Bladefall Totems Hierophant Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

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Introduction

The Bladefall Totems Hierophant is a Critical-based character that uses Totems to in order to deal with any content. Bladefall Bladefall is a pure physical spell that has great base damage and Critical Strike Chance, which allows us to greatly scale it with Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support.

The Hierophant ascendancy class is one of the best choices when it comes to any Spell-based totem build. It provides great utility in the form of summoning two Totems at once without sacrificing support gems, improves Totem placement speed by a great deal. Spell Totems can cost a lot of Mana in general, Hierophant got us covered here too with its great Mana pool and Mana Regeneration methods.

Build Summary

There are a few unique items that boost the build’s power tremendously. Soul Mantle Soul Mantle will allow you to run your Bladefall Bladefall on a 7-Link essentially. To counter the curses you are inflicted with, you should use two Kikazaru Kikazaru rings. Self-Flagellation Self-Flagellation will provide a great amount of damage at basically no cost.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Good balance between offense and defense
+ Good value for the currency spent on gearing

Cons

- Totem playstyle might not be for everyone

Playstyle

Offensively, placing a set of totems will be enough to clear nearby packs of monsters. Using Flame Dash Flame Dash will ensure you have good uptime on the Arcane Surge buff, which will provide a good amount of damage in the long run. Having decent uptime on your Diamond Flask Diamond Flask will also improve your damage potential by a great deal.

Defensively, as in every other Totem build, good positioning is key. The build achieves a very respectable effective Life pool when you combine your Life, Mind over Matter, and Energy Shield provided via nodes like Arcane Will and Sanctuary of Thought.

For playstyle, having all your Totems up and dodging lethal game mechanics is what you should be doing most of the time. In order to deal maximum damage you should replace your Totems even when they are alive. This way you will be cursed via the Soul Mantle Soul Mantle and deal additional damage because of the Self-Flagellation Self-Flagellation unique Jewel.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Templar – Hierophant)

  1. Pursuit of Faith
  2. Ritual of Awakening
  3. Divine Guidance
  4. Sanctuary of Thought

Pursuit of Faith brings one additional maximum Totem, improving single target damage further, along with a lot of quality of life in the form of Cast Speed, Damage, and Totem Duration.

Ritual of Awakening allows the build to place two Totems per cast. The Totem Placement Speed makes the build feel very smooth and fast.

Divine Guidance improves Mind over Matter by an additional 10% of damage taken as Mana before Life. It also provides 150 flat Mana, which modified by passive tree and items can translate into more than 500 maximum mana.

Sanctuary of Thought reduces mana costs substantially while also provides great amount of Energy Shield to the build.

Passive tree

This is the endgame passive skill tree for the build. For main keystone notables, we pick Ancestral Bond and Mind over Matter. Besides that, we pick all the efficient Totem, Spell Critical, Mana and Life nodes.

Bandits

For this specific build we should help Alira. The critical multiplier and 15% all elemental resistances are stronger than the 2 passive skill points.

Pantheons

Major: The Brine King helps deal to with stun locks. Soul of Lunaris can help you deal with chaining projectiles. Other god powers are useful too, no specific pantheon is irreplaceable and every one can be used based on personal preference and content you are aiming to clear.

Minor: Soul of Shakari’s poison immunity is very useful. When playing Low Life, Abberath brings quality of life. Other gods can be considered based on specific situations.

Pantheon powers can be upgraded by using Divine Vessel in the Map Device while you are activating the particular Map that contains the boss you need. Once you’ve killed the boss and captured his soul, you need to deliver the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Gems

Bladefall Bladefall is your signature skill, which should be ideally socketed in a 6-Linked Soul Mantle Soul Mantle. For mobility, use Flame Dash Flame Dash. Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem will provide additional offensive buffs. Steelskin Steelskin should be used in order to mitigate incoming damage.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority, meaning that if you lack the required number of sockets to fit all the gems, the first ones to drop are the ones at the bottom.

Bladefall (6-Link)

Bladefall Bladefall is an area of effect skill that deals Physical damage in a sequence of 5 volleys, damage and Critical Chance diminishes slightly per volley, meaning the first one hits the hardest. Ideally you want to socket the gem in your Soul Mantle Soul Mantle in order to essentially have a 7-Link main skill. We recommend swapping Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support with Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support for clearing and single target respectively.

For clearing, use the following link.

  1. Bladefall Bladefall
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support
  6. Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support

For single target, use the following link.

  1. Bladefall Bladefall
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support
  6. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support

Flame Dash (3-Link)

Flame Dash Flame Dash will allow you to jump over map terrain and dodge lethal game mechanics. Every time you cast the skill you will gain the Arcane Surge buff; make sure to keep the Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support at gem level 4 or lower.

  1. Flame Dash Flame Dash
  2. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Other Gems

Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem will provide additional Cast Speed. Based on personal, preference you can add Shield Charge Shield Charge in combination with Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support and Fortify Support Fortify Support for more reliable mobility skill. Considering you will be most likely using Clear Mind Clear Mind, you will not be using any auras; if you chose to use an offensive aura, we recommend Hatred Hatred. Steelskin Steelskin can be used for additional damage mitigation.

Gearing

Capping your elemental resistances is essential and it should always be your top priority in any build; it should be the first thing you do when gearing up a character. Obtaining a 6-link, while very powerful and certainly recommended, can potentially be very expensive (requiring an average of 1500 Orbs of Fusing, obviously depending on your luck); as such, this should not really be a goal for you while gearing up, and you should instead settle for a 5-link until you have enough resources.

Helmet

A well rolled Rare Helmet is best in slot. For labyrinth enchant, you should look for “Bladefall has an additional Volley”. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. +# to Maximum Mana

Body Armour

Soul Mantle Soul Mantle is the best in slot Body Armour. Prior to it, a simple Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa should carry you a long way.

Gloves

Well rolled Rare Gloves are best in slot. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. +# to Maximum Mana

Boots

You should look for well rolled Rare Boots. For labyrinth enchant, “% increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven’t Crit Recently”; this will be active all the time since you never Crit any ways, your Totems do. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Movement Speed (at least 25%)
  4. +# to Maximum Mana

Belt

A well-rolled Rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise is best in slot. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Global Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil)

Amulet

A well-rolled Rare Amulet is best in slot. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. Gain #% of Non-Chaos Damage as extra Chaos Damage
  4. Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage
  5. Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Lightning Damage
  6. Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage
  7. % increased Spell Damage
  8. % to Global Critical Multiplier
  9. % increased Global Critical Chance

Rings

You will need to use two Kikazaru Kikazaru unique Rings in order to counter the Soul Mantle Soul Mantle‘s downside. Prior to them, simply use rare Rings in order to fill resistance and attribute gaps. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. # to Dexterity
  4. # to Strength

Weapon

A well-rolled Shaper-based weapon is best in slot. Two Axiom Perpetuum Axiom Perpetuum can be used when playing on a budget. A well rolled Rare Dagger is best in slot. The rare affix priority is:

  1. % increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells (at least 90%)
  2. Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage
  3. Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Lightning Damage
  4. % increased Spell Damage (at least 40%)
  5. % increased Attack Speed (for Shield Charge Shield Charge)

Shield

You should use a well-rolled Rare Shield. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells (at least 90%)

Flasks

Diamond Flask Diamond Flask is mandatory in every Critical-based build. A Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask will improve your mobility by a great deal, try rolling this flask with additional Movement Speed. Blood of the Karui Blood of the Karui is a decent unique Life flask. You can also use a regular Life and Mana flask in order to sustain your Life and Mana pool. Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise is a budget-friendly unique flask that can provide a lot of extra damage for the build. Taste of Hate Taste of Hate is an expensive unique flask that will improve both of your offense and defense by a great deal. A combination of utility flasks can be used for the rest of the flask slots. We recommend having at least Basalt Flask Basalt Flask and Silver Flask Silver Flask or Granite Flask Granite Flask. Make sure you have Bleeding, Curse and Freezing immunity on your flasks.

Be sure to check out our Flask Crafting Guide to learn everything you need to know about how to set up your non-Unique flasks.

Jewels

Self-Flagellation Self-Flagellation should be used for the additional damage it provides when you get cursed from the Soul Mantle Soul Mantle. A Clear Mind Clear Mind can be utilized with the build. Besides that you should prioritize Regular jewels over Abyssal jewels.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % increased Maximum Life
  2. % increased Critical Multiplier (with Spells)
  3. % increased (Spell / Area / Totem) Damage (while holding a Shield)
  4. % increased Critical Chance (with Spells)
  5. % increased Cast (and Attack) Speed (while holding a Shield)
  6. % increased Totem Life

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. +# to Maximum Life
  2. +# to Maximum Mana
  3. % increased Critical Chance if you Haven’t Crit recently
  4. % increased global Critical Multiplier
  5. % increased global Critical Chance
  6. % increased Cast Speed

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

You can start leveling as a Totem build as soon as you have Ancestral Bond and proper gem links (preferably 4-link). Even without leveling unique items, the build is pretty easy and straightforward to level and you should not have any issues.

Leveling Trees

This is the early passive skill tree for the build.

Once you pick Ancestral Bond and Mind over Matter, you should start investing into nodes like Primal Manifestation and Critical Strike nodes such as Annihilation and Arcane Potency. At this point you should have great effective Life pool and you are ready to head to the Shadow starting area.

Useful Leveling Unique Items

As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Two Axiom Perpetuum Axiom Perpetuum can boost your damage early on by a great deal.

If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.

In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.

From level 1, you should use the following link.

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

At level 10, you are able to add Flame Dash Flame Dash, which will help with your mobility.

By level 18 your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse link should look like this:

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  5. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  6. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

At level 28, you can finally drop your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse link and start using your signature skill Bladefall Bladefall. At this point you should have Ancestral Bond.

  1. Bladefall Bladefall
  2. Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
  6. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support

FAQ

What map mods are hard to deal with?

No Regeneration should be skipped. Chain can also be very annoying, depending on the mobs.

Conclusion

The Bladefall Totems Hierophant is a great budget-friendly or even a league-starter build. It requires little currency investment in order to efficiently farm most of the game content and has the option for heavier investment in order to tackle the hardest endgame of Path of Exile.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. The build received a great buff via the changes to Hierophant.

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