Ice Shot Ascendant Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

Vvckd

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Introduction

The Ice Shot Ascendant is a Cold-based type of archer that excels at clearing areas with great efficiency. The build achieves decent survivability by combining a 7K+ Life pool with Acrobatics, Phase Acrobatics and other defensive mechanics. Ice Shot Ice Shot is a great Bow skill when it comes to clearing, but has mediocre single target damage, which is why we aim for strong Critical Strikes combined with a lot of Cold Resistance Penetration from different sources.

By picking Ascendant we gain a lot of perks compared to other ascendancy classes. 16% Resistance Penetration, great flask sustain, additional Golem, 10% Movement and Attack Speed are just some of them. Other ascendancy classes like the Deadeye might look like a viable choice for archers in general, but they have very little synergy with the Ice Shot skill and the nature of the build.

Build Summary

The Ice Shot Ascendant can be played on a budget, with the option to heavily invest into gear later on. You will need at least one Omen on the Winds Omen on the Winds unique jewel, which is very cheap. Lioneye's Glare Lioneye's Glare is one of the best unique bows in the game, simply because of the decent attacks per second, Far Shot (that is basically a 7th link), and “Hits Cannot be Evaded”. Considering the power of this Bow, it is very cheap for the value it brings; a decently rolled one might cost a couple of Chaos Orb Chaos Orbs. The Pandemonius The Pandemonius is an example of the more expensive items for the build; it helps out with Penetrating a great amount of enemies’ Cold resistance and is great for tough endgame fights.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great clear speed
+ Immune to Reflect mods

Cons

- Mediocre single target

Playstyle

Offensively, you should shoot enemies from as far as possible in order to stay safe and utilize Far Shot. Blood Rage Blood Rage will improve your Attack Speed and give you Frenzy charge generation mechanic. A single Ice Shot Ice Shot should be enough to shatter whole packs of regular monsters. When encountering tough foes, you should swap Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support with Cold Penetration Support Cold Penetration Support. Frost Bomb Frost Bomb will lower enemies’ Cold resistance even further.

Defensively, the build’s playstyle allows for very safe positioning, which is key in every Bow build. Freezing and shattering enemies before they even have the chance to strike at you is a great defensive mechanic. A great Life pool combined with a lot of Chance to Dodge Attacks and Spells will allow you to tank some hits here and there. Decoy Totem Decoy Totem is archer’s best friend.

For playstyle, when entering a new zone, activate your Blood Rage Blood Rage and start clearing. Once you encounter map bosses, you can drop a Frost Bomb for additional damage and pin them down with your Decoy totem. You will be able to kill most map bosses without even swapping gems in your main setup.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Scion – Ascendant)

  1. Passive point
  2. Elementalist Ascendancy
  3. Pathfinder Ascendancy
  4. Path of the Ranger

The Elementalist Ascendancy provides a great amount of damage in the form of 10% Elemental resistance Penetration; the additional Golem will allow you to run a second type of Golem for the additional bonuses. The Herald effectiveness will augment your Herald of Ice Herald of Ice, and ensuring 10% increased damage taken against Shocked enemies is also a very powerful and often underestimated mechanic. Last but not least, you are Immune to Elemental Reflect.

The Pathfinder Ascendancy, in combination with few flask nodes on the passive skill tree, will make your flasks very reliable and powerful; this ascendancy also gives you 6% additional Penetration.

Path of the Ranger will allow you to start from the Ranger starting point, which will save you a bunch of unnecessary passive skill tree points.

Passive tree

Here is the endgame passive skill tree.

The main keystone notable we pick are Acrobatics, Phase Acrobatics, and Arrow Dancing. Besides that, we focus on Life, efficient Bow nodes, Elemental Damage with attacks and Critical nodes. Soul Raker and the Claw nodes leading up to it will benefit your Bow attacks once you socket in Lioneye's Fall Lioneye's Fall.

Bandits

For this specific build we should help Alira in Act II. The critical multiplier, flat mana regeneration, and 15% all elemental resistances are stronger than the 2 passive skill points.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Solaris – The additional chance to take less damage just adds another layer of defence on top of the build. Other major pantheons are also valuable choices in certain situations.

Minor: Here we have many options to choose between. Ralakesh gives you Blind and Maim immunity, Garukhan provides additional evade chance, Shakari gives Poison immunity. Ralakesh should be the most useful one in most cases.

Pantheon powers can be upgraded by using Divine Vessel in the Map Device while you are activating the particular Map that contains the boss you need. Once you’ve killed the boss and captured his soul, you need to deliver the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Gems

Ice Shot Ice Shot is your signature skill, which should ideally be used in a 6-Link. For mobility, use Blink Arrow Blink Arrow. Decoy Totem Decoy Totem will help you distract enemies. Frost Bomb Frost Bomb will lower enemies’ Cold resistance. Hatred Hatred and Herald of Ice Herald of Ice should be used for buffs. A combination of Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem and Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem will result in a great offensive boost. Blood Rage Blood Rage should be used for the additional damage it provides.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority (starting from the top left, going to the right on each row of the links), meaning that if you lack the required number of sockets to fit all the gems, the first ones to drop are the ones at the bottom (with the bottom right being the last). Also note that in-game, as long as the sockets are linked, it makes no difference at all what order the gems are placed in.

Ice Shot (6-Link)

Ice Shot Ice Shot is a Bow skill that creates a cone of damage behind the first target it hits. This mechanic is extremely powerful when combined with piercing, simply because every time your arrow pierces an enemy it creates a new cone of damage, which results in a lot of overlapping area damage. We recommend two different links for single target and clearing.

For single target, use the following link.

  1. Ice Shot Ice Shot
  2. Cold Penetration Support Cold Penetration Support
  3. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
  4. Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support
  5. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  6. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

For clearing, use the following link.

  1. Ice Shot Ice Shot
  2. Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support
  3. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
  4. Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support
  5. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  6. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

Frost Bomb (4-Link)

Frost Bomb Frost Bomb is useful in tough single target encounters. It will lower the enemies’ Cold resistance.

  1. Frost Bomb Frost Bomb
  2. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Herald of Ice (4-Link)

Herald of Ice Herald of Ice‘s cold explosions are used in order to gain the Innervate Support Innervate Support buff along with a reliable Power charge generation mechanic via the Curse on Hit Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark setup.

  1. Herald of Ice Herald of Ice
  2. Curse On Hit Support Curse On Hit Support
  3. Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark
  4. Innervate Support Innervate Support

Blink Arrow (2-Link)

Blink Arrow Blink Arrow is the best mobility skill for every Bow build.

  1. Blink Arrow Blink Arrow
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support

Other gems

Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem and Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem should be active all the time, along with Blood Rage Blood Rage. For auras, Hatred Hatred should be used in combination with Herald of Ice Herald of Ice. Decoy Totem Decoy Totem will help you distract your enemies, allowing you to position well for maximum damage output. Vaal Grace Vaal Grace can be used for its Vaal version in sticky situations. Steelskin Steelskin can be used for additional on-demand damage mitigation.

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

Starkonja's Head Starkonja's Head and Rat's Nest Rat's Nest are two of the best unique Helmets you can use. A well rolled rare Helmet also works just fine. For labyrinth enchant, look for Blood Rage Blood Rage additional Attack Speed or any Ice Shot Ice Shot enchant. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. # to Intelligence

Body Armour

Since you will only need one 6-Link, you can use Kaom's Heart Kaom's Heart for the additional survivability. Other unique choices are Wildwrap Wildwrap, Queen of the Forest Queen of the Forest, Kintsugi Kintsugi, Hyrri's Ire Hyrri's Ire, and Loreweave Loreweave. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil; Elder Prefix)
  4. Attacks have +#% to Critical Strike Chance (Elder Suffix)
  5. % of Physical Damage taken as Cold Damage (Essence of Horror Essence of Horror)

Gloves

Southbound Southbound are probably one of the best choices you can make for the build. Tombfist Tombfist, Oskarm Oskarm or any well rolled rare gloves can also be considered. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (60)
  3. % increased Attack Speed
  4. # to Accuracy Rating (at least 300)

Boots

Well-rolled rare boots are best in slot. Having decent movement speed on boots is very important for archer builds, since they do not have a reliable mobility skill. For labyrinth enchant, look for additional Penetration or Movement Speed if you haven’t been hit recently. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Movement Speed (at least 30%)

Belt

A well rolled rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise outclasses other Belt choices. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (80)
  3. % increased Elemental Damage with Attack skills (at least 25%)
  4. % increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil Prismatic Fossil)
  5. % increased Cold Damage (Frigid Fossil Frigid Fossil)

Amulet

The Pandemonius The Pandemonius is best in slot for the endgame, prior to it use a well rolled rare Amulet. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. % increased Elemental Damage with Attack skills (at least 25%)
  4. % to Global Critical Multiplier
  5. Adds # to # Physical damage to Attacks

Rings

Well rolled rare rings are best in slot. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. % increased Elemental Damage with Attack skills (at least 25%)
  4. # to Accuracy Rating (at least 300)
  5. Adds # to # Physical damage to Attacks

Weapon

Lioneye's Glare Lioneye's Glare is an amazing unique Bow, which can carry you all the way. Crafting a decent rare Bow can be very expensive and you will lose the Far Shot and Hits Cannot be Evaded mods, which might not be worth it in the long run. If you choose to do so any ways, you need a well rolled physical Bow with at least 350pDPS and 6,5%+ Critical Chance.

Quiver

Voidfletcher Voidfletcher is probably one of the best Quiver choices for the build. A rare Quiver will allow you to fill resistance gaps and get some more Life and damage. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistance (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. % increased Elemental Damage with Attack skills (at least 25%)
  4. % to Global Critical Multiplier

Flasks

Diamond Flask Diamond Flask is mandatory in every Critical-based build; this is a good flask to have Curse or Freeze immunity on. Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask should used as Instant or half-Instant along with Bleeding Removal suffix. Taste of Hate Taste of Hate can be very powerful, but is an expensive flask. The Wise Oak The Wise Oak will help you Penetrate even more Cold resistance. A Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask is also mandatory for the build, try rolling it with additional Movement Speed. For the other flask slots we recommend using Basalt Flask Basalt Flask, Silver Flask Silver Flask or any other utility flask based on the content you are running. Make sure you have Bleeding, Curse and Freezing immunity on your flasks.

Jewels

You need to have at least one Omen on the Winds Omen on the Winds jewel socketed in order to solve your Pierce problem. A Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with Hatred Hatred mods can be very powerful, but expensive. Lioneye's Fall Lioneye's Fall will allow you to benefit from all the powerful and point-efficient Claw nodes that are located north from Acrobatics.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % increased Maximum Life
  2. % increased Critical Multiplier/ with Elemental Skills
  3. % increased Attack Speed/ with Bows
  4. % increased Projectile Damage

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. Maximum Life (at least 35)
  2. Flat Elemental damage to Attacks/ with Bows

Leveling

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

The build can be easily leveled by using a few unique Bows in combination with Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows. Ice Shot Ice Shot will do great at clearing early on, but you will lack the single target damage in order to clear the leveling content; you should switch to Ice Shot once you’ve equipped Lioneye's Glare Lioneye's Glare.

Leveling Trees

This passive skill tree will allow you to get through the leveling content. Once you’ve ascended into Path of the Ranger, you should respec all the unnecessary passive points.

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. Storm Cloud Storm Cloud is a powerful leveling unique Bow.

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. Ice Shot Ice Shot
  2. Pierce Support Pierce Support
  3. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 4, you can add Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support to your Ice Shot Ice Shot link. You can also pick Frost Bomb Frost Bomb for additional single target damage output.

By level 8, your Ice Shot Ice Shot link should look like this.

  1. Ice Shot Ice Shot
  2. Pierce Support Pierce Support
  3. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  4. Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support
  5. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  6. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support

At level 10, you should add Blink Arrow Blink Arrow.

At level 12, you can start using Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows. It will replace your Ice Shot Ice Shot link for now.

  1. Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows
  2. Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support
  3. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  4. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  5. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support

At level 16, you should add Herald of Ice Herald of Ice.

By level 18, your Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows should look like this.

  1. Vaal Rain of Arrows Vaal Rain of Arrows
  2. Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support
  3. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
  4. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  5. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  6. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support

FAQ

What map mods are impossible to do?

The build can run everything, except for the combination of No Regeneration and Cannot Leech.

Conclusion

Obliterate everything from a distance with your powerful Ice Shots. The Ice Shot Ascendant is an archer that excels at clearing zones fast and has great endgame potential.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. Ice Shot now gains added Cold Damage to attacks as the gem levels (previously had none), which is a considerable buff for the build.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Legion 3.7. Improved Gem and Gearing sections along with replacing old passive skill trees.

  •   

    Build added.

  1. Posts
    2

    Hi,

    Thanks for the awesome build, but i got a question tho.

    We need to use the vaal rain of arrow on lvl 12. When do we use ice shot again?

    Greetings

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    467

    On 01/07/2019 at 9:35 PM, GsusBro said

    Hi,

    Thanks for the awesome build, but i got a question tho.

    We need to use the vaal rain of arrow on lvl 12. When do we use ice shot again?

    Greetings

    Hey, you can keep using Ice Shot for leveling if you want, although I recommend using Rain of Arrows at least up to Blood Aqueduct.

  3. Posts
    2

    Thank you very much!

  4. Posts
    4

    Silly question but why the Claw nodes? I’m diggin the build though. Pretty fun.

  5. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    467

    On 29/08/2019 at 10:00 PM, dee7976 said

    Silly question but why the Claw nodes? I’m diggin the build though. Pretty fun.

    Hey, glad you like the guide, the Claw nodes are turned into Bow nodes when you put Lioneye's Fall Lioneye's Fall in the nearby Jewel socket.

  6. Posts
    4

    omg that makes total sense. i didn’t read on the jewel. where would you place that jewel? right by the claw nodes? thanks so much. keep doing what you do. love the build and the hard work you put into these guides.

    Edited by dee7976 on August 30th, 2019

  7. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    467

    On 30/08/2019 at 10:00 PM, dee7976 said

    omg that makes total sense. i didn’t read on the jewel. where would you place that jewel? right by the claw nodes? thanks so much. keep doing what you do. love the build and the hard work you put into these guides.

    Thanks for the heartwarming feedback, you should put the Lioneye's Fall Lioneye's Fall in the Jewel socket located between Acrobatics and the Claw nodes.

  8. Posts
    4

    On 31/08/2019 at 9:04 AM, Vvckd said

    On 30/08/2019 at 10:00 PM, dee7976 said

    omg that makes total sense. i didn’t read on the jewel. where would you place that jewel? right by the claw nodes? thanks so much. keep doing what you do. love the build and the hard work you put into these guides.

    Thanks for the heartwarming feedback, you should put the Lioneye's Fall Lioneye's Fall in the Jewel socket located between Acrobatics and the Claw nodes.

  9. Posts
    4

    No problem. Now my dude. how do you deal with mana while leveling. I’m level 58 leveling and my mana is wasted by the 3rd or 4th shot. I even went with a 5 link instead of a tabula. i’m keeping my life and resistance but mana…done. even while holding, relocating and firing it’s still bad. what would you recommend? oh, and the only bow i’m getting good elemental dmg off of is the storm cloud.

  10. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    467

    On 31/08/2019 at 8:39 PM, dee7976 said

    No problem. Now my dude. how do you deal with mana while leveling. I’m level 58 leveling and my mana is wasted by the 3rd or 4th shot. I even went with a 5 link instead of a tabula. i’m keeping my life and resistance but mana…done. even while holding, relocating and firing it’s still bad. what would you recommend? oh, and the only bow i’m getting good elemental dmg off of is the storm cloud.

    You probably do not have enough damage to leech good amounts of Mana yet, what I would recommend doing is investing 3 passive points in a node called Essence Sap, which can be respecced later on. Another thing that can fix your issue is equipping the Lioneye's Glare Lioneye's Glare, it will greatly increase your damage output and improve your maximum Mana pool, which will allow you to regain more Mana overall.

  11. Posts
    2

    Hi there,

    I was pumped to try this build for 3.8 but got confused. Is this supposed to be a scion or a ranger build? I did the beach area and got to lion’s gate but didn’t get any bows or ice shot/pierce gems.
    Then I tried it on the ranger and got the bow and burning arrow which makes more sense, but tree is different of course.

    Help!
    Thanks

  12. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    467

    On 07/09/2019 at 2:11 AM, Krispykitty said

    Hi there,

    I was pumped to try this build for 3.8 but got confused. Is this supposed to be a scion or a ranger build? I did the beach area and got to lion’s gate but didn’t get any bows or ice shot/pierce gems.
    Then I tried it on the ranger and got the bow and burning arrow which makes more sense, but tree is different of course.

    Help!
    Thanks

    Hey, the character is supposed to be played as Scion – Ascendant. Gems that are needed can easily be obtained via vendors and completing quests. Ranger’s Deadeye can also be a great Ice Shot character.

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