[3.14-3.16 HC Updated] HOAG Champ. ~7k Life Gain on hit/sec vs. single target. All Content <Videos>

3.16 Update:
Short version is the build looks 3.16 viable. Here is a sketch of a potential POB I have worked out. Obviously untested, and very open to comments. https://pastebin.com/c9NZyybX

I first created this 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) [20% after 3.15]
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 [About 7-8% less after 3.15]
5. Full elemental ailment immunity [Still valid for 3.15]

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 huge QOL improvement over previous versions of the build.

Along with this mitigation, Our crawler exceeds 1.5M sirus dps on good gear [About 1M after 3.15], and over 2.5M Sirus dps with excellent gear [Estimated to max out around 2M in 3.15]. When this was originally written, my 3.14 character was at a little over 2.1M at level 93, with some gear left to improve

3.15 Update
Good news first: With some modifications and work-arounds, the build is very much alive. Up until the late endgame we suffered only a modest (compared to other skills) roughly 22% damage nerf, some minor defensive nerfs to our dodge (quartz flask less effective) and a very minor nerf to our fortify (loss of extra effectiveness amounting to 2% damage reduction) My thoughts on adjusting the endgame version of the build are below:

My recommendation will be to drop one of the pure agony clusters (taking us down to 5) and one of the elegant form clusters (taking us down to two) which will also allow us to also drop one of the large clusters (taking us down to two). The fifth pure agony now goes directly in the slot previously occupied by the third large cluster. Or, if you are wealthy or lucky, you can replace the second large cluster with any Voices (Even a 7 passive is good enough) and slot the fifth pure agony there.

This will free up 11 skill points (5 large, 3 medium, 3 small). I describe below 13 additional nodes to take that maintain the rest of our build, 2 of which are also life nodes that we would be taking by endgame anyway. Going from 6 Pure agonies down to 5 is a roughly 20% damage nerf. The support gem changes are a roughly 22% nerf until you get an empower 4, then they drop to only about a 12% nerf! The loss of aspect of Spider is about a 6.5% damage nerf.

The overall effect is that at maximum build we will do approximately 2/3 of the damage we used to. That may sound bad, but it is in line with, or not as bad as, the nerfs to many other skills and should still allow us to do all content. For reference, we were getting up over 3M Sirus dps at the absolute top end, this should take it down to around 2M, which is still quite sufficient to be fun (imo). If you are SC, you could consider sacrificing life nodes instead of the 6th pure agony, but I can't recommend this in hc.

Here are the work-arounds:

1. New Mana Multipliers: The math on our endgame helm says it is still useable, but now will reserve 95.5% of our mana. Any reservation skill other than Hoag is off the table--no more Aspect of Spider, no more Arctic Armour. The build will function fine without them--it's a small offensive and defensive layer loss.

The math on our 6 link Barrage is it should come in at about 36 mana per shot.
4% reduced reserved mana gets us up to around 50 at full build--plenty to function on. The cheapest way to do this costs three nodes to take champion of the cause, which we path past. The expensive way is to get 4 of our jewels corrupted with 1% reduced mana reserved. There may be other ways I am not thinking of, but that 4% looks like it will be necessary to run the build at full strength.

2. Poison nerf: We will now only be using the Chance to poison support (formerly lesser poison) without switching. This takes us down to 60% chance to poison from 80%. There are two small nodes in the Fatal Toxins cluster, which we path past already, that will push this back up to 85%--more than we had before

3. Ailment immunity: Elegant form nodes now only grant 15% immunity each. Not a problem, as follows:
a. We now use only 2 elegant forms instead 3 (30%)
b. We now take the entire thick skin cluster (20%) 2 extra life nodes
c. We now take the entire Crystal Skin Cluster (50%) 6 extra nodes
Total remains at 100% elemental ailment immunity. Add a corrupting blood jewel, and keep a staunching flask handy (or go for a synthezied belt with immunity to bleeding, which my play testing during 3.14 seems to show also grants immunity to corrupted blood) and we are set.

4. Mana cost of CWDT: Because our mana is going to be so tight, the CWDT setup no longer really makes sense. We might consider a defense or utility Spectre in this spot like a stoneskin flayer or carnage chieftain. Other options may also present themselves.

5. Support Gems: EMPOWER 4!! Prior to the nerfs, Empower 4 and vicious proj were roughly equivalent in damage output, with vicious proj winning due to the great disparity in expense. But empower 4 was not nerfed in relation to Hoag. This makes it now a -clear- choice over any other support gem. My read of the nerfs is that vicious proj and DOFL are now roughly equivalent. Using empower 4 in place of either gem drops the overall support gem related nerf in damage to only about 12%. This is a clear win for our build in 3.15.

All in all, I am very optimistic about the build's potential in the coming league of NERF. Here's wishing it goes well for as many of you as possible!



1. Champion Agony vs. T16 Ultimatum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag9n2Yk9o2U&t=24s
2. Champion Agony vs. Chimera w/ Maven witnesshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbWkxd1CCXc
3. Champion Agony vs. Shaper w/ Maven witness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODNh6lpr2bA&t=58s

Link to the original Juggernaut build guide


3.15 https://pastebin.com/7e3yvQHH
3.14 https://pastebin.com/undRccCZ

Explanation of Links:
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)
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.

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 pnetrate 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 peenetrating 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. My early game relatively cheap annoint is Combat Stamina. Once we have an endgame ammy, you'll want to annoint Discipline and training.

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 corrupting blood immunity, and you will want that sooner rather than later, as our attack rate causes corrupting 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. 2 ordinary jewels with as much life and resistance as you can find. If you can't find or afford a better Corrupting blood immunity jewel, slot a cheap no-stat corrupting 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. One 3-passive chaos resistance jewel. 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.

Kill all

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

Leveling Advice:

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. Chaos res small jewel
f. Second Large cluster
g. 5th Pure Agony
h. Calamitous visions
i. Third large cluster
j. 6th Pure Agony

When to slot these cluster jewels (which will often involve a trade of some of your extra 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 Oct 19, 2021, 5:26:00 AM
Last bumped on Dec 7, 2021, 8:12:01 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.

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.

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?
Re: fortify nodes: I did some math on the fortify nodes when I was tinkering. Turns out that even considering just hits, the incremental benefit is less than just taking straight life nodes, at the life totals we reach in the current iteration of the build. This becomes even more true when you consider the added defense extra life provides against DOTS. If you wanted to play a tankier version, in which you drop one entire large cluster jewel, there would be a point where taking some or all of those nodes would become efficient.

Re: Vorici 3: First, very glad the build has you up and running in the league! In the version of the build where I finally completed all the gear, this was literally the last piece I managed to get. I think there's a bug in using Vor 4 on 4 socket items, as I hit one white socket literally 5 times in a row, but was able to hit 3W using Vorici 3 after only 3 tries. (I did report this to GGG) I would be interested to see if others have this experience. (It also took time to find a 6L quill rain--none were available on HC for quite a while and I did not have good rng trying to chance one).

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

Last edited by Orion72 on May 4, 2021, 1:01:40 PM
On a completely unrelated note, a spot of advice for fighting Sirus or Shaper or really any single challenging boss without adds that literally just occurred to me:

Swap in culling strike for Pierce in your HOAG setup.

Maybe this is already obvious (certainly felt that way to me in the moment when I realized it) but this will cut short the most dangerous part of any of those types of fights.


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