[3.14] Self-Cast Freezing Pulse: A Build Summary
This is not a build guide, nor is this build recommended. Self-cast Freezing Pulse requires a lot of scaling and a lot of currency to make 'work', and it will always be overshadowed by objectively better builds such as Archmage Ball Lightning and Low-Life COC.
The few people on Poe.Ninja who I have seen attempt self-cast Freezing Pulse, this league and previous leagues, typically create inferior characters that are overly glass cannon (I'm looking at you, Badge of the Brotherhood + Farrul's Chest). I present here a much more balanced and well-rounded concept for self-cast Freezing Pulse, that still manages 15 million Shaper DPS.
The Story Begins...
The story begins with 3.9 Metamorph. All new atlas, new endgame, boss HP is quadrupled, and the game is harder than it has ever been. The Assassin remains incredibly strong from the reworks in 3.8. GGG applies a fix a few weeks into Metamorph, allowing these monsters to be properly chilled and frozen. Thus, a meme idea was born.
I had never tried Shav’s Low-Life before, and certainly had never tried anything self-cast, so I had the idea to see if I could get self-cast Freezing Pulse to work. With the currency from my first character in Metamorph, I started an Assassin and took him all the way to Level 98, using Freezing Pulse since Level 5. He was able to kill A8 Sirus, though not deathless. Mapping was surprisingly fun, and freezing these highly-lethal Metamorphs was endlessly enjoyable.
The game has changed since then. Cluster Jewels happened. There’s been another atlas expansion. Endgame content is even harder than in 3.9. Assassin has received endless nerfs. Freezing Pulse received a small buff in 3.12. The Elementalist received a massive buff and change in 3.13, which held intact for 3.14.
I knew I wanted to revisit this self-cast Freezing Pulse character, I just didn’t know how and when. I also knew that the 3.9 Assassin version had a lot of deficiencies, and that the new character would have to address a lot of these while maintaining or even improving the DPS.
Deficiencies from 3.9 Assassin version:
- Not a lot of passive regen, though ES leech is nice.
- Feels very vulnerable to DOTs like Ignite, Caustic Ground, etc.
- If Power Charges drop off, DPS briefly becomes a wet noodle.
- Power Charge Stacking feels very restrictive, and requires a lot of passive points on the tree. Also requires 2x Void Batteries, which means no Prism Guardian shield.
- Mana sustain was a genuine headache.
- Assassin has been nerfed too much since then, and is no longer viable.
Proficiencies with 3.14 Elementalist version:
- Golem stacking up to 5 Golems, gives 500+ ES regen, a chunk of damage, and 42% increased Cast Speed.
- This also provides Elemental Ailment Immunity, which feels great and handles nasty DOTs like Ignite.
- We opt not to Power Charge Stack, because Elementalist doesn’t synergize with this.
- The saved passive points from not stacking, allow for Cluster Jewels and a really strong Thread of Hope.
- Use of the Prism Guardian shield allows for 8 total auras, in addition to the 4-5 golems already in use.
- Stronger Exposure from the Ascendancy tree is powerful and easy to fit in.
- Elemental Reflect immune feels great.
- The elemental damage bubble from the Aegis shield is almost 3000, and also feels great.
- We are now socket-starved because of the Golems and additional auras.
These changes and more, have created a stronger version of self-cast Freezing Pulse in 3.14. More defensive, easier to play, same EHP, same or higher cast speed, and DPS is easily doubled. I took this character from an aborted Burning Arrow @ Level 95, up through Level 98, and managed a deathless A9 Sirus.
Core Concepts of the 3.14 version:
- +2 Shav’s, combined with Prism Guardian and Presence of Chayula.
- +2 Wand is preferred, because this boosts all Golems and all Auras, and Freezing Pulse.
- One Large Cluster is used to give 100% uptime of Exposure.
- A second Large Cluster is used, but this is barely optimal.
- Standard ES-focused items and passive tree.
- Bottled Faith and Transcendent Flesh for DPS.
- Thread of Hope in the Witch area can be used nicely.
- Best Watcher’s Eye you can get, and the ES bonus roll is very nice.
- Pinpoint Support, combined with the bonus Intensity on the passive tree, gives excellent single target DPS and gives bonus projectiles while mapping.
- Inspiration Support, combined with the Mana Regen boot enchant, solves just about all mana sustain issues.
- 2x First Snow jewels for the extra projectiles; Corrupted Blood immunity here.
- Arcanist Brand is used to apply a second curse, and proc Bonechill, on bosses.
- I like crafting +2 Minimum Frenzy Charges on both rings here.
- Regular Spell Echo is honestly fine; the Awakened version is very expensive.
Path of Building + Profile Links:
3.14 Elementalist Level 98
3.9 Assassin Level 96
Last edited by BlueeGreg on May 29, 2021, 2:12:57 AM
Last bumped on Jun 3, 2021, 1:44:33 AM
on May 29, 2021, 2:07:31 AM
nice build :D i always liked freezing pulse but wasnt strong enough to compete with other builds. may try it for next league. also, a video with some gameplay would be nice to have a better idea. ggs
on Jun 2, 2021, 4:30:10 PM
If I play anymore this league, I'll try to capture some quick videos to showcase the build. Not trying to get anyone to try Freezing Pulse though, its still plenty wonky!
on Jun 3, 2021, 1:44:33 AM