[3.17] Freezing Pulse/Ice Spear self cast Elementalist

In 3.17 freezing pulse “Now deals 8 to 12 Cold Damage at gem level 1 (unchanged), up to 1458 to 2188 at gem level 20 (previously 888 to 1332). Now has 330% Effectiveness of Added Damage at all gem levels (previously 200%).” However GGG removed the threshold gem, First Snow, which used to provide 2 extra projectile for the skill, with the explanation “For many such skills, this means granting more damage in exchange for efficient sources of extra projectiles. This includes skills like Freezing Pulse, Frostbolt, Heavy Strike and Cleave. For damage-focused spells, the result of these changes means that their damage has increased on top of the damage multiplier noted above.”
So basically GG want you to do the gem swapping on this skill. Initially I was planning to do a FP character based on Pinpoint support and swap LMP with hypothermia on bossing. Then I realize if I am destined to swap gem, why not swap the action skill with a stronger single target dealer, Ice spear, which pretty much shares all the modifier with FP and deals way more single target damage.

• Perfect league starter, smooth upgrade with no mandatory unique
• End game high potential
• Satisfying play style
• Boss Keeler

• Gem swap
• Not a good simulacrum farmer (I hit wave 24, it’s hard to do gem swap in it)
• Strength/Dexterity can be hard to obtain[/spoiler]

My current character:
POB Link:


I started this character as league starter and killed the fears and I decide to stop here and share my build with you all. It is such a satisfying build and probably my best build so far. My current LV 95 character is no where perfect, but it’s strong enough to almost do everything in the game. This is the status of my current character:

•GMP Freezing pulse (no flask/focus) : 5.5M Sirus effective DPS
•GMP Freezing pulse (all buff on): 7.7M Sirus effective dps

Single Target:
•IceSpear (no flask/focus) : 21M Sirus effective DPS
•IceSpear (all buff on): 35M Sirus effective dps


•Almost 6k life.
•43% physical damage deduction, 75% elemental resistance, 0% chaos resistance
•2775 Primal Aegis, 2180 Frost shield, 2099 steel skin
•Chill every enemy, freeze all the mob and map boss. Even the end game boss can be frozen periodically
•All enemy deal 10% less damage with hit
•Ignore elemental reflection, chill, and freeze
•2509 life gain per second (single target, map clearing can only be more)
I leveled up from 94 to 95 in one day doing T16 maps, Maven invitations, shaper, harvest and multiple double guardians maps, died like 3 times.

Video Showcase

Phonex map and 2 guardian kills: https://youtu.be/3ZcH2Uv1zOk
(My sniper mark killed the other guardian, and I didn't even see which one it was)
The formed 4 guardian kills: https://youtu.be/ccIOvwX_83A
The feared (1st time in the league): https://youtu.be/2gWaumjtF64

Main Mechanics

Freezing pulse:
One of the most satisfying clearing spell. From lion eye to Maven, straight forward.
Ice spear:
Probably the strongest single target spell, however not being self casted a lot mostly because the 1st phase are pretty slow and hard to aim. However with decent cast speed and projectile speed, it can be casted pretty comfortably.

Why Elementalist

Other than the main skill, we regularly cast sniper’s mark, frost shield, decoy totem, flame dash, and our main movement skill is shield charge, which highly rely on attack speed. Only elementalist can sustain a strong and stable lightning golem that speed up both attack and cast speed, everything mentioned above.
Shaper of the storms allows us to always shock with at least 15%, with a tiny little invest this shock can be doubled, that’s 30% more damage taken. Moreover, with Inspired Oppression, our mana problem is completely solved. And with Stormrider, we are always capped with power charge. That’s huge!

Crit chance:
This is the only conflict between FP and IS. IS 2nd form can hit 100% crit with almost no investment, however if we just stop at the point, FP only has around 30% crit chance. To make my mapping comfortable, I pushed my FP on buff crit chance to 60%, so around 45% tool tip crit chance. It’s not a completely waste, since we sometime are forced to shoot enemy close with the 1st form of SP.

Projectile speed:
Very important to this build, both skills benefit a lot from it. Freezing pulse projectile has a linear damage decrease along the way. Increasing projectile speed makes the damage decrease slower, basically increase the skill damage directly.
Ice Spear by itself is very slow on its 1st phase, that’s the biggest downside of the skill. Increasing projectile speed will not extend the length of the 1st phase, but shorten the time of the 1st phase, make this skill much easier to aim. The skill itself has 40% increased projectile speed at quality 20. I anoint “Longshot” (+30%), also use “StreamLined” (+20%) and add some in my gears. I hit 223% projectile speed, where the skill shoot like elemental hit.

My Gear and Gem links:

My gear is no where perfect. My weapon and shield are pretty normal and can be easily updated with +1 skill. One of my jewel was 3c, I basically just forgot that jewel and update it.

Build Progression Detail:

Early Stage ( From 50c to 3ex, only for the league starters):
In this stage, only use Freezing Pulse because I don't want you to feel bad about Ice Spear without investment in projectile speed, dying sun and sniper's Mark. You start with white maps and slowly progress to the yellow ones. Freezing pulse is good enough at this point. Save your money for the goal below!


Body Armour (15c): Anything with 80+life and 6 links (BBBBRG)
Weapon (<10c): Cast speed >20%, Increase cold spell damage >50%, Spell Crit 80%
Helment (5c):(No need for enchantment, get roll as good as possible):

This is the best helmet you can use all the way to the end. It gives you tons of life, mana, ES, armor, and some damage. The only unique gear that I suggest in this build.
Amulet (5c): Try to get CritChance, life and crit multi. Don't waste your currency on annoiment.
Shield (3c): CritChance 80+, life 70
Glove+belt+rings+boots (all together 10c): life and cap the resistances


You may have hard time with your strength and dexterity. When you buy your gear, try to have a craftable suffix and do Jun task as much as possible, and get Bribery on your Atlas skill tree, that will let you unlock a lot of unveiled craft mode. The 25 Strength+dexterity mod is extremely helpful at this stage.

Gem Set up:

6Link: Freezing Pulse + PinPoint+ CritChance + SpellEcho + Inspiration + LMP(Swap with AddedColdDamage for the map bosses)
4L:Hatred+Zealotry ShieldCharge+FastAttack
4L:CWDT+FrostBomb+VaalColdSnap+BoneChill (Keep CWDT, FrostBomb, and VaalColdSnap at level1)
4L:Lightning,Chaos,Ice,Stone Golems
3L:FlameDash+Arcane Surge(lv6),Assassin's Mark


Lots of skills doesn't have to link together, it is really flexible. Only link the skills that I put together with "+".
Keep the FrostBomb and VaalColdSnap automatic with lv1 CWDT, so it cast pretty frequently. ColdSnap provide us with frenzy charge, VallColdSnap let us have Frenzy Charge in boss fight.

Passive Tree:


Liege of the primordial->Elemancer->MasterMind of Discord->Bastion of Elements

Since you don't have the cluster jewel yet, Elemancer provides extra golem (ice golem) and buff all other golems. It's basically more useful than shaper of storm at this point.

Your Goal:

Other than the initial 50c gear, you should save all your currency to buy 3 things in the order below:
1) Body Armour (around 2 exalt):
A 6L body Armour with
•90+ life
•>1.3% to spell critical strike chance
2) A unique jewel (50c):

This one allows you to have
•"Heart of Ice" without the connecting points
•"Static Blows", which is very powerful after you switch the shock version.
•"Mental Rapitidity", lots of mana regen and cast speed.

3) A Cluster jewel (60c) with:
"Inspired Oppresion": Will completely solve the mana problem after proceeding to the next stage of the build.
"Storm Raider": Will give you constant 3 power charges after proceeding to the next stage of the build..

Once you hit your goal by have the 3 things mentioned above, you should be ready to move to the next stage. The build is basically formed now, you can replace Elemancer with “Shaper of Storms”. Get rid of Ice Golem, since your crit chance is good enough.

Mid Stage (3ex - 10ex, the build is formed)

Start using Ice Spear:

Before you start using IceSpear, you should have 3 things ready
1) A Dying Sun flask

2) A medium cluster jewel:

Note: Only StreamLined is mandatory, the other one can be anything you like. I prefer cast speed.

3) Get "LongShot" Annoint on your amulet.

Once your start using Ice Spear, at least use Quality 20%, with "Longshot" and StreamLined, you have +90% projectile speed. That's the basic to self cast this skill! Since then, replace assassin's mark with sniper's mark, which is the best friend of Ice Spear.
Your main skill link should be
Freezing Pulse/Ice Spear + spell echo + Critical Damage + GMP + Added code + Inspiration

Passive Tree (1 cluster jewel):

Please refer the passive tree in the pob link


Liege of the primordial, Shaper of Storms, MasterMind of Discord,Bastion of Elements

Gear Updates:

At this point, you should be able to farm red maps and the build has basically formed. Below are the priorities I suggest to progress:

1.Get 21/20 freezing pulse and ice Spear (60c)

2.Try to have quality 20 on your supporting gem and golems (1 ex)

3. Try to get the right enchant on your helment

150% lightning golem is the best, it speed up all your skills
1 more ice spear projectile is the 2nd option

4. Upgrade body Armour, add "10% chance to gain frenzy charge on hit" (3 exalt)
Since you are shooting Ice Spear from far away on Boss Fight, Vaal Cold Snap won't give you Frenzy Charge anymore. This is the only way to sustain frenzy charges on boss fight. You can also replace Cold Snap with Vortex, which is an instant skill that you can put on your left click and have it every where as you move.

5. Buy an Awakened Added Cold support as high as possible and level it to LV5(1 ex). Or directly buy a lv5 gem (2 ex). Very cost effective way to boost damage.

6.Get 2nd cluster jewel (2 ex)
Ideally you want to have add 3 passive points with the priority below
"Corrosive Elements": Auto apply exposure
"Doryani's lesson": Leech
"Blanket Snow": 10% cold penetration (This one is particularly expensive)
Some of them can not stay together, meaning you will eventually sell your old Cluster jewel and buy new ones with the combo. 8 passive is pretty expensive, you can start with 9 or 10 passive points. Below are the 2 I am using.

7. Buy the Watcher's eye with "Hatred 15% cold penetration" (1 ex)

8. Upgrade your weapon and shield with same mode but higher tier. (1 ex each)

9. Some additional good to have but not mandatory mods to chase in your gear:

Glove: Socket gems are supported by Faster Cast (socket the sniper mark in)
Ring: +1 minimum Endurance charge and have chance to gain Endurance charge after killing
Boot Enchant: 10 elemental penetration if you haven't killed/ # cold damage if you have been hit recently.
Boot/Amulet: Increase non-damage ailment effect (Basically increase that 15% shock damage)
Weapon/Shield: Double damage when focused
Glove: Increase cast speed when focused

Passive Tree at the end of the stage:
Pob Link: https://pastebin.com/W4tiNNjj

Gem Link:
6L: Freezing Pulse/Ice Spear + spell echo + Critical Damage + GMP + Added code + Inspiration
4L:Hatred+Zealotry ShieldCharge+FastAttack
4L:SteelSkin+IncreasedDuration+Vortex+BoneChill (get lv21 Vortex, so it can be self casted)
4L:Lightning+Chaos+Stone Golems+Minion Life Support
3L:FlameDash+ArcaneSurge(lv6),Sniper's Mark

At all these update, you should aim to have
2M GMP Freezing Pulse DPS
6M Ice Spear 2nd form total DPS
It's enough to comfortably do all the T16 maps and whatever season content you like to farm. You should also be able to kill Shaper, Elder and the 2 new bosses and all the guardians. If you are only about to play this role as a farmer, you can really just stop here, but if you like this character as much as I do and would like to clear everything in the game, you should proceed to the next stage.

Deluxe Stage (From 10 ex to whatever you would like to pay)


From here, every single step will cost multiple exalt. In fact, after I spent 30 exalt on this build I found that I don't really need to swap gem on all the T16 maps. I only use Ice Spear on boss beyond Guardian level. Below are my suggestions with the priorities:
1) Get Frigit Wake (https://www.poewiki.net/wiki/Frigid_Wake) 20ex

Every line on this ascendency point is so valuable to this build. It gives you
15% more damage
Completely immune to chill and freeze
Everything you hit deal 10% less hit damage
Periodically chill enemies.
There are no rare jewels can achieve this both defensive and offensive wise.

2) Add +1 cold spell skill mod to your amulet (2 ex)

3) Add % cast speed while affected by Zealotry to your Watcher's eye (4 ex)

4) Add "Apply additional curse" to your body armor and upgrade either glove or ring with “Apply frost bite when hit” (5 ex)

5) Upgrade your ring(s) with 15+ life gain for each enemy hit (5 ex each)

6) Add +1 cold spell skill mod to your shield (15 ex)

7) Add Tailwind to your boot (7-10 exalt)

8) Try to have some chaos resistance in your gear

9) Buy Awakened GMP (25 ex)

10) Buy Awakened Spell Echo (18 ex)

11) Finally have your weapon with at least t2 of the mods below:

+% cold spell damage
Add cold damage to spell
+1 level of all cold spell damage
Cast speed
Global Crit Multi
Projectile Speed / Chance to deal double damage
Note: You don't need crit chance in your weapon anymore, since your Ice Spear should have hit 100% way earlier and your Freezing Pulse should be more than enough to clear any mob.

Last edited by allforone999 on Mar 7, 2022, 10:25:32 AM
Last bumped on May 13, 2022, 11:05:48 AM
I want to try league starting this, what leveling gems/setups did you use?
Hi, any progress update on this?
How do you think this'll fare against the new uber uber uber uber bosses? :D
How to properly calculate the boss ice spear DPS? - how much projectiles would you assume hitting hit?

Would be great to get some news on this build, as it looks really strong and fun in the light of no changes in 3.18.

How would you rate it as a league starter/how easy is it to progress further?

Thanks and best!
will this build be on 3.18?

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