Holy Flame Totem Chieftain Build Guide (PoE Metamorph 3.9)

Vvckd

65


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 Totem skill got reworked into Holy Flame Totem 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.

Build Summary

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 Doon Cuebiyari can be used, since you will probably have a great amount of strength.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Good boss killer
+ Great life sustain via Tukohama, War’s Herald ascendancy node
+ Budget-friendly

Cons

- Slower clear speed than meta builds

Playstyle

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 Orb of Storms in order to proc it. To augment your single target damage further, you can hand-cast curses like Flammability 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.

Passive tree

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.

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 Rare Amulet
Chest Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast
Gloves Rare Gloves
Boots Rare Boots
Belt Rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise
Rings Rare Opal Ring Opal Ring
Weapon Doon Cuebiyari Doon Cuebiyari
Shield Rare Shield

Leveling

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

You can start using Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem as soon as you pick the Ancestral Bond keystone notable. We recommend leveling up to level 30-35 by dual wielding melee weapons and using Molten Strike Molten Strike.

Leveling Trees

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 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.

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.

  1. Molten Strike Molten Strike
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 4, you should add Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector for additional single target damage. At this point your Molten Strike Molten Strike link should look like this.

  1. Molten Strike Molten Strike
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support

At level 10, add Leap Slam Leap Slam for additional mobility.

By level 18, your Molten Strike Molten Strike link should look like this.

  1. Molten Strike Molten Strike
  2. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  3. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
  4. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support
  5. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  6. Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support

Once you have picked up Ancestral Bond, you can start using your signature skill, Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem. You should ideally do this around level 38, until then the skill might feel clunky. Replace Molten Strike Molten Strike with the following Holy Flame Totem link.

  1. Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem
  2. Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support
  5. Fire Penetration Support Fire Penetration Support
  6. Infused Channelling Support Infused Channelling Support

FAQ

Why are you recommending Infused Channelling Support Infused Channelling Support?

Holy Flame Totem 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.

Conclusion

The Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem Chieftain specializes in placing tough totems that spit fire, burning foes to ashes.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. Not much has changed for the build and it is as solid as before.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. The build remains as strong as before, nothing has changed.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Legion 3.7.

2
  1. Posts
    3

    Wouldn’t Hatred bring more dps instead of Anger? Also, why not just link Curse on hit, Flammability, with Orb of Storms and increased critical strikes? Oh and what’s the point of having arcane surge with flame dash after getting blood magic? it won’t work lmao

    Edited by Becoming on June 30th, 2019

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 29/06/2019 at 6:57 PM, Becoming said

    Wouldn’t Hatred bring more dps instead of Anger? Also, why not just link Curse on hit, Flammability, with Orb of Storms and increased critical strikes? Oh and what’s the point of having arcane surge with flame dash after getting blood magic? it won’t work lmao

    Sadly you will lose some damage by using Hatred Hatred because of its conversion to Fire via Avatar of Fire. You will not need additional offensive Curses while clearing but your suggestion is great. When it comes to the Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support I will make sure to mention it is only useful prior to picking up the keystone, thank you for that!

  3. Posts
    3

    On 30/06/2019 at 4:30 AM, Vvckd said

    On 29/06/2019 at 6:57 PM, Becoming said

    Wouldn’t Hatred bring more dps instead of Anger? Also, why not just link Curse on hit, Flammability, with Orb of Storms and increased critical strikes? Oh and what’s the point of having arcane surge with flame dash after getting blood magic? it won’t work lmao

    Sadly you will lose some damage by using Hatred Hatred because of its conversion to Fire via Avatar of Fire. You will not need additional offensive Curses while clearing but your suggestion is great. When it comes to the Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support I will make sure to mention it is only useful prior to picking up the keystone, thank you for that!

    Perhaps the skill tree needs to be updated because I do not see Avatar of Fire being allocated; however, there is a 75% conversion with other nodes so maybe that’s what you’re referring to. Also, what additional curse? I was talking about dropping faster casting from the Orb of Storms 3-link you mention and turning it into a 4-link with Curse-on-Hit + Flammability that way you don’t have to cast the curse and orb of storms separately and can proc both Ele Overload and Flammability much easier.

    On a side note, you might also want to suggest Infernal Mantle as a good choice for chest piece since we’re using blood magic we will not be affected by the “increased damage taken when on low mana” and will add more damage which the build could really use tbh.

    Thank you for your reply.

    Edited by Becoming on June 30th, 2019

  4. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 30/06/2019 at 6:38 AM, Becoming said

    On 30/06/2019 at 4:30 AM, Vvckd said

    On 29/06/2019 at 6:57 PM, Becoming said

    Wouldn’t Hatred bring more dps instead of Anger? Also, why not just link Curse on hit, Flammability, with Orb of Storms and increased critical strikes? Oh and what’s the point of having arcane surge with flame dash after getting blood magic? it won’t work lmao

    Sadly you will lose some damage by using Hatred Hatred because of its conversion to Fire via Avatar of Fire. You will not need additional offensive Curses while clearing but your suggestion is great. When it comes to the Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support I will make sure to mention it is only useful prior to picking up the keystone, thank you for that!

    Perhaps the skill tree needs to be updated because I do not see Avatar of Fire being allocated; however, there is a 75% conversion with other nodes so maybe that’s what you’re referring to. Also, what additional curse? I was talking about dropping faster casting from the Orb of Storms 3-link you mention and turning it into a 4-link with Curse-on-Hit + Flammability that way you don’t have to cast the curse and orb of storms separately and can proc both Ele Overload and Flammability much easier.

    On a side note, you might also want to suggest Infernal Mantle as a good choice for chest piece since we’re using blood magic we will not be affected by the “increased damage taken when on low mana” and will add more damage which the build could really use tbh.

    Thank you for your reply.

    Thank you for all of the suggestions.

  5. Posts
    5

    Are you sure Orb of Storms will proc Elemental Equilibrium with Ancestral Bond? Orb of Storms can’t damage because of AB, so can it still crit to proc it?

    Edited by Aular on July 5th, 2019

  6. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 05/07/2019 at 4:58 AM, Aular said

    Are you sure Orb of Storms will proc Elemental Equilibrium with Ancestral Bond? Orb of Storms can’t damage because of AB, so can it still crit to proc it?

    Critical hits with spells still trigger their secondary effects even though they do not deal damage due to the fact you are using Ancestral Bond. Even things like Power Charge On Critical Support Power Charge On Critical Support work.

  7. Posts
    5

    Cool. ok.

    Why go Tukohama instead of Tasalio? You only get one of the four attributes of Tukohama and all of Tasalio’s can benefit you (and you get the added bonus of not having to worry about Fire Res on gear at all). Does Hinekora’s 1% fire dmg leach not work with Holy Flame totem?

  8. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 05/07/2019 at 5:09 AM, Aular said

    Cool. ok.

    Why go Tukohama instead of Tasalio? You only get one of the four attributes of Tukohama and all of Tasalio’s can benefit you (and you get the added bonus of not having to worry about Fire Res on gear at all). Does Hinekora’s 1% fire dmg leach not work with Holy Flame totem?

    Hey, we use Tukohama purely for the 1% leech from Totems, Hinekora’s 1% only applies to hits you’ve dealt, it does not work with the Totems sadly.

  9. Posts
    5

    Do you have a path of building profile I could import to check this out? Do you have a character I could look at on the POE website/import from the POE site?

    I’m using a modified version of another Holy Flame Totem build that combines elements of yours but I want to import this and check some numbers. It would be an investment to respec at this point because this build spans all the way top through witch and towards ranger, so before I do that I’d like to compare it to a character in-use now.

  10. Posts
    1

    I’m really noob but does %increased minion damage do anything for totems?

  11. Posts
    4

    Hey there,

    very nice build, i started not long ago and it really is quite good.

    Though i just saw that the infusion bonus from infused channelling does not apply to totems.
    I get it that you still have the 20% to 39% damage bonus from it, but you won´t get the extra infusion bonus.
    Therefore, isn´t it better to take for example Efficacy Support to get the extra damage over time?

    Thanks in advance for a reply.
    Greetings

  12. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 29/08/2019 at 7:03 PM, Holy_Chieftain said

    Hey there,

    very nice build, i started not long ago and it really is quite good.

    Though i just saw that the infusion bonus from infused channelling does not apply to totems.
    I get it that you still have the 20% to 39% damage bonus from it, but you won´t get the extra infusion bonus.
    Therefore, isn´t it better to take for example Efficacy Support to get the extra damage over time?

    Thanks in advance for a reply.
    Greetings

    Hey, thank you for the kind feedback. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support has a lower damage multiplier due to the fact this build does not benefit from much from increased skill duration and does not benefit from damage over time at all. If you do not like Infused Channelling Support Infused Channelling Support I’d recommend swapping between Faster Projectiles Support Faster Projectiles Support and Slower Projectiles Support Slower Projectiles Support or use something universal like Iron Will Support Iron Will Support.

  13. Posts
    2

    Hey guys,

    Great build loved it during the Legion.
    Do you think this build will still be viable during Blight?

  14. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 03/09/2019 at 11:19 AM, Doob said

    Hey guys,

    Great build loved it during the Legion.
    Do you think this build will still be viable during Blight?

    Definitely! Updating passive tree once it gets released, beyond that the build will do great for sure.

  15. Posts
    13

    I will do this as a starter! Any idea of the leveling phase in the POE planner, what shoul I aim first etc? thanks!”

  16. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 06/09/2019 at 8:41 PM, daddycharlie said

    I will do this as a starter! Any idea of the leveling phase in the POE planner, what shoul I aim first etc? thanks!”

    Hey, in the leveling passive skill tree pick up Ancestral Bond and then Blood Magic. After that start specing into nodes according to your needs.

  17. Posts
    5

    I ended up switching to this spec half-way through last season (Legion) and it was more effective than the mana-based one I had been using. I altered it a bit after playing around in PoB though: https://pastebin.com/87p9Gjuj

    Some changes I tried:
    1) I opted to head more up into the Witch area and pick up the totem nodes up there since PoB calculated that the damage benefit to points use of getting to Shamanistic Fury yielded more damage per pt than Totemic Zeal, especially since that now brings you closer to Arcanist’s Dominion and Firewalker. With the posted tree and my gear, I was calculating 182K DPS per totem; with the new reconfigure I was calculating 216K DPS per totem. I took a bit less on the life nodes and cut Utmost Might to get to more of the damage nodes but ended up with 7100 life, a decent amount of armor, and large regen.

    2) To supplement damage, I also grabbed an Essence Worm and tossed Herald of Ash in there.

    3) I also opted to drop the Hinekora ascendancy node for Tasalio (for the extra defenses) and grabbed a Xoph’s Heart to proc the ‘covered in ash’. Note here – get the base one, not the upgraded one, as you don’t want Avatar of Fire if you’re going Eternity Shroud + shaper items.

    4) I put a Might of the Meak in my tree, over south of the big Scion life node. Since there aren’t any noteables over there that I wanted, the Might of the Meak ends up adding a decent amount to the passives around it: 10% life, 14% armor, +8 max life, 0.4% life regen, 15 strength. If you wanted more damage you could go for a 7% max life, +damage jewel instead.

    This season, I may try and rework Orb of Storms to something like:
    Orb of Storms + Increased Critical + Curse on Hit + Flammability and slot that into Shaper gloves that have Faster Casting support for socketed gems. This is mostly because I’m lazy and life the idea of one button to proc flammability and Elemental Overload.

  18. Posts
    5

    Also, for leveling, I’ve recommend picking up a Nycta’s Lantern. I read in a RF spec that this functions like a 5L/6L (a 5.5L?) and is available starting at level 44. I picked one up the other night for 1 chaos with a max rolled spell damage stat and I’ve socketed Multiple Totems, controlled destruction, and holy flame totem and it’s working great so far into my 50s.

  19. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 08/09/2019 at 4:48 PM, Aular said

    Also, for leveling, I’ve recommend picking up a Nycta’s Lantern. I read in a RF spec that this functions like a 5L/6L (a 5.5L?) and is available starting at level 44. I picked one up the other night for 1 chaos with a max rolled spell damage stat and I’ve socketed Multiple Totems, controlled destruction, and holy flame totem and it’s working great so far into my 50s.

    That works well, it will carry you to maps for sure. A simple Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa should also work great.

  20. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    955

    On 08/09/2019 at 4:43 PM, Aular said

    I ended up switching to this spec half-way through last season (Legion) and it was more effective than the mana-based one I had been using. I altered it a bit after playing around in PoB though: https://pastebin.com/87p9Gjuj

    Some changes I tried:
    1) I opted to head more up into the Witch area and pick up the totem nodes up there since PoB calculated that the damage benefit to points use of getting to Shamanistic Fury yielded more damage per pt than Totemic Zeal, especially since that now brings you closer to Arcanist’s Dominion and Firewalker. With the posted tree and my gear, I was calculating 182K DPS per totem; with the new reconfigure I was calculating 216K DPS per totem. I took a bit less on the life nodes and cut Utmost Might to get to more of the damage nodes but ended up with 7100 life, a decent amount of armor, and large regen.

    2) To supplement damage, I also grabbed an Essence Worm and tossed Herald of Ash in there.

    3) I also opted to drop the Hinekora ascendancy node for Tasalio (for the extra defenses) and grabbed a Xoph’s Heart to proc the ‘covered in ash’. Note here – get the base one, not the upgraded one, as you don’t want Avatar of Fire if you’re going Eternity Shroud + shaper items.

    4) I put a Might of the Meak in my tree, over south of the big Scion life node. Since there aren’t any noteables over there that I wanted, the Might of the Meak ends up adding a decent amount to the passives around it: 10% life, 14% armor, +8 max life, 0.4% life regen, 15 strength. If you wanted more damage you could go for a 7% max life, +damage jewel instead.

    This season, I may try and rework Orb of Storms to something like:
    Orb of Storms + Increased Critical + Curse on Hit + Flammability and slot that into Shaper gloves that have Faster Casting support for socketed gems. This is mostly because I’m lazy and life the idea of one button to proc flammability and Elemental Overload.

    Hey, I am glad to see you are doing your own thing, great augmentations you’ve done there.

Please log in to reply.

Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close
Close