Forbidden Rite Hierophant Build Guide (PoE Scourge 3.16)




This Forbidden Rite Totem Hierophant build guide focuses on keeping the budget down so it’s easy to league start with and perform well for the higher end-game. There are multiple crucial details that needs to be taken in to consideration when playing a totem build which I will cover in this guide!
Besides being a great league starter build there are numerous routes one can take for higher budget styles ranging from super tanky styles to mega glass-cannon styles. This guide will focus on the low budget approach and there’s a PoB to show how I would approach it for high budget if that’s something you’d like to check out.

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 Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, and you should always look at this guide to make sure you have the updated version.


In this section I will outline the pros, cons, & the general playstyle. This will allow you to determine if the build is for you or not!


+ DAMAGE! – This build packs an insane amount of damage without requiring to kill your currency tab.

+ League Starter – The mandatory unique items are VERY common and therefor VERY cheap!

+ Bosser – This build excels on bossing due to the nature of the ability.

+ Unique Play Style – Since the damage comes from placing a totem that then has to cast the spell it brings out a unique play-style in combination with how we approach our Wither totems on top of the Forbidden Rite totems.


Squishy – On low budget there are very few things we can do to avoid the build from feeling squishy, higher budget investments can completely remove this feeling at the cost of damage.

Delayed Proxy damage sequence – The build will cast totems which then will cast the Forbidden Rite spell, then projectiles from the totems will have a minor travel-time before hitting enemies which means it’s played with a delayed damage sequence, this forces your play-style outside of bosses to adapt to not rush in to packs of enemies.

Chaos dmg – Since the damage we are dealing is 100% chaos we don’t get any cheap options to remove enemy corpses which means enemy porcupines will cause their explosions on death shooting out spikes, it is crucial to keep this in mind to avoid dying if you’re standing in the middle of such a pack of monsters!


Make sure you cast a totem or 2 in front of you on the harder rolled maps as you can easily get overrun if you don’t have any totems out for damage and find yourself forced to run away from a pack chasing you. Outside of this downside the build clears packs very effectively, what brings the clear speed down is the delayed proxy sequence of casting a totem that then will cast the spell on top of the projectile travel time before it hits the enemies. Having an “Enduring” Eternal Mana Flask Eternal Mana Flask helps sustain the Mind over Matter defensive layer which also means having mana modifiers on your gear is more than wanted.


The damage from spell based builds is normally scaled best by ramping up the level of the ability itself, this is NOT true for Forbidden Rite, instead we want to ramp up the HP of our Totems as it will scale the base damage the spell will do which we are increasing with both spell dmg, chaos damage as well as critical strikes & critical strike multiplier modifiers on both the passive skill-tree, gear & support gems.

Defensively the build is utilizing Mind over Matter all the way to 40% effect, this is easily calculated with basic algebra (4/6 = 0.66667) which essentially mean that as long as you have 66.67% of your life as unreserved mana you can multiply your life with 1.6667 to see how much life you actually have. This is why mana modifiers are more than wanted on gear as well as from the skill-tree!


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 Forbidden Rite Hierophant Low Budget PoB and for a quick glance over the finished skill tree for this version, check out this link.

Here is the Forbidden Rite Hierophant High Budget PoB, and for a quick glance over the finished skill tree for this version, check out this link. THIS VERSION IS CURRENTLY FROM THE 3.15 PATCH AND IS NOT UPDATED

You can find more information this, as well as about all of the build’s gem links, on our dedicated page.

PoB, Passive Skill Tree & Gem Link Page


A lot of the end-game gear can easily be crafted, to learn how to craft as well as 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, but for now you can see a summarized version below.

Gear Page

Item Slot Item Name Rarity
Head Life & Mana then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Amulet Life & Mana then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Chest Soul Mantle Soul Mantle Unique
Gloves Life & Mana then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Boots Torchoak Step Torchoak Step Unique
Belt Life & Mana then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Rings 1x Rare ring with high life & res/attributes as needed + 1x Kikazaru Kikazaru Rare/Unique
Weapon Spell, Chaos dmg with cast speed and crit/crit multi modifiers Rare
Shield Life & Mana preferably a shaper base with +1 to maximum summoned totem count Rare


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

Ascendancy, Bandit & Pantheon Power Page


The current meta of leveling through the Campaign Acts 1-10 is to simply use very specific spells. However, this guide is not designed to guide you to finish Kitava in 2 hours; it is a build guide. With that said, the following suggestions for leveling make sure you don’t have to use a ton of Orb of Regret Orb of Regret to change your build when you reach maps. Luckily we are able to switch rather early in the campaign to level with actual totems which helps avoid wasting currency on being forced to re-spec a ton of nodes on the tree for a smooth leveling experience.


Since we are not going to switch to totems until Act 5 or if you prefer at level 49 using a Soul Mantle Soul Mantle we need to run a different set-up prior to that. So the initial starting spells I would suggest to level with up to level 12 are the following:

Any sort of added damage support gems are fine to use depending on what colors you have access to, it could be as simple as Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support and/or Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support.

Frost Bomb

  1. FFrost Bomb Frost Bomb
  2. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  3. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

At level 12, you will be able to enable Storm Brand Storm Brand and later on you will be able to purchase Brand Recall Brand Recall, which will be very helpful as you are leveling through the early acts. Do note that you get some re-spec points from just doing the mandatory quests through the acts; with this in mind you can deviate slightly from the leveling trees and pick up some extra spell/elemental or Lightning damage early on to do more damage if you feel safe enough. The Brand Recall can be in any blue socket in your gear without any links.

Storm Brand

  1. Storm Brand Storm Brand
  2. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  3. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

This works very well with Orb of Storms Orb of Storms for extra damage output.

In Act 2, you can pick up some better support gems for your damage output such as:

Storm Brand

  1. Storm Brand Storm Brand
  2. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support

Either one of these or both if you have a 4-Link:

  1. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  2. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

Since the plan is to use these abilities till act 3 level 28, we would want to run some Herald skills available to use during Act 2 after Chamber of Sins (level 16):

  1. Herald of Ice Herald of Ice
  2. Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder

In Act 3 we are able to also add Herald of Ash Herald of Ash as it will scale our new set of skills that we’ll use from level 28 all the way till you go totems:

Armageddon Brand

  1. Armageddon Brand Armageddon Brand
  2. Combustion Support Combustion Support
  3. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support or Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support or even Cruelty Support Cruelty Support depending on your colors if you do have a 4-Link for this, even Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support would work well here.


  1. Cremation Cremation
  2. Volley Support Volley Support
  3. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support
  4. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support

If you’re wearing a Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa or simply don’t have the correct color set-up, these are the remaining support gems we want to use:

  1. Cruelty Support Cruelty Support
  2. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Quick side-note on Cremation is that it requires a corpse to be used which is why you’ll need a Desecrate Desecrate somewhere on your gear as well.

We use these skills till we reach Act 5, in this act we are able to get a threshold jewel as a quest reward in which case you can get a free First Snow, this allows you to change your passive skill-tree to take away Runebinder & instead spec in to Ancestral Bond it is highly recommended to do your first ascendancy node via the labyrinth before considering this switch.

Freezing Pulse

  1. Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support
  2. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
  4. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support / Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support / Cruelty Support Cruelty Support depending on your access to colors.

The reason we don’t use Elemental Focus here is to keep the chance to freeze enemies and we don’t want Controlled Destruction here either as we want to make sure we keep being able to have the buff from Elemental Overload.

This will be the leveling approach we use till we switch to Forbidden Rite which I’d recommend doing after being able to purchase a Soul Mantle Soul Mantle.

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


To guarantee that my 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.


As much as I love making 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 I’m showing in this guide I would love if you’d posted it 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. GhazzyTV


    • Reserved

    As per usual, if you spot any issues with the guide, let me know asap and I’ll take a look at it as soon as I can! :)

  2. Posts

    Allready on it so im gona compare ur build and shoot later :D
    For starter im using cruel gem for faster casting that ur using. Any feat on that ?

  3. GhazzyTV




    I think Cruelty support is super good but it would have to replace Volley and only way to replace that is to get 2 projectiles elsewhere, such as from the Dying Sun flask!

  4. Posts

    Hmm i see..many options.
    Also would you mind look at this skill tree from path of builds
    Its non cluster link. The difference is he goes down another road towards Cordinations and blood siphon.
    Thats where i am in doubt, about what the best solution is for this setup.
    Would you take a look at then tell me what is best ?

    Also i see people use greater volley and multiple totem for main

  5. GhazzyTV




    Well the skill-tree changes are very similar and comes down to personal preference tbh.
    Regarding Greater Volley you don’t need more than 6 projectiles as that’s the max count that can hit a single-target we reach this with normal Volley which has a lower “less dmg” multiplier compared to Greater Volley which would make you deal less dmg per projectile and since you’re still only able to hit a single-target with up to 6 projectiles you actually lose single target dps and you absolutely don’t need more projectiles for clearing.

    Multiple totems can arguably present smoother play-style for some but it results in a net-loss of actual DPS output and prevents from the Wither Multi Totem set-up explained in the video which forces you to self-cast that which is not good imo.

  6. Posts

    I see..thx for ur last thing tho. Will dying sun flask be worth it ?

  7. GhazzyTV




    Dying Sun is absolutely worth it, you can skip Volley support and add literally anything else in there since the flask moves you in to having 6 projectiles without the Volley! :)

  8. Posts


    How big is the difference between 5-link and 6-link Soul Mantle? Seeing that the 6-links go for like 4.5x it is unlikely that I will be able to afford this. 5-link is 15c so that is no problem.

  9. GhazzyTV




    In mediocre gear this build handles t16 with 1 socket in the Soul Mantle, I doubt you’ll have any issues farming end-game content in a 5L :)

  10. Posts

    damn…. I enjoyed playing your Occultist build…. what have you done exile??? “Forcing” me to play another build since it´s again too good to be skipped? :) so yeah… at the end I started another build following your lead :)

    arrived at maps yesterday using the high budget tree. I would say everything fairly priced, only the belt… the belt is VERY expensive.
    EASY leveling as I would say… now we all should have some good unique gear for leveling, like tabula… goldrim… wanderlust… used all of them, beginning holy flame totem with supports usable from lvl 1-18, then I switched to Freezing pulse + spell totem. Tabula providing 6 linked sockets, all good :) using your provided 6 link for freezing pulse, 2! first snow jewels and picking up first of all the “elemental damage nodes” left to the starting area of the templar. Like that more than enough damage, huge AoE due to 2* first snow, only last bosses act 10 had a bit longer change to fight against me :) of course I had to change then from elemental damage to chaos damage using your provided large claster jewels. First maps with Forbidden Rite -> a blast :) only … I guess I will have round about 3,5 – 4k life at the end… I think high budget version can be squishy… maybe I will change then some damage nodes to life nodes, since it feels like I have way too much damage right now :) thank you for another great guide Ghazzy !

  11. GhazzyTV




    My pleasure man!

    I’m currently working on an occultist version that I would only play as self-cast for higher budget as I fear it will be very lackluster on low budget we’ll see how it turns out.

    This builds high budget is honestly a bit too squishy for my taste but it’s not mega expensive, it does Feared & any other end-game bosses it’s mapping squishy that I dislike about it.

  12. Posts

    so far up to T10 maps all fine, soon red maps.
    Mapping is not the fastest with this character, but its fun to watch :) bosses -> sometimes I don´t even see them since destroyed below 1 second :) so damage is FINE, even more than needed I would say. So IF I begin to die more frequently during red maps, I guess I will think about ab “mix” of your low and high budget skilltree. Maybe just add a second medium cluster no large cluster and by saving those points I move down to the “life wheel”. With that said -> it´s all about OUR taste at the end, so nobody should complain about the high budget being squishy -> just add some own ideas ! For example I added strength to nearly every normal jewel too -> steelskin can reach lvl. 20 now ( 155 strength )

  13. Posts

    Hello loving the build guide. im trying to find out how the curses are put on yourself?

  14. Posts

    On 15/08/2021 at 9:05 AM, Allanon117 said

    Hello loving the build guide. im trying to find out how the curses are put on yourself?

    -> Soul Mantle -> unique body armor -> must have for this build, pretty cheap if not 6-linked
    -> coward´s legacy -> belt -> helpful too for more damage, but very expensive… 15-20 Ex orbs

    if you are new look at what Ghazzy told us -> you NEED curse immunity. Without you would die a lot :)

  15. Posts

    Hi, GREAT build, ty.

    How do we combat the chaos resistance on bosses, just fought The Constricter and it felt like I was killing it with Flame Dash due to his chaos resist?

  16. Posts

    Glad you made this build guide Ghazzy! I was looking for more guides for this build, thanks!

  17. GhazzyTV




    Map mods increasing Chaos res can be a bit annoying on lower budget. (Please avoid no regen maps & careful with lower recovery maps as we survive thanks to our mana).

    Any boss that moves a lot becomes a pure pain to deal with as our dmg comes from being able to barrage an enemy with all the projectiles.


    Glad you like it! I’m working on a variant of the high budget version of this but as self-cast occultist inspired by Rue’s version but my version will have a very different approach.

  18. Posts

    Thanks @GhazzyTV

    Leveling with Freezing Pulse between Armageddon and FR did not feel good, in hindsight I feel like Armageddon Brand/Cremation might have been the better choice up to 49. But no with FR in the 5-link it is a real breeze! I currently use Decoy Totem a lot which really helps. Will that be completely useless once you get Shrieking Bolts or could that still be an option for mapping and bosses? And what is your take on Immortal Call?

  19. GhazzyTV




    My pleasure!
    Well you should switch to Storm Brand at level 12? Then you either keep that or switch to Arma/Crema!

    Well, I never used Decoy Totems since I started using Shrieking Bolts myself. It’s still a rather squishy build so keep that in mind, but it cleared Feared & the rest of the end-game content smoothly!

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