[3.14 HC] HOAG Champ. ~7k Life Gain on hit/sec vs. single target. Update to HC HOAG Jugg <Videos>

I created the original version of this build back in 3.5 Betrayal as a Juggernaut. It was made in response to content that dealt a significant amount of seemingly unavoidable high damage spikes, and it performed well there. I continued to update the build through many nerfs and buffs through 3.12, though my focus has been elsewhere for many leagues.

Ultimatum changed that. The mechanics of this league call out for a real update to the build. It needed to have enough straight damage mitigation to deal with potential one shots of various types, have enough avoidance and sustain to heal through damage coming from many sources at once, and have sufficient damage to make the league enjoyable. While there are trade offs in moving from Jugg to Champion (particularly if running lab is your thing) the Champion Ascendancy is better suited to those needs.
The combination of:

1. Champ-improved fortify (22% mitigation of all hits)
2. The conqueror Ascndancy (10% further mitigation of all hits)
3. Wind dancer (20% further mitigation of the first hit every 4 seconds,
4. Potential max attack dodge (with ideal gear and flasks) and solid spell dodge
5. Full elemental ailment immunity

work to give this build an EHP pool that is nearly double it's life total against most large hits and 4-5x (or more) it's life total against a swarm of smaller hits. The ailment immunity is also a huge QOL improvement over previous versions of the build.

Along with this mitigation, Our crawler exceeds 1.5M sirus dps on good gear, and over 2.5M Sirus dps with excellent gear. My current character is at a little over 2.1M at level 93, with some gear left to improve


1. Champion Agony vs. T16 Ultimatum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag9n2Yk9o2U&t=24s

2. Champion Agony vs. Chimera w/ Maven witness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbWkxd1CCXc

3. Champion Agony vs. Shaper w/ Maven witness: (My first ever success at Shaper with Maven watching) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODNh6lpr2bA&t=58s

4. Champion Agony vs. A6 Sirus: (I am not great at this fight, so this one showcases the tankiness of the build more than I wish it did. My first HC kill of Sirus at A6) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh151rHcLcw&t=1s

5. Champion Agony vs. 83 Catarina https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_-BeNH2pMo

6. Champion Agony vs. Uber Atziri https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x7SjcHVkyw&t=7s

Link to the original Juggernaut build guide


Explanation of Links and gear progression:
A. Your sole real damage source will be herald of agony with the following links, as you level:

1. Up to level 53: HOA>Minion Damage>Damage on full Life>Pierce. Place in Honourhome helm (+2 gem levels) to make leveling easy

2. Level 54-mid-endgame: Shift to any Helm with +2 level of minion gems and useful stats

4. Mid-endgame-endgame (T12+): Elder helm with +2 to minion levels and supported by minion damage. Links are HOA>DOFL>Pierce>Vicious Proj.

5. Endgame goals: +3 helm w/ Minion damage, lvl 21 HOA, +1 amulet, awakened vicious proj.

6.Late endgame stretch goals:
a. +2 amulet (+1 dex from hunter and +1 Phys from warlord mashed together with an orb of awakening is the (comparatively) easy way, +1 dex and +1 chaos rolled on a hunter amulet is the absurdly difficult way)
NOTE: DO NOT attempt to use an awakeners orb to put together +1 chaos and +1 phys. These use the same slot. You will waste both your awakeners orb and one of the amulets and be sad. It must be +1 dex and +1 Phys. I learned this on your behalf the hard way.

b. 4 white socket triad grip gloves (or 3 white with ONLY 3 sockets) which also requires the use of a 6L Quill Rain

Notes: Getting the equivalent of a 6L in the helm is important, because it allows the build to use Kaom's for the late endgame, which boosts survivability. It is also possible to craft a 7L equivlaent helm using essence of insanity, though I note that I have only crafted this item once since the build originated in 3.5.

B. Your Herald of Agony will be powered by Barrage (lvl 1-3, no higher) used with Quill Rain, linked as follows:
1. Level 16-30 Barrage>LMP>Lesser poison>Life Gain on hit
2. Level 31-37 Barrage>LMP>Poison>Life Gain on hit
3. Level 38-53 Barrage>GMP>Poison>Life Gain on hit

4. Level 54-mid-Endgame: Elder Gloves Supported by either Poison or faster attacks. Options for links are:
Better Defense Barrage>GMP>LGOH>whichever the gloves don't have.
Better Offense (supported by poison only) Barrage>GMP>LGOH>withering touch

5. Endgame: Elder Gloves supported by both Poison AND faster attacks. Link Barrage>GMP>LGOH>Withering Touch

6. Late endgame Stretch Goal: 6L Quill rain with Barrage>GMP>LGOH>Withering touch>Poison>Faster attacks, allowing the use of a 3 or 4 white socket triad grip.

Notes: The set ups above are magnified defensively with a thief's torment ring fully augmnented with abrasive catalysts. (More on this later). In the late endgame, you will have an attack rate of around 6/second firing 9 arrows per attack and gaining up to 126 life per hit against a single target. Because of the Champion Ascendancy Worthy Foe, every properly aimed arrow will hit. The result is life gain of around 7k/second, so long as you are hitting a valid target. Significantly more against groups once you have piercing on your quiver.

C. Depending on the stage of the game you are in, You will also have one of the following auxiliary gem setups:

1. If Using gloves as your barrage 6L:

a. Your quill rain 5L will have Dash>Second Wind>Steelskin>Convocation>Lifetap. (Prior to getting a 5L, leave off lifetap, but you will definitely want this once you reach maps to make sure that your dash always goes off)

b.Boots CWDT>Desecrate>Spirit offering and unlinked Arctic armour.

c. Once you craft Aspect of the Spider (an important, big upgrade) then remove arctic armour and add in a linked punishment

2. If you have a 6L Quill rain and white triad grip gloves:

a. In Gloves: Dash>Second Wind>Steelskin>Lifetap
b. In boots: CWDT>Desecrate>Spirit Offering and unlinked convocation
c. You already have aspect of the spider

If your gloves are only 3Ls, I recommend slotting Dash>Second Wind>Lifetap and then either leaving off steelskin or replacing desecrate in the boots with an unlinked steelskin. With 4W gloves you can also consider replacing desecrate with despair.

In all cases, I recommend attaching steelskin to your left click and then forgetting about it. It will passively proc briefly each time you move, (when it is off cooldown) providing its bonus at that optimal time when you are no longer attacking for life gain.

Explanation of Gear:

1. Quill Rain: BIS for keeping Virulence at max and defensively for life gain. Nothing else comes close

2. Thief's torment: BIS for Life gain while also solving mana problems, solid for rezzes and useful in cutting harm done by curses. Item quant is icing. We improve this through abrasive catalysts.

3. Belt: Here is where a chunk of life and rezzes come from. If you are able to get a decent stygian vise, I recommend jewel with life and chance to blind on hit, for extra defense.

4. Gloves: Level with Ondar's until your first pair of elder gloves. In late endgame a 3 socket all white or a 4 white Triad grip is extremely strong, as either will convert 100% of the Crawler's damage to chaos. This in turn boosts the value of our withering touch, which will almost always be at the max of 15 stacks, as we are firing roughly 54 arrows/second. With ordinary gloves, this boosts our overall damage by 36%. With full chaos conversion, this boosts our overall damage by 90%. Big difference (Though the build pictured in the videos is doing just fine in T16s without those gloves)

5. Helm: Level with Honourhome for easy clear. Our endgame helms are crafted with bound fossils using an elder helm. Under ilvl 86 maxes out at +2 minion gem lvl. ilvl 86+ can get +3 minion gem level, but will be very expensive early in the league.

6. Quiver: Level from 10 with Hyrri's bite until you don't need it for stats. A piercing quiver is a buff offensively since it lets our taunt penetrate one row deep (which causes mobs to be unable to evade the Crawler's attacks) and defensively as it allows LGOH to hit one extra row deep. The hunter's penetrating quiver pictured can roll an additional pierce, which is nice, but not required.

7. Armour: Ambu's charge is a good budget option until you can afford something with a solid life roll. Endgame nothing compares to Kaom's for this build.

8. Boots: In addition to looking for life, res, and move speed, Redeemer's boots can roll both attack and spell dodge. Getting one of these mods is a significant defensive bonus. I would prioritize attack dodge in the current league.

8. Amulet: a +1 or +2 amulet is a significant damage boost and should be obtained as soon as you reasonably can. Annoints: Defenssively, my early game relatively cheap annoint was always Combat Stamina and I would annoint Discipline and training once I had an endgame ammy. However, I recently tried out annointing Grave Intentions and the dps difference was dramatic. Grave intentions, while mapping, gives very high uptime of another 30% MORE damage multiplie for the crawler. I can highly recommend.

9. Flasks:
a. Unlike ordinary builds, the biggest danger to us is not usually the attacking mobs. (With the exception of Boss wind-up one shot mechanics that must be avoided through gameplay) The hazard your life flasks are for is DOTs present when there is nothing to attack. Like bleed, or burning ground, or Shaper/Elder/Maven degen ground. Having one seething flask buys you time and space to hit the other one that gains much more life over a longer period of time and is the best defense against that hazard. We will virtually never use a flask while there is even one targetable opponent on the board, since our LGOH is dramatically faster.

b. Stibnite has the best uptime and is solid for keeping up curse immunity. Also provides localized blind for extra defense while we are not moving.

c. Quartz: Provides significant extra dodge defensively and good uptime for staunching or curing.

d. Basalt provides a little extra defense against big phys hits, and is a reasonable place for staunch or cure as well.

Explanation of Jewels:

Note: At least one of these will need to provide corrupted blood immunity, and you will want that sooner rather than later, as our attack rate causes corrupted blood from a rare mob to stack up to full almost instantly, which can be hazardous once it dies if you are not very careful.

Here is a list of jewels at full build:

1. Volley fire--extremely useful when fighting large groups for applying taunt and getting extra LGOH.

2. Two ordinary jewels with as much life and resistance as you can find. (A third can be added around lvl 94-95) If you can't find or afford a better Corrupted blood immunity jewel, slot a cheap no-stat corrupted blood immunity here until you do. It's that important.

3. One 8 passive large cluster with Smite the weak and drive the destruction. You will only ever take one of those nodes, but having both will ensure that you dont have to go out of your way to get it. This is for the 10% chance to maim on hit, which effectively renders all of our opponents maimed very quickly.

4. Two more 8 passive cluster jewels of any type that provide as much benefit as possible in the travel nodes. This may include ele res, chaos res, life, stats, anything. There are no other Large cluster nodes that we really require (though we would get a small damage bonus from renewal on a minion jewel if you happen to find one, those tend to be expensive and aren't really necessary)

5. Six 4-passive medium cluster jewels with the Pure Agony node. Obviously these are not all slotted at once, and you won't slot in the last three until late in the endgame. That said, these are the heart of the build and where most of our damage and clear speed come from. With Quill rain barrage, we can maintain 70 stacks of virulence against a single target without the need for golden rule.

6. Three 2-passive small cluster jewels with chance to dodge attacks and the elegant Form Node. From these we get an extra 12% attack dodge, 9% spell dodge, and (combined with Thick skin on the tree) 100% elemental ailment immunity. I can't overstate how nice this is to have.

7. Two 3-passive chaos resistance jewels. You will almost certainly need the extra chaos res provided, unless you have exceptionally well rolled other gear.

8. The Calamitous visions Unique jewel. Not an absolute requirement, but provides a 25% more damage multiplier--definitely one of our endgame chase items.

Killing all is fine and generally recommended. You may also consider helping Kraitin, as the build will make use of all bonuses provided (dodge/attack speed/move speed

Ascendancies, in order:

1. Unstoppable Hero (which does nothing by itself)
2. Fortitude
3. Conqueror
4. Worthy foe


General Use: Lunaris/Tukohama
Increased crit areas: Solaris/Tukohama
Lab running: Solaris/Ralakesh

Tree/jewel progression:

1. Early Leveling:
Use whatever you find easy. At league start I use smite>Ancestral call. Once I have gear, I like Ice shot>Pierce>Volley>Mirage archer. (until you get your Herald of Agony) On the tree, your first stop is the dodge cluster. It is a ways off, but provides a massive survivability boost. Once you have all the dodge, grab Wind Dancer as well. Get a volley fire and slot that as soon as you are able.

2. Next Steps:
Until you have access to the cluster jewels we use (at earliest this comes at lvl 54, though the pure agonies require an ilvl of 68), you are primarily grabbing all of the acessible life nodes. Thats it. You will also spec into nearby stat or elemental resist nodes as you need to until you are able to upgrade your gear to respec those points. This will tend to result in you having enough life to feel quite tanky for the content you are doing while leveling.

3. Priority for cluster jewels:
a. Three pure agonies
b. Three elegant forms
c. Large cluster with maim
d. 4th Pure Agony
e. First chaos res small cluster jewel
f. Second Large cluster
g. 5th Pure Agony
h. Second chaos res small cluster jewel
i. Third large cluster
j. 6th Pure Agony
k. Calamitous visions

If you are feeling comfortable with your chaos res, you can consider slotting calamitous visions earlier at step e or step h instead.

When to slot these cluster jewels (which will often involve a trade of some of your extra life nodes temporarily) is going to be a matter of taste. You don't want to feel endangered by the content you are doing. I will say that, for this build, as a rule of thumb, 4k-4.5k life was plenty tanky for white maps and 4.5-5k life plenty tanky for yellows. At level 93, I am sitting on 5800 life, but because of all of the defensive mechanics, I feel very tanky doing reasonably rolled T16s.

Anyway, I hope that many of you are able to enjoy the new Champion based version of the build. I will periodically check back in to answer questions and hear your stories.

Good Luck!
Last edited by Orion72 on May 7, 2021, 5:45:15 PM
Last bumped on May 11, 2021, 10:32:20 AM
Thanks for writing this up! I was a big fan of the original Marauder version, and I've been following your progress in your profile this league (while spending lots of regrets keeping up! Character is PoisonPillow). The build feels as strong as ever, and I've been having a blast ignoring map mods and boss mechanics alike.

My biggest open question as I level up and plan the end of my tree is whether you think the third Cluster was worth it? There are a lot of decent life nodes adjacent to us, and some fortify nodes not too far off, such that it seems like a very clear choice between damage and EHP.

Thanks again for the detailed write up! I hadn't considered the elemental immunity nor the Maim on hit, so I have a couple more upgrades to look out for!

If you're interested in a small style note, I think most of the content in the Explanation of Links section probably should be moved to the Leveling Advice section.
Very glad you have been enjoying the build--hope this continues! I DO spend an awful lot of regrets tinkering with a new build as I go along--sorry bout that :>

Re: Third cluster vs. Life

This one is definitely going to be a matter of taste, but I'll explain my reasons for writing it up the way I did:

I decided to try the build this way because I found, in earlier versions (of the champ build, while tinkering) that when I did die, it was because I screwed up a mechanic in a boss fight that led to my death, even with all the life (An earlier variation had around 8k). I theorized that what I really wanted was to have -enough- life to be just able to tank everything other than the worst of the one shot mechanics with enough avoidance to carry me through attacks by large groups of mobs. Once I had that, what I wanted was to see how far I could ramp the damage to make the most dangerous fights shorter, thus increasing survivability.

The balance I have struck with my current iteration (now lvl 93) feels really good to me. I say this having run literally dozens and dozens of variations of the Hoag build since 3.5. The clear is significantly faster, the bosses significantly easier, and it still seems able to more or less face-tank the vast majority of the game (though I have begun to incorporate more movement into my style via the dash skill.

The proof I offer is the vid of my fight with Shaper witnessed by Maven, and another I just uploaded of a fight against A6 Sirus. As you can see in the videos, I am still not great at these fights. The videos show off the tankiness of the build, even at sub-6k life, and the kills went fast enough that I was ultimately successful in both fights. (And I had never completed either fight previously--it's difficult to practice them when you only play HC)

Try for yourself and see how it feels.

As to the style note, it is appreciated, though I will probably leave things in the format that makes sense to me--I hope I give no offense by this and that you are able to find what you need in the guide.


P.S. I had a look at your character--I think you'll want to swap the positions of desecrate and spirit offering to have it proc more consistently. When CWDT goes off in a 4L, my understanding is that it procs the gems in clockwise order starting from the CWDT. {appears to no longer be the case, see below}

Last edited by Orion72 on May 5, 2021, 1:36:23 PM
I appreciate your thoughts on the third cluster, and now it sounds like I need to invest in a third set of cluster jewels to see how it feels! I'll need a few more levels to make it work but not too many I think.

Of course as the maintainer of the guide you must format it in a way that makes sense to you :)

Regarding desecrate, my understanding is that it is no longer possible to trigger the offering with the first cast of desecrate, regardless of gem order. I have not tested it myself though. Source: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2474665
Re Desecrate:

That is interesting . . . and annoying. I will update my understanding of CWDT--many thanks.

Well, I was able to complete the build at level 95.

I have to say that, despite the small looking life total (Around 5800 at 95) this was absolutely the most fun version of the Quill Rain/Barrage/Thief's torment Hoag I have ever played, with dramatically better clear and faster bossing than my previous 3 or 4 pure agony variations. T16 Ultimatums ceased to be a problem, Sirus 6 went fine, 83 Cat was not a problem, Shaper was highly doable and Elder was downright easy.

In order to get this character killed, I had to take on a set of Map bosses that I had never met before without researching their mechanics (note to self--look up bosses before heading into fights in the future when possible) While fighting the T14 Bramble Valley trio, I double dashed into the giant circular double slam just as it was happening. RIP

After it ripped to standard, I took it out for a final encore in a deathless uber-Atziri run, caught on video for your entertainment:


Hope some of you have a chance to enjoy the build as much as I did.

Can we ignore accuracy because of ascendency or do we need some?
Last edited by LegendaryOne on May 3, 2021, 8:24:16 PM
Worthy Foe solves all accuracy problems both for us and the crawler. Even before taking worthy foe, the build will perform well enough to function without worrying about accuracy, though you will notice the crawler's aim improve (and probably not notice that your LGOH rate also improves) once you get that ascendancy.

The exception is maps that have the "foes can't be taunted" mod. But even in those the build will still function, it will just function at a somewhat reduced rate of efficiency. I don't seek that mod out, but I won't deem it to have bricked a map.

To be honest I have never encountered a map I wouldn't do on this build. Yeah, I am playing softcore but the only real problems I have had are metamorphs and late round ultimatum.

I don't know what it was about this league but I struggled to get started until I picked up this build. I think I knew it as going to be good. Since I've played a lot of Guardian HOG builds with significantly more gear requirements then this one.

Does anyone have lv 3 Vorici to 3W my triad Grips?
Last edited by LegendaryOne on May 4, 2021, 6:06:31 PM
Great looking build! I think I'm going to reroll into this and give it a shot! Quick question for you though, do you the the fortify nodes are worth taking?

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