[3.11] Budget Ice Spear Inquisitor - 3mil Shaper DPS

NOTE: This build was made and played in 3.9, but hasn't seen any significant changes between then and 3.11. The passive tree is already fairly efficient in terms of stats per passive spent, so converting it to use cluster jewels probably wouldn't be a significant improvement.

Ice Spear fires projectiles that transform after a short distance travelled, gaining insane critical strike chance, multiplier, and projectile speed, along with infinite pierces. We use Inquisitor for his massively buffed consecrated ground and critical passives. We pick staves to take advantage of the strong staff spell crit nodes, as well as some defensive power in the form of block. Gameplay is simple - just hold down Ice Spear at a distance away from enemies and watch them explode, and use Frost Bomb to debuff stronger enemies like bosses.

- Very strong single target DPS if all spears hit
- Solid survivability with high EHP, leech, regen, and block
- Basically permanent elemental ailment immunity
- No need for a mana flask despite massive mana expenditure
- All uniques used are very cheap mid to late league

- Requires good positioning to have all spears hit in second form
- Frost Bomb Curse on Hit is clunky to use
- Clears poorly in tight spaces until you proc the pierces from Voidwalker

Path of Building:
Build: https://pastebin.com/B8azP3dy
Actual character: https://pastebin.com/L3SGrXJS

Character stats:
- 3.2 million Shaper DPS with flasks, charges, and debuffs up
- 4900 life (500 regen per second), 1400 ES (200 regen per second)
- Capped ES and life leech
- 32% attack block, 7% spell block
- 44% chaos resistance with flasks up

Passive trees, bandit, etc:
These are just provided for reference, feel free to take certain nodes earlier/later if you find you need them at a different time. Levelling before 50 is basically a straight line.

Lv50: http://poeurl.com/cXG0
Lv70: http://poeurl.com/cXGZ
Lv90: http://poeurl.com/cXGY

- Ascendancy order is Sanctuary > Pious Path > Righteous Providence > Augury of Pentinence.
- You can help Alira and then change to two passives later, or just kill all for the two passives from the start.
- Pantheons are up to your preference.

Note: Since we have ES leech from Heart of Ice, as well as ES regen from Pious Path, we can actually use ES as a consistent part of our EHP pool.


An incredible weapon for its price. +2 to level of cold spells, a good chunk of %damage, cast speed, and "enemies frozen by you take increased damage" (which is multiplicative against modifiers to damage we deal, and thus very strong). You should be able to buy this 6-linked for a fairly small sum (45c at time of writing), but a 5-link will do in early endgame if you can't afford it. I'm sure there's some crazy rare staff that outperforms this, but Taryn's worked fine for me.

Note that since all the stats on Taryn's are global, you could get your 5/6 link in your body armour instead, if you luck into a good body armour before you farm enough currency for a linked Taryn's.


A rare is fine. Life and resistances are the most important, and an ES base is preferable. If you can afford it, get one with the "Chance to gain a Power Charge on Critical Strike with Ice Spear" enchantment (cheaper) or "Ice Spear fires an additional Projectile" enchantment (more expensive).


Once again, a rare is fine. Don't worry about links, since we're getting our 6-link in our weapon. The ideal is an ES base with the Temple of Atzoatl flat + percent life mod, along with some resists and other useful mods.


Another rare. You still want life and resists, but I recommend an ES/armour base for either your gloves or helmet to make it easier to roll red sockets. If you can afford it, get a pair with the Temple of Atzoatl "Increased damage with hits against chilled enemies" mod. Enchantment doesn't matter, you're fine even without an enchant.


Voidwalker effectively gives us 5 pierces if we've killed recently, which is crucial for clearing in tight spaces where Ice Spear hits mobs before it can transition to its second form. Plus it gives a hefty chunk of DEX, as well as phasing. A good DEX roll is the most important. A high ES/evasion roll is nice but not necessary. For enchants, you have a variety of options - various flat added damages, penetration, life leech, and so on. I rolled "increased mana regeneration rate if you've cast a spell recently", which helps to sustain mana, but other enchants should work fine.


Rares with life and resistances. Energy shield and an open prefix to craft flat damage is nice to have as well. You'll probably need a little DEX on these to use your gems.


The 40% less critical strike chance is offset by Ice Spear's innate high crit chance in second form. The critical strike multiplier roll is the only one that matters. Prodigal Perfection is a solid anoint that also happens to be within the range of our Brutal Restraint.


A Stygian Vise is best because we can make good use of the Abyssal jewel socket it grants, but a regular rare belt is fine. Once again, we want life, resistances, and ES.


No surprises here, I hope. Since Pious Path makes our consecrated ground grant elemental ailment immunity, we don't need an anti-freeze flask. Anti-bleed is still important though, and anti-poison and anti-curse are always good to have. If you are struggling to sustain mana, you can replace the Granite flask with a mana flask.


There are tons of mods that work for our build, just try to find something useful.

Entirely optional but a good boost boost if you can roll a good one. The jewel socket above Templar start hits 8 notables, and a decent number of the notable options on Brutal Restraint are useful (aura effect, projectile/elemental damage, life, etc). Plus, the small nodes give DEX, which helps with gem requirements. Mine granted a total of 40% projectile damage, 25% global critical strike chance, and 10% increased effect of non-curse auras.

Ice Spear 6L

Drop Hypothermia if you only have a 5-link and Spell Echo if you only have a 4-link. Arcane Surge and Inspiration help us manage the high mana cost of this setup - we're spending 66 mana per cast at around 3 casts per second.

Spectres 5L

Because I really needed something to put in my body armour. Jeweler's Touch prophecy was 1c when I decided to do this, and the 20/20 Raise Spectre wasn't much more than that. I raised one Carnage Chieftain and one Host Chieftain for Power and Frenzy charges. If you have the Ice Spear power charge on critical helmet enchant you can trade the Host Chieftain for something else.

Alternatively, you could just use Storm Brand/Increased Critical Strikes/Power Charge on Critical to generate power charges if you don't have the power charge on crit enchant.


A basic defensive Cast when Damage Taken setup. I found level 11 CwDT triggered consistently enough to feel good. You can drop Increased Duration if you don't have enough sockets.

Frost Bomb 3L

Note that Frost Bomb's pulses do not hit - the only hit is the explosion at the end. This makes applying Frostbite a bit tricky, but just the Exposure from Frost Bomb is already a decent damage boost. If you find Frost Bomb too fiddly to use, and don't care about the "enemies have reduced life/ES regeneration rate", you can swap to a level 1 Wave of Conviction instead.

Flame Dash 2L

You cast Flame Dash to move. What more can I say? If you have empty sockets, a Second Wind support would be helpful.

Misc gems

Our two mana reservation skills and Portal. Portal is entirely optional but convenient.

General levelling advice:

I started with Freezing Pulse until I got Ice Spear at level 12. Then I asked a friend to buy me a Lesser Multiple Projectiles, and it turns out Ice Spear/LMP/Arcane Surge is a pretty decent 3-link for levelling. Just equip the other gems as you unlock them during the story. If you can't get an LMP early on, you can level with Freezing Pulse/Added Cold/Arcane Surge until Act 3, where you can buy LMP from Siosa.

Weapon-wise, dual wand or wand/shield is easier than using a staff from the get-go. Dual wand is ideal but you can use wand/shield if you're having trouble getting defensive stats. If you use wands, hold off on taking staff-specific passives until you get your Taryn's Shiver.

You may want to buy an Atziri's Foible for levelling if you can afford one. The massive quantity of mana and mana regen helps you sustain Ice Spear early on, and the reduced attribute requirements is also nice.

Stats to look out for on gear:

Just life and resistances on armour and jewelry is good enough, as well as any attributes you may need to equip gear (likely DEX). As usual, try to get 300-400 life per Act, and cap elemental resistances from Act 5/6 onward. Remember to use your crafting bench as needed to fill in modifiers.

Stats to look out for on weapons include +1 level of cold spell gems, %spell damage, %cold damage, flat added damage to spells (particularly cold), %cast speed, %spell critical chance, and global critical multiplier.
Last edited by jwfiredragon on Oct 19, 2020, 9:40:47 PM
Last bumped on Aug 2, 2020, 11:20:48 AM
Nice Build, will try it :-) Do u have a Demonstration-Video of it?
Hi ! very nice build, thx for the guide ! I'm trying it right now.

I was wondering: would it make sense to grab elemental equilibrium which is only 4 nods away ?

For instance in my case I'm thinking of using ice spear as main skill + Storm Brand as a secondary skill like you suggested in the guide (I'm no great fan of summoning, just personal taste). So I was thinking since Storm Brand fires with quite a high frequency and hits multiple targets, its gonna make some kind of permanent debuff of -50% cold res to most of the mobs.

What do you think ?

edit: also while playing I'm realizing that to be able to hit the mobs with the second form, its needed to keep the mobs at a certain distance. However, whenever some mob is a bit more resistant, it comes very close and I'm unable to cast the second form. Its a bit a pity since those are the mobs where the second form is especially needed. Ideally, I'd like to have some knock back or something like this. Do you have any tips for this ?
Last edited by Golgho on Jul 27, 2020, 1:27:59 PM
hey, you can youse poachers aim curse for knockback in the curse setup i think :) i dont know, how gameplay is in maps (on leveling route) but when we have trouble with distance, i think we can also use pierce gem.
the knockback curse is a good suggestion indeed thx !
Following your suggestion wolve66 (by the way I think you wanted to refer to projectile weakness instead of poachers mark right ? ie the curse that gives you knockback), I'm planning to do the following:

- get whispers of doom (+1 curse) + elemental equilibrium which are not far away (4 points each). I don't even have to sacrifice anything from the tree since there are a douzen of points left in proposed tree
- Put as a secondary skill to be cast before ice spear: Storm Brand (possibly traded for orb of storm) + curse on hit + frostbite + Projectile Weakness

That way Storm should will debuf monsters and trigger the -50% cold res from Elemental Equilibrium, while making ice spear knockback which should ensure to keep any more resistant monster which would resist the first wave of ice spear at a decent distance.

I think projectile weakness is also a good alternative when you don't have voidwalker boots (like myself).

Thoughts ?
Last edited by Golgho on Jul 28, 2020, 9:23:25 AM
ouh..jep u are right about the curse..my fault ;D

its a good idea, nice.

i just finished leveling the char and search for gear, but i think as u, its a char where u can go a good min/max route ;-)

did u skill elemental equilirium? when u skill whispers of doom, do u have enough points? havent planned that atm, but feels good.

when the points for whispers of doom are ok, then this is a good alternativ for the boots, so u can just take rare (tailwind?)
if u have enough currency, u can buy a chest with "can apply addtional curse) or that amulet with +1 curse (but then u cant anoit it)

another idea is, that u can just socket "pierce" for mapping, i did this when i leveld this guy. pierce gives also proj dmg, so you have not realy big dmg lost. so the knockback is obsolet, but nice to have. for bosses i would switch to hypothermia and slower proj mabye. must figure it out.

another aspect can be cluster jewels, i must look, what points are interesting

Last edited by Wolve666 on Jul 28, 2020, 10:32:50 AM
So far I'm only lvl 45 so I did not get either of them (ele equilibrium nor whispers of doom). But at lvl 90 with the tree given in the guide, there're enough points.

Indeed, pierce is also a good alternative if you have a 6L, but if you don't have a 6L (like myself, this is actually my first char in the league), you have to drop spell echo which is not nice ... so I prefer the curse alternative, at least for now.

If later on I get a +1 curse on my gear I can always respec the points :)

Did you try the build in maps yet ? Does it perform well ?
nah, i am just pre finished items, just need to think about the gems now :)
you can buy a 6 linked staff, its not expensive, i bought mine for 32 c and divined it for better stats. no one uses it ;D
some people dont like it, to change 1 or 2 gems before bosses, but for me thats okay.

edith: you can look at my char in my profile, if u interestet :)
Last edited by Wolve666 on Jul 28, 2020, 1:27:17 PM
I see that you use 2 auras = 75% of mana reserved. Its not an issue ? Do you have enough mana left ?

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