[3.22] The Sacrifice Pathfinder: super tanky self-cast Hexblast Ignite

[3.22] Sacrifice Ignite Pathfinder: self-cast Blackflame Hexblast

This build showcases two sacrifice effects:
· Life sacrifice through the new "Sacrifice" support gem to apply apply powerful ignites
· Sacrifice 100% of energy shield every ~1.5 seconds to become incredibly tanky

The result is a fast moving tank with sufficient damage to take down juiced maps, sanctums, Maven invitations, and end-game bosses, including the Ubers.

Build overview:

This build centers around the new Sacrifice support gem. With Divergent Sacrifice, we spend 25% of our life to add a massive amount of chaos damage to our main skill, Hexblast, which results in very powerful ignites due to the high base damage from the new support. Ignites are scaled and proliferated with cluster jewels, gem levels, and Wither stacks through the use of the Blackflame unique ring.

The Pathfinder ascendancy, particularly the Master Surgeon node, is leveraged to keep up with the high life cost of the skill (>1500 HP per cast). The Pathfinder flask charge generation also enables permanent uptime of Everlasting Sacrifice from Mahuxotl's Machination for massive tankiness.

With >130% unconditional movement speed, the build excels at boss-rushing for Maven witnesses with Destructive Play. A combination of powerful defensive mechanics makes the build incredibly tanky with 75,000/71,000/38,000 elemental/chaos/physical maximum hits and ~2,000 HP recovery per second. To enable the speed and defenses, some top-end damage is given up, but with optimized gear, it is still able to reach ~4.5 million ignite DPS against pinnacle bosses.

Pros and cons:

· Ignite proliferation and chaos explosions for screen-wide clearing of endgame map packs
· Exceptionally high movement speed for boss rushing, Heists, lab running, dodging mechanics, etc.
· Extremely tanky; 75,000/71,000/38,000 elemental/chaos/physical maximum hits
· >6,000 HP
· Very high unconditional life recovery: >2,000 HP per second
· Ailment immunity
· Delayed damage, you only need to cast spells once every ~ 5 seconds then just wait.
· Pseudo-stun immunity (Unwaveringly Evil)
· Zero cold and lightning damage taken, meaning you can forego building these resistances into gear, leaving more room for attributes and therefore tattoos
· 100% spell suppression

· Top-end damage is dependent on well-crafted gear
· Not particularly league-start friendly
· Ultimate damage ceiling is low compared to squishy builds
· Self-cast hexblast cast speed can be kind of annoying
· Have to press your life flask button once every five seconds (flask piano like it's 2019 again)

Video Showcases:
T16 quick map with Maven witness
Level 83 Lycia (Sanctum boss) kill
Maven Invitation: The Twisted rolled with 84% quantity
Juiced Baran citadel map with Maven witnessing
Tanking Sirus mechanics

Path of Building: Pobb.in Pastebin
Notes on the PoB- At time of publishing, my PoB is having issues with tattoos on notables. Tattoo either the "Supreme Ego" or "Perfect Agony" location with "Elemental Overload." The +5% to all maximum resistances in the "config" tab is due to "Everlasting Sacrifice" from Mahuxotl's Machination which we have 100% uptime on.

Build Stats:
4.5M ignite DPS against pinnacle bosses, >130% movement speed, 6k life, 75,000/71,000/38,000 elemental/chaos/physical maximum hits, 2k life recovery per second


Damage: Sacrifice Hexblast Ignite

The 3.22 update added a new support gem, "Sacrifice" which allows you to spend 20% of your life (25% with divergent alternate quality) to add a portion of that sacrificed life as added base chaos damage to a linked spell. Since ignites scale off of base damage, this an excellent base for an ignite build if one can find a way to make chaos damage ignite.

The Hexblast gem has this ability built-in with the line "all damage can ignite, freeze, and shock." Additionally, Hexblast has a 40% more damage multiplier for ailments when the skill removes a curse from an enemy. We ensure that the enemies are always cursed by turning our curse into an aura around us using Blasphemy support. Using a cluster jewel notable, the Blackflame unique ring, a wand prefix, and the "of Infliction" flask suffix, we reach 100% chance to ignite, ensuring that every cast of Hexblast ignites the enemies. These ignites are then proliferated to nearby enemies in the pack by the Hexblast explosion and by the cluster jewel notable "Fan the Flames."

Damage Scaling: Increased damage

There isn't much support for scaling fire damage over time on the right side of the tree, but thankfully there is a solution. Since we're applying ignites using chaos damage from Hexblast, we're able to use % increased chaos damage as a way to scale the ignite instead. We get a large portion of this from a chaos damage cluster jewel (and some map clearing explosions as well), as well as some of the damage over time near the Shadow starting location. Note, ignites STILL count as fire damage so you can use% elemental / fire damage to scale as well even though the base damage was from chaos! The following damage increases will apply to the ignites from this build:
· % increased chaos damage
· % increased fire damage
· % increased elemental damage
· % increased damage over time
· % increased burning damage
· % increased damage
· + % to damage over time multiplier
· + % to fire damage over time multiplier

The only trick is that chaos damage over time multiplier DOES NOT apply to the damage here. Regardless of the base damage type, regardless of how enemies "take" damage, burning is always fire damage over time.

Damage Scaling: Blackflame and wither

In a more traditional ignite build, you would use Elemental Weakness and Flammability to reduce the enemy's fire resistance. However, this requires a difficult to find source of "apply one additional curse" and is very taxing on mana reservation if you would like the quality of life of using curse auras through Blasphemy.

Instead, this build uses the Blackflame unique ring, making enemies take chaos damage instead of fire damage from our ignites. Since we're playing as a Pathfinder, we have easy access to wither on hit and increased wither effect with the "Nature's Reprisal" ascendancy passive. Wither is an exceptionally powerful mechanic, providing up to 135% increased chaos damage taken if you can maintain a high number of stacks. For this build, max wither stacks acts as a 110% more multiplier! Fortunately, we can easily maintain maximum wither stacks due to the line on the Blackflame ring "Withered does not expire on enemies ignited by you."

Ball Lightning (constantly reapplied by Arcanist Brand) is used to quickly reach the maximum number of wither stacks on bosses since it hits all enemies in range every 0.15 seconds.

Since enemies take chaos damage from our ignites, we get a further more multiplier by using the Despair curse turned into an aura with Blasphemy support. We socket these with an increased area of effect support gem and enlighten to help with the mana reservation in the helmet.

Defenses: Recovery

Since we are frequently sacrificing 25% percent of our life to apply powerful ignites, we need a way to quickly recover this lost life. The "Master Surgeon" node in the Pathfinder ascendancy makes it so that life flask effects are not removed when our life reaches full. Using a well-rolled Eternal life flask and getting some sources of "increased life recovery from flasks" on the skill tree this build achieves a constant regeneration of more than 2000 HP per second. We build in enough sources of "flask effect duration" and "increased flask charges gained" to ensure that the life flask always refills fast enough to have charges available before the effect runs out, resulting in 100% uptime.

Since we have excellent recovery, we are also able to use Petrified Blood to increase our effective hit pool. Since the majority of our recovery is from a life flask, the downside of Petrified Blood is negated.

Defenses: Mahuxotl's Machination and Tempered By War

Since our damage depends on having as much life as possible available at the time of casting, this build benefits from having extreme levels of tankiness so that our life is always close to full. To achieve this, the Mahuxotl's Machination unique shield is used with a timeless jewel providing Tempered by War.

Mahuxotl's Machination is a very complex unique, providing the effect of five keystones plus one otherwise-unobtainable keystone "Everlasting Sacrifice". There are many interactions enabled by this shield so this guide will only focus on those relevant to this build.

The primary function of the shield in this build is to make us instead take 50% of elemental damage as chaos damage while raising our maximum chaos resistance by 5% through Divine Flesh. Alongside the "Tempered by War" keystone from the timeless jewel shifting the other 50% of cold and lighting damage to fire, this character takes ZERO damage from cold and lightning. This means that you can entirely forego building cold and lightning resistances into gear. These suffixes are instead used to achieve maximum chaos resistance and stack attributes, making more room for tattoos on the passive skill tree.

The second important function of the shield is providing the "Everlasting Sacrifice" buff which gives an additional +5% to ALL maximum resistances. This buff is received by sacrificing 100% of the character's energy shield when it reaches full. The intended use of the shield is to fill the energy shield via leech, however, in this build we instead opt to use a Replica Sorrow of the Divine which makes our life flask effects also apply energy shield. When activated, our energy shield will constantly charge up at a rapid rate and when hitting full, it will all be sacrificed to give the buff for four seconds. Because of the exceptional recovery rate from our life flask and the 100% uptime on flasks from Pathfinder, the buff is permanent to this character.

The combination of these uniques and the 100% buff uptime along with running Purity of Fire makes our maximum fire and chaos resistances 88 and 86% respectively, providing a huge level of elemental damage mitigation. At level 100, this could be increased to 90/88% by using an Honoured Tattoo of the Makanga at the location near Supreme Ego. Alongside 100% spell suppression from gear and a couple skill tree nodes, the character is incredibly tanky to elemental and spell damage.

Defenses: Physical taken as Fire
Large physical hits are always a problem to characters on the right side of the tree. To increase our physical mitigation, we stack sources of "physical damage taken as fire damage." Since our fire resistance is at or near 90%, this is a huge reduction in incoming damage. Sources of this stat are fairly rare however.

We get a large portion (40%) of physical as fire from the Cloak of Flame unique. Importantly, this unique doesn't specify "damage as hits" so it also helps reduce physical damage over time like bleeds and degen pools. Another 15% comes from the combination of explicit and implicit mods on our helmet. We also run a Watcher's Eye with the "while affected by Purity of Fire" mod for another 10%. Finally, a timeless jewel was located that provides another 15% added to nodes we're already taking on the passive tree.

The result is that 80% of incoming physical damage from hits is taken instead as fire. The remaining 20% of damage is resisted by our ~15k armour which is scaled with the Determination aura. Because damage shifting occurs before armour calculations, the hit damage to armour is smaller meaning that armour effectiveness is much higher than it would otherwise be against large physical hits.

All together, these defensive mechanics enable us to tank the Sirus maze meteor, Uber Shaper slam, etc.



This build uses three unique pieces of gear and a handful of unique jewels. For detailed discussion of the reasoning behind the uniques, see the Mechanics section.

All the stats on Blackflame are beneficial to the build so it's important to use a well-rolled one. The ignite duration on Cloak of Flame entirely offsets the downside to Blackflame even at a minimum roll, so it's less important. Try to find one with a useful corruption. Mahuxotl's is niche, but only comes from the Trial Master and reliquary keys so it can be expensive near the start of the league.

We use a Watcher's Eye with physical taken as fire and ailments deal damage faster. You could instead use a + DOT multiplier jewel instead of the faster ailments: these provide roughly the same amount of damage per second but the DOT multi jewels tend to be more expensive.

A Stormshroud unique jewel is used to achieve ailment immunity in combination with some passive tree skills, boot implicits, and an abyss jewel.

A Forbidden Flesh/Flame combination with "Way of the Poacher" is used to generate frenzy charges. With 6 maximum charges between these jewels and skill tree nodes, this ends up being a large multiplier to damage and cast speed.


Our rare armour needs to provide three main things: flat life, chance to suppress, and chaos resitance. Additionally, the helmet must have a mana reservation efficiency roll to enable all our auras with increased AOE on Blaphemy. Stats are then fit in where possible to enable the use of more tattoos on the skill tree. These three rares are all eldritch influenced, giving access to some excellent implicits.

One implicit on each piece provides more damage through various means: curse effect, damage over time multiplier, and faster ignites. The other stat is meant to patch up holes as needed. The glove suppress is used to reach 100% suppression, the boot shock avoidance helps us get ailment immunity with Stormshroud, and the helmet implicit provides more physical mitigation. The boot enchant helps overcome Hexblast's low base critical strike chance to enable more frequent procs on Elemental Overload.

A multi-modded +2 gem, damage over time wand is used to scale damage and cap ignite chance. I suggest using a cast speed base as cast speed is very good quality of life for this build. You can craft this weapon by alteration spamming for +1 all gems on a fractured DOT multi base, cleaning the prefixes, meta-modding "multiple crafted mods" + "cannot roll attack" + a random prefix and using the augment/remove chaos harvest craft. This is guaranteed to hit +1 chaos gems and there is a 75% chance to not remove the +1 all gems. Then multi-mod fire damage over time and fire damage / chance to ignite.

The amulet is a purely offensive choice with a hefty price tag. Requiring a fractured +1 all skills base, it is crafted with essences for increased chaos damage and can then be deterministically harvest crafted to get +1 chaos gems.

A Stygian Vise with flask modifiers and as much life as possible is used to maximize flask uptime. The belt implicit is also a nice damage multiplier. An abyss jewel with life, -resistance to withered enemies, and shock avoidance is used to cap ailment avoidance.

The other ring slot is used to patch up any holes in the build. Here, I opted for a synthesized base and crafted with a nice mixture of offense, defense, and stats. I then essence crafted for a reasonable amount of stats, locked suffixes and reforged caster for cast speed, then locked suffixes and veiled chaos. Crafting mana from the bench nearly guarantees a flat life unveil. I then craft one of the flat fire damage crafts. This adds fire damage to our Ball Lightning which helps ensure that ignite and therefore wither never falls off of enemies.


The life flask and Replica Sorrow of the Divine are mandatory for the build. Replica Sorrow is used to also provide Eldritch Battery to the build, completely solving mana problems.

The Silver flask provides movement speed and much needed cast speed along with its suffix. A quicksilver is used for even more movement speed and the flask suffix is used to cap chance to ignite at 100%. Finally, the Quartz flask is used to help cap spell suppression and provides phasing for quality of life. The flask suffix here is flexible; use what you like. Armour is probably best in slot though.

Gem Setups:


The 6-link Hexblast setup is socketed in our body armour. Divergent Hexblast is used to get a little extra ailment scaling and Divergent Sacrifice is used to amplify the sacrifice effect. The other four gems are typical awakened supports for burning damage builds.

Despair Aura:

We convert the Despair curse into an aura with Awakened Blasphemy support. The area of effect is then scaled with Anomalous Increased AoE to ensure that any mobs on the screen will be under the effect of Despair and therfore get the 40% more multiplier from Hexblast and the resistance reduction from the curse. Enlighten is used to manage mana reservation.

Brand Setup:

Arcanist Brand is used to constantly apply to spells to enemies with high uptime. First, Ball Lightning is used since it's a fast hitting spell to apply as many stacks of wither as possible. This also reapplies a small ignite constantly, ensuring that wither stacks never fall off. Second, Frost Bomb is used for its 75% reduced life regeneration rate debuff. This is a noticeable quality of life improvement when fighting Maven-witnessed bosses since it almost negates her healing. Both these spells are kept at low level to ensure we don't kill ourselves in reflect maps. Increased duration is a quality of life support that extends the amount of time that the brand stays attached to the enemy.

Divine Blessing:

We select Malevolence as our Divine Blessing because the increased aura effect is a significant damage boost while active. Using Increased Duration support, the divine blessing lasts over 20 seconds. Because of our large amount of energy shield from Corrupted Soul on Mahuxotl's and Eldritch Battery from Replica Sorrow of the Divine, there is no issue with affording the large energy shield cost of the skill.


The gems in our wand are just added miscellaneous skills. Flame Dash is our instant movement skill for jumping walls. Molten Shell is the guard skill; I bind this to left click for maximum uptime. The character is tanky enough that it doesn't need to be used reactively. Finally, a low level Precision is used as mana reservation allows for a small extra amount of critical strike chance.


Q: Have you considered using a life flask with the "Sapping" prefix?
A: Yeah, that would increase the life recovery rate, but in my opinion, this is sufficient. Using "Saturated" instead gives you reduced recovery rate, offsetting the increase from the Herbalism notable. This makes it so that your flask effect stays up for a longer duration of time at the cost of reduced recovery per second. Basically, you don't have to spam your life flask as much, and the window of time you have to do so is wider. It's just quality of life and which you use is all down to personal preference.

Q: Would this build benefit from Progenesis?
A: Progenesis would be very powerful for further increasing the eHP of the character, especially since its effect works on 100% of the character's life instead of just the bottom half that we're getting from PB. The build as outlined is "general purpose" for mapping and bossing. If you swapped out the quicksilver flask for Progenesis (moving the % chance to ignite flask suffix to the suppression flask), you could probably also tank Maven memory game. Obviously, you'd rather have the movement speed for mapping, but it would be a great switch option for bossing.

Q: Can you use Taste of Hate for even more physical mitigation?
A: No! Not without also building for cold resistance. Even though this build shifts 100% of cold damage to fire/chaos, damage cannot be shifted twice. This means that if you use ToH to shift physical to cold, it will instead be resisted by your negative cold resistance and you will actually take MORE damage.

Q: What map mods should be avoided?
A: Don’t run “enemies have a chance to avoid elemental ailments,” “reduced flask charges gained” or “reduced recovery rate of life” maps. Avoid reduced maximum resistances or reduced effect of auras maps if you don’t want to die. Hexproof maps are annoying but doable. Reflect is fine as long as ball lightning and your movement skill are low level.

My Other Build Guides:
Ethical Crit Impending Doom + Hexblast Occultist: The 6699 Build
Corpse Explosion Autobomber - Ignite Proliferation Chieftain
Eye of Winter Triggerbot Assassin: >5000 projectiles per second

Thank you for your interest in my build; if you have questions or suggestions feel free to drop them in the posts below. I try to check at least semi-regularly. If you would like to see more content of this type the best way you can support me is by subscribing to my Youtube channel. Thanks again!
Last edited by _Atollo_ on Nov 4, 2023, 2:14:25 PM
Last bumped on Nov 11, 2023, 1:36:59 PM
Reserved for additions by the author.
cool build, but you should definitely use the sapping prefix on the life flask for more recovery

I've tried sapping; I actually prefer Concentrated because the decreased recovery rate makes it so I don't have to spam the flask button so frequently. It also widens the "forgiveness" window. You want to maintain 100% uptime on the flask so it's nice to have a little bit of "slack" between the charge generation and flask effect duration so you don't have to press the button EXACTLY on expiration.

What I should probably do is carry around a Sapping flask to use on bosses where I can just focus on flask timing.

You're absolutely right though, that would be the correct way to min-max the recovery!
you should definitely use the sapping prefix on the life flask for more recovery

Your post did make me realize I'm still using the tier 2 prefix on the life flask though. Oops! Thanks for the suggestion
The interactions are super neat and the play style (tanky + dots) is just what I like, combined with the high mobility of a pathfinder.

My current pathfinder is using the Lightning Coil - Taste of Hate package for phys mitigation plus a Progenesis flask.

(How) would this build benefit from other defensive measures, such as

- Progenesis
- Lightning Coil + Taste of Hate + Topaz flask
- Immutable Force/Bloodnotch

(all of which don't require using a shield and would open yourself up for either some dps enhancing second weapon or a different shield as well as some timeless jewel flexibility.
HatMatter wrote:
The interactions are super neat and the play style (tanky + dots) is just what I like, combined with the high mobility of a pathfinder.

My current pathfinder is using the Lightning Coil - Taste of Hate package for phys mitigation plus a Progenesis flask.

(How) would this build benefit from other defensive measures, such as

- Progenesis

Progenesis would be very powerful for further increasing the eHP of the character, especially since its effect works on 100% of the character's life instead of just the bottom half that we're getting from PB. The build as outlined is "general purpose" for mapping and bossing. If you swapped out the quicksilver flask for Progenesis (moving the % chance to ignite flask suffix to the suppression flask), you could probably also tank Maven memory game. Obviously, you'd rather have the movement speed for mapping, but it would be a great switch option for bossing.


- Lightning Coil + Taste of Hate + Topaz flask

For other skills, this setup works fine. I would argue that for an ignite build, Cloak of Flame is a no-brainer. The amount of "increased ignite duration" (40-75%) is larger than most other sources in the game; for reference, passive tree skills give 10-20% for small/notables. Don't underestimate the power of that stat: in this build it more than completely offsets the downside of using Blackflame. Additionally, it lets you stack sources of "ignites/ailments deal damage faster" which act as a more multiplier to DPS.

For other builds, Lightning Coil + Taste of Hate + Topaz takes care of your physical mitigation but they don't really help with fire or chaos. You could run a ruby flask to get the 20% reduced fire damage taken - in terms of damage taken this is equivalent to going from 75% max fire res to 80% (for bow builds that want to run Dying Sun anyway, this isn't a bad option). You can get your chaos resistance to 75% with the help of an amethyst flask (like Progenesis, there are some synergies here) but there's not an easy way to scale the effective maximum resistance for chaos without Mahuxotl's / Divine Flesh.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that the two setups are roughly equal in terms of physical mitigation except 40% of the Cloak of Flame setup works on DoT as well. In terms of elemental mitigation, the Lightning Coil setup can maybe get to 83-84% effective elemental resistances and 75-77% chaos. The opportunity costs are up to personal preference: for the lightning coil setup you have to use your flask slots, for the Mahuxotl's setup you have to use your offhand and Timeless jewel. In my opinion, the Mahuxotl's setup is the all-around tankier of the two but honestly, both are tanky enough for most content.

The last thing you need to consider is that you have to build all res on the Lightning Coil setup and make up for the -60% lightning. In the Mahuxotl's + Tempered by War + Cloak of Flame setup, you're effectively getting 87+% all maximum resistances but you only have to gear for fire and chaos. This frees up a LOT of suffix slots for attributes, suppression, etc.


- Immutable Force/Bloodnotch

Immutable Force / Bloodnotch is not an option in the Mahuxotl's setup because of life as extra ES from Corrupted Soul. The large amount of ES would brick your chance to be stunned.

For other builds, it's an option although if you're already running Master Surgeon I don't see why you'd invest two jewel sockets in this form of recovery since you can already reach things on the order of 50% of maximum HP recovered per second from your life flask.


(all of which don't require using a shield and would open yourself up for either some dps enhancing second weapon or a different shield as well as some timeless jewel flexibility.

There's no arguing some more DPS could be squeezed out by going with a different off-hand option. The build is somewhat contrived in that I wanted to showcase two "sacrifice" mechanics in the same character so Mahuxotl's was a foregone conclusion :)

The major DPS upgrade I'm considering is swapping my belt to Olesya's Delight; this would convert 6 frenzy charges to 7 affliction charges, going from a 24% more multiplier to a 56% more multiplier. I would need to make up some flask effect / flask charge generation from the belt to do so, but it should be feasible with a Alchemist's Genius medium cluster.
Looks very cool!

I have been looking for a new build to run after getting a Mageblood.

Do you think a Mageblood would benefit this build?
helgi wrote:
Do you think a Mageblood would benefit this build?


Sure, Mageblood is good on basically any build. That being said, I think some of its power would be wasted on this build. As Pathfinder, we already have access to permanent flask uptime. Additionally, a life flask is mandatory for Master Surgeon and we need a unique Replica Sorrow of the Divine to maintain uptime on Everlasting sacrifice. So you’re down to three available flask spots for magic utility flasks, wasting one of the potential Mageblood slots. Mageblood would however, allow you to craft the increased flask effect / cannot regain charges on your flasks, so you’d get something like an additional 30% movement speed, 20% cast speed, some armour and a bit of suppression. The suppression may save you a passive point and the ignite flask suffix would allow you to cap ignite chance with just the suffix, freeing your cluster jewels for more offensive multipliers. All in all, a 3-flask mageblood would get you maybe a little tankier against phys hits and would probably allow you to get ~20% more damage.

If I had a 4 flask mageblood, I’d probably pick a different build with a higher damage ceiling where the mageblood actually enables flask mechanics that otherwise weren’t available. This build could have a sweet spot at the investment level where you can afford a corrupted 3-flask mageblood but not a clean one.
any Particular Pantheon and Ascendancy order?

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