[3.17] Wave of Conviction Ignite Elementalist

Welcome to my Wave of Conviction Ignite guide!

I’ve always had a soft spot for ignite, and this league I struggled to find an ignite-based build that was accessible and fit the style I wanted to play – so I made my own. I’ve never shared a build guide before, so I’d welcome any input!

Pros and Cons:

+ Easy to Play. Run and gun; find a pack, fire one wave at it, loot, find the next pack. Add a Brand and Curse to bosses or tanky archnemesis monsters. Shouldn’t give you headaches or sore wrists!
+ League Start Friendly. Get started on a low budget. I was able to handle yellow maps right after campaign in whatever gear I had on.
+ Decent Survivability. ~4200 Life, 30k+ armor, 75/75 block (glancing blows), Primal Aegis (~2400), and of course Vaal Molten Shell.
+ Can Clear All Bosses. It takes a little gearing up, but it's doable. I’ve killed all the bosses (most deathless) with the build.

- Not a 20M+ DPS Boss Melter. PoB says we have ~3M Sirus DPS, but it should be closer to 4M or 5M if you include Convergence and Flame Surge. You could roughly double that with gem swaps for boss fights, but I don’t bother.
- Not the Fastest Moving. We’re not getting movespeed from anywhere other than the usual places: boots, quicksilver, silver flask. Pretty standard Flame Dash mobility as well.
- Neither Hardcore-friendly nor SFF-friendly. We're not uber-tanky, and we also need a good number of uniques.


Full PoB: https://pastebin.com/6PjALayQ

A lot of builds try to use one skill for bossing and another for clearing, but I don’t love two 6L’s feeling like a requirement, nor do I like feeling socket-strapped for utility skills. I’ve opted to use one skill to do it all, and fortunately there are a few ways to get more damage when we need it during boss fights. This also allows us a better aura setup later on once we have enlighten.

Primary Skill

Wave of Conviction is our primary spell. It fires out a curved wave that does a mixture of physical, fire, and lightning damage, and applies exposure to whichever element hits hardest.

Added Fire Damage helps us use the physical portion of wave to get more fire damage. We really need fire to be the strongest hit on the target for the sake of the exposure and for one of our Ascendancy passives.

Burning Damage simply gives us a strong more multiplier on the ignite damage dealt by this skill.

Deadly Ailments gives us a huge more multiplier for our ignite damage at the cost of some of our hit damage, but the trade is very worth it.

The next two gems depend on where you're at in progression. Start with:

Cruelty gives a buff that grants stronger damage over time.

Inspiration gives a buff that gives more elemental damage and higher crit chance which helps us proc Elemental Overload more often. It also makes the skill cost less mana which never hurts.

Later on once we've got some currency and gear upgrades, we'll swap those gems for:

Empower adds levels to Wave of Conviction.
Empower becomes worthwhile when leveled and slotted in gear that gives +levels to socketed gems or support gems.

Awakened Swift Affliction makes our ignites do their damage faster. Less total damage per cast, but higher DPS, which is what really matters. It's easy enough to reapply the ignite to a boss after 4 seconds instead of 6. For everything besides bosses, it's pure upside.


Ordered roughly by importance in my opinion:

Determination gives a big chunk of armor. Run this as soon as you can and never take it off.

Vitality gives some much needed health recovery. DoT builds struggle to recover since we aren't leeching, so Vitality helps fill that void.

Clarity helps out with mana regen. I don't like having to use a mana flask, so I prioritize Clarity here. Not mandatory, but really nice quality of life, and you get it pretty early. Run it at a high level until late game when you need to drop it down to fit another aura.

Herald of Ash gives more fire/burning damage, plain and simple.

Herald of Purity gives more physical damage which applies to part of Wave of Conviction's base damage and scales our ignite accordingly. It also summons some little minions that are surprisingly good at keeping bigger monsters occupied and off of us.

Defiance Banner gives us even more armor and reduces crit chance of enemies nearby. I basically never plant the flag, it's easier to just wear it.

Malevolence gives us a more multiplier on damage over time. You might be surprised that this is so far down the list, but the thing is that it's so mana expensive for what it does that you really can't fit it without dropping multiple items above. I couldn't fit it in until very late game when I had a level 3 Enlighten Support with my auras in a 6L that gave +2 levels to socketed gems (pushing Enlighten to level 5).

Mana Reservation:
We take the wheel of mana reservation efficiency nodes in the top left part of the tree first.
We take a life mastery node (the 2nd or 3rd one) to increase reservation efficiency of Vitality.
We take some of the herald-specific reservation nodes in the witch area, and later we use intuitive leap to just grab the notable.
Once we reach the armour wheel in the templar part of the tree, we take the Armour Mastery node for reservation efficiency of Determination.
Ashes of the Stars (unique amulet) gives us another big lump of mana reservation efficiency.
In the late game, we get an Enlighten in a 6L with our 5 most expensive auras.

Boss Support

Arcanist Brand attaches to a target and orbits them, firing linked spells at the target every second or so. We use it to trigger:

Flame Surge, which drops a bit of burning ground under the target if the target is ignited already when it hits. This burning ground does damage at a rate equal to 25% of the ignite DPS, and doesn't scale on its own. That's basically an extra free 25% damage on bosses.

Increased Duration makes the brand last longer on the target, and it also makes the burning ground last longer.


(Vaal) Molten Shell is a shield that eats a lot of hit-based damage and scales with our armour pool. Using the Vaal gem is just a way to get more uptime; you can use the Vaal skill while the regular one is on cooldown. We leave the gem at level 12, because we're using...

Cast When Damage Taken causes the linked skills to trigger automatically when a certain amount of damage is taken by the player. This triggers Molten Shell to protect us we need it (when we're getting hit). Leave this gem at level 4 so that it triggers on a relatively small amount of damage (~700). You might want to leave it (and molten shell) even lower when you first get it since your health pool is probably only ~2k at that point.

Increased Duration makes Molten Shell and Vaal Molten Shell last longer. More uptime = less damage taken.

Flammability - I put it in this 4L because I like Flammability to last longer.


Flame Dash is just such a good out-of-the-box movement skill. It comes with 3 charges, it has decent range that scales with level, it casts very quickly. Added bonus for leaving burning ground since we're fire-based.

Arcane Surge gives us a buff that increases mana regeneration. Leave it at a low enough level that it goes off every time you flame surge. For me, that's level 5.

Faster Casting slightly increases the cast speed of flame dash. I hardly notice it. Feel free to replace it with Portal or something.

You could also put Flammability in this link instead of the guard link to make it cast faster instead of last longer. Whatever you prefer!
Elementalist has everything we need.

Shaper of Flames lets us ignite with every hit, and with all of our damage regardless of type. Wave of Conviction does physical, fire, and lightning, so this node lets us ignite with all of that, but the primary element of our hits will be fire, so we'll proc the 25% more damage with ignites.

Mastermind of Discord seems made for Wave of Conviction. WoC causes exposure (to fire, in our case) with every hit, and Mastermind inceases that effect significantly.

Heart of Destruction also fits Wave of Conviction really well. The 60% AoE from this node makes the wave bigger and makes it move faster. Convergence also gives 30% more damage against bosses with ~50% uptime, which is definitely nice.

Bastion of Elements gives us an elemental shield that scales with the number of notables allocated in our tree. In the endgame it soaks ~2400 damage. It also replenishes itself relatively quickly once depleted. Bastion also means we don't take elemental reflect (although we still have to avoid physical reflect).
Level 64 | Level 79 | Level 94

A few notes:

Elemental Overload because we aren’t building crit. We may as well occasionally get 40% more damage for 8 seconds. Uptime for this should be pretty solid in maps, less so for bosses.

Glancing Blows: we take enough staff block nodes to get to 38/36 block, so Glancing blows gets us to 75/72. If your goal is simply to take less total damage, Glancing Blows is a bad value proposition, but it does have an upside which is smoothing out your incoming damage. We don’t have the largest health pool, so a big one-shot is one of the biggest threats we face. This node helps us survive big blows more often. We offset some of the increased incoming damage by taking the staff mastery node that gives us 2% life on every blocked attack, and the block mastery node that gives us 20 life/mana on every block.

Recovery: In addition to recovering health on blocks, we also take a very important fire mastery node that lets us recover 2% life when we ignite a non-ignited enemy. This provides an insane amount of healing when we’re mapping. We also have Vitality, and we take some +% life regen nodes on the tree to supplement. Our regen isn’t anything crazy, but every little bit helps with a build like this where we can’t really leech.

Cluster Jewels: We just use one medium cluster, mainly to get access to Fan the Flames. Ignite builds really need some kind of proliferation mechanic. I tried going without one for a while, but it just didn’t feel as smooth – I didn’t like having to cast a second wave at a pack when a few enemies would get missed by the first one. The obvious choice is Ignite Proliferation Support, but I really hate wasting a gem slot on that when there are better options for damage. I also really don’t like using Berek’s Respite, because we’re already using one unique ring and I prefer to retain the other slot for a rare ring with resists/attributes. Abberath’s Hooves are an option, but they’re downright sluggish at 15% which I just can't handle. That leaves us with two options: Fan the Flames on a cluster, or the new Eldritch implicit for gloves. The glove mod is probably more ideal, but Fan the Flames was easier to get access to, so that’s what I’m using for now. It feels much better!
Chest: Tabula -> Skin of the Loyal -> Skin of the Lords (w/ Unwavering Stance)
Weapon: 2x Ashcaller / +Fire to Spells Wands -> Searing Touch -> Cane of Kulemak
Amulet: +1 Fire Skill Gems -> Ashes of the Stars. I anointed Dirty Techniques.
Rings: Get a Polaric Devastation in the left slot when you can.
Helmet: Hrimnor's Resolve isn't a bad early option.

Everything else is just rares with resists and life. I like to pick up freeze and chill immunity on boots so I can get a rare helmet with more resists and life and whatnot, but it's really just preference.

On the tree, we use an intuitive leap to grab the good herald nodes and some spell block nodes, but that's an optimization that won't be really needed until you get to around level 90.

We also use a single medium cluster jewel with Fan the Flames and any other decent notable. I hucked scorched fossils at an i83 jewel until I got Fan the Flames and it came with Blowback, which works for me.
Divine Life Flask with Seething (instant heal) and one of the anti-bleed suffixes (Allaying, etc).
Rumi's Concoction until you take all the staff block nodes and Glancing blows, at which point replace it with a regular Granite with +% armor during flask effect.
Quicksilver Flask for the zoomzoom
Quartz Flask because it's nice to run through mobs and never get ice caged. Spell suppression doesn't hurt either.
Silver Flask for more zoomzoom and cast speed.

On the last 3 flasks for suffixes I'd shoot for more movespeed during flask effect, reduced effect of curses, and increased cast speed. Prefixes are your call, but I like reduced charges used or increased charge recovery. Increased duration would probably be fine too, but I've gotten used to the ~7 second cadence for flasks.

We should be handling freeze immunity either through Pantheon (Brine King) or gear (Hrimnor's or freeze immune boots), so we don't need it on a flask.
I would suggest Brine King until the very late game. It provides freeze immunity, it keeps you from getting stunlocked, it makes chill less obnoxious… it just has too much QoL to skip, especially when none of the other major pantheons feel vital.

For the minor, Abberath removes burning ground and ignite from our list of worries. A little icing on top: we create burning ground with flame dash and flame surge, so occasionally we get some movespeed out of those.

Eventually I got freeze/chill/stun immunities from other sources and switched to Arakaali for the major. With two of our primary defensive layers being armour and molten shell, degens are some of the most dangerous things to us; Arakaali helps with that. I also really hate movement inhibiting debuffs, and Arakaali means those end 20% sooner. The extra chaos res against DoT makes me feel better about only having like 30% chaos res.

Ralakesh is a potential alternative to Abberath. Physical degens are especially dangerous to us because unlike other DoT types (ignite, poison) which are mitigated by resists, physical DoTs aren’t affected by armour (except in cases where they’re caused by physical hits). I would throw on Ralakesh to fight Elder or Uber elder, for example (his drain is a physical DoT).
Gameplay Videos
Leveling Tips
I would suggest starting with Freeze Pulse, and then switch to Orb of Storms + Stormblast Mine when you can get them. Drop an orb on a pack and spam the mine while inside the radius a few times to proc the orb. Usually don't even have to detonate the mines. Get an onslaught gem early and link it to your orb.

Make a pair of +lightning to spells wands by vendoring a magic wand, an alteration orb, and a normal topaz ring. Later you'll do the same thing with rare ruby rings to get higher level +fire dmg wands.

Kill all the bandits!

In Act 3 you get access to Armageddon brand; switch to that for your primary clear skill and link it with Onslaught, Combustion, Elemental proliferation. You just want to drop a brand on each pack as you run by it, not worrying about fully clearing packs or areas. For bosses, you should have Flammability, and you can use some combination of Flame Wall, Fire Trap, or Desecrate + Cremation to get extra damage.

Grab the gems you'll be using later as soon as you can and level them in extra sockets on gear. Don't forget your weapon-swap weapon sockets!

Once you get a silver flask you can obviously drop Onslaught Support and replace with something else for damage. When you get shaper of flames, you can drop Combustion as well. You can also replace Elemental Proliferation with Ignite Proliferation when you get it.

At some point in the middle of the campaign you'll probably be using something like Armageddon Brand + Burning Damage + Ignite Proliferation + Cruelty. For your 5th link if you get one, use Swift Affliction.

Thanks for reading! I welcome any feedback, suggestions are always appreciated. Good luck!
Last edited by Rhaolith on Feb 22, 2022, 10:49:13 PM
Last bumped on Feb 25, 2022, 4:29:14 PM
Hi, thanks for the write-up. I'm playing a different iteration of the build (WoC ignite), and even though I went very defensive (much more so than you), I wholeheartedly agree it's not really suited for HC. From what I can gather, this stems - at least to a certain extent - from the fact that the wave travels very slowly, so it takes it time before actually hitting enemies and spreading ignites. Unlike, for instance, Divine Ire which I played in Ritual - assuming you channel the skill properly, the beam is instantaneous and covers a very wide range, including off-screen.

Another unfortunate fact of the matter is that your build is hard-carried, offensively speaking, by the Skin (of the Loyal or the Lords, pick whichever you prefer), which isn't especially conducive to defensive play. Nothing wrong about build enabling uniques (my build wouldn't work without Replica Farrul's, or Olesya's Delight, or Legacy of Fury); the problem is that this chest shouts "damage", while not really offering anything defense-wise (unless you go the Aegis Aurora route).

You could also take a look at your crit chance, which is sitting at quite low 9%. This means that your Elemental Overload is not proccing as often as you (or anyone else, for that matter), would like. The easiest way to remedy that is to use the boots enchant "120% increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven't Crit Recently". This should go a long way towards making your damage much more consistent.

Or you could swap Ashes of the Stars with the go-to choice in any ignite build nowadays - Ungil's Harmony. Ashes shines only if you take advantage of alternate quality gems, which you don't do, so I'd advise against using it in your build.

Either way, it's a cool build, and thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)
Last edited by Trikzter on Feb 25, 2022, 4:44:08 PM

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