~|-|~Fiery totems~|-|~ dual Flame totem guide with EB/MoM/ AA (added 67-68 map videos)

Your feedback is greatly appreciated!! Please contact me personally if you have any questions.

History
03/15 - created guide
03/15 - added gameplay videos
03/16 - added passive tree progression and another tree variant suitable for hardcore
03/17 - added a few gameplay videos for low level maps
03/23 - added bandit reward choices

Introduction

When I started playing ambush league, I could not find any flame totem guides that were running on mana without running into serious mana issues. Most of the flame totem builds seem to be using blood magic passive to counter this obnoxious mana cost of flame totem.

So I theorycrafted a dual flame totem templar build that would run off on mana, with insane amounts of mana regeneration, and Mind over matter and arctic armor to utilize our huge mana pool as a damage buffer.

I ended up with a very tanky build that does a lot of damage, while still being able to kill monsters offscreen like most dual totem builds - all this without running into any mana issues.

I have not yet reached endgame with this build yet, but I have no doubt it will be just as good. I have done some nasty vaal bosses in merciless, such as forgotten oubliette with dual bosses, the neglected cellar freeze pulse trapper boss with 30% extra dmg, etc.

Act bosses are far far easier, and I had killed cruel dominus at lvl 50 without ever going below 75% health.

So here we go..

Disclaimer
Spoiler
This build is still a work in progress. I am only lvl 64 at the moment but things have been very easy so far, so I have no doubt this will scale excellently into endgame. The dps is already very good, especially bosses are very easy to kill. I have taken very few life nodes so far, and the next 15-20 levels will be utilized pushing my life to the max.


Videos (more to come soon as I level up!!)
Spoiler


1. Merciless docks run at lvl 64. (apologies for the quality, i'm a noob at recording)

http://youtu.be/Nzvc92u2CWk

Note the excellent mana regen (218 in the video), which is enough to cover any mana lost from mind over matter. I stupidly forgot to run arctic armor for 75% of the video (lol), and was wondering why the voidbearers were doing so much damage. They actually hardly do any damage with AA running.

2. Merciless lunaris temple lvl 3 (lvl 65) - without piety

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIeljPpO-Gs&list=UUuA6FK2sOD6QT34y88dCEyw

I think it demonstrates that the build is doing well. Life is still extremely low, but I finally got all my totem nodes, so the next 10 nodes will be all 8% life nodes. Hoping to get 3k+ life by lvl 75.

3. Facepalm to titty bitches!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGUdG59pEfA&list=UUuA6FK2sOD6QT34y88dCEyw

As you can see, even with a dozen of them shooting at you, you take ZERO damage due to arctic armor. Gets better with higher lvl gem.

4. Merciless piety kill (lvl 65)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzkwH2f45I0&list=UUuA6FK2sOD6QT34y88dCEyw

Killing piety. Life still low at 1995 hp, so take a few big hits. Nothing dangerous though.
All gems only lvl 16.

5. Vaal pyramid map partial run with temporal chains and double boss (lvl 72)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF00zg1AJVc

5. Wharf map boss quick kill (lvl 72)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVBjzJBAmpg

6. Sewers map double boss (lvl 71)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xhf_1of1bFU

More videos coming soon. Unable to get a map higher than 68 as of yet. :\


Pros and Cons
Spoiler

Pros:
- excellent single target AND aoe damage, great for soloing and MFing
- ton of survivability through arctic armor/mind over matter/iron reflexes while still having high life pool
- no mana problems even with 300+ mana cost of flame totem. Currently I have 2.4k mana and 220 mana regen at lvl 64.
- totems will draw most of the enemy fire, you will hardly get hit if you are careful
- fairly easy to gear up, requiring no powerful uniques/rares or 20/20 gems
- Immune to machine gun damage, viz voidbearers, tentacle miscreations, plumed chimeraes, etc thanks to arctic armor. We can run a lvl 20+ arctic armor with this build.
- get the specialist achievement with 4 keystones! :D

Cons:
- mana cost might seem unbearable, till u grab eldritch battery.
- requires some amount of kiting/dodging - don't try to facetank with dual totem builds.
- damage over time is painful, especially puncture damage.
(this should not be much trouble if u kite these enemies a bit. Heck, I killed dual forgotten oubliette bosses in merciless at lvl 53 with 1.4k life only.. lol)
- storm herald is somewhat painful, if u are having trouble here replace any blue gem on flame totem links with totem resistance gem. Also, lightning thorns are a nightmare.
- no regen maps will be near impossible.

Half regen maps will be doable if we turn off arctic armor. We will still have around ~100 mana regen with half regen, with use of mana pots this will be doable.



Passive tree
Spoiler




Keystones :
1. Iron reflexes - convert all evasion rating to armor. Dexterity provides no bonus to evasion rating.
2. Ancestral bond - can summon upto 1 additional totem. You cannot deal damage with your skills yourself.
3. Eldritch battery - converts all energy shield to mana.
4. Mind over matter - when hit, 30% of damage is taken from mana before life.

Passive tree better suited for HC/invasion league


Why totem damage over fire damage?
Spoiler
A lot of extra dps comes from the added chaos damage support. The totem damage nodes will boost this damage as well, while fire damage only enhances the dps from flame totem. You get more dps from 16% totem damage than from 18% fire damage, for example.



Bandit choices
Normal - Oak for +40 life
Cruel - kill all for passive point
Merciless - kill all for passive point

Passive tree progression
Spoiler

This is the tree progression I followed in ambush league. For hardcore leagues, the life nodes will take priority above all else. I will add the HC tree progression later.











105 pts (Finished tree)

http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgUBBAcFWwagEMwVIBjbGYUaOBpsHwIkqij6KU8ppSoTKk0qjSu2LKcs6S0fNZI2xTbYNuk_J0GHRZ1G10p9SsRKyEyzTipVxlnzWitbr1wMXcZeXWBtZIRnoGwWbRluqnKpdPF4aXqqgh6Cm4LHg9uFModlh3aI8YuMjEaPRpBVl4Wa4Jwtna6j8qcIp4SnlKyqtQS18rc-uJPAGsHzxq7Occ9l0NDR_dQV2CTbC90N3fPhc-Nq5CLqGOvu7DjsVe0g9q73MviT-Ov5vfno_Ev8xf4K

120 points tree

http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgUBBAcEswVbBqAQzBRNFSAY2xmFGjgabB8CJKoo-ilPKaUqEypNKo0rtiynLOktHzGeNZI2xTbYNuk62D8nQYdFnUbXSn1KxErITLNN2E3jTipVxljlWfNaK1uvXAxdxl5dYG1khGegbBZtGW6qcql08XhpeqqBb4IegpuCx4PbhTKHZYd2iPGLjIxGjHaPRpBVl4Wa4Jwtna6ePKIAo_KmV6cIp4SnlKyqtQS18rc-uJPAGsHzwxPGrs5xz2XQ0NH91BXYJNsL3Q3d8-Fz42rkIuoY6-7sOOxV7SDwH_au9zL4k_jr-b356PxL_MX-Cv6P





Playstyle
Spoiler
We get all the totem life/resistance nodes on the tree, because we want our totems to be tanky. Flame totems do shotgun damage when all the projectiles overlap with each other, causing some serious harm to enemies. For this reason, we want to place our totems as close to enemies as possible, and because of this they get hit a lot. So we ourselves get hit very rarely, since the totems will aggro enemies. For this reason, it is essential we have enough mana/mana regen to keep up a steady supply of totems and enough cast speed to get them up quickly if they die.


Skills and links
Spoiler

1. Main attack skill -
Flame totem + Greater multiple projectiles + faster casting + fire penetration (4 link)
Flame totem + Greater multiple projectiles + faster casting + fire penetration + added chaos damage (5 link)
Flame totem + Greater multiple projectiles + faster casting + fire penetration + faster projectiles/totem elemental resistance(4 link)

Faster projectiles might not be required if you get a nice wand with lots of projectile speed like this one:


While MFing piety, replace added chaos/faster casting with an IIR gem.

2. Secondary attack skill -
Fire trap + concentrated effect + multiple traps (adds some nice extra dps, especially helpful against enemies that freeze ur totems too often)

3. Auras -
Discipline + clarity + reduced mana

4. Curse -
Flammability + faster casting + arctic armor

5. Trigger gem setup
Cast when damage taken + enduring cry + molten shell + immortal call

6. Other -
Lightning warp + reduced duration + faster casting



Gearing
Spoiler

Gearing is fairly easy for the build, since we only need AR/ES gear with some amount of life/resists.

Note : It is not essential to get life on every gear piece, but of course it is always helpful to have more life. What is more important is to max out your resists in merciless, since arctic armor mitigates only physical and fire damage, and we take full damage from cold, lightning and chaos.

Weapon - wand with spell dmg, cast speed, projectile speed (important), fire dmg (choose a wand with at least 2-3 of these mods, one of which should be projectile speed)

Chest - AR/ES or Eva/ES chest with life/resists/mana. This is one of the 2 best slots to gain extra mana from the ES-eldritch battery conversion.

Shield - AR/ES shield with life/resists/mana. This is the other slot where we can gain a lot of extra mana, plus the AR/ES shields come with implicit resists mod. Icing to the cake :)

Gloves/boots/helmet - again AR/ES or Eva/ES with life/resists/mana. Aim for at least 20% movement speed on boots.

Belt - leather/chain belt with life/resists/energy shield.

Jewellery - fill up for whatever you are lacking in terms of life/resists/mana regen/IIR in these slots. I chose mana regen because together my amulet and 2 rings increase my mana regen per second by 100!

Current gear
Spoiler



Coming soon
- levelling guide and progression of passives
- map footage

My ambush league shop thread:
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/815939
Last edited by nightblade157 on March 26, 2014 3:39 PM
this is a question thats come up when i was theorycrafting, what are your thoughts on going all the way for ironwood? youre softcore correct? how tanky is the build? it looks rather squishy with only 64% life for your current level
Last edited by alkoxide on March 15, 2014 9:15 PM
"
alkoxide wrote:
this is a question thats come up when i was theorycrafting, what are your thoughts on going all the way for ironwood? youre softcore correct? how tanky is the build? it looks rather squishy with only 64% life for your current level


I did go all the way for ironwood. It seems essential for totem's survival. Before I had it the totems seem to die a lot. Its a good idea to grab it right after u grab ancestral bond. The 16% totem life nodes can be taken later.

Yea since I was playing on ambush I rushed the totem nodes first. I had all the totem nodes by lvl 66, so after that the next 15 levels or so can be spent getting only life nodes. As you can see in the final passive tree (103 points) we have 172% increased life. This can be brought to 225+ with some tree changes.

For playing in invasion/hardcore league, I would suggest grabbing the life and life/mana nodes first. Also for HC you can skip the immolation/fire walker nodes and spend them getting the 28% life/1.5% life regen in duelist area.

But even in ambush at lvl 65 in a3 merciless with only 1.8k life, I died very very rarely, and mostly when I desynced after opening a strongbox. Piety did kill me once while I was recording a video and fps was dropping to 0, but otherwise the totems are very tanky and draw all enemy fire. My totems can take 5-6 of piety's ice shots before going down, and around 2 of Dominus's god smashes.

I will add a HC variant of the passive tree to the original post.

Last thing I want to say is, life is the final layer of defense and the only situations you need more life is to protect u from puncture/ignite/chaos dmg, because MoM/arctic armor can't mitigate them. You are immune to machinegun damage with arctic armor, and it also cuts regular physical/fire dmg a lot.
Hey I have a question here. I am currently aiming for flame totem templar.

I however consider playing triple flame totem with the aid of soul mantle.

Soul mantle adds a lot of energy shield which would become mana with your build for a stronger arctive armor.

The level 20 curses could be removed with warding flasks. Which however would also mean I have to use potions often.

Should I play dual or triple totems? I am so confused. Please advice me, thank you!
Deadpeng
"
Deadpeng wrote:
Hey I have a question here. I am currently aiming for flame totem templar.

I however consider playing triple flame totem with the aid of soul mantle.

Soul mantle adds a lot of energy shield which would become mana with your build for a stronger arctive armor.

The level 20 curses could be removed with warding flasks. Which however would also mean I have to use potions often.

Should I play dual or triple totems? I am so confused. Please advice me, thank you!


While soul mantle does give u the ability to run an extra totem and some additional totem life/spell damage, it would also have the following disadvantage:

- difficulty keeping up 3 totems constantly. A 5 link level 20 flame totem would cost some 330 mana per cast, ie near 1k mana each time u get up 3 totems.
- needs u to have at least 2-3 flasks with curse removal, and some curses like vulnerability and temporal chains can be very annoying if not removed immediately.
- no armor/evasion. Since we use iron reflexes, main source of armor comes from chest/shield. This is not a big issue though because our armor will be low anyways.
- 5 link soul mantle will be around 3-4 exalts, which is very expensive compared to an armor/es chest which can be had for 10 chaos.

Personally, I believe that cloak of defiance will serve our purpose best, as it gives a total of 40% damage goes to mana, almost doubling our effective life pool.

But if you think you can sustain the mana cost for upkeep of the 3 totems then by all means give it a try! And let me know how it goes.

Edit : 1 point I forgot to mention is that flame totem damage is already very good, not really requiring a 3rd totem. Soul mantle is better suited to builds which use the totem support gem, as with flame totem that mod becomes useless. To mention which, I don't know how the totem support mod of soul mantle will interact with the flame totem, ie if it will cast a totem that casts a totem or directly cast it.
Last edited by nightblade157 on March 17, 2014 11:09 AM
ahhhh. I see!

thanks man
Deadpeng
"
Deadpeng wrote:
ahhhh. I see!

thanks man


If you have a soul mantle, do try putting a flame totem in it and see how it interacts. I would be interested to know :)
added some videos of 66-68 maps. Will add higher map footage once i get them.
Have you tested "Added Lightning Damage" over "Added Chaos Damage"?!
Cuz I'm also playing a dual flame totem build and really would like to know if it's better cuz you can shock stack mobs easy. :)
"
Have you tested "Added Lightning Damage" over "Added Chaos Damage"?!
Cuz I'm also playing a dual flame totem build and really would like to know if it's better cuz you can shock stack mobs easy. :)


Shock happens only when critical hits with lightning damage are dealt. Templar has very few increased critical strike nodes and equipping increased critical strikes just for shock would mean more lose than gain.

Assuming that templar s critical strikes are pathetic. Added chaos damage is in everyway better.
Deadpeng

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