Big Dark Pact Totems Hierophant Build Guide (PoE Lake of Kalandra 3.19)

TbXie

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Scourge League

Dear reader, due to real-life commitments (a job, mainly), I have not been able to edit this guide in its entirety for this league’s patch. However, I did update the Path of Building, meaning that other than some little tweaks for things that might have changed, using the PoB below the build will be fully functional.

Please excuse me for the lack of time, and for not being able to update the guide entirely. Here’s the updated Path of Building for this build that you should follow. Do note that this Path of Building is the only one you should be following, and not the other ones mentioned in this guide.

Introduction

One of the most classic build archetypes in Path of Exile are definitely Totem Builds. Totems have gone through a lot of iterations over the years, and other skills were popularized through skill balances, Ascendancy releases, and changes of mechanics. One of the most iconic builds in PoE is definitely “Pizza Sticks”, which is slang that was used for Flameblast Flameblast Totems. While this might sound horrible in the current state of the game, Flameblast Totems were considered the most broken thing to ever have happened to Path of Exile when they were popularized. Obviously, Flameblast, Ignite, and spell totem were changed and the skill lost in popularity! All of this occurred before Dark Pact Dark Pact even existed, and even then it took the Path of Exile community quite a while to realize how to use it effectively with Totems.

This immediately brings me to my first important point about the build guide: this build requires an Astral Projector Astral Projector to function. Well, I guess that might be a little harsh, but the ring basically makes the build go from kind of subpar to absolute god-tier in every single aspect. Before you acquire this ring, Dark Pact will cast an AoE around your Totems which makes it rather awkward to clear an entire screen of monsters, as you’d have to put a totem on each pack. Astral Projector makes it so Dark Pact becomes targetable and castable away from you. Totems do use this mechanic fairly well, and start casting Dark Pacts well away from their base, and targeted at monster packs, to completely obliterate entire screens of monsters in seconds.

Other than the ring, the gear can be really cheap yet can be min-maxed fairly hard towards the endgame. The build relies on a combination of Energy Shield (with high regen), a decent Life Pool, Spell Suppression, A combination of Armour & Evasion through Auras to stay alive. It easily reaches over 7000 Effective Health Pool, resulting in a fairly tanky character. By itself, there are probably a lot more tanky characters out there, but since you’re playing a Totem build, you’ll rarely be in the fray and will rarely actually get hit by stuff. The build is incredibly safe, unless you decide to run ahead of your totems for some reason.

Build Summary

Pros and Cons

Pros

+ The skill feels amazing to play
+ Incredible Clear Speed
+ Ridiculous damage
+ After the Astral Projector Astral Projector, it blasts on any level of gear
+ Tanky through MoM and Hierophant’s MoM

Cons

Requires an Astral Projector Astral Projector, which can be a little bit hard to get, to feel good
Because of the above, it’s hardly playable in SSF
Can feel a little squishy at earlier stages of gear / levels

Map Modifiers to be Avoided

No Regeneration is annoying, but can be dealt with if you bring a Mana Flask. Otherwise, there’s nothing that’ll annoy you too much.

Playstyle, Mechanics & Strengths

The playstyle of all Totem builds is fairly similar. Put your Totems down and watch them evaporate minions in the meanwhile. While your Totems go to town, you’re going to be casting Wither Wither, which will cast Despair Despair through the Cast while Channeling support gem. Other than that, your wand will have the trigger craft to automatically trigger a Storm Brand Storm Brand, which will take care of your Power Charge generation. This is a core enabler of the build, as without it we would never be getting close to the Critical Strike Chance cap.

Aside from the Wither casting, you don’t have anything to do, which means you’ll have a lot of downtime to move, dodge, and learn mechanics! This is one of Totem builds’ main features. It enables you to learn fights, mechanics, and just play the game in a better way in general as they allow you to have an easy time while they do your work for you. These totems push that fact to the next level, as they cast from a screen away and make it so you’ll rarely encounter monsters whatsoever.

The reason why Dark Pact Dark Pact scales so incredibly well with Totems is because it’s fairly easy to bump up Totem Life. Since Dark Pact gets its damage from “sacrificing” a part of your Life, (or in this case your Totems’ Life), scaling Totem Life is almost always your highest DPS-increasing stat. As Totems inherently have more HP than players do, the base damage Dark Pact gets from sacrificing parts of their HP is rather high and thus easier to scale up!

Passive Skill Tree, PoB, and Gem Links

You can find an optimized Path of Building here. Every build I release will use the community fork of Path of Building, which is maintained and updated in a much more regular fashion than the original one. You can find PoB’s Fork, by LocalIdentity, here.

If you are not comfortable with Path of Building, we also have a PoePlanner for you. Do note that PoE Planner does not support Cluster Jewels and some specific unique jewels and it is highly recommended you install Path of Building to follow builds most optimally.

More information about the Passive Skill Tree, as well as all the Gem Links can be found on our dedicated page.

Passive Skill Tree, PoB & Gem Links

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons

Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.

Ascendancy, Bandit & Pantheon Power Page

Gear Summary / TL;DR

A lot of this is explained more in depth in the Gear Page, however we will provide you with a basic idea of what gear you’re looking for in this short summary.

Gear Page

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Deicide Mask Deicide Mask 12% Dark Pact Cast Speed, Life, Resistances & Spell Suppression
Amulet Citrine Amulet Citrine Amulet with Cast Speed, Crit Multiplier, Life and Resistances
Chest Vaal Regalia Vaal Regalia with Spell Crit, Life, Spell Suppression and Life as Extra Energy Shield
Gloves Sorcerer Gloves Sorcerer Gloves with High Life, Resistances and Spell Suppression
Boots Any rare boots with Life, Resistances, Spell Suppression and Movement Speed
Belt Stygian Vise Stygian Vise with Life, Resistances
Rings 1x Astral Projector Astral Projector & 1x Ring with Life, Resistances and Dexterity
Weapon Rare Profane Wand Profane Wand with Spell Damage, levels to Spell Skills, Cast Speed, Spell Crit
Shield Rare Evasion/Energy Shield Shield with Life, +1 to Maximum Number of Totels, Cast Speed & Spell Suppression

Questions & Support

I made it a habit to check all comments in my guides on a daily basis. Obviously, there might be occurrences where getting a reply might take longer but I really do try to get back to you as soon as possible. I prefer you making remarks, suggestions or asking questions that way as it allows others to read through the comments, providing them with a potential answer to their question, without having to wait for me again. If I have somehow missed your question, you can try reaching me on our Discord.

If you enjoy my content to such an extent that you’d like to support me and my work, I have a Patreon you can check out. At no point should you feel pressured to contribute, but if you do, your support means more to me than you will ever imagine.

Leveling

Since we are very adamant about trying to give you a leveling experience that lies as close to your endgame playstyle as possible, we will be providing you a way to level up with Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse totems. If you are looking for the most optimal way to level a character to maps, we refer you to the following guides. You can swap to Dark Pact totems as soon as you can equip your Astral Projector at level 40, (or at level 28 when you get Dark Pact if you want to use Dark Pact).

Getting to Brutus & Merveil

For starters, create a Templar in whichever league you want to start.

Pick up an Explosive Trap Explosive Trap from the vendor to start your journey and go to kill Hailrake and clear Mud Flats. Set up the following links after Mud Flats:

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  1. Explosive Trap Explosive Trap

After killing Brutus, you will be adding an Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support to your Freezing Pulse.

Level 12 and Onwards Setup

From level 12, after killing Merveil, you’ll be setting up for your road to maps. It might be a little rough for some bosses, but you should eventually be fine with this setup.

  1. Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support
  2. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  3. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  4. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support
  5. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  6. Lesser Multiple Projectiles Support Lesser Multiple Projectiles Support
    Use the following on bosses:
  1. Frost Bomb Frost Bomb
  2. Frostbite Frostbite
    or Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark

Run the following auras:

  1. Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder
  2. Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots

Changelog

  • Updated for Ritual 3.13.

  • Build added.

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