree
One Cluster Setup (Level 90)
Two Cluster Setup (Level 91+)
This build gets a huge portion of its damage from cluster jewels - using them is mandatory!
Ideally, your large cluster jewel will have just 8 added passives, and the medium 4 or 5 added passives, in order to save on points. Get better ones as budget allows.
Large Cluster Jewel Implicit: 10% Increased Elemental Damage (or 12% Increased Cold Damage, rarer).
- Vengeful Commander: Hatred has 20% increased Aura Effect. Massive for DPS with Supreme Ego!
- Other notables: Disorienting Display, Prismatic Heart, Widespread Destruction, Blanketed Snow (cold jewel only). Large clusters are hard to craft so if you get Vengeful Commander and any other 2 notables it's usually good enough. A cold-specific cluster with Blanketed Snow is ideal.
Vengeful Commander can also roll on medium jewels, and should be acquired wherever possible. Totem-specific Medium Clusters give some very useful QOL features. Between two medium cluster jewels, get some of:
- Sleepless Sentries: 20% increased Totem Duration; You have Onslaught if you've Summoned a Totem Recently (20% faster cast and move speed). MUST HAVE.
- Ancestral Reach: 25% increased Totem Damage; 25% increased Totem Placement speed; 25% increased Totem Placement range. Allows casting totems at edge of screen, helps to not get killed.
- Snaring Spirits: 30% increased Totem Damage; Totems Hinder Enemies near them when Summoned, with 25% reduced Movement Speed.
- Ancestral Echo: 20% increased Totem Placement speed; 10% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've summoned a Totem Recently.
Explanation of Recommended Order:
1. Pursuit of Faith allows summoning an extra totem, as well as a large damage buff.
2. Ritual of Awakening increases totem placement speed and summons two at once - a huge QOL improvement.
3. Illuminated Devotion for more AOE and damage while having Arcane Surge.
4. Finally, Arcane Blessing gives nearly 100% uptime on Arcane Surge, plus ailment immunity.
NOTE, if in a new league where you might not have Eternal Lab unlocked right away - you could take Conviction of Power instead as #3 to get power/endurance charges. The Arcane Surge buffs are better in the late game but if using Blood Magic with Tukohama's Fortress, it may not be possible to trigger Arcane Surge easily. To make leveling easier you could take Conviction of Power, and then re-spec when you get access to the Eternal Lab.
I recommend Soul of Lunaris for its defensive buffs. When upgraded it will prevent projectiles from chaining to you when totems are hit, which is helpful.
Minor God doesn't matter very much, but I favor Ryslatha for the added effect of flasks when on low life - it saves you occasionally.
Supporting either Glacial Cascade in Soul Mantle Armor, or Shockwave Totem:
- Controlled Destruction (Awakened)
- Cold Penetration (Awakened)
- Faster Casting
- Increased AOE (Clear) or Concentrated Effect (Boss)
If you have an Empower (Level 4) it can be swapped in for Faster Casting to get more DPS.
Utility Gem Links
Storm Brand - Curse on Hit - Frostbite - Increased Crits.
Storm Brand serves two purposes: will crit to trigger the Elemental Overload buff for 40% more damage, and apply a curse at the same time.
Frost Bomb - Spell Cascade, Lightning Golem.
Socket these in a weapon with "trigger socketed spells when you use a skill" crafted onto it.
Movement: Flame Dash or Dash - Second Wind.
Other Option: you could use Shield Charge - Faster Attacks - Fortify. Personally I dislike Shield Charging around but many people favor it for the Fortify buff.
To manually generate endurance charges and give extra regen, you could link Enduring Cry - Urgent Orders to Second Wind also.
CWDT #1: Cast When Damage Taken (Level 1) - Cold Snap - Bonechill.
Cold Snap will generate frenzy charges while clearing maps. Bonechill Support causes enemies in the chilling area to take more cold damage.
CWDT #2: Cast When Damage Taken (Level 15) - Steelskin (Level 18) - Increased Duration - Vaal Righteous Fire.
Righteous Fire must be leveled above the CWDT so it isn't triggered. It's linked in with these solely to benefit from Increased Duration. Steelskin gives a small defensive boost which helps to avoid getting killed by several hits in a row.
General Totem Leveling Tips
For some general tips that apply to all builds and will be helpful to new players, see my Build Resources Thread.
These leveling tips assume you have some currency and gear already from previous characters.
It's perfectly fine to level with Glacial Cascade in a new league, but you may find it easier to use Holy Flame Totem because it's less gear dependent. Visit my Holy Flame Totem Hierophant Guide! You can easily level with HFT, and then switch to Glacial Cascade totems later after building up some gear and currency as there is a lot of overlap.
Assuming you do level with Glacial Cascade, The Path of Building link in the Passive Tree section includes leveling trees and suggested perk placements, check that out as well.
Leveling with any totem build can feel a bit awkward in the first few acts. Stick with it, as everything becomes much smoother around Act 5, and really great after taking the second ascendancy!
Acts 1 to 2
Early Item Goals:
- 2 scepters with added elemental damage.
- B R R and B B B linked sockets on some gear.
- Boots with added movement speed (check vendors).
Take Frostbolt after killing Hillock.
Mercy Mission: Quicksilver Flask, take Arcane Surge (leave this support at Level 1, don't level it up). You can buy Spell Cascade but won't need it right away.
Submerged Passage: take Frost Bomb and Frostblink (link Arcane Surge) and buy Holy Flame Totem.
Before Brutus: take Added Fire and buy Added Lightning (link both to Holy Flame Totem). Buy Clarity Aura if desired.
After Brutus: take Flame Dash, replace Frostblink. You can buy Spell Totem Support and begin leveling it in unused gem slots if desired.
Before Merveil: take Storm Brand. Use this to supplement damage from the totem.
In Act 2, use a vendor recipe to get 2 caster weapons with "added lightning damage to spells" (or some other element, doesn't really matter).
- Magic Weapon + Orb of Alteration + Topaz Ring = Added lightning Damage Weapon.
- (Iron Ring + Green Skill Gem = Topaz Ring, and so on for other colors/ring types).
After Chamber of Sins: buy Herald of Ash and Herald of Thunder, use both.
After the Weaver: take Elemental Focus, replace Added Lightning. You can also buy Controlled Destruction and Faster Casting and link them to Storm Brand for now.
Kill all the Bandits for skill points.
Holy Flame Totem - Elemental Focus - Added Fire
Storm Brand - Controlled Destruction - Faster Casting.
Flame Dash - Arcane Surge (Level 1).
Acts 3 to 5
Item Goals: acquire a 4-linked armor piece (check vendors).
After Tolman: take Frostbite, begin leveling it (won't need this right away).
Gravicius: take Glacial Cascade!
Fixture of Fate: optional, can take Cold Penetration and buy Hatred Aura if you do this side-quest, or just wait to get those in Act 6 if you are continuing to level with Holy Flame Totem.
Take Lightning Golem after defeating Voll.
After Kaom and Daresso, take Multiple Totems Support, and place this in 4-link with HFT until you've completed the Cruel Labyrinth.
Complete the normal Labyrinth sometime before entering Act 5. Wait to take Ancestral Bond Keystone at least until you've gotten the first ascendancy done.
If using Glacial Cascade, the links:
Spell Totem - Glacial Cascade - Controlled Destruction - Elemental Focus.
Acts 6 to 10
Various quests will give defensive utility flasks which are helpful.
Progression starts to be determined by the level requirements of various uniques. Leveling from this point should be smooth and intuitive.
Level 49: Soul Mantle body armor. Also trade for two Kikazuru Rings at the same time, a Self-Flagellation jewel, and take the Sanctum of Thought notable to reach 100% reduced curse effect on you.
Level 60: can place a Large Cluster jewel and begin assigning passives there.
Level 61: Tukohama's Fortress. This is the time to take the Supreme Ego Notable and damage goes through the roof.
A few helpful tips to improve performance with this build:
- Totems play differently than other skills because there is a brief delay between summoning the totem and it starting to deal damage.
If you play like other skills and charge pack to pack, eventually you will be stunned by a big hit and die before your totem can save you. Early on while leveling and in white/yellow maps you can get away with running through packs, but in hard content it becomes dangerous to charge ahead too fast.
- Instead, cast totems ahead as you move, run near to where your totem is, and cast again. You should ideally always have your character in range of at least one totem to protect you.
- Set your totem skill on the skillbar to "always attack without moving" option. That way if you click at the edge of the screen to summon totems, your character won't walk before casting, instead just raising totems in that general direction. This also makes it easier to do the tips above, casting totems ahead of the direction you plan to move.
- Tukohama's Fortress gives Blood Magic, removing the mana pool to cast spells with life, which solves the problem of high mana cost for totems. Mortal Conviction lets us have one aura (Hatred) without any reservation cost, synergizing with Supreme Ego. The extra armor and +1 Totems is also very nice.
- String of Servitude for 60% increased effect of Hatred is the largest possible DPS boost from a single item. Ideally, build the rest of your gear so you don't need other stats from the belt and can use this.
Glacial Cascade: Key Items
Soul Mantle grants an effective 7-link armor, by supporting Glacal Cascade with Spell Totem.
The downside of self-cursing is negated by using two Kikazuru Rings plus the Sanctum of Thought passive, for 100% reduced effect of curses on us.
Self-Flagellation Jewel grants extra damage from self-cursing with Soul Mantle armor as totems die.
Shockwave Totem: Key Items
- Astral Projector is not required but it really does kick the build over to the next level because totems gain massive range, for clear and safety.
- Gloves must have Physical-Cold conversion. The best way to get this is by crafting with Jun (open prefix).
- Divergent Shockwave Totem: alternate quality version with physical converted to cold. MANDATORY!
As a cheaper way to get full conversion you could use Hrimsorrow Goathide Gloves, but their lack of other useful stats is a big downside.
Overall, the goal for EVERY rare item is to have:
Remaining stats can be devoted toward increased your damage. Details follow...
Rare wand or scepter, either is fine. Avoid daggers.
Good mods for DPS:
Amulet & Anoints
Amulet Anointments from Blight Oils:
Increased Movement Speed +25% or better. Other useful mods:
Mostly used for life and resistances, but a few damage possibilities as well.
Situational: Spire of Stone will prevent totems from being stunned, relevant against some bosses and convenient to have - but not necessary always.
Watcher's Eye: "Damage Penetrates #% Cold Resistance while Affected by Hatred." Expensive but a huge DPS boost against bosses! "Increased Cold Damage while Affected by Hatred" is cheap, but much weaker.
Regular Jewels - Good Mods:
Hypnotic Eye Jewels - Good Mods:
Abyssal Jewels tend to be less efficient than regular jewels for this build.
I always carry a Seething/Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching. Quartz Flask (for phasing and dodge) is also a favorite because it prevents being jammed in corners by mobs - especially important for delve.
Unique Flasks, in order of effectiveness:
1. The Wise Oak (make sure cold resistance is highest) - gives resistance penetration
2. Taste of Hate. Physical as extra cold, also mitigates some incoming physical damage for a defensive boost.
3. Atziri's Promise. The cheapest option, not as effective as the other two. Chaos resistance from it is sometimes relevant.
This build can function for less than 1 exalt worth of gear.
Prices of items vary a lot depending on what stage the league is in and what the "meta" builds are, so these are approximate.
- 5-link Soul Mantle: 10-25c (depending on league).
- 2x Kikazuru Rings: 3c
- Tukohama's Fortress Shield: 5-20c (depending on the life rolls)
- Self-Flagellation Jewel: 5-20c (depending on the damage rolls. Try to get a good one)
- Shade of Solaris Unique Wand. 10-20c. A fantastic non-crit budget option which can out-damage most rare caster weapons, with the downside of not being able to craft "trigger socketed spells..." onto it.
- Cluster jewels: for the large, can get a 2-notable 1-socket 8-passives, or 2-notable 2-socket, 9+ passives (cost: ?. Cheap)
- Atziri's Promise Flask with crappy rolls: 3c
- The rest: assorted rare gear for resistances. Most of this you can find yourself.
The budget setup should be more than enough to clear through yellow to early red maps, and farm up enough currency to trade into the better items.
Not sure how to make currency? Read my guide here.
Thank you for reading this far! If you dive into the comments, from Page 12 and forward is after the huge update.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions or feedback on the build. I am always trying to improve.
Last edited by ThanatoZGaming on Sep 26, 2020, 11:57:06 PM
Last bumped on Jan 13, 2021, 4:57:16 PM
on Jun 29, 2020, 4:47:38 PM
(Reserved Post for Misc Updates)
Last edited by ThanatoZGaming on Sep 24, 2020, 2:30:01 PM
on Jun 29, 2020, 4:47:50 PM
Very good guide, very clear and well layed out. I'm a big fan of Wallach's FP totems build, but I played it a lot already, so my next totem guy might be this one.
Thanks for sharing !
on Jun 30, 2020, 5:20:55 AM
This is one of the most clearly written guides that I've seen. I just swapped my typical crit GC totem guy to this to see how it does. So far, the damage on bosses feels a little worse, but will post again after giving it some more time.
Very nice job with the guide!
on Jun 30, 2020, 10:03:24 AM
Thank you! :)
Thanks for giving it a try!
If DPS is an issue, the easiest upgrade to make is Kikazuru rings with Hatred efffect corruption. Losing the resists hurts a bit, but it does help DPS a lot to get more aura effect wherever possible.
on Jun 30, 2020, 2:41:55 PM
I'm working on the rings, but I've used 30ish vaals with no luck and they're a couple ex to buy with the implicit. We'll get there eventually.
on Jun 30, 2020, 7:10:57 PM
Got a couple of questions:
- No self-flagellation ? Seems a good match for any Soul Mantle build.
- Is the typical "Atziri's Reflection / Coward's Legacy" combo a possibility for endgame optimizations ? Or does it mess up some other setup ?
on Jul 1, 2020, 3:48:54 AM
Self-flagellation is in the "highly recommended" jewels section within the guide.
About Atziri's Reflection, other people have asked about it as well, and I've given it some thought.
Detailed reasons why I don't think the Atziri's Reflection / Cowards Legacy is worth it for this build:
1. Weighed against losing an extra totem, the 30% more damage from Pain Attunement isn't that much. Tukohama's Fortress gives +1 totems, life, armor, and totem damage vs the Reflection which has basically no other relevant stats.
Suppose Pain Attunement = 30% more damage per totem...
5 totems doing 100% damage (Tukohama's) = 500% damage
4 totems doing 130% damage (Reflection, Cowards, Pain Attunement) = 520% damage
520/500 = 1.04 = 4% more damage. Not a dramatic DPS improvement. After losing the 40% increased totem damage from Tukohama's, it's almost a wash.
2. Requires giving up life rolls on belt and shield. That's a loss of as much as 225 flat life, or about 750 less HP than the current setup.
3. Loses armor from Tukohama's shield, and evasion/ES is not very valuable to this build, making it still less tanky.
4. Loses access to Blood Magic. With Supreme Ego, Hatred is reserving 75% of the mana pool so you now need a large investment into mana and mana regen in order to cast totems at will, or more likely, use a mana flask (and lose a DPS flask).
5. Requires an additional 5 passives to reach Pain Attunement. You probably drop Sanctum of Thought notable at the same time, but you're still spending extra passives which, realistically, means less life nodes.
6. Budget. Maybe this doesn't matter to some, but 13+ exalts for Atziri's Reflection could otherwise be spent on a Hatred Watcher's Eye, corrupted rings, insanely good caster weapon, +2 skill levels amulet, etc etc.
TLDR Atziri's Reflection is best if you're going CI with totems, but for this build which is designed around stacking life and using Blood Magic, it's not that great.
on Jul 1, 2020, 4:26:55 AM
Am I missing some big level of defense here or something ? Looking over it a heck of a lot of mod's / bosses could just about always one shot you if you get hit. Totem's implies staying a bit away from attacks for sure but.... Aside from that there is next to nothing in personal defense, because as good as any of us may be your eventually going to get hit.
Last edited by WolfDrone on Jul 1, 2020, 7:36:34 AM
on Jul 1, 2020, 7:36:22 AM
Sure, there are some boss slams that can one-shot basically any caster. There will always be some stuff you need to dodge.
With ~6000 HP and some ES, curse and ailment immunity, reduced damage taken from crits (Sanctum of Thought), around 6000 armor, and a lot of life regen, it is at least tankier than most spellcasters will be.
You could put in Enduring Cry to generate endurance charges if you so chose, or use Shield Charge-Fortify for that buff if more damage reduction was a high priority. Also more defensive flasks are an option.
Last edited by ThanatoZGaming on Jul 1, 2020, 2:01:31 PM
on Jul 1, 2020, 2:00:47 PM