Herald of Ice & Orb of Storms Assassin (CI Version) Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

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Introduction

The Herald of Ice & Orb of Storms Assassin is a character with a very interesting build concept. It aims to scale the Herald of Ice Herald of Ice‘s explosion enough that it is able to clear monster packs very efficiently. Considering the skill has no base Critical Chance we have to add some via things like Assassin’s Deadly Infusion, the Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark Curse and Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support, which is how we are making Herald of Ice’s explosions able to Critically Strike.

The build uses Orb of Storms Orb of Storms to trigger these chain reactions of Cold explosions. You also have a Storm Brand Storm Brand in order to improve your single target damage potential when needed. The character is CI-based and mainly relies on a lot of Energy Shield Leech in order to sustain its Energy Shield pool.

Overall, the character has an amazing clear speed and farms maps very efficiently but has mediocre single target damage output and should not be used for boss killing.

Build Summary

The build can be started with almost nothing and can even work as a league-starter. With the items for late-game we have the option to heavily invest in order to turn the character into a clear speed monster. These items are Energy Shield bases with high amounts of ES and can cost a lot if you go for best-in-slot gear pieces, but it is not necessary at all.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Very high clear speed
+ Can be started on a budget

Cons

- Mediocre single target, should not be used for boss killing
- Dies to Elemental Reflect and high amounts of Physical damage (has low Physical damage mitigation)

Playstyle

Offensively, you should keep your Tempest Shield Tempest Shield activated all the time and drop Orb of Storms Orb of Storms near monster packs. This will result in great chain reactions of explosions from your Herald of Ice Herald of Ice and will barely ever league anything alive. For tougher enemies make sure they are getting hit by your Orb of Storms and place a Storm Brand Storm Brand on them.

Defensively, the character is mainly sustained by its decent Energy Shield pool in combination with Energy Leech Support Energy Leech Support and even more Energy Shield leech on the passive tree.

For playstyle, try to keep your distance and do not take unnecessary hits, replace your Orb of Storms whenever needed and keep up your utility flasks and Tempest Shield. Flame Dash Flame Dash will help you get out of sticky situations.

Ascendancy, Passive Tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Shadow – Assassin)

  1. Unstable Infusion
  2. Deadly Infusion
  3. Mistwalker
  4. Opportunistic

Unstable Infusion and Deadly Infusion will greatly improve Power Charges, which are an essential part of the build.

Mistwalker provides the Elusive buff, which gives you both offense and defense and is basically up 100% of the time.

Opportunistic helps you deal with single targets better and provides even more movement speed.

Passive tree

Here is an example of the endgame passive skill tree.

The keystone notables we utilize are Chaos Inoculation and Zealot’s Oath. Besides that we focus on a lot of Energy Shield, Energy Shield leech and Critical modifiers for our spells.

Bandits

The Act II quest Deal with the Bandits presents few character choices for us. Considering the build does benefit from helping one particular bandit, we choose to help Alira for the additional Mana Regeneration, 15% to all resistances and 20% extra Critical Multiplier.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Solaris is very good when it comes to raw damage reductions. When this pantheon is fully upgraded it is best in slot for this particular build.

Minor: Soul of Abberath is good in every energy-shield-based build for the immunity to burning ground. Soul of Gruthkul provides additional physical damage reduction which can be useful, considering you are running into melee range.

Gems

The build’s main skill is Orb of Storms Orb of Storms, which should ideally be used in a 6-Link. Herald of Ice Herald of Ice is also scaled to a great effect and should be used on at least a 4-Link. Storm Brand Storm Brand provides additional single target damage whenever needed. Tempest Shield Tempest Shield can be used for the additional way of triggering your Herald of Ice explosions. For mobility, use Flame Dash Flame Dash. Discipline Discipline will improve your Energy Shield pool by a considerable amount

Orb or Storms (6-Link)

Orb of Storms Orb of Storms is mainly used for clearing but has a decent single target damage too. We recommend two links for clearing and single target.

For clearing, use the following link.

  1. Orb of Storms Orb of Storms
  2. Chain Support Chain Support
  3. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  4. Energy Leech Support Energy Leech Support
  5. Power Charge On Critical Support Power Charge On Critical Support
  6. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support

For single target, use the following link.

  1. Orb of Storms Orb of Storms
  2. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  3. Energy Leech Support Energy Leech Support
  4. Power Charge On Critical Support Power Charge On Critical Support
  5. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  6. Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support

Storm Brand (4-Link)

Storm Brand Storm Brand augments your single target damage by a considerable amount.

  1. Storm Brand Storm Brand
  2. Energy Leech Support Energy Leech Support
  3. Power Charge On Critical Support Power Charge On Critical Support
  4. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support

Flame Dash (3-link)

Flame Dash Flame Dash is your mobility skill. It will help you jump over some map terrain, which will save you time. It is also providing Arcane Surge with every cast, which gives additional mana regeneration and spell damage. Make sure to keep the Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support gem at low level in order to trigger it with every Flame Dash cast.

  1. Flame Dash Flame Dash
  2. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Tempest Shield (4-Link)

Tempest Shield Tempest Shield allows you to unleash a Lightning Arc every time you block, which can allow you to even trigger your Orb of Storms more frequently when casted in the zone.

  1. Tempest Shield Tempest Shield
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  4. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Herald of Ice

Herald of Ice Herald of Ice is what makes the build so great. We aim to clear very efficiently by using this skill’s Ice explosion and scale it as much as possible. We do this by scaling base Critical Chance from different sources and making explosions able to Critically Strike, which can result in multiple monster packs being obliterated with a single button. We recommend using the skill in a Shaper-based Helmet.

  1. Herald of Ice Herald of Ice
  2. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  3. Power Charge On Critical Support Power Charge On Critical Support
  4. Innervate Support Innervate Support

Steelskin (2-Link)

Steelskin Steelskin should be used in order to mitigate incoming damage in sticky situations.

  1. Steelskin Steelskin
  2. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Other Gems

Discipline Discipline should be used for the additional Energy Shield it provides. Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire can improve your single target damage output for some duration but should be cautiously used because it can result in you dying.

Gearing

Capping your elemental resistances is essential and it should always be your top priority in any build; it should be the first thing you do when gearing up a character. Obtaining a 6-link, while very powerful and certainly recommended, can potentially be very expensive (requiring an average of 1500 Orbs of Fusing, obviously depending on your luck); as such, this should not really be a goal for you while gearing up, and you should instead settle for a 5-link until you have enough resources.

Helmet

A well rolled Shaper-based Energy Shield Helmet is best in slot for the build. When it comes to enchantments from the labyrinth you can use “12% increased Orb of Storms Area of Effect”. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield (at least 250)
  3. Socketed Spells have #% to Critical Strike Chance (very important for Herald of Ice Herald of Ice)
  4. Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Increased Area of Effect

Body Armour

Shroud of the Lightless Shroud of the Lightless is a unique Body Armour that has great synergy with the build overall. A simple well rolled rare will also do the work. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield (at least 500)

Gloves

A well-rolled Energy Shield base is best in slot for Gloves. The Rare Affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield (at least 100)

Boots

As other items, well-rolled rare Energy Shield boots is best in slot. Meanwhile you can use Sin Trek Sin Trek. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. % increased Movement speed (at least 25%)
  3. Energy Shield (at least 150)

Belt

Any well rolled Crystal Belt or Stygian Vise can be used early on. For a complete endgame goal you should look for a rare belt with “Grants Level # Aspect of the Spider Skill”. Bated Breath Bated Breath can be used before any of these rares. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. # to Energy Shield
  3. Grants Level # Aspect of the Spider Skill

Amulet

Marylene's Fallacy Marylene's Fallacy should be used in order to scale Critical Strikes’ Multiplier even further. Eye of Chayula Eye of Chayulashould be used in order to deal with Stun-locks if you do not have any other way of doing so.

Rings

Dream Fragments Dream Fragments can be used early on in order to deal with Freeze and Chill effects, it should be replaced with a rare ring later on. A Shaper-based ring with Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark on Hit will increase your damage output drastically. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Curse Enemies with Level # Assassin’s Mark on Hit (Shaper Suffix)
  3. # to maximum Energy Shield
  4. # to Dexterity
  5. # to Strength

Weapon

A well-rolled rare Wand can provide a lot of damage to the build. Void Battery Void Battery has an extremely good synergy with the build and is best-in-slot but can be expensive. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. % increased Spell Damage (at least 80% in total)
  2. # to Level of all Spell Skill Gems
  3. % increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells (at least 80%)

Shield

A well-rolled rare Shield is best in slot. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Energy Shield (preferably 300+)

Flasks

Playing Chaos Inoculation build allows you to use only utility flasks. Considering you mainly rely on running for mobility Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask is mandatory for the build, it should be rolled with additional movement speed. Diamond Flask Diamond Flask should also be used for the additional chance of rolling a Critical Strike. For other flask slots you should be using utility flasks based on personal preference, we recommend Basalt Flask Basalt Flask, Granite Flask Granite Flask, and Quartz Flask Quartz Flask. Make sure you have Bleed, Shock and Ignite immunity rolled on them.

Be sure to check out our Flask Crafting Guide to learn everything you need to know about how to set up your non-Unique flasks.

Jewels

The build greatly benefits from Abyssal jewels, simply because they add a flat amount of Cold damage to Spells, which allows your Lightning-based skills to Shatter enemies and trigger the chain of Cold explosions via Herald of Ice Herald of Ice.

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % Chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
  2. Adds # to # Cold Damage to Spells while holding a Shield
  3. Adds # to # Cold Damage to Spells
  4. Energy Shield (at least 35)

Leveling

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

Leveling trees

Here is an early version of the passive skill tree prior to transitioning to 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 will help out with the damage output early on.

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.

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

At level 4, you are able to pick up Orb of Storms Orb of Storms.

At level 10, you are able to add Flame Dash Flame Dash, which will help with your mobility.

At level 12, you should drop your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse link in order to replace it with the following Storm Brand Storm Brand setup.

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

At level 16, you should pick up Herald of Ice Herald of Ice in order to level up the gem while you are progressing.

At level 18, your Orb of Storms Orb of Storms and Storm Brand Storm Brand links should look like this.

Orb of Storms

  1. Orb of Storms Orb of Storms
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  4. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

Storm Brand

  1. Storm Brand Storm Brand
  2. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support

FAQ

When Should I go CI and How Much Energy Shield Should I Have at That Point?

If you have decent gear you can go Chaos Inoculation as early as level 60-70. You should be using Dream Fragments Dream Fragments at this point. With decent gear you should easily achieve 6-7k Energy Shield at the very least.

Conclusion

Herald of Ice & Orb of Storms Assassin is a character that excels at clearing zones very fast and efficiently. It can blast multiple screens of mobs with a single cast, which can be very satisfying. The build’s main con is the low single target damage output when played on a budget.

Changelog
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    Build added.

  1. Posts
    1

    Hello,

    how do you solve the mana problem of having Herald of Ice and Discipline together ?

    Thx

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    603

    On 07/11/2019 at 2:42 AM, BATTLEFROG said

    Hello,

    how do you solve the mana problem of having Herald of Ice and Discipline together ?

    Thx

    Hey, drop some of the Herald of Ice links until you reach a point where you have enough unreserved Mana in order to feel comfortable. You can also invest into some Mana nodes and % Reduced Mana Reserved.

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