Explosive Arrow Slayer League Starter Build Guide (PoE Sentinel 3.18)



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The Explosive Arrow Slayer is a collaboration between Tenkiei & myself. It makes use of Ballista Totem Support Ballista Totem Support and Quill Rain Quill Rain to rain down barrages of Explosive Arrow Explosive Arrow charges upon enemies, swiftly detonating at 20 charges and dealing huge amounts of damage.

While ignite Explosive Arrow has been a viable choice with the right amount of investment, its massive price ceiling for proper gear has made it difficult to recommend as a build starter. The same cannot be said for this explosion charge based slayer that also deals large chunks of ignite, while prioritizing the hit portion of the skill.

The build’s play style naturally has layers of defence from its ability to stay at range and deal damage by simply having ballistas up, allowing you to kite & avoid mechanics without damage downtime. Combining this with Slayer overleech, cull, and capped spell suppression makes the Explosive Arrow Slayer tanky and able to dish out consistent damage to kill all bosses in the game.

We also utilize Elemental Equilibrium to scale our Explosive Arrow’s pure fire damage further. We will want to completely avoid “Fire Damage to Attacks” on gear slots, as this will negatively proc the Elemental Equilibrium, leading to a damage loss.

Below, you can see the build in action from Tenkiei’s YouTube Showcase. Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, you should always look at this guide to make sure you have the updated information.


In this section, I will outline the pros, cons, and general play style. This will allow you to determine if this is the right build is for you!


+ League Starter – The build heavily benefits from low level uniques like Quill Rain Quill Rain which are readily available on league launches

+ Bosser – The damage output this build can achieve even in low budget is completely absurd.

+ Unique Play Style – Unlike the usual Totem play style, Ballistas are placed extremely fast and Quill Rain’s ridiculous attack speed makes it extremely easy to stack up 20 Explosive Arrow Charges in rapid succession.


Unique Play Style – Due to the nature of this build’s play style, it is a build that not everyone will find enjoyable. I strongly recommend watching the gameplay video before starting this build.

Some Screen Clutter – Having 5 ballistas fire off projectiles simultaneously with quill rain, followed up by explosions can make visibility a bit of an issue, making positioning important.


The play style is based around summoning your Ballistas on the field and then letting them kill everything for you while you provide supporting fire with Mirage Archer. Since it takes a second for them to start attacking, you have to get used to staying in the back-line.


Attack speed, resistance reduction, and gem levels are key to scaling the amount of damage our Ballistas put out for the quill rain setup, if you choose to push for a +3 Rare Thicket Bow, this may change as once you have the initial +3, you will want to get +2 additional arrows, attack speed roll on it, fire penetration, and critical strike modifiers in that order of priority.

As well as this, avoid any instance of Pierce on your skills, Explosive Arrow charges do not apply to pierced enemies, and will only apply to the final enemy hit.


The PoB community fork created by Localidentity is the only version being kept up to date, so make sure you have the correct version: PoB Community Fork.

Here is the Explosive Arrow Slayer PoB:. For a quick glance over the finished skill tree for this version, check out this link

You can find more information on our dedicated page, along with all the recommended gem links.

EA Slayer PoB, Passive Skill Tree & Gem Links


A lot of the endgame gear can easily be crafted. For a general overview of crafting and to learn how to craft specific items, check out my crafting guides here.

You can read more details about our gearing recommendations on the dedicated page. You’ll find a summarized version below.

The one thing to note with gearing is to avoid fire damage to attacks on all of your slots, and try and get 1 slot, either through Gloves / Ring / Abyss Jewel with added lightning/cold damage to attacks for purposes of Elemental Equilibrium

Explosive Arrow Slayer Gear, Jewels, & Flasks

Item Slot Item Name Rarity
Head Life & Resistances as needed – Searing Exarch implicit for reduced mana cost of attack skills can help with mana sustain Rare
Amulet Life, resistances & crit multi, keep an open prefix for “non-channeling skills have -# to Total mana cost” bench craft Rare
Chest Evasion based Rare with Spell suppression, high life, and resistances Rare
Gloves Evasion based Rare with Spell suppression, high life, and resistances Rare
Boots Atziri's Step Atziri's Step , later moving on to Rare boots with brittle ground from influence, spell suppression, movement speed, life Unique & Rare
Belt A Rare Stygian Vise can be used for an Abyssal Jewel with lightning/cold dmg to attacks, fill it out with life & resistances as per usual. Rare
Rings Life, “#% of damage taken recouped as life “, open prefix for “non-channeling skills have -# to Total mana cost”, resistances as and when needed. Rare
Weapon Quill Rain Quill Rain Unique


You can read about the Ascendancy, Bandit choice, and Pantheon Power recommendations for this build on our dedicated page.

Explosive Arrow Slayer Ascendancy, Bandits & Pantheon Powers


We level with 2h swords, using Splitting Steel Splitting Steel until we acquire Shattering Steel Shattering Steel at level 12, once you can get a Quill Rain Quill Rain you can start using your ballistas to destroy enemies

For early mapping, it may be worth switching out Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots for Grace Grace to help with defense.

4L Splitting Steel & Shattering Steel

Quill Rain links – 2× 4L

In terms of Auras & Reservations, we will be using Precision Precision from act 1, Defiance Banner Defiance Banner & Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots from act 2 Fidelitas, Determination Determination from act 3.

For more general levelling advice, we recommend the following guides.


To guarantee that guides are tools you can utilize to enhance your experience in Path of Exile, all you need to do is post your question in the comments and I will personally attend to them as soon as possible. You can also check out Tenkiei’s YouTube Channel for guides, streams, and all things gaming related.


As much as I love writing build guides, it is very crucial in a game like Path of Exile that you play the game the way you enjoy playing it. With that said, if you’ve made any tweaks to the build compared to what we’re showing in this guide I would love it if you share in the comments! It’s an effective way to show other approaches and it helps me grow as a build guide creator!

I hope you found the build guide useful and I wish you all many Exalted Orb Exalted Orb drops!

  1. Posts


    Im looking to do EA ballista as starter and try to scale it, but cant seem to locate the high end budget POB link,

    Can someone help me ?

  2. GhazzyTV




    This guide is a colab with Tenkiei and I’m afraid the PoB’s we have atm is the PoB’s displayed. I’ll talk to Shroomy see if we can create a higher budget version for it as well. Just gota make sure Tenkiei is fine with it since it’s his name on the guide as well!

  3. Posts

    The build looks fun but why 2 Quills, guessing one for maps and 1 for boss?

  4. Posts

    Hi, few questions!

    For the end game links, you say
    “6-Link Explosive Arrow Ballistas
    It doesn’t matter whether we have this in the bow or the body armour, unless we intend to run a +3 bow, in which case it needs to be in the bow.”

    Which bow should they be in, the +3, right?

    Which 6 link is for bosses, which is for clearing?

  5. Posts

    On 12/05/2022 at 12:44 AM, GhazzyTV said


    This guide is a colab with Tenkiei and I’m afraid the PoB’s we have atm is the PoB’s displayed. I’ll talk to Shroomy see if we can create a higher budget version for it as well. Just gota make sure Tenkiei is fine with it since it’s his name on the guide as well!

    Hi Ghazzy

    Thank you for the quick reply,

    No worries at all, just love how you create the diffent budgets, so a “newer” player like me knows how the progression should look like.

  6. Posts

    First and foremost, thanks for this detailed build. I have been playing since 2013 but took a long break 3 years ago. So i figured to get back into the game, i’m gonna try a build guide.

    To my question, a friend of mine, who brought me into this game years ago, suggested i should play The Tempest bow in this build instead of Quill Rain, so he bought a 5 linked one for me to start the league with. Is there a reason to use Quill Rain over The Tempest?
    And if so, why is that? Thanks in advance.

  7. Posts

    @haezblaez Tempest can be okay but we don’t really do anything from lightning damage.

    The hidden op part of quill rain is Projectile speed with the new mastery, where projectile speed counts as an increase to your projectile damage. This makes Quill Rain HUGE beyond just having the 3.0 aps that it does have. Hopefully that makes sense, if you need any other help / more elaboration then let me know :)

    @Heartgrave You want your main damage to be in a +3 in that instance, and your clear in your body armour.

  8. Posts

    This build is a decent chunk of why I haven’t quit the league already from how boring the league mechanic is.

    One thing bugging me is that the link to Overwhelm in the Pantheon, Ascendancy, and Bandit Choices tab is going to the wrong Overwhelm, referring you to the ignoring physical damage version and not the slayer ascendancy node.

  9. Posts

    @Shrooms Thanks for the reply, i’m gonna switch to quill rain once i can afford a 5 linked one.

  10. Posts

    @Shrooms Thank you! I imagine the Mirage Archer link is the clearing link?

  11. Posts

    @Heartgrave That’s completely correct!

    @Wowow2264 I’ll get that fixed immediately, thank you for spotting that :) I’m really glad you’re enjoying the EA slayer, its a fantastic build.

  12. Posts

    Maybe i am stupid – but how exactly is this meant:

    1.) Do i need two weapons and swap between bosses and maps?

    2.) Do i have 2 × 6-Links on Bow and Body-Armour withbasically the same spell/skill

    How does this work then – i am maybe way to noob to understand it properly

  13. Posts

    Hi, for my six link i have 3 green 2 red and 1 blue what can i do for the explosive arrow ballista?

  14. Posts

    @Yinmin You don’t need 2 weapons, the quill rain is all you need. Your first 6l is self cast and your second 6l is the ballista for additional damage.

    @Dagon 6 Links should be cheap enough nowadays to where you can just pick the most optimal colours you need, otherwise you would have to import your character to Path Of Building to actually find out whats most efficient.

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