This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:
The Bladefall Totems Hierophant is a Critical-based character that uses Totems to in order to deal with any content. 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.
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.
There are a few unique items that boost the build’s power tremendously. Soul Mantle will allow you to run your Bladefall on a 7-Link essentially. To counter the curses you are inflicted with, you should use two Kikazaru rings. Self-Flagellation will provide a great amount of damage at basically no cost.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Good balance between offense and defense
+ Good value for the currency spent on gearing
- Totem playstyle might not be for everyone
Offensively, placing a set of totems will be enough to clear nearby packs of monsters. Using 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 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 and deal additional damage because of the Self-Flagellation unique Jewel.
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.
For more information, be sure to check out the Passive Skill Tree page.
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.
We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Belt||Rare Stygian Vise|
|Weapon||Rare Rune Dagger|
As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
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.
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 allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Two 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.
Using 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.
At level 10, you are able to add Flame Dash, which will help with your mobility.
By level 18 your Freezing Pulse link should look like this:
- Freezing Pulse
- Onslaught Support
- Controlled Destruction Support
- Added Cold Damage Support
- Arcane Surge Support
- Faster Casting Support
- Spell Totem Support
- Controlled Destruction Support
- Added Fire Damage Support
- Faster Casting Support
- Concentrated Effect Support
What map mods are hard to deal with?
No Regeneration should be skipped. Chain can also be very annoying, depending on the mobs.
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.