“This build is not updated for the current patch, but we have evaluated it and we consider it to still work as intended. You can try it out, but you may find slight differences between this guide and the current game state. Although viable, this build is not considered strong enough to be an optimal play choice during this league.”
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:
The Flame Totem skill got reworked into Holy Flame Totem in patch 3.6. Holy Flame Totem is a totem that rapidly fires projectiles; it is physical-based with 50% conversion to fire, which makes it way easier to scale into late game than before. Although on a 6-Link the skill can cost more than a 150 mana per cast, we solve this problem by using the Blood Magic keystone notable. Other perks from the Chieftain ascendancy class synergize very well with this totem skill in general.
The Holy Flame Totem Chieftain has a great life pool, good life sustain mechanics, and decent endgame potential.
The build requires no initial investment and is a great league-starter. We mainly focus on well-rolled rare items, which also allows you to play the build in an SSF environment. Even with little gear the build will achieve a respectable life pool due to the great amount of % increased life that is picked up on the passive skill tree. The damage is scaled by spell damage, physical damage, fire damage, projectile damage, channelling nodes and totem nodes. A cheap unique like Doon Cuebiyari can be used, since you will probably have a great amount of strength.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Good boss killer
+ Great life sustain via Tukohama, War’s Herald ascendancy node
- Slower clear speed than meta builds
Offensively, placing a single set of totems should be enough to kill most monster packs. Considering the build is taking advantage of the Elemental Overload node, you can drop down an Orb of Storms in order to proc it. To augment your single target damage further, you can hand-cast curses like Flammability.
Defensively, keeping your distance and letting totems do the work is what the build is all about. If you get hit you can easily recover, since you leech life based on the damage done of your totems. The build also achieves a good amount of life regeneration.
For Playstyle, place totems next to monster packs and move on. When encountering a tougher monster, curse it with your offensive curse and drop down Orb of Storms in order to trigger the Elemental Overload effect.
This is what the endgame passive skill tree looks like. The main keystone notables we use are Blood Magic, Ancestral Bond and Elemental Overload. Besides that we focus on picking great amount of life (way more than the average builds out there), totem and fire-related nodes. The build also makes a good use of Spiritual Bond; this passive node gives you the benefit of minion damage, which is very point-efficient.
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.
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.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Chest||Belly of the Beast|
|Belt||Rare Stygian Vise|
|Rings||Rare Opal Ring|
As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
This passive skill tree will allow you to start using Holy Flame Totem efficiently. After that you should head to Blood Magic and Elemental Overload.
Useful Leveling Unique Items
As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters.
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.
Using 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.
At level 10, add Leap Slam for additional mobility.
By level 18, your Molten Strike link should look like this.
- Molten Strike
- Ancestral Call Support
- Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
- Elemental Focus Support
- Melee Physical Damage Support
- Concentrated Effect Support
Once you have picked up Ancestral Bond, you can start using your signature skill, Holy Flame Totem. You should ideally do this around level 38, until then the skill might feel clunky. Replace Molten Strike with the following Holy Flame Totem link.
- Holy Flame Totem
- Multiple Totems Support
- Controlled Destruction Support
- Elemental Focus Support
- Fire Penetration Support
- Infused Channelling Support
Why are you recommending Infused Channelling Support?
Holy Flame Totem has the “channelling” tag, which means the totems fully benefit from this support gem.
Why do you pick minion nodes?
The Spiritual Aid node on the passive tree allow you to benefit from minion damage; minion nodes on the tree are very point-efficient in general.
What map mods are impossible to do?
This is one of the very few builds that can do all map mods.
The Holy Flame Totem Chieftain specializes in placing tough totems that spit fire, burning foes to ashes.