The DPS Tank Fireball / Blazing Salvo Spellslinger Elementalist Build Guide (PoE Expedition 3.15)

TbXie

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Expedition League “Updates” & “Disclaimers”

While I generally put a lot of emphasis on updating all of my guides before a new league starts, I have decided against doing so at the moment. Many of the changes that came with PoE’s 3.15 Expedition league launch have pretty severe gameplay impact, which is incredibly hard to predict without having the appropriate software updated (like Path of Building). Therefore, I will give all my guides a pass and point out the obvious changes. Everything outside of this paragraph will stay untouched for 3.15 for now and will be updated accordingly over the course of the next weeks. This means that the information in this paragraph always supersedes anything written in the guide. Build updates will be prioritized in order of their popularity.

These are the changes I would undoubtedly make to this build:

  • Hold off on playing it till SpellSlinger gets re-invented

Summary

This build is most likely unplayable as of now. Spellslinger, Heralds and other skills which use reservation to deal damage have been absolutely destroyed with the new mana changes. They probably will address this, but it might not happen in 3.15 – Even though they literally deleted every single Spellslinger build and they might thus do a hotfix -.

Introduction

Whilst Spellslinger builds got absolutely gutted in every way, shape or form in 3.12 Heist League the mechanic behind the Spellslinger Support Spellslinger Support is just so much fun that we will keep looking for the most optimal ways to keep playing these kinds of builds. After we were denied the possibility to pretty much shift all our leveling processes to include some kind of Spell-slinging and the most popular Spellslinger builds got nerfed (e.g. Volatile Dead and Soulrend + Essence Drain) a new contender has risen to the occasion. This Fire Spellslinger rivals the power of Volatile Dead Slingers in previous leagues, while potentially reaching acceptable power levels far sooner and cheaper.

The endgame set of gear we threw together in this build equates to over 5 Million Sirus DPS while maintaining over 9,000 Effective HP and about 1,700 Life and Energy Shield recovery per second through Regen, Life Leech, and Energy Leech Support Energy Leech Support. Additionally, as an Elementalist you’re making use of Golems. Since, on top of your DPS and Regen Golems, you are running a Summon Chaos Golem Summon Chaos Golem, you’re also getting a nice chunk of extra Physical Damage mitigation. Sadly, the build does not have sockets for additional utility such as Steelskin Steelskin or Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support, so those conditionals are not enabled in this build.

However, with about 10,000 Life Pool, which replenishes rather quickly, some Golems to divert enemies away from you, the ability to play as a ranged character in case stuff gets dangerous, solid Physical mitigation and more, this build really packs quite the punch. On top of that, the gear we will be elaborating on in the Gear Section, will most likely remain under the 20 Exalted Orbs threshold. This means that none of the gear pieces is incredibly hard to obtain, and thus mostly self-farmable/craftable in Solo Self-Found environments or when you’re not super clear about how to acquire currency. If you want to pop off on a super cheap build, that functions on a budget, as a league-starter, and does everything in the game really well whether that is clearing, bossing, mapping, clearing labyrinth and what not, this is a build you should give a shot.

Build Summary

Pros and Cons

Pros

+ Fun to play! Spellslinger builds feel amazing
+ Elementalists bring a niche playstyle through Golems
+ Relatively cheap gear – Obtainable in SSF
+ Packs a lot of Tank Stats with Good DPS
+ Hardcore, SSF, Leaguestart viable

Cons

Not as good to level with Spellslinger as it used to be
Doesn’t have utility defenses due to lack of sockets

Map Modifiers to be Avoided

Since you’re doing Elemental Damage, you can’t run Elemental Reflect. I would also avoid No Regeneration maps as you have quite a significant amount of Life Regeneration you’d rather not give up.

Echoes of the Altas Expansion changes

Path of Exile’s 3.13 introduced the Echoes of the Atlas expansion as well which featured an Elementalist rework. Now, being blunt with you all, I have looked at Spellslinger / Elementalist / Blazing Salvo for a couple of hours and I must say that I’m not entirely sure what new route I want you to take. Sadly, this is one of the very very few builds that doesn’t utilize Shaper of Storm & Winter very well, as it doesn’t have sockets to apply a skill that scales ailments through support gems, which leaves you with options post the Golem nodes, which you always took before the rework too. The options here are Heart of Destruction’s 15 More Damage versus bosses – an extra 25% Exposure and some useless Mana Regeneration, 11% more damage from Shock, or the new Bastion of Elements, which would get you a 3,500 eHP shield which only works versus incoming Elemental Damage. If it were to work versus Physical Damage too, I’d lean more towards picking that up.

Now, as far as I’m concerned, you’re never not picking the Golem nodes. Afterwards, the upsides from the other Ascendancy nodes are minor when compared to each other. If you’re looking for damage, Shaper of Storms adds 11% More Damage whilst Mastermind of Discord adds 19% More. Both being fairly equal, I guess you’d pick Shaper of Storms as that is always up, while Mastermind of Discord would only be up if you cast Wave of Conviction (unless it’s automated in a Trigger Wand). I do however recommend swapping from Shaper of Storms to Mastermind of Discord after acquiring a Trigger Wand.

However, in case you are not picking damage for your last Ascendancy notable but prefer to go the defensive route – even though the build plays at range and has fairly reasonable defensives for a ranged build – you can either opt into Bastion of Elements for an extra shield that blocks +/- 3500 incoming Elemental Damage (but note: this is based on a level 95 character and this becomes incrementally better as you pick up more notables in the tree or on cluster jewels) or go for the Shaper of Winter which chills enemies and reduces their Action Speed by 15%. Both of these are fairly solid defensively, but honestly both are more optimally used elsewhere. Therefore, none of these stands out and I think picking your last Ascendancy node is preference-based. I highly recommend you try out all of them at the cost of some Orb of Regret Orb of Regret. Whereas I usually am fairly adamant about guiding you guys a particular way I think this is just all so close that it comes down to preference. Personally, because I’m mostly someone who prefers killing things over being safe, I’d probably pick Shaper of Storms first and swap to Mastermind of Discord and Heart of Destruction later. If you’re newer, I think Shaper of Winter or Bastion of Elements are the picks.

Other than the Ascendancy, we changed a couple of skill points to get more Mana Reservation as the Herald Reservation Reduction granted by Elementalist is now gone. As an upside to that, it allows you to get some more expensive damage multipliers for supports gems. The build used to have to care about running smaller Mana multiplying gems which have now been replaced as there were more optimal support gems.

This all means that depending on whether you’re picking up any of the Offensive or Defensive options as your Ascendancy choices you’re either gaining damage or staying neutral damage-wise but gaining a bunch of defensive stats! Elementalist overall got buffed really hard and is hopefully now in a spot that it’ll be picked up by more players than ever before!

Other than the Ascendancy reworks, not much changed for this build. They did mention something about Blazing Salvo now being able to spread more widely if you target further away from your character which could be a sizeable clear upgrade. You don’t need any of that though, as the build already had plenty of it and I doubt it’ll make much of a difference!

Playstyle, Mechanics & Strengths

This being a Spellslinger build, there are numerous of interesting mechanics we can talk about. Firstly, Spellslinger is a support gem that makes your spell skills reserve Mana and be unable to be cast manually. Instead, for you to use them, you need to attack with a wand. This introduces a couple of benefits such as being able to use Frenzy Frenzy as a trigger for Frenzy Charge generation (even on bosses). On top of that, you can link utility to your Frenzy to further buff your spells, such as a Combustion to lower enemy Resistances, Inspiration to gather charges so your spells can make use of them, and much more. Additionally, since you’re using Frenzy to cast your spells, you’re no longer worried about Mana whatsoever, as through a single -Mana craft on a ring, Frenzy becomes as good as free.

So, because of course the mechanic needs to remain a little bit balanced, the Spellslinger Support Spellslinger Support does have an internal Cooldown. This got completely reworked in Heist League but we have done the research and figured out the new optimal attack speed and cooldown thresholds. With the current setup, you’re going to want to run a Level 20 Spellslinger with between 14 and 18% Cooldown Reduction (which is most easily found on a belt). This puts you right above the next tick rate and increases your DPS by about 20%. Worry not, if you follow the suggested item setup, everything will work out just fine! It’s important to note though that you do not want more cooldown reduction elsewhere, unless you’re familiar with optimizing Cooldown and Attack Speeds versus the Server’s tick rate. Otherwise, you’re more likely to lose DPS than to gain some.

Another advantage of Spellslinger is that because of the usage of, for example Frenzy Frenzy, the build pretty much feels like playing a Wander, which is very fast. Because you’re triggering multiple slings with a single cast of your wand-attack, you’re never going to have to attack more than once for something to die. Due to the great coverage both of our spells supply, you’ll be mapping really fast while honestly doing nothing but clicking Frenzy once per pack, and Flame Dashing when you see fit. This feels great to play and looks super satisfying too as you’re going to pop out spells at tremendous rates covering your screen in Fire, death and Ignites!

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.

Passvie 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 Any Rare Helmet with 15% reduced Mana reservation for Spellslinger enchant, 30% More Elemental Damage and Life/Resistances
Amulet Citrine Amulet Citrine Amulet with Crit Chance & Multi, Life and Resistances
Chest Vaal Regalia Vaal Regalia with Life, Spell Crit and Life as Extra Energy Shield
Gloves Incursion Gloves with Fire damage against Burning Enemies, Life and Resistances
Boots Rare Movement Speed, Life, Resistances and Dexterity Boots
Belt Leather Belt Leather Belt with Life, CDR and Resistances
Rings Mark of the Shaper Mark of the Shaper and Elder Ring with Life/Resists and -Mana cost
Weapon Imbued Wand Imbued Wand with +1 to Fire Skills, Fire Damage, Spell Crit and Trigger Mod
Shield Harmonic Spirit Shield Harmonic Spirit Shield with +1 to Fire Skills, Life and 2 Damage Mods

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 set up you up with a leveling setup for Blazing Salvo Blazing Salvo & Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction slinging. You will need to make it to level 24 to be able to use Spellslinger at all though! Get a level 20 Spellslinger after the storymode so you can immediately swap to your endgame setup!

Getting to Brutus & Merveil

For starters, create a Witch 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. Frost Bomb Frost Bomb
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  1. Explosive Trap Explosive Trap

After killing Brutus, you will be adding an Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support to your Frost Bomb.

Level 12 and Onwards Setup

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

  1. Storm Brand Storm Brand
  2. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support

Spellslinger at level 24.

You’re going to be able to reserve a 4-linked and a 3-linked Spellslinger at the start. You can 5-link your Blazing Salvo whenever, and potentially add a 4th link to Wave of Conviction right around level 45-ish, depending on your gem levels.

  1. Spellslinger Support Spellslinger Support
  2. Blazing Salvo Blazing Salvo
  3. Inspiration Support Inspiration Support
  4. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  5. Immolate Support Immolate Support (Whenever you get a 5-Link)
  1. Spellslinger Support Spellslinger Support
  2. Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction
  3. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  4. Inspiration Support Inspiration Support (After 5-Link Blazing Salvo)
  1. Frenzy Frenzy
  2. Inspiration Support Inspiration Support
  3. Combustion Support Combustion Support
  4. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support (Swap to Barrage Support Barrage Support at Level 38)

Use the following on bosses:

  1. Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap
  2. Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support
  3. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support
  4. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  1. Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness

Credits

A big thanks goes to Gl****b, who wanted to remain anonymous, for letting me know how incredibly fun this build was to play and helping me optimize certain gear choices!

Questions

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.

Changelog

  • Build updated for Ritual 3.13.

  • Build added.

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