[3.23] [SC+HC] Righteous Fire (RF) Chieftain: One build to go from Act 2 leaguestart to pinnacles

I originally wrote this guide for version 3.19, to demonstrate the viability of this oft-unused ascendancy for this skill. This has proven to exceed expectations, and appears to even hold up for the 3.23 balance change.

If you just want the current PoB, you can get it from this pastebin link: https://pastebin.com/0jmqcHQS.

This is partway in the process of updating to version 3.23. Note: you must use the "Community Fork" of Path of Building for this.

Note: I am still editing this guide itself, so some information may be outdated and I've missed it. When in doubt, trust the PoB instead of the guide if the two contradict.

This guide is broken into three posts; you can jump to the other two here:

Gear & Pantheon

Step-by-Step build walkthrough for the Main Campaign + Endgame


Righteous Fire (RF) perennially occupies a unique space in Path of Exile. It not only doesn't quite function like any other skill gem in the game, but also always has a steadfast (if sometimes small) following, league after league. It's noted for being generally a "safe" skill, that can reliably do a large range of content, even if not super-fast. However, given its mechanics, it tends to require a lot of preparation in order to be usable: as a result most builds for it will complete most or all of the main campaign with a different skill, only to switch to Righteous Fire at a fairly high level.

This guide will show you how to set up Righteous Fire to begin using it by the end of Act 2, and rely exclusively upon it for the rest of the main campaign. This guide is intended to be viable as a leaguestart for softcore trade leagues, but could work in hardcore (as RF tends to do) and, provided you can find the required uniques on a different character, a viable route for leveling extra characters in SSF.

Why Righteous Fire?

Righteous Fire has a range of well-known strengths and weakneses:

  • +Reliable damage that is relatively unaffected by most factors like map mods or even being frozen or stunlock: just standing will still deal damage.
  • +Tends to be incredibly tanky, with a high EHP pool & extremely high regen.
  • +Generally a bit slower than many other builds.
  • +Requires a specific gear & passive setup that can be awkward.

This build goes on top of the above, allowing us to use this for leveling:

  • +Non-boss content is extremely fast: you can just move and never stop moving.
  • +Act bosses are incredibly safe, as you will regenerate too fast to die to pretty much anything.
  • +We can keep using the same build once we finish the main campaign, and evolve it to an endgame RF build to keep doing everything.
  • +Act bosses will be a little on the slower side.
  • +Requires 2 (cheap) uniques in order to use.

What This Guide Does

This guide's build can be broken down into two tiers: a "basic" tier for the main campaign & earlier endgame, and an "advanced" endgame tier. While this guide is designed to guide you through building one and then making adjustments to the other, this means that a lot of sections cover both aspects, and label them as such.

The "basic" tier is designed to be accessible to relatively inexperienced players: the build is fairly straightforward with a fixed, linear progression with plain instructions, and it requires very few specific items, all of them incredibly cheap in trade leagues. (or not terribly rare in SSF) This tier of the build should comfortably take you past level 80 (potentially to 90) while solo, and work your way into yellow (if not red) maps.

By contrast, the "advanced" tier matches the demands of the endgame meta, meant to tackle the needs of the far endgame, from basic T16 mapping all the way to Uber Pinnacle boss fights. If you've looked at other RF builds & guides for them, the setup for this will probably look a lot more familiar than the "basic" build.

This level of power means not only dealing with rarer, more expensive items, but also its build path, which requires more complicated instructions to make sure you have multiple pieces of the puzzle all together before using any of them; it's a lot easier to make an error on this.

The level of investment between the two tiers has a stark difference: you can run the tier for less than 1 divine's worth of gear, while the "advanced" one will run 10-100 divines minimum to even start to get into it, and can ultimately cost far more than that.

As a result, I highly recommend finishing the basic tier before trying to transition to the advanced tier. This way you can have a handle on what your build is doing before potentially getting very confused.

Basic Concept

Righteous Fire is an instant-use spell that gives you a powerful burning buff, that causes you to take massive burning damage, while also inflicting a substantial amount of burning damage to all enemies near you. This buff can be removed with anything that removes burning effects, and will cancel itself automatically should you ever reach 1 HP.

For scaling the damage, the base DPS has one main input: your combined maximum life & energy shield. Therefore increasing your own maximum life will increase the damage of this skill. Similarly, effects to area damage, burning damage, fire damage, and damage over time will all affect this.

It's important to note that while the gem itself casts a spell, the damage itself is from a buff: modifiers to spell damage will not affect the damage of Righteous Fire. Likewise, while it inflicts burning damage, this is entirely separate from ignites. Additionally, because this is entirely damage over time, (DoT) on-hit effects (such as fire penetration) do not apply.

Surviving Righteous Fire

Because of the extremely high self-burning effect, to make this last indefinitely (and avoid it degening you until you are easily killed in a single hit) you have to balance it out with regeneration. As this is burning damage, fire resistance will lower it as well. So this is primarily countered by raising your resistance caps, and stacking as much life regen as possible.

At high levels, a large number of passives are invested into percentage-scaling life regen, as well as passives & gear that increase your maximum resists. At low levels, however, we have far fewer passives to work with, (while the degen, being a percentage, remains the same!) and we don't have access to powerful uniques to raise our maximum fire resistance. (Like Rise of the Phoenix or Melding of the Flesh) This strategy just won't work in the early acts.

Instead, we will suffice with capped 75% fire resistance, and seek out gear that grants us substantial flat life regen. Fortunately, two such uniques exist: Springleaf and Kikazaru.

  • Springleaf is a unique Plane Kite Shield that grants us a sizable amount of flat life regen, (30-50 depending on the roll) as well as a conditional extra 100 should we drop to "low life." (which is 50% or less) The former is very high for an item available in early acts, and the latter offers a strong buffer that can keep our health from dropping too low.
  • Kikazaru is a unique Topaz Ring with a unique regen effect, granting us 3 life regen per level we have. Since it has a minimum level requirement of 20, that means at minimum this will be a whopping 60 life regenerated per second.

Coupling these two uniques with capped fire resistance and a few carefully selected passives can counter all the degen from the moment we can equip Kikazaru at level 20, thus allowing us to start using RF in Act 2 and then never stop using it.

Class and Passive Skills

For this build, we're going to go with the Marauder's Chieftain Ascendancy Class. This features a number of fire-oriented ascendancy passives that work both for our offense & defense, and make gearing for RF easier than it is for other ascendancies.

Chieftain Ascendancies: We'll want to take these four ascendancy passives in this order:

  • Ramako, Sun's Light: This is our only DPS-enhancing passive, so we're taking it first. This has two limitations to take consideration of: first off, it hard-fixes the enemy's fire resistance to -20%, which means we cannot make it go lower; this can actually increase their effective resistance if it would otherwise have been below -20%. Secondly, it only applies while we are standing still; while in the main campaign isn't an issue for fighting bosses, but in the endgame this can be a non-starter.

  • Tasalio, Cleansing Water: Since we will always want our fire resistance capped as soon as possible, this node will ensure that it's pretty trivial to have our cold & lightning resistances always capped (or overcapped) all the time.

  • Valako, Storm's Embrace: This is the one arguably "improved" ascendancy in the 3.22 rework. This gives us a relatively easy way to get elevated maximum resists for all three elements, by only investing in maximum fire resistance.

  • Hinekora, Death's Fury: While an offensive/clear speed node, we take this last; while the damage sounds impressive (and it is) it's heavily hurt by the tiny 5% chance to activate; hence it will only benefit us most in the endgame where we're dealing with far larger, more dense monster packs. This also does nothing to help us against bosses and other single-target situations. It's worth noting that the fire damage from this explosion is scaled by our own fire damage passives.

  • (Deprecated) Arohongui, Moon's Presence: The ascendancy rework made this node useless for RF. Do not take it under any circumstance.

For everything else, here's links to a complete set of passive trees (including a PoB) that will show you what you want to target each act of the main campaign, as well as multiple scenarios in the endgame. Following, there's explanations for why we want what we do:

Passive Tree & PoB Links
Complete PoB (includes all trees, gem sets, and gear sets): https://pastebin.com/0jmqcHQS

Level 11 (end of Act 1): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEADF8_eTk9_H_jxtjp1TH7xFhYY37iGj72SAAA

Level 22 (end of Act 2): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEAGdlheTk9_JP8Vw1YY3Ze6dV2rH_jXz_SIRo-6hjPfvZIrY3G2CftMfvEWH7iCKsZLr62AAA=

Level 32 (end of Act 3): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEDKNlhf-Pp1VcNWGN2XryL6hjPfiftCKvUfHk5xq4n_u-rGS4J9tIhFCAcp_ZIPfwMX18_xtgaPpP8vrbvDq2NU6ULYTH7xFh-4sT2Bg5QR3asAAHYDLyL

Level 40 (end of Act 4): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEDMXasaPJ_4-nVVw1YY3ZevIvqGM9-J_4n7e-rxq7G2AxfogDAZtR8eTk9_MRY2Xy-tsT2k_wcp4IHBLPwHwYOCfavbF8_CKsaPtlh8kHvDq2NU6ULYTH79kh-4hQg0iFQRxkuAAHYDLyL

Level 45 (end of Act 5): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEDOHasaPJ_418E6dVXDVhjdl4n_u-rBg6iAOoYz34UICftGmydrvZI5CLSIQSzDF_ZYQN11Hx5Ob62RUfAZtl8HKcZLgn2ggfGrvAfxPY9_K9sXz8Iqxo-k_zyQe8OrY1TpQthMfvEWH7ixti8i1BHnWMAAdgMvIs=

Level 50 (end of Act 6): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEDQNlhnWMdFBZv6dV2XqIAGmzAZnk5vrYcp4IH8B9fPxo-7w4UIAthMfv2SH7iUEd2rDbpf-NfBFcNWGPqGM9-J-0kqgxfA3XUfCf-76vjagSzFxyT_FOlEmn60tl8xPbSIa9sna7Grgn2GS7yQUVHrY3G2LyLPfzEWAirBg7kImjyAAHYDLyL

Level 54 (end of Act 7): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEDR9lhnWNxeRZv6dV2XryLGmwXL8BmgKR5Ob62CfaCB_AfECtfPxo-7w5TpQthMfv2SH7iUEd2rDbpf-NfBFcN5CLqGM9-J-0kqgSzHRQIq6IAA3Un_tR8aPKdrlXW42oSaRcck_z60tl8HKdk5xQgr2w9_MT2DF_vq_JBRUetjcbYGS5YY8RYxq7SIQYOzO4AA9gMvIu6GhArG-HM7g==

Level 60 (end of Act 8): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEDUtlhnWNxeRZv7Djp1XZeogCGd2VypwgXL8BmgKR5OcauHKeCB_Afu_YQK18_cYUaPu8OxPYLYTH79kh-4lBHdqw26X_jXwQWC9gk5CJmnlhj6hjPflcNaPIdFCftPfwkquNqGS4IqxpsA3XUfMbYna5V1vrS76sXHJP8vrYUIAxfBg5k5wn2r2wEs1OlzO7yQUVHrY3ZfAsM0iHEWCf-vIsSab1gAAS6GhArG-HM7i0BCwzYDLyL

Level 64 (end of Act 9): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEDWNlhnWNxeRZv7Djp1XZevIuGd2VypwihIxcvwGaApHk5xq4cp4IH8B-79hAr76txhRo-7w7aucT2C2Ex-_ZIfuJQR3asaPJ_418EFgtXDeQiAedYYx0UZp7SIZ7N6hjPfuNqJ-2-tp2uogAkqtl8Xz8IqzbpA3XUfBQgU6VV1hJpFxynMBku2CQLDAn2k_xk58zur2wGDgxfBLMzbPJBRUetjcbYGmw9_MRY-tIn_r1gAATYDLyLuhoQKy0BCwwb4czu

Level 67 (end of Act 10): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEDXtlhnWNxeRZv7Djp1XZeG_qmo7yLZXKnCKEjFy_AZoCkeTm-thynggfwH7v2ECvvq3GFGj4zbNq5FCALYTH79khQR3asNul_418EffkB51OlFgtXDR0U5CIn7WjyogBYY2aeGmzqGM9-xtg9_F8_na7E9iSq7w7BBAxf2CQDddR8-tLjalXWEmkJ9qcwGS4LDMzuk_wGDmTnFxyvbIZ3fuIEswir8kFFR62N2XzSISXfxFjGrp7NJ_69YKQZAATYDLyLuhoQKy0BCwwb4czu

Level 75 (after Eternal Labyrinth): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEDatlhnWMdFBRNFm_sOOnVWfN2Xhv6GJGmo7yLffmnCKEjFy8Gw8BmgKR5OQsMHKeCBybz8B-79hArogBfP3GFGj6pbsau7w7auVOlC2G8n_ZI5CIGDlBHzO4J9nasf-NfBO-rZXLG2BYLVw0zbFhjFCBxeZ_LaPJmns9-GjjqGJ7Nhnd-4jH7J-3YJCSqeWjBBAxf1HwDdZBVxPanMFXW-tIZLhcck_wSaeNqJ_4Iq2Tnna6vbASzNukabL628kFFR62N0iEB5yXfxFj8S9l8Pfy9YKQZAATYDLyLLQELDLoaECsb4czu

Level 100 (Maxed out for poor gear): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEDddlhnWMB51H7WfP8SxiRpqO8i4Z3xKShI8BmCwwJ9oIHu_YQK60KXz8zbASzvJ8JBxYLVw10EEWdZp4aOOoYns2drgN1J_6QVY9G-tIXHK9s8kGtjcbYJd_EWOvupBl99XF5FE3sOM0WJMB2Xhv6ogBlcqcIFy8Gw4CkeTm-thyn8B_vq3GFGj7vDrUEC2H2SHasaPJfBFhjn8sXm-p_JvN9-b1gFm8n7TFFwQQIq-nVMtHUfHloxq5V1hJpU1KnMBku0iGa4Ngkz35k5ycv42pTpQxfRUfE9tl8PfzM7tq5FCAfGB0U2t2pbg4AJgAQACAAGQAiACoAEwQTBAQEGQQCACcEAAQQBdgMvIstAQsMuhoQK70BrQob4czu

Level 100 (100% Maxed out for expensive gear): https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/3.23.0/AAAABgEDeNlhnWMB51H7WfMxRRiRpqO8i4Z3-6qFe6EjUWALDIZgr6dmVAn2gge79hArrQpfP8QVM2zM7ryfNuhyqQkHFgvYJHQQZp4aOOoYBjmdrlgHA3Un_pBVj0b60hccrKryQa2Nxtgl38RYpBnkvHF5FE0Wb-w4zRZ2Xhv6ffmnCBcvBsMfGHk5vrbzm--rcYUaPu8OPQ_2SHasXwRYY5_LJwuG0YO2ns2bIXlovWAn7WVy6dUdFMEECKvSIYCk1Hwvb9q5VdYSaRynpzAZLjHhz35TpfxLZOfjasauDF8UIFcNPfzE9nC79zIkwCbzaGWpbgsAJgAQACAEGQAiACoAEwQTBBAAJwAZBdgMvIstAQsMuhoQK70BrQob4czu

For keystones, technically no keystone passives are mandatory for this build. We generally won't bother with any while leveling, and what we take in the endgame is variable and optional:

  • (Optional for SC/Mandatory for HC) Unwavering Stance: Unlike many builds, getting stunned for a bit isn't usually fatal because our offense remains dealing damage; and our high maximum life will make it less likely we get stunned. However, we will be spending a high amount of time adjacent to enemies (especially spamming Shield Charge through them) so it's still going to happen a fair bit, ending our charges early. Also, if we're using Glancing Blows, this will eliminate getting de facto "stunned" by our block animations. (that will be happening frequently when we get hit) Even if it doesn't strictly make us die much less, it can still provide a smoother gameplay experience.

  • (Advanced) Divine Shield: Functionally, this helps our regen while we're getting hit. (e.g, generally the only time our life drops below 100%) Damage mitigated by armour & other sources of physical damage reduction count as "prevented," so we will gain some ES regen anytime we're hit by physical damage. (which includes most hits) Note that the burning damage from RF counts against our ES first, so unless we somehow can regen more ES than our RF is dealing total, it will merely act against our degen; in this situation, that makes it de facto extra life regen.

  • (Advanced) Glancing Blows: This is always a popular pick for RF builds, but requires specific (not-cheap) items. Overall, this doubling of block does not let us exceed the 75% block cap, and taking 65% of blocked damage means overall we do take more damage on average and get "block-stunned" more: so the real reason we take it is because it gives is a 1-point investment way to proc any "on block" effects far more often. For RF, this almost exclusively means Aegis Aurora. This is a common pick for certain other classes, but on Chieftains, this can be somewhat dubious as to whether we get sufficient maximum energy shield to make this meaningful. (in practice, our maximum energy shield will be only half of what Aegis will restore to us on block, basically wasting the other half of Aegis' proc) This makes this a much more optional or contingent pick than it would be for, say, an inquisitor.

There's a fair number of masteries we'll use. Some of them we'll pick up as soon as possible, while others should wait until later. Those marked as (Advanced) should be taken only once you have the specified item(s). You can safely ignore then while leveling or early mapping, as they are part of the setup that makes certain high-investment items work. (note that as of 3.21, several of these were removed from the tree, and no equivalent has been added)

  • Fire Damage - Regenerate 1 Life per second for each 1% Uncapped Fire Resistance: We should take this one about as soon as we can, which should be late Act 2 or early Act 3. As we will have our fire resistance at least capped at all times, this will give us at least 75 life regen; a whopping amount early on. Likewise, as we gain more fire resistance down the road, this will still give us more life regen than any other possible node on the tree.

  • Life - +50 to Maximum Life: this is a pretty standard pick for any life-based class. It's strong relatively early on, and with us pushing 200% increased max life, it'll still provide us with more for a single passive point than anything else we can get. This isn't necessary much during leveling, so this is lower priority than the fire damage mastery.

  • Armour - +1% to all maximum Elemental Resistances if Equipped Helmet, Body Armour, Gloves, and Boots all have Armour: This is a pretty straightforward pick: as all our important choices for these slots are at least partly armour-based, this is an automatic 1 point for +1% to our maximum elemental resists. This isn't as critical during the main campaign, so we can delay getting it until a bit later in the acts.

  • Damage Over Time - 10% Less Damage Taken from Damage Over Time: this is a pretty straightforward pick for our build. The Acrimony cluster is rather valuable for us anyway, and this both doubles to increase our net life regen, as well as provide a bit more defense against pesky DoT ground effects. (such as from the ever-present "Toxic" Archnemesis mod) We can take our time in getting this, however.

  • (Advanced) Elemental - Exposure you inflict applies at least -18% to the affected Resistance: As RF, we don't hit and don't gain access to fire penetration. So sources that reduce enemy resistances are rare and valuable for us. For fire exposure, we'll need either a cluster jewel (with preferably Master of Fire, or at least Corrosive Elements) or Eldritch-influenced gloves to apply exposure. Until we get those, this mastery doesn't help us. But when we do... This upgrades our exposure from -10% to -18%, a substantial boost.

  • (Advanced) Reservation - Auras from your Skills have 10% increased Effect on you: This is an all-around buff for our auras; most importantly, this can be used to squeeze an extra +1% maximum resists from our Purity of Fire aura. However, be mindful of the breakpoints: this mastery isn't worth getting until our gems hit level 20, at which point we need 25% and 50% to get +1 and +2 total extra maximum resistance from your purity gem; if you get the gem to level 23, you only need 20% & 40% respectively.

This build will easily get through the main campaign (and early endgame) without jewels, but scaling to the full "advanced" build will require the use of several of a wide variety:

  • Cluster Jewels: Cluster Jewels are needed to provide a few abilities that cannot be gotten elsewhere: we will want to use at least 1 large cluster with Added Small Passive Skills grant: 12% increased Fire Damage, and 1-2 medium clusters with Added Small Passive Skills grant: 12% increased Burning Damage. The most important passive we want is one to apply fire exposure: Master of Fire is the best possible one for this, but if we cannot find this, Corrosive Elements can work, though is definitely not ideal.

    Besides that most-important notable, (having 1 Master of Fire or at least 1 Corrosive Elements always takes priority over all other notables!) we also want passives to improve our damage. On large clusters, Smoking Remains adds the most damage, Burning Bright trades some of that for improved AoE, while Prismatic Heart gives us elemental resists; those are the 3 other prefixes we'd want. The suffix should always be Widespread Destruction, as we do not really benefit from the non-damage effects on the other two suffix notables.

    On our Medium Cluster Jewels, we follow much of the same rule; Master of Fire can be found here as well, (possibly cheaper) and after that we still want any of Burning Bright, Flow of Life, and/or Student of Decay for our remaining notables; they all give solid damage, alongside AoE, life + regen, and chaos resistance respectively. All of these can be stacked across multiple cluster jewels as desired.

    We can also use a small cluster (life or chaos resistance) though this is low in priority, and beyond the scope of this guide.

  • Unique Jewels: While initially, no unique jewels are needed, there is one potential jewel for use in in the main campaign, and building to the advanced tier will require several expensive uniques.

    • (Optional) Fragile Bloom: this jewel will grant us up to 7% life regen per second; however it "breaks" if we get hit, taking 10 seconds to gradually return its regeneration. Earlier on, this can help if we're struggling to keep our regeneration up outside of combat. Note that this is not recommended for the endgame, and should generally be replaced by the time you complete the main campaign, if possible.

    • (Advanced) Impossible Escape: this jewel can let us allocate minor & notable passives in another small region on the tree, centered around one keystone passive. (it will not let us take any keystone passives) Each one is a single fixed keystone mentioned, so the wrong one is worthless to us. For this build, we will want one that lets us allocate passives near "Chaos Innoculation." This will allow us to take the "Influence" aura cluster, as well as "Whispers of Doom." Expect this item to be exceptionally expensive.

    • (Advanced) Watcher's Eye: as with many classes, we can benefit from having a Watcher's Eye. In this case, the one offensive mod available is +(18-22)% to Damage Over Time Multiplier while affected by Malevolence; this will be our main priority. After that, the most useful mods will all be defensive: (5-8)% additional Physical Damage Reduction while affected by Determination, (10-15)% increased Life Recovery Rate while affected by Vitality, and (8-12)% increased Recovery rate of Life and Energy Shield while affected by Malevolence are all helpful.

    • (Deprecated) Melding of the Flesh: The change to Valako has rendered this unique irrelevant for this build.

  • Rare Jewels: If we have any spare sockets left, it's still possible to get some rather heavy power from a rare jewel. For prefixes, we want (5-7)% increased maximum Life and (14-16)% increased Fire Damage; for our suffixes, ideally we want (16-20)% increased Burning Damage, +(6-8)% to Fire Damage over Time Multiplier, though +(4-6)% to Damage over Time Multiplier, (10-12)% increased Area Damage, and (10-12)% increased Damage over Time are all nearly as good, and acceptable second choices.

  • Rare Abyssal Jewels: these offer us far less power than "base" jewels can offer us, so we should not be using them in our passive tree. However, if we are using gear that give us abyssal sockets (most notably a Stygian Vise) then we can still make some decent choices here better than any belt implicit could offer us. Most importantly, we want the prefixes +# to Maximum Life, and #% increased Damage over Time while holding a Shield. Our suffixes are "free" spaces, and we generally will want to take whatever resists or attributes we need to fill out what we're missing. Because we don't have any mods that relate directly to melee, ranged, spell, or minion damage, all four abyssal jewel BaseTypes are equally likely to get us what we need.

Gem Setup & Progression

Unlike some skills, Righteous Fire is a bit more flexible in terms of what support gems you use; the difference in power or utility between some of its ideal ones isn't so great. So while you shouldn't feel too bad if your socket availability doesn't let you match the ideal setup, you should try to push for it.

Righteous Fire Support Gems
Order of priority during the Main Campaign:

Order of priority during the Endgame:

Final setup order of priority:

During the Main Campaign, I recommend starting with a 3L blue setup. This will let you to use the first two support gems once you can equip Kikazaru; we will need to either trade for the first two gems, or get them through another character that has gotten this far into Act 2. Failing that, you CAN get through Act 2 & 3 using a 1L RF gem, but it will feel pretty slow. (Act 2 boss in particular will drag on long) Once you complete the quest "A Fixture of Fate" in Act 3's Library, you'll be able to acquire all the main support gems you need on a Marauder.

If you have access to 4 blue sockets (either a blue 4L or a Tabula) then you can take Efficacy as well, but this isn't really necessary for this point of the game. A 4L will take you through everything once you gain access to Burning Damage.

Once we reach the endgame, the big deal here is going to be on getting an RF-specific helmet; this will be detailed further in the "gear" section. You also will definitely want to upgrade to the "awakened" versions of gems available, since the 2 we can use grant +1 level to our RF once maxed, which is a substantial damage improvement.

Explanations for each gem:

  • Concentrated Effect: This gem provides the most "more" damage of any support gem we can use with RF. While the less area may seem unpalatable early on (when RF won't have much radius to begin with) it still leaves it sufficient for what you need. In the endgame, if we can get a helmet that provides it for us, that's great.

  • Elemental Focus/Awakened Elemental Focus: This gives us the same damage as "Burning Damage," however it is available starting at a lower level (18 in act 2 vs. 31 in Act 3) so at any given point in the main campaign, it'll be a higher level. (thus providing more damage) When we can, we'll want to upgrade to the "Awakened" version, as at level 5 or above, it also grants +1 to the level of our RF gem.

  • Burning Damage: This is the last of our three strong "more damage" gems. This won't be available until we complete the quest in the Act 3 library, at which point if we didn't already have other supports, we can acquire them all. As with Elemental Focus, a powerful Awakened version exists, often for cheaper than Awakened Elemental Focus.

  • Efficacy: This is a fairly niche support. During leveling, this basically should only be used if you have enough sockets on hand, (e.g, you're leveling using a Tabula, or have a blue 4L in Act 2) as normally with a 4L, you will want the other 3 gems first for leveling. During the endgame, it takes our 4th socket if we have a helm that provides us with either Burning Damage or Concentrated Effect, and we can't raise our RF gem high enough with empower.

  • Increased Area of Effect: This doesn't give us any more damage, and the increase in area isn't as useful to RF as it sounds, (as in the main campaign, monster packs are tiny) so I only really recommend this if you're leveling with a 6L. But it technically is better than nothing: because RF is a zero-cost buff, we may as well add the only thing to give us a benefit in the 6th linked socket if we can.

  • (Deprecated) Empower/Awakened Empower: This is a relatively far-endgame-only gem selection. Because of the way RF scales with both a flat element as well as based on our own maximum life + energy shield, its value is more variable than a straight-up "more damage" gem. With the change to Righteous Fire's effect from levels, any form of Empower no longer makes sense.

(deprecated) Empower vs. Efficacy in the endgame
(The contents of this table is irrelevant as of 3.23)Because RF has a component that scales with your maximum life + energy shield alongside one that scales off of its gem level, the answer on which gem is better can shift. Fortunately, the math is pretty simple: if we know how much life we have and the level of our RF is (including the benefit of gear & supports that are not Empower) we can tell (without needing to consult Path of Building!) which gem will give us more damage. Simply check your level, and see whether you have more or less life than listed breakpoint. If you have less (or equal) life than the breakpoint, you want Empower. If you have more than breakpoint, you want Efficacy:

Gem Level-----Breakpoint (Level 4)-------Breakpoint (Level 5)

Other Skills
Supporting our ability to use RF will be a variety of other skills; the following is what we'll go for during the main campaign, and even in the endgame before we can afford a lot of upgrades:

Fire Trap (4L):

Curse (2L):

Auras (2S):

Movement (3L):

Endurance Charges (1S)

Defensive (3L):

Golem (1S):

Advanced Tier Gems
As we can afford expensive, chase-tier upgrades, we'll want to adjust our gem setup to fit:

Fire Trap (6L):

Curses (2S):

Auras (4L):

Movement (3L):

Endurance Charges (1S)

Defensive (3L):

Golem (1S):


  • Fire Trap: As weird as it is, any build that does great with RF will inevitably be able to do comparable (or more) damage with Fire Trap. It's almost as if these builds are more Fire Trap builds first, because it's just that powerful. The hit from it exploding can trigger any "curse on hit" effects we have, while the burning ground can stack with the burning from our own RF. If you have the sockets for this, support it with (Awakened) Burning Damage, Trap & Mine Damage, (Awakened) Swift Affliction, (Awakened) Empower, and (Awakened) Controlled Destruction.

  • Flammability: This is the strongest curse we can use for our build. While self-cast is an option, it's a lot better if we can find a means to apply it without having to manually use it directly. During the main campaign and into the early endgame, our best option is to use the Blasphemy Support gem. This makes it freely apply to anything that gets close enough for our RF to damage, and you'll notice the damage difference very immediately. The main challenge will be trying to fit the reservation for it in our limited mana supply.

    Once we transition to a high-investment build though, we'll want to free up the mana reservation for other curses, so we'll want to look for jewelry that can apply this on hit. The lack of applying it to all enemies within RF range will matter less as our DPS will be sufficient we won't need it for normal & magic monsters.

  • Elemental Weakness: This is the second-strongest curse we can use, though it is flat-out worse than Flammability. The only time we'll use it is if we have the Whispers of Doom passive; then we'll stack it with Flammability; the same considerations for finding a means to apply it to enemies are applicable here.

  • Vitality: starting out, we'll need every drop of life regeneration we can get. We should have this from Act 1 onward, and be leveling it. Later on, its impact isn't that great, and our mana is limited, so we'll likely want to remove it, or (if we have a Watcher's Eye that applies to it) replace it with a level 1 version to save on mana.

  • Determination: for a defensive aura, Determination largely cannot be beat. Its flat armour is solid, but given we're using a lot of armour-providing gear, have armour passives, and a granite flask, we'll benefit heavily from its More Armour effect.

  • Purity of Fire: Increasing our maximum fire resistance is a top defensive priority in the endgame; it both improves our overall life regen (because it reduces how much we're losing to RF) and, because of our Valako passive, it also applies to our cold and lightning resistances. Note that this is a distinct difference from builds that do not have access to Valako, Storm's Embrace.

  • Shield Charge: We don't just need a movement skill to go fast; we need a means of crossing through packs of enemies to kill them all as fast as possible. Shield Charge is perfect for this: we can make very long dashes through enemy packs; it will push them aside, and generally prevent them from hitting us as we run through.

  • Leap Slam: The one downside of Shield Charge is that it cannot cross gaps: pits and low barriers cannot be crossed. For those situations, we'll take Leap Slam. Ideally, slot it in the same setup with Shield Charge to share its Faster Attacks Support gem. It'll still be fairly slow, so only use it when we have a gap that Shield Charge cannot get us across.

  • Cast When Damage Taken + Molten Shell: for any armour-user, Molten Shell is a powerful extra layer of defense, effectively granting extra hit points scaling off of our armour. We can couple this with a CWDT gem to make it hands-free: unless it was recently used and on cooldown, this guarantees that a big pack of enemies opening up on us will trigger this spell, providing us that temporary extra layer when we need it most. Note that when using it like this, you should leave CWDT at level 1, and do not level Molten Shell past level 10; any higher and CWDT will cease supporting it. Note that this level limitation does not apply to any Increased Duration Support gem we can use here: level that as much as you can.

  • (Optional) Immortal Call: For a manual-cast guard skill, this can be hard to beat when you have a good source of Endurance Charges. Note that because it shares a cooldown with Molten Shell, we must make sure our CWDT+Molten Shell setup hasn't triggered, else we cannot use this. We can actually use this on the same link as Molten Shell to share its Increased Duration Support if we wish; in this case, make sure that Immortal Call is leveled too high to be supported by CWDT: this will allow us to still manually cast it.

  • (Optional) Enduring Cry: Unfortunately with the nerfs to our ascendancies, we no longer have a really good, easy source of endurance charges. However, Enduring Cry is still here. Since we still deal damage with RF, it can be acceptable to interrupt our movement to generate charges.
Rufalius, hybrid Aura/Arc/Mana Guardian | Hemorae, TS Raider | Wuru, Ele Hit Wand Trickster
Last edited by ACGIFT on Dec 9, 2023, 8:59:25 AM
Last bumped on Apr 11, 2024, 4:28:32 AM
Gearing the Build

Outside of two specific unique items to get started as early as possible, the gear requirements for the "basic" build during the main campaign are extremely minimal, so long as you ensure you have enough base stats (INT and DEX for any marauder) and keep your fire resistance capped. Of course, once you get to the "advanced" build for the endgame, there are definitely far more "ideal" choices you want to focus on to expand your character. Slot-by-slot, here's a breakdown:


There are not many unique weapons that actually help us out here; during the main campaign, there are outright none at all, and for the endgame, the need to use a shield precludes the use of the (otherwise very powerful) Searing Touch; we can use Doryani's Catalyst, though ultimately across the board, we'll be looking for rare sceptres. Our top priority for a mod is going to be +#% to Fire Damage Over Time Multiplier, followed by #% Increased Fire Damage, +#% to Damage Over Time Multiplier, and (increasingly important at higher levels) +# to level of all (Fire) Spell Skill Gems. For an enchantment, we can use the horticrafting station for the enchant of Quality does not increase Physical Damage / Grants 1% increased Elemental Damage per 2% Quality.


For RF builds, this is a critical slot, because this is where we get our options to increase our maximum fire resist.

  • Springleaf: Initially, though, we'll want to use this for its regen: it's a core piece that makes this build work in Acts 2-5. (and possibly later!) By the time we reach the endgame, however, the flat regen will prove fairly meaningless, so we'll want to go for something with max resists.

  • Rise of the Phoenix: This is a complete upgrade over Springleaf; it can (with average or above rolls) provide more flat regen at all times than Springleaf would provide even on low life, a fairly hefty amount of armour & energy shield, and (thanks to Valako, Storm's Embrace) +5% to all maximum elemental resistances. This is suitable for use well into the endgame.

  • (Deprecated) Saffel's Frame: Because of Valako, Storm's Embrace, Rise of the Phoenix is better for getting our elemental resistances up. While this offers spell block, it's not that helpful in general.

  • (Advanced) Aegis Aurora: Ultimately, the meta is clear on one thing: this is the best possible shield for RF builds. However, as it provides only maximum cold resistance (not fire!) it can make this more difficult to keep our maximum fire resistance at 90%. (and thus our maximum lightning resistance, as well) You generally want to hold off on this until you can get enough maximum fire resist, as well as get Glancing Blows.

Body Armour

While leveling in the main campaign, there's not really any uniques that will help you: just go for rare bodies that, preferably, provide life, armour, and resists. While there is a reflex to go with a Tabula Rasa, given how dubious the effect of having 6L for RF is, I would not recommend it.

When it comes to the endgame, however, there's largely two uniques: one cheaper and simpler to use, and one more advanced option.

  • Rare Body Armour: It's quite possible to do this build using a rare chest, though generally this is going to only work best for leveling & early mapping. Generally, you're looking for something that provides a lot of life and armour; something with the Guatelitzi's prefix (which grants us +(110-119) to maximum Life alongside (8-10)% increased maximum Life) can be coupled with a benchcrafted unveiled mod for an additional (5-8)% increased maximum Life, which will get us approximately half the life we could get out of a Kaom's, with the potential of more armour, resists, etc. and having maximum sockets.

  • Kaom's Heart: This is our first unique option; it provides us with some extra fire damage and a whopping 500 flat life, offering us a really strong, straightforward option for offense & defenses. There are two major downsides to this however. The first is that it cannot have sockets, (depriving us of any 6-link setup) and also means we won't have enough sockets for every gem we could want; we'd have to give up something, such as our stone golem. The other downside is that it does not provide any maximum resistances, making it harder to reach the hard cap of 90%.

  • The Brass Dome: Ultimately, this is our best-in-slot option. It offers us a staggering amount of armour, as well as a variable increase to our maximum resistances of up to +5. Do be warned that it still has a downside, besides the high cost to get one rolled for +5: it negates any extra life we'd gain out of our STR, basically equivalent to having around -150 to our maximum life; (instead of the +500 from a Kaom's) once scaled by our passives, this can easily be an ultimate difference of as much as 2,000 life!

    Thus, to make sure we're better off defensively using Brass Dome, we need to maximize what we get out of it, namely resistances. Keep in mind that with how resistances work, each point is worth more than the one before it. Going from 75% to 76% will only grant us 4.16% more effective HP, but from 89% to 90% is a 10% jump.

    This means we not only want to have our Brass Dome be +5, we'll want to stack it with other sources to increase our maximum resists. Ultimately, it can be seen as a bit of a "Package Deal" with using a resist-boosting unique (such as Rise of the Phoenix) Purity of Fire, and our Valako, Storm's Embrace passive; properly rolled, this will get us to at least 86% maximum in all resistances, which gives us 78.6% more eHP than we would have with just 75%; coupled with the armour, this could offset the stiff loss of HP.

Getting set up to use The Brass Dome is a bit of a steep hill to climb, so don't be afraid to go mapping (even into red maps!) with just a Kaom's Heart; this actually provides a bit more RF-based offense on its own anyway, (mostly lacking in the option for a 6L Fire Trap) so it can still do a large degree of content.


To start working early, we will require one fairly cheap unique ring: Kikazaru.

  • Kikazaru: The extremely high scaling flat life regen it provides is key to being able to offset Righteous Fire's degen throughout much of the main campaign. As an added perk, it provides a degree of extra INT and DEX, which are attributes that, early on, we might be struggling to get enough of.

  • Pyre: Early on as well, I recommend acquiring and using this for your second ring slot. This will provide you with a bit of resists, and a very large amount of Increased Burning Damage. Even in the endgame, you will find it difficult to get a ring that provides as much to your RF & trap DPS as this ring will provide.

  • Rare Rings: Once you reach the endgame, you should start having enough resistances that even the 200+ life regen it provides won't be as great as the other effects you'll be able to get; mostly this will be in offense. The ideal ring here is going to use either a Vermillion, Opal, or Amethyst base, (for life, DPS, or chaos resistance, respectively) and will be crafted using Essence of Delirium to get its exclusive (12-15)% to Damage Over Time Multiplier suffix. (there is no other way to get this mod on a ring!) Likewise, we may likely need to look for some +# to Dexterity on our rings as well. Because of the difficulty in getting all these mods at a high level with an essence mod (and that we do not need most prefixes) we may go a long while with a different ring.

  • (Optional) Profane Proxy: This is the only other unique ring worth considering here; placed in your left ring slot, this will replace your chilling skitterbot's aura with one applying a socketed curse, such as flammability. This is a possible option, but I personally do not recommend it compared to other means of applying your curses.

  • (Optional) Curse on Hit Warlord's Rare Ring or Curse on Hit Hunter's Rare Ring: For one of our rings, we can go with a Warlord's influence (Flammability on hit) or Hunter's influence, (Elemental Weakness on hit) so that our ring can provide us a source of curses. If we have Whispers of Doom, we can use one of each. Note that getting these alongside an Essence of Delirium's (12-15)% to Damage Over Time Multiplier mod will require use of fossilcrafting, using a Glyphic Fossil, and will be extremely expensive: expect an average of 44 tries for each result that gets us the appropriate curse + DoT multi. (88 tries if we want T1) This is before considering any other mods, so consider this a more ultimate crafting goal.


We do have a few options here for the main campaign, but for the endgame it's pretty fixed:

  • (Optional) Goldrim: This has always been, and remains a viable choice for earlier in the main campaign... Especially for us, where capping our fire resistance as soon as possible is mandatory. Of course, this has little to offer us besides that, so once resistances are no longer as much of a concern, we can start looking for replacements.

  • Rare Helmets: During the main campaign, there's not much in particular we're looking to get out of a helmet. Life, armour, and resists; that's about it.

  • (Optional) Hrimnor's Resolve: This oft-overlooked helm actually suits RF builds quite well; it provides us with a decent amount of life and armour, cold resistance, as well as fire damage... And a conditional immunity to chill & freeze that we can have up at will. (keep in mind that this requires we use a skill, so having RF active does not count. But throwing a Fire Trap, or manually casting Flammability, or using Flame Dash, all count) If we're working towards affording an influenced rare helm this is a perfectly viable interim option; in this situation we may also want to consider using Delirium Gloves.

  • Elder Rare Essence of Horror Helmet: There is really no way around this; this option gives us better DPS with RF than is possible through any other means. Through use of Essence of Horror's exclusive Socketed Gems Deal 30% More Elemental Damage mod, the Elder-exclusive Socketed Gems are supported by Level (16-25) Concentrated Effect prefix, and Elder-exclusive Socketed Gems are supported by Level (16-25) Burning Damage suffix, this nets us a pseudo-7L setup. On top of that, we can also benchcraft the prefix +1 to Level of Socketed AoE Gems (or, if we're really investing an extreme level, try to Aisling bench the +2 version) to grant even more power that we simply cannot replicate in any other slot.

    Unlike a lot of other expensive parts that we're looking for in the endgame, this one does not require any other parts to function; it merely requires we have gotten a sizable amount of currency to either purchase or craft it. The ideal base for this is a Royal Burgonet for providing the most armour, though if you're buying it'll probably be cheaper to get it on an armour+ES helm. Probably expect to spend 1-5 divines just to get the essence mod and a single (low-level) support gem mod. I do not recommend using a helm with just the Horror mod alone: you'll get more DPS by instead using Delirium Gloves (see the gloves section) and a Hrimnor's Resolve.

    This is the centerpiece of our entire build's gear, and ultimately what we want to seek.


We don't have many clear choices here, but a few options. During the main campaign, this is a safe slot to just get a 4L with poor stats and just leave it as-is, and only worry about this once we get to the endgame:

  • (Optional) Rare Delirium Gloves: Getting an ideal helm to socket our RF gem into is going to be extremely expensive. In the meantime, we can still get an appreciable bump in DPS by using Essence of Delirium on gloves to get the exclusive Socketed Gems Deal 30% More Damage Over Time suffix. This mod is worth exactly the same to RF as the similar suffix on a helmet obtained from using an Essence of Horror. If we're socketing our RF gem here, I highly recommend pairing this with a Hrimnor's Resolve helm. Even after we upgrade to a proper RF helm, we might still want these gloves should we be using Kaom's Heart, as this can give us a pseudo-5L for our Fire Trap.

  • Rare Hunter or Shaper-influenced Apothecary Gloves: For the raw power we can put into our RF, this is our most potent option. The Apothecary Gloves base gives us an implicit for (14-18)% Increased Damage Over Time, and both Hunter & Shaper influence can get us a suffix for +(16-20)% to Fire Damage Over Time Multiplier. For crafters, it's worth noting that Hunter influence places higher weight on the mod, and has fewer overall mods, so it'll be easier to roll. And for some reason, the elevated version of it can roll from +21% to +25%, instead of just +17% to +24% for the Shaper mod.

    After that influence mod, we're also looking for an Increased Life Regeneration Rate suffix. Our ideal prefixes should of course be life, and any armour mods we can come across.

  • (Optional) Rare Eater of Worlds-Influenced Gloves: While I recommend the "Master of Fire" cluster jewel implicit mod as a source of applying fire exposure, it's also possible to use an Eldritch Ichor to roll a mod to apply fire exposure on hit: this would generally be applied either using your travel skill, or through your fire trap. Besides the influence implicit, we seek the same explicits we would otherwise want in gloves, just precluding the use of any fractured or influence mods.

    Be warned if you are crafting these gloves: eldritch ichor will wipe any implicit mods besides Searing Exarch implicit mods! This means if you should never use it on Apothecary Gloves, as it will permanently delete their DoT implicit!


Besides our Shield, this is basically the only slot where we have clear picks on what we want to use through all levels:

  • Leveling Unique Boots: This is the standard with many builds: a lot of uniques usable at low levels will provide us with unusually high movement speed, starting with Seven-League Step, (+50%) but also the likes of Nomic's Storm (+40%) and Wanderlust. (+20%) We can safely keep these on through the entire main campaign, or even until we replace them with our final boots.

  • Legacy of Fury: This is, hands-down, the Best-in-Slot (BiS) boots for RF. Since DoT doesn't apply or benefit from penetration, every source of a mechanic that lowers enemy fire resistance is a powerful boost to our DPS, and that's exactly what Scorch does here. On top of that, we have a proc that causes a substantial fraction of enemies killed near us to inflict a powerful burn on other nearby enemies.

    Mechanically, this burning damage is scaled by your own passives & global effects that apply to any burning damage you deal, (including Increased Burning Damage & Fire Damage Over Time Multiplier) which means that on an RF build, that "8% of killed Enemy's life" can easily be scaled to deal several times its maximum life to other enemies. (basically, if any gear or passive you have is applying to both your RF and Fire Trap damage... It will affect the burning from Legacy of Fury)

    Additionally, the burn effects caused by dying enemies stack with your RF and fire trap damage, as well as each other. This means that tougher monsters (such as Archnemesis rares or bosses) that are surrounded by weaker monsters can have massive DPS piled on to them due to multiple enemies around them dying.

    Lastly, be mindful of the effect of scorch: as it defaults to an effect of 10%, our breakpoints are always going to be at multiples of 10%. So a pair of boots with 49% increased effect of scorch is no better than a pair with 40% increased effect of scorch.

    Overall, these boots dramatically increases our pack clear speed, and is an overall substantial boost to our clearspeed in all situations. As they are a Maven-exclusive drop, expect them to be extremely expensive/unobtainable early in a league; however after the initial week or so, prices will drop, as this is a fairly common "low-tier" drop from that encounter.

This is another slot where we don't have anything prescribed for the main campaign, but do have some key (expensive) things to target in the endgame.

  • Leveling Rare Amulet: In act 1-2, this can be a source of a bit more flat regeneration for our build. Aside from that, this will be a source of resists and possibly attributes, since early on you'll be lacking in INT and DEX. (and later, just DEX) Naturally, this means we'll prefer BaseTypes like Jade & Lapis amulets that provide these attributes.

  • Endgame Rare Amulet: One we have the currency to spend, there is a lot of power that can be gotten from an amulet. There's two prefixes, and one suffix, that give us a big boost to our DPS: +1 to Level of all Skill Gems, +1 to Level of all Fire Skill Gems, and +#% to Damage over Time Multiplier. For the remainder, we want life as our last prefix, and for our remaining suffixes, we can benchcraft the mods (or unveil their upgraded versions of) +1 to Minimum Frenzy Charges and/or (23-30)% Increased Effect of Non-Damaging Ailments. After that, we'll take any resists and/or DEX to make sure we have enough to use our skills.

    Because these mods are much better than anything we could get from influence, and are also extremely difficult to roll, if you are crafting for this amulet it's best to start from a fractured base, either either the +1 to Level of all Skill Gems (which has the lowest weight of all mods we want) or the +#% to Damage over Time Multiplier mod. (which has no targetable tags, and allows us to, once we have 3 prefixes, lock them and veiled chaos to safely add a veiled mod)

    For the anoint, Allocates Breath of Flames is unequaled in how much DPS it gives us; however it costs a golden oil. For a much-cheaper option, Ash, Frost, and Storm only requires 2 crimson oils.


Unlike most slots, we actually don't have many options that directly give us offensive power. But there's a lot of room for defense and utility here:

  • Leveling Rare Belt: Early on, there's not much in options here. But this is one of the slots we can use to make up our resists, especially as it's the only accessory slot where essences (of Hatred/Anger/Wrath) will give us resistance.

  • (Optional) String of Servitude: while a pricier option, this remains an excellent option for the main campaign if you can get ahold of one. The two versions we'd want to consider here are (24-36)% increased Movement Speed during any Flask Effect, and +(42-48)% to all Elemental Resistances.

  • (Optional) Immortal Flesh: with the 3.19 patch, this belt was given an extremely high amount of flat life regen, as well as flat life. Unfortunately, we cannot use it until level 50, by which point we're less concerned about flat life regen. Also, it comes with a penalty to our elemental resists, too. I personally don't recommend it, but if you're overflowing with resists and want more life & regen, this could work.

  • Rare Elder or Hunter/Warlord-influenced Stygian Vise: For the vast majority of the endgame, we can get a lot of our defensive power (such as resistances) out of a stygian vise. If we can't get that base, we can make due with a different one, such as a leather belt or even heavy belt. Our ideal belt includes 2 influence mods: the (Elder or Hunter) prefix (8-10)% increased maximum Life, and the (Elder or Warlord) suffix (10-12)% increased Life Recovery rate. (Elder influence covers both) after that, you want flat life as one of your prefixes, and resistances for your remaining suffixes. The remaining prefix (if open) can be filled with a benchcraft: I recommend anything that provides armour, or % increased Damage. (Warlord has a few prefixes that work this way as well)

  • Mageblood: For a vast number of builds, this is the ultimate option for the belt slot, and RF is no exception. By no means is this required, even for high-end content. However, investing the several hundred divine orbs to get this (and then getting the appropriate flasks) will give you the strongest possible defensive upgrade once you reach the region of diminishing returns. I do not recommend rushing to acquire this belt: more offensive/clearspeed-oriented gear upgrades should take priority until you've already spent up to around at least a hundred divine orbs.


The passive section already laid out what we particularly need. But for some more details on what to search for, especially if we're crafting:

  • Rare Cluster Jewels: For both our large & medium clusters, we want the minimum possible passives: that's 8 for large, and 4 or 5 for medium. (it takes the same 4 passive points to allocate both notables + jewel socket on either size of medium jewel) If you decide to use small cluster jewels, you generally will want 3-passive ones if for chaos resistance, unless you can reach the chaos resistance cap with just 2.

    While our Horticrafting Station can now fracture jewels, I don't see it as particularly important here. If anything, you might try to get a fractured mod for Master of Fire (namely if it's on a large cluster jewel) but that's about it. Otherwise, I'd largely stick to fossil crafting: spamming single-socket resonators with a scorched fossil is pretty inexpensive, and generally will get usable results fairly frequently. Of course, getting non-fire notables on our medium jewels (such as the coveted Flow of Life and Student of Decay) will be a good deal harder: you can go with relevant 2-socket resonators (e.g, pristine + Abberant) but still expect to spend several divines to craft a single jewel.

  • Rare Base Jewels: Aside from #% increased maximum Life mod, all of our ideal mods have the "fire damage" tag, meaning it will be relatively easy to get a decent jewel just from using scorched fossils. If we can get a jewel that has our life mod fractured, this makes getting a "perfect" jewel fairly reachable, within about 500 tries.

  • Rare Abyssal Jewels: Given that the #% increased Damage while holding a Shield mod has no tags other than "damage," there is no decent way to craft it; you are best served attempting to buy one if possible.


While we can use the same flask setup both in the main campaign and the endgame, it does, of course, change a bit if and when we acquire a Mageblood. In either situation, more experienced players will recognize the selection as very "default" and works with a lot of builds:

  • Life Flask of Sealing/Alleviation/Allaying/Assuaging: These are fairly standard for leveling and for at least some endgame mapping. If you don't have a jewel or other item providing immunity to Corrupted Blood, you will need at least one to have a suffix to grant that immunity. Both instant heal flasks and non-instant ones are usable for this build. Mageblood users will usually want to replace this with a utility flask.

  • Quicksilver Flask of the Hare/Lynx/Cheetah: Again, a standard pick for both leveling and endgame. This flask will never stop being useful: if/when you have a Mageblood, the only thing that changes is that you'll want Mageblood-specific prefixes & enchants to maximize flask effect at all costs.

  • Granite Flask of the Tortoise/Pangolin/Armadillo: A very powerful defensive item. Coupled with the Determination aura, this can easily make up for poor armour. We will want to continue using this even with a Mageblood.

  • Bottled Faith: This is a moderately potent DPS (as well as regen) booster. While it only applies to a fixed area, it still makes enemies take up to 10% increased damage, while we gain 5% life regen as well as 40% increased damage. This is an expensive item, however, so may take lower priority than other gear. If and when we use a Mageblood, we'll still keep it (likely displacing our only life flasks) as the one flask Mageblood doesn't apply.

  • (Advanced) Abecedarian's/Dabbler's/Alchemist's Ruby Flask: This is a Mageblood-specific pick. With the specified prefix & an enchant for further flask effect, this works out to us taking 39% less fire damage. Coupled with our already-high maximum fire resist, this both means our degen will be negligible, (for extremely high net regen) but also eliminates a lot of dangers, and bosses which rely on dealing fire damage (such as the Searing Exarch) will become fairly trivial.

  • (Advanced) Abecedarian's/Dabbler's/Alchemist's Amethyst/Topaz/Sapphire Flask: For our fourth Mageblood flask, we'll take another resist one here. If you don't have your chaos resistance capped or near-capped, go with Amethyst. Otherwise, take either Topaz or Sapphire for another element we take 39% less damage from.

  • (Advanced) Mageblood flask Suffixes: If we're using Mageblood, then the exact suffixes on each of our magic flasks can be shuffled a bit; after all, all will be applied (and at increased effect) anyway. I recommend:

    • of the Armadillo: (56-60%) increased Armour during Flask Effect

    • of the Cheetah: (12-14)% increased Movement Speed during Flask Effect

    • of the Order: Regenerate 3% of Life per second during Flask Effect

    • of the Lizard/Skink/Iguana: (35-49)% less Duration/Immunity to Bleeding and Corrupted Blood during Flask Effect


RF is a bit unique in its pick of major power; the minor power is much more flexible:

  • Major Power: Soul of Arakaali. Since we're always under damage over time, a 10% reduction is a de facto increase to our regeneration... But don't forget that other DoT effects exist, and remain a big threat too. Also, the lack of Brine King does mean we might have to keep a bit more of an eye out for ways to deal with stuns, chill, and freezes. Acquiring the upgrade for +40% to Chaos Resistance against Damage Over Time can also help if we're still a ways from capping our chaos resist. If we take the upgrade for 20% increased Recovery rate of Life and Energy Shield if you've stopped taking Damage Over Time recently, we can proc this at virtually any time by using a flask that removes burning on use: this will cancel our RF buff, (we will have to manually re-cast this, but it's instant) and we'll get to enjoy 4 seconds of a decent increase to our regeneration.

  • Minor Power: Soul of Garukhan. Since shock increases all damage we take, including DoT, being shocked can increase our RF degen enough to overwhelm our regeneration. As a result, reducing shock effect on us can save us from a nasty surprise damage spike. And while the upgrade for blind immunity doesn't do us much good, the half that provides You cannot be Maimed will provide some decent quality of life.

Rufalius, hybrid Aura/Arc/Mana Guardian | Hemorae, TS Raider | Wuru, Ele Hit Wand Trickster
Last edited by ACGIFT on Sep 4, 2023, 7:44:20 PM
Leveling through the Main Campaign

Here we'll have a more step-by-step "checklist" of sorts to pay attention to while we're going through the main campaign, act-by-act. To start, however, here's some basic guidelines:

  • Remember, the goal of the main campaign is to get through it fast. Don't worry about killing everything (even if it's damaged!) and you don't have to do areas and side-quests that don't give you something you need. (like a passive point or a flask)

  • Don't spend time to try and go back to loot things that "might" be useful. If it's not obviously what you're looking for, it's likely garbage.

  • With RF, your main tactic will just be... Running towards the next zone or quest objective. Adjust your course to try and run through packs of monsters where you can, but largely ignore engaging with enemies besides that. You will generally be too durable for them to pose a real threat to you.

  • While you should be leveling Fire Trap, don't worry about making much use of it outside of bosses. Only spend time to use it on distant monster packs if you notice you're failing to keep up with each zone's level.

  • Always make sure to at least keep your fire resistance capped at all times. Otherwise you're going to have a bad time.

  • As you build your gear & passives, your objective is to at least have a maximum life of at least 300 times the current act (e.g, 300, 600, & 900 for acts 1, 2, & 3) by the time you finish each act. For the latter half of the main campaign this will grow to wanting at least 400 times your current act (e.g, 2,400, 2,800, and 3,200 for acts 6, 7, and 8) in maximum life. Remember: life nodes are also damage nodes for this skill!

With all that in mind, here's your checklist for each act. If you are over-leveled and have already gotten all passives listed for an act, begin working on the next act's. If you are under-leveled (or skipped passive quests) then stay grabbing all passives for the old act before you move on to the passives for the new act.

Act 1
This will sadly be a bit painful, given how much GGG has increased the difficulty of this act, and we'll be largely stuck to melee. We'll just have to endure this for all of 15-30 minutes.

  • Gems: As soon as we enter Lioneye's Watch, ignore the quest reward gems and instead buy Smite. Use this for most of the act. Once you complete Mercy Mission, accept Ancestral Call as your support gem for Smite.

    Once we kill Brutus, take Vitality as our quest reward. Also buy Shield Charge, Leap Slam and Enduring Cry; we don't need to use Enduring Cry yet, however; just set it in a side-socket to level.

    When you near the end of the act (entering Merveil's Cavern) accept Infernal Blow as your reward; replace Smite with it, and now use Ancestral Call with Infernal Blow.

    If you can use another character or trade for it, acquire Fire Trap. Provided you can maintain the DEX to use this, this will be a far better skill to use. Even if you don't use it, it will help to try and level this for later.

    Also, if you have another character or can trade with another player, acquire an Efficacy gem to begin leveling it.

  • Passives: Start by heading towards Warrior's Blood. Take the minor nodes that grant life; when it branches at first, take Regenerate 0.8% of Life per second. After that, first head up to grab Versatility, (which we want purely for the DEX+INT) then go for Robust. We'll grab the other life regen node near Robust: we're working towards leaving that big cluster out the left side.

  • Gear: As soon as we get to Lioneye's Watch, try to go for a boot upgrade: if we had another character to provide unique boots, that's great; otherwise we check with Tarkleigh to see if he has any boots with 10% increased Movement Speed for sale.

    We're stuck as a melee class for this act, so take whatever weapon you can find that provides the most DPS.

    For everything else, now is when we want to start working primarily on our fire resistance. We can also seek DEX + INT on our gear, but if we have the Versatility passive, I would not worry about it.

    Even if we don't equip it yet (e.g, we decide to start with a two-handed weapon) we should try and acquire a Springleaf as soon as possible. However, using it in Act 1 will make you nigh-invincible due to its extremely high life regen.
Act 2
It won't be until fairly late in the act when we'll be able to switch over to using RF. But once we do, it will start feeling a lot easier.

  • Bandits: Kill all 3 bandits to receive +2 passive points.

  • Gems: Accept Herald of Ash as our gem reward for rescuing Helena, even though we'll stop using it later. Then immediately buy a Righteous Fire gem from Yeena, and slot it to start gaining EXP. If we have access to other characters or trading, buy Concentrated Effect Support and Elemental Focus Support here: if we have the links, socket these in to support Righteous Fire, alongside Efficacy from Act 1.

    Once we reach level 20, have 75% Fire Resistance, and equip Kikazaru, we can safely begin ignoring our old melee gems.

  • Passives: Exit the cluster with Robust out of the left side. Take the STR travel nodes up, and take Barbarism and then Hearty. After that, return to the STR travel nodes, and head up further: we're going towards the cluster with Arsonist.

  • Gear: Make sure we acquire a Kikazaru as soon as possible, and pair it with our Springleaf. With access to trade, we should be able to equip it by level 20, effectively beginning our RF build. Beyond that, again we're looking for fire resistance first and foremost. Acquiring a Pyre here would also be a good idea, both for the damage, and for having higher resists in a ring than we're otherwise likely to see this early.

    Once we've hit level 20 and switched to Righteous Fire, we can ditch our old melee weapon, and start using sceptres for their elemental damage. Don't worry too much about great explicit mods on them for now.
Act 3
provided we've been able to switch to RF by now, and have followed the passives, we can safely do the first labyrinth as soon as we have all the trials finished: it should prove extremely easy. (if maybe a little slow)

  • Labyrinth: Take Ramako, Sun's Light. This will help eliminate the worry with fire-resistant monsters like we'll encounter in Act IV.

  • Gems: Once we return Tolman's bracelet, take Determination as our reward gem, and start using it. Also purchase a Flammability gem at the same time.

    Complete the quest in the library; accept Increased Duration as our reward, (we'll level it for later, so it can go in your weapon swap) and then buy a Blasphemy Support and two Burning Damage Supports. The Burning Damage Supports we can use immediately if we have at least 4 sockets each for RF and Fire Trap.

    For the Blasphemy Support, we'll set it in another socket to level for use later, same as Increased Duration; we don't have enough mana to run both it (supporting Flammability) and Determination at the same time.

  • Passives: Take the Arsonist passive cluster; ignore Magmatic Strikes, because it does nothing for us. We should take the single minor passive behind those notables for a little extra life regeneration, too. Once we have completed our first Labyrinth, take the mastery for Regenerate 1 Life per second for each 1% Uncapped Fire Resistance.

    After that, we can go back briefly to the starting area and great Heart of the Warrior and its minor passives. Then head back to where we were with Arsonist and go for Combat Stamina: take the node that grants life regeneration alongside armour on the lower left side of the cluster, not the life/armour one to the upper-right.

    If we're struggling on resists, we can take Diamond Skin in the starting area. We can make up a shortcoming of INT or DEX with the Ancestral Knowledge or Expertise nodes we pathed by this act. Once we're set, we'll take the DEX node above where we took Combat Stamina: we're headed towards Sanctity & the Templar starting area.

  • Gear: Our main unique needs are met for now. The main concern is making to keep up with the growing DEX & INT demands of our gems. It's okay to use a magic amulet just so we get a BaseType (e.g, Jade, Lapis, or Turquoise) that can make up for our shortcomings there.

    After that, look to, of course, capping our resists, and grabbing life & armour, but we shouldn't worry too much about our gear for those so far.
Act 4
By this point, the build should start feeling smoother; we're getting past the "rough start."

  • Gems: Once we kill Voll and open the Mines, we'll take Summon Stone Golem as our reward. It will provide us a bit more regen, which is always helpful. Once we open the Belly of the Beast, we can also take a Cast When Damage Taken support; however, we can't really use it now, and we do not want to level it past 1. So take it as your reward, and put it in your stash until later.

  • Passives: From where we were near Combat Stamina, simple head straight up. Take Sanctity, Discipline and Training, and Retribution. We're eventually headed towards Explosive Impact.

  • Gear: Nothing much new here; keep on improving what we have. Staying on top of our DEX and INT requirements (and exceeding them to stay ahead of the curve) are going to be our main demand.
Act 5
Keep in mind that after this act we get slapped with a -30% resistance penalty; while our fire resistance doesn't care, we should be mindful of our cold & lightning.

  • Gems: Depending on our gear, we might lack the DEX to level our Fire Trap. If this happens, don't forget to go back and level it again once our DEX improves! Otherwise keep leveling all our gems.

  • Passives: Once we get Retribution, take the INT paths to the left, and then up, grabbing the Explosive Impact cluster. Cast Speed is useless to us, so ignore the minor passive in that cluster that grants it, instead taking the one that grants us Area of Effect. If we still get more passives, start on the Purity of Flesh cluster.

  • Gear: The top priority here is preparing for the loss of 30% of our resistances. While the minor starting passives mean we're fine on fire, cold & lightning won't be so fortunate. Don't forget to take a Granite Flask as your reward for killing Justicar Casticus.
Act 6
Be mindful of the resistance penalty you just got from Kitava. While a lot of the early monsters deal heavy fire damage, it'll be the ones with cold & lightning we might have to worry about.

  • Passives: Fill out the Purity of Flesh cluster, then advance to the INT nodes on the other side, going up: we're going for the Holy Fire cluster, taking the Fire DoT multiplier passives to reach the notable.

  • Gear: Make sure to make what adjustments are necessary in order to re-cap your resistances as needed. Note that starting at Act 6, we can begin finding Expedition encounters, which can be a valuable source of gear: if we get any Order artifacts, we can potentially get Rog, the Dealer to make some really solid gear, so keep this in mind as you continue.
Act 7
This marks some of the earliest we can start making some more new changes after basically settling our build in Act 3.

  • Labyrinth: By late in the act we should have around 2,500 life, 5,000 armour, and 10,000 DPS. with this on hand, we should be able to tackle the Cruel Labyrinth as soon as we have the trails done for it. Take Tasalio, Cleansing Water to largely solve any further worries for resistances.

  • Gems: Once we get enough passives to increased our mana regeneration efficiency, we can now simultaneously use Flammability with Blasphemy Support, as well as Determination & Vitality. This will give us a substantial increase to our damage output.

  • Passives: Once you have Holy Fire, go down from that area and grab Sovereignty take the minor nodes for reservation efficiency, but skip the aura effect passives for now. If you still have more, take the life mastery for +50 to Maximum Life.
Act 8
While the gameplay should feel very smooth by now, we can still make some further upgrades.

  • Gems: Once our maximum life gets to around 3,000 and our armour over 5,000, we can start using Molten Shell supported by Cast when Damage Taken. Level the former up to as high as 10 and no higher. Do not level CWDT past 1. (we can also use an Increased Duration Support gem, leveled as much as we want) At this point, we can just buy a fresh CWDT gem from Lily Roth if we didn't stash our quest reward from Act 4.

  • Passives: Going back to the INT travel nodes off of Explosive Impact, travel to the right, and go to and take the Acrimony cluster, as well as the mastery for 10% less Damage Taken from Damage over Time. Then, go back to the left edge of our tree, and start traveling down towards taking Divine Judgment.

  • Gear: If we're in a trade league, we could consider some other unique item choices, such as going for a Hrimnor's Resolve for our helmet slot. Besides getting us mods we largely need, the mod Cannot be Chilled or Frozen if you have used a Fire Skill Recently is very useful given that our Fire Trap counts as this. This means that strongboxes that freeze us will cease to be an issue: we can toss fire traps about and as long as we click the box less than four seconds after tossing our last trap, we won't be frozen.
Act 9
By now you should be rather used to the basic mechanics, which will help here: you'll want to largely just spam shield charge through areas. Unless you're falling behind in level, don't worry about killing too many monsters.

  • Passives: Take Divine Judgment while neither of the two minor passives right before it serve us right now, take the upper one for 20% increased Effect of Non-Damaging Ailments, as it will help us later. Then, go back to the STR node between Robust and Juggernaut, and begin pathing down: we're headed towards the Bloodless and Soul of Steel clusters.

  • Gear: Act 9 is when Jun & Immortal Syndicate missions can start showing up. This means potential access to powerful veiled mods, including a weapon mod for +(17-20)% to Fire Damage over Time Multiplier. Be aware that the T1 mod there has a level requirement of 64, so don't craft it if you're short of that.
Act 10
If you've been following the guide and keeping up with the recommendations for gear, then even Kitava should be a breeze, with you able to facetank all of it.

  • Labyrinth: Around this act you should have 3,500-4,000 life, 10,000-20,000 armour, and 60,000-100,000 tooltip DPS on your RF. With these stats, the Merciless Labyrinth should be pretty easy for you. Run it, and take Valako, Storm's Embrace; since this will be around when we start getting serious increases to maximum fire resist, we'll notice this.

  • Passives: path your way down-right towards Soul of Steel, and take the cluster. If you have further points, go for Bloodless.

  • Gear: at level 65 you can equip a Rise of the Phoenix; if you're still using Springleaf, this is a pretty much flat-out straight upgrade. Until you get to the very advanced level of this build, this shield can carry you through most of the endgame.
Epilogue Progression
Once you have the "basic" build tier into the endgame, you can still progress and get stronger while you try and earn currency/gear to transition to the full "advanced" tier.

  • Labyrinth: If you kept up with your attributes (life, armour, DPS) quite fine, you should be capable of solo'ing the Eternal Labyrinth the moment you beat Kitava; 4k life & 10k (pre-flask) armour are my recommended benchmark for that. Take Hinekora, Death's Herald.

  • Gems: Once we have done our Eternal Labyrinth, we'll finally bring out our Enduring Cry gem.

  • Passives: Without jewels, we're going to start to run out of good passives to take. Once we have Soul of Steel & Bloodless, we can branch further to take Devotion (in the Templar starting area) and then near the bottom to take Unwavering Stance. The latter will ensure we don't get stunned out of Shield Charge, which can become an increasingly annoying thing in the endgame.

    Also, once we path towards Unwavering Stance, we can safely de-allocate the minor elemental resistance & life regen nodes on one side of Robust, as we no longer need it to connect our starting area to the rest of the tree; this saves us a net +1 passive point even if we aren't taking Unwavering Stance.

  • Gear: Once we have our resists & DEX/INT requirements taken care of, we can look for some cheap upgrades. If we can't afford an Elder-influenced Horror-essence helm, settle for Delirium-essence gloves. Also prioritize getting a pair of Legacy of Fury boots; if you've not used them before, be assured you will not regret the investment, even for poor rolls. Make sure you've swapped to a high-level unique shield. Lastly, potentially consider a Kaom's heart; if you need to ditch a gem, Stone Golem would be the first to go.
Transitioning to an Advanced Build
Ultimately, if you get the currency, you'll want to push to a multi-million DPS build that can laugh at pinnacle fights. This involves a number of choices that skew away from what we did to level & create the basic build. To sum up the changes we'll need to make, on a more item-by-item basis:

  • Vitality: Downgrade our Vitality to level 1; its contribution to our regen is no longer worth the mana reservation. In fact, we will only want to keep this at all if we have a Watcher's Eye that calls for it.

  • Malevolence: Ideally, we'll swap our Flammability + Blasphemy Setup for Malevolence. On its own, it provides less effective DPS for more mana, but while we can (and should) get our curses applied elsewhere, we can't replace this effect. Making this work requires allocating multiple mana reservation clusters.

  • Purity of Fire: This will remain a critical part of our resistances for the entire game; our Tasalio & Valako passives ensure it remains relevant, with there no point to use Purity of Ice or Purity of Lightning.

  • 6-link Fire Trap: Keep in mind that Fire Trap doesn't have a low mana cost. Once you stack on multiple support gems and have items that increase its level, the cost will scale dramatically, eventually pushing past 100. Since we won't have much maximum mana, we'll need to take a lot of mana reservation efficiency passives to be able to use this at all. It's really only in this scenario that we require the notable passive Champion of the Cause; if we're using fewer support gems, we can make do with less than 100 unreserved mana.

  • The Brass Dome: Technically we can swap to this anytime we want. Even without our other boosts, assuming it has a +5% maximum resistance roll, it will provide us with an overall net gain to our Effective Hit Pool, albeit at a moderate loss to both our RF DPS, and our eHP vs. Chaos.

  • Aegis Aurora: This can be swapped in when wanted, though will be less-than-ideal if we don't have our block chance increased; taking the Sanctuary Cluster as well as the Glancing Blows Keystone should be both taken to ensure we're seeing proper use out of this.

  • Impossible Escape: This technically doesn't need other parts to make it work correctly; if we use the right one, we can take the passives Whispers of Doom, Influence, and its adjacent Mana Reservation Efficiency node. However, given the extremely high cost of getting this with a Chaos Innoculation roll (which is what we need) this will be low priority on its own until we're ready to run with Malevolence + Determination + Purity of (Fire/Ice), as well as have something suitable for applying both Flammability & Elemental Weakness at the same time.

  • Rare Cluster Jewels: these are something you can start using once you have them. Do be aware that if your large clusters aren't fairly ideal (8 or 9 passives, all 3 notables) then it's quite possible that they won't give you as much per passive point than you'd get from the normal tree or a well-rolled basic jewel. The same goes for medium clusters: 4-5 passive ones with two useful notables (even if they're not the absolute best notables) are the only ones you should be using.

  • Rare RF Helm & Gloves: simply using an Essence of Horror on a helm is not enough to make it a better choice than an Essence of Delirium on gloves; hold off until you can get an Elder-influenced helm that also has at least one mod that supports our RF with either Burning Damage or Concentrated Effect.

  • Passive Tree Adjustment: In order to get enough passive points to take the various nodes needed for an advanced build, you'll need to de-allocate a number of nodes you took before. The biggest change is that you'll de-allocate much of the Templar starting area, and instead route around the far left/upper-left edge of the tree. For more specific details, I'd recommend consulting the PoB's example tree; it's a bit too complex to get into words.

Endgame Content & Strategies

Due to the high durability and reliable offense, most correctly know of RF as a "safe" endgame pick. Mechanically, we'll continue to play as we did in the main campaign: spam Shield Charge back and forth across packs, and toss a Fire Trap against bosses and tougher rares. Here's some things to keep in mind, however:

Map Mods
While most map mods are of not much consideration for this build, those that threaten the balance of our net regeneration are threatening, if not an outright barrier. The obvious one is Players cannot regenerate Life, Mana, or Energy Shield, but this also goes for Players have (20/40/60)% less Recovery Rate of Life and Energy Shield; do remember that Atlas passives that scale the effect of map mods are particularly cruel there. Likewise, unless we've gotten our net regen vastly higher than the degen from RF, Players have -(6-12)% to all maximum Elemental Resistances can put us into the negatives. However, that one is possible to be overcome.

Naturally, we are unaffected by reflect, and curses in general aren't that dangerous. the Most notable things are that some mods can be outright nerfs to our DPS:

  • +40% to Monster Elemental Resistance is, as innocuous as it seems, the worst mod for our DPS. While it's equivalent to a 19% loss of DPS against normal monsters, against monsters with extra base resists, it gets worse; for pinnacle bosses it's equivalent to a 34% loss of DPS. Note that while monsters (like players) don't directly benefit from resistances over their cap (which is 75% by default) if they are overcapped, our methods of cutting their resists (curses, exposure, scorch) will have to eat through the overcapped amount before it actually has a "real" impact.

  • ##% more Monster Life / Monsters have (40-49)% of Maximum Life as Extra Maximum Energy Shield are largely equivalent to a reduction of DPS. Fortunately, because of the way the math works, Atlas passive scaling of these mods aren't as harsh as with mods that directly reduce our DPS. Unscaled, either mod at 49% is equivalent to dealing about 33% less DPS

  • Players are cursed with Enfeeble remains a straighforward and hefty hit: its' a 20% loss to our DPS outright, no other way around it.

  • Monsters are Hexproof is susbtantial if we're relying on a Flammability + Blasphemy setup; this can cut our DPS by up to around 30%. However later on (even with double curses) against major bosses this is only worth about a 17% loss of DPS.

  • Players cannot inflict Exposure is likewise fairly significant, as it gives enemies an extra 18% resistance. Of course, put this way, it's not as huge, worth about 15% vs. pinnacle bosses when maxed out.

  • 60% less effect of Curses on Monsters is, naturally, less significant than Hexproof, since we don't use Marks. This is worth at least a 11% loss; be mindful that this effect is scaled by Atlas passives; if we're using Height of Hubris, this is the same as Hexproof.
League Mechanics
RF is probably one of the best-rounded for dealing with all league gimmick encounters & side-content.

  • Strongboxes: Getting freeze immunity is a little less likely with RF than with other builds, so that's the only consideration here. If you're doing budget mapping with a Hrimnor's Resolve, simply throw a Fire Trap right before opening the strongbox for immunity.

  • Essence Farm: RF isn't the absolute best for farming absolutely stacked essence mobs, but can generally work. Hopefully the mob will get distracted killing your golem, allowing it to stand still and take damage from your Fire Trap's burning ground.

  • Harbinger: As dicey as it can feel at times while doing so, RF is safer for this than it looks. You can afford to stand still briefly when the Harbinger freshly summons new packs to try and instantly delete them; except for that, follow the strategy of Shield Charging from outside the pack to cross clear to the other side of it, and repeat. This can get a bit more dangerous in maps with tight spaces. (such as Dungeon & Cells)

  • Incursion: RF makes for a pretty solid Incursion farmer. Be mindful if you have no chaos resistance, however.

  • Delve: RF is almost certainly the best non-projectile build for Delve. You're extremely durable, don't aggro things in the darkness, and it's very forgiving.

  • Syndicate: RF can safely ignore a lot of adds, making Syndicate encounters fairly fast. Just be cautious: as an area DoT build, the biggest risk here (compared to non-area DoT builds) is that syndicate members can potentially run away before being downed; if they run out of your fire trap & RF AoEs, they can escape.

  • Legion: Dense packed monsters and our Legacy of Fury boots mean that we can open up Legion encounters very fast. Don't stand still while the timer is ticking: if an enemy doesn't activate after one pass, just make another dash through. Make sure to make strong use of your Fire Traps for valuable targets like War Hoards and Generals, while you deal with activating the rest.

  • Blight: this is arguably one of the weaker fields for RF. If you can keep the mana up, you can get excellent coverage with Fire Trap, and this will carry you through in-map encounters even with passives, unless the encounter spreads a lot of lanes directly from the pump. I generally recommend seismic and/or chilling towers, to keep them in place for your Fire Traps (or you to deal with them yourself) the longest. However, I do not feel this is enough for Blighted Maps.

  • Delirium: The delirious effect causes monsters to take less damage directly. This does mean that they'll naturally get a lot tougher, (up to 96% less DPS at maximum) so if you haven't invested enough to get your DPS into the the 7-digit range I would recommend against 100% delirious maps, and stick to no more than 80%. (that fifth delirium orb basically makes all monsters take 5.8 times as much damage to kill!)

  • Harvest: The only downside here is that the spawns of monsters are staggered; the T1 and T2 monsters will die near instantly thanks to Legacy of Fury, depriving of the extra DPS they could provide against T3 and bosses.

  • Heist: RF is a safe choice to do all types of heist; thanks to Valako, Storm's Embrace, even the heavy lightning & cold damage of the Templar & Automatons will hardly do anything to you.

  • Expedition: as you'd expect, you want to avoid remnants that make enemies immune to fire damage, but also those that give them heavy fire resistance can be a little painful as well. (note that their increase to maximum resistance means nothing given how many sources we have to cut their resists)

  • Breach, Abyss, Metamorph, Ritual: These are incredibly straightforward; you should always stay in the thick of enemies, constantly Shield Charging (or using Leap Slam of geography makes Shield Charge less useful) to stay dealing damage.

Final Thoughts

I've been fascinated by Righteous Fire as a skill for a long time; though when I realized I could now make it work and feel good in Act 2, I hadn't imagined that putting it into a guide would become so complex. I feel this is a testament to how in spite of the seeming simplicity of the skill & its mechanics, theorycraft-wise it's a very complex skill.

Likewise, I always felt that Chieftan was so very suited to this skill, even though juggernaut is easily the most popular right now, and in general, the 3.22 patch could be considered a hard nerf for this ascendancy. However, this is probably the most accessible way to get into RF.

This concludes my second full build guide; if you're interested in more, I also wrote a guide for Summon Raging Spirit as well.

A special thanks to b0moodc for his help in reviewing & suggesting revisions on this guide.
Rufalius, hybrid Aura/Arc/Mana Guardian | Hemorae, TS Raider | Wuru, Ele Hit Wand Trickster
Last edited by ACGIFT on Aug 18, 2023, 7:45:12 AM
Can you give information about atlas map?
salezna1 wrote:
Can you give information about atlas map?

Covering suggested Atlas passive trees was a bit beyond the exact scope of this, since there's a fairly large range of content you can farm using this build. (and whatever tree you'd want would depend upon what your preferred content farm is)

As this build does generally achieve the same potential as the standard meta RF builds, this will be able to handle any challenging passives (e.g, Ubers, Height of Hubris, Captivated Interest, etc.) that most other RF builds could, provided you have enough investment in the build.

In short, provided you've got the right level of investment, pretty much any good or popular Atlas tree will be usable by this build.
Rufalius, hybrid Aura/Arc/Mana Guardian | Hemorae, TS Raider | Wuru, Ele Hit Wand Trickster
You are so right about this. By the way, this build is working perfectly, thanks.
i just did price check for the cost of jewel set in starting setup, they are not cheap esp this one https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Kalandra/vD45L5JCE
can you provide more budget jewel set ?
mrtao03 wrote:
i just did price check for the cost of jewel set in starting setup, they are not cheap esp this one https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Kalandra/vD45L5JCE
can you provide more budget jewel set ?

Watcher's Eye is not part of the starting setup. This build requires zero jewels to get started with, and can go at least into yellow (if not red) maps without any. Jewels are all explicitly part of the "advanced" setup, and you can build into them piece-by-piece as you can afford them.

And yes, a dual-mod WE like that will not be cheap; alongside a Mageblood or an extremely well-rolled helm, is likely going to be one of the most expensive (and thus final) upgrades you make.

If you're looking to prioritize earlier endgame choices, the guide does specify that the most important thing to get early is a ckuster jewel that provides us with the Master of Fire notable, or another that grants us a way to apply fire exposure. The most budget option will be to get this on a medium cluster jewel; you can get 2-notable medium clusters with it (and usually the other notable still being useful) for less than a divine orb: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Kalandra/eoypqagUL

Even notables like Brewed for Potency, Circling Oblivion, or Exposure Therapy are still all decent notables for this build, and it will be a lot cheaper to get a 2-notable medium cluster using one of those alongside Master of Fire, than it would be to get a 2-notable with Master of Fire alongside something like Flow of Life or Student of Decay.
Rufalius, hybrid Aura/Arc/Mana Guardian | Hemorae, TS Raider | Wuru, Ele Hit Wand Trickster
why does Molten Shell lock at level 10
sunayen0000 wrote:
why does Molten Shell lock at level 10

Cast When Damage Taken has two main things that increase with its level: how much damage you need to take to trigger it, and how high a level of gem it can support.

Because going past level 1 on CWDT makes it require more than 528 damage to trigger, we don't want that: we want CWDT to trigger on the moment we take pretty much any hit, so it's there to soak a barrage of rapid hits in a row. (which is one of the most common causes of death, especially on short-range builds like RF) If we leveled CWDT, that means we could be mostly-dead by the time it actually triggers, which could be the difference between life and death (since Molten Shell still lets 25% of incoming hit damage through)

The downside of a level 1 CWDT is that it can only support gems requiring up to level 38: if a gem is leveled to require any higher than that, it will fail to be supported by CWDT. (we'll notice that the game will let us manually-cast such gems, too)

Molten shell at level 11 requires level 40, but at level 10 requires level 36. Thus, we can use a level 10 Molten Shell with a level 1 CWDT, but not any higher level of molten shell.

Mind you, what we miss out on levels isn't that huge: the main things we wanted with it are duration, and the amount of damage the buff can absorb. The former is unaffected by its level, and the latter isn't directly affected either. We get a little bit more armour (which does slightly add a bit more to the buff) but it's not huge, and it's more valuable to ensure that Molten Shell pops up ASAP when a bunch of enemies start hitting us.
Rufalius, hybrid Aura/Arc/Mana Guardian | Hemorae, TS Raider | Wuru, Ele Hit Wand Trickster

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