Flame Surge Hierophant Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

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Guide Format

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:

Introduction

The Flame Surge Hierophant is a Chaos Inoculation self-caster that deals tons of Fire damage. Flame Surge Flame Surge has very high amount of effective DPS if properly used. The skill deals substantially more damage to burning enemies but cannot Ignite itself, which is why we need to use another source of Fire damage that can reliably Ignite. For this purpose we choose to use Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction. This skill will allows us to Ignite enemies while also lowering their Fire resistance. We also utilize Arcane Surge very well via the ascendancy node Arcane Blessing.

When it comes to defenses, the character builds a very large Mana pool, which translates into a great amount of extra Energy Shield via Hierophant’s Sanctuary of Thought and the passive node Arcane Will. We also make a great use of the Mind over Matter keystone notable. The build also reaches a respectable amount of Energy Shield leech, which provides a lot of sustain.

Build Summary

The build can be very budget-friendly and can be played as a league-starter. You will have no issues leveling the character as Life-based and then transitioning to Chaos Inoculation. For the endgame we recommend Cloak of Defiance Cloak of Defiance. For other item slots you should look for good Energy Shield bases that also provide Mana if possible.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great single target
+ Fun build concept, requires active playstyle

Cons

- Mediocre clear speed compared to top-tier clearing builds
- Bad physical damage mitigation
- Dies to Elemental Reflect

Playstyle

Offensively, you should get relatively close to enemies and obliterate them with few casts of Flame Surge Flame Surge. Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction will debuff enemies by a considerable amount and will increase the damage of your Flame Surge by a great amount, so make sure to use that skill on tougher rares and bosses.

Defensively, we achieve a respectable Energy Shield pool along with a good amount of Energy Shield leech. The build also has a large amount of unreserved Mana, which is used as an Energy Shield buffer via Mind over Matter. Hierophant’s Arcane Blessing gives us Elemental Ailment immunity while we have Arcane Surge, which is basically all the time.

For playstyle, do not be scared to get close to enemies in order to kill them. This can be classified as a mid-range build due to the nature of skills it uses and you do not have to “hug” enemies but you cannot stay too far either. Regular monster packs will die in less than a second. For harder foes make sure they are getting hit by Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction, which will improve your Flame Surge Flame Surge damage output significantly.

Passive Tree

This is what the endgame passive skill tree looks like.

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.

Gems

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.

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet
Amulet Eye of Chayula Eye of Chayula
Chest Cloak of Defiance Cloak of Defiance
Gloves Rare Gloves
Boots Rare Boots
Belt Rare Belt
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon Rare Rune Dagger
Shield Rare Shield

Leveling

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

You can start using Flame Surge Flame Surge as soon as level 12, the character is not hard to level at all.

Leveling Trees

This is what your passive skill tree should look like before you transition to Critical Strikes and Chaos Inoculation.

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. Lifesprig Lifesprig and Axiom Perpetuum Axiom Perpetuum will fill your damage needs early on.

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 in Lifesprig Lifesprig.

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

At level 10, you should add Flame Dash Flame Dash for additional mobility and Clarity Clarity in order to improve your Mana situation.

At level 12, you should replace Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse with the following Flame Surge Flame Surge.

  1. Flame Surge Flame Surge
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

At level 16, you should setup the following Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction in order to inflict Exposure upon enemies (-25% resistance to certain Element) and Ignite enemies via Combustion Support Combustion Support, reducing their Fire resistance even further and increasing your Flame Surge damage potential.

  1. Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction
  2. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  3. Combustion Support Combustion Support

By level 18, your Flame Surge Flame Surge should look like this.

  1. Flame Surge Flame Surge
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support
  4. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  5. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

At level 24, you can add Discipline Discipline in order to level up the gem or even activate it if you are comfortable with having low amount of unreserved Mana.

Once you are ready to transition into Critical Strikes (which can be done easily by picking some Critical nodes early on and dual wield Axiom Perpetuum Axiom Perpetuums) you should use the following Flame Surge Flame Surge link.

  1. Flame Surge Flame Surge
  2. Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support
  3. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  4. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  5. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
  6. Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support

FAQ

What map mods are impossible for the build to do?

You will one-shot yourself to Elemental Reflect. No Regeneration maps are also impossible/near impossible to do.

Does the build have enough damage for endgame encounters?

The build destroys endgame encounters when properly geared. It excels at dealing high amounts of single target damage.

Conclusion

The Flame Surge Hierophant specializes in dealing high amounts of Critical Fire damage by self-casting the Flame Surge Flame Surge skill. Damage is heavily augmented by Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction‘s utility. The build also utilizes a very large Mana pool, which is also gained as extra Energy Shield. The character requires an active playstyle.

Changelog
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