Ice Spear Totems Ascendant Build Guide (PoE Delirium 3.10)

Vvckd

6


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

Ice Spear Ice Spear was an unused skill for very long time. With its rework in 3.5 and its damage buff in 3.6, it became a very powerful clearing and boss killing tool. Its base damage and high critical chance have the potential to clear the whole endgame.

We choose to play totems, since the mechanic of the skill feels clunky when self-cast. The Ascendant class is a great choice for the build, simply because you can get an additional totem via the Hierophant ascendancy, while at the same time you get additional projectile perks via the Deadeye ascendancy.

The build achieves over 180% increased maximum life on the passive skill tree and focuses on critical strike and totem nodes. This results in a build that has very good endgame potential.

Build Summary

The Ice Spear Totem Ascendant does not require any big investments and can be played as a league-starter. Simple items like Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa can carry you a very long way. Besides that, we focus on Critical Chance to Spells, Spell Damage, and Life. The additional maximum totem mod on Shield was moved from being a Betrayal mod to a Shaper mod in 3.6, which should make it easier to acquire in the long run.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Good clear speed
+ Great boss killer
+ Good survivability for a totem build

Cons

- Feels clunky in indoor maps
- It is annoying to do Elemental Reflect maps since totems one-shot themselves

Playstyle

Offensively, placing totems on the ground will place two totems, instead of one (the default). Placing totems away from monsters will allow Ice Spear Ice Spear to transition into its second form, which has an immense chance to critically strike. One pair of totems should be enough to clear nearby monster packs. Against tougher foes, you can use certain skills in order to augment your damage: Frost Bomb Frost Bomb lowers enemies’ Cold resistance, and Frostbite Frostbite is a powerful offensive curse for every Cold-based build.

Defensively, a great life pool along with a lot of free mana and Mind over Matter will take care of most hard hits you will take. Like all totem builds, this build is very safe through its very nature. Simply summon totems and stay behind them; if they die just replace them and keep your distance.

For Playstyle, you should mainly consider how Ice Spear works. The projectiles have two forms. After certain distance is travelled, the Ice Spear projectiles enter their second form, which adds a 600% Critical Strike Chance and 30-49% Critical Multiplier. This benefit is very powerful and you should play around it, meaning you ideally want to place your totems some distance from their intended target.

Passive Tree

This is the endgame passive skill tree you should aim for.

For more information, be sure to check out the passive skill tree page.

Passive 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.

Ascendancy, Bandits, Pantheons Page

Gems

We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.

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.

Gear Page

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Helmet
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest Rare Body Armour
Gloves Rare Gloves
Boots Rare Boots
Belt Rare Belt
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon Rare One-hand
Shield Shaper-based Shield

Leveling

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

The build can be played once you pick up the Ancestral Bond keystone on the passive skill tree, this can happen very early on. Until then you can use spells like Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse or any leveling skill you prefer.

Leveling Trees

These are the first steps you should take on the passive skill tree if you want to start using totems as early as possible, keep in mind that can feel kind of clunky since the spell’s damage scales later on, when you invest into critical strike nodes.

This passive skill tree is a representation of where you should be once you have picked Path of the Templar ascendancy (around level 70-75).

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 can fill your damage needs early on.

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

At level 4, you can add Frost Bomb Frost Bomb for additional damage.

By level 8, your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse link should look like this.

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  4. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

At level 10, you should add Flame Dash Flame Dash for the mobility it provides.

At level 16, you can add Herald of Ice Herald of Ice for additional damage.

By level 18, your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse link should look like this.

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
  5. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  6. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

Note: This gem link can carry you up until Blood Aqueduct, although the single target might lack; for smoother clearing you can socket in First Snow First Snow.

Once you have picked up Ancestral Bond you can start using Ice Spear Ice Spear totems, keep in mind this can feel clunky early on and you would preferably want to do it if you at least have Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa. This is the gem link for level 38.

  1. Ice Spear Ice Spear
  2. Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support
  3. Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support
  4. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  5. Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support
  6. Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support

FAQ

What map mods are hard or impossible to do?

Both Elemental Reflect and no regeneration map mods are very hard and annoying for the build. Chaining mods should be avoided until you upgrade your Soul of Lunaris.

What content does the build excel at and what is it bad at?

Ice Spear Ice Spear does great in outdoor maps and can feel kind of clunky in indoor areas. The build is good at both clearing and boss killing, and it is one of the better spell totem builds.

Conclusion

The Ice Spear Totem Ascendant specializes in placing machine-gunning totems that shatter enemies with ice projectiles. If you enjoy staying behind and summoning totems in order to clear content, you will probably like this build.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Delirium 3.10. The build gets buffed by a great deal via changes to Totem Life.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The build received an indirect buff via changes to Freeze.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. The build is just as strong as before, not much has changed.

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  1. Posts
    8

    This seems like a nice league starter for 3.8. However, wouldn’t it be easier to level with Cleave Cleave and Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector, until you get Ancestral Bond? From my initial testing, it seems to work a lot better than spells which have no damage support (other that wands) and trouble getting levels due to the lack of intellect early on.

    Edited by Noceo on August 23rd, 2019

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1683

    On 23/08/2019 at 1:27 PM, Noceo said

    This seems like a nice league starter for 3.8. However, wouldn’t it be easier to level with Cleave Cleave and Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector, until you get Ancestral Bond? From my initial testing, it seems to work a lot better than spells which have no damage support (other that wands) and trouble getting levels due to the lack of intellect early on.

    Levelling as melee is always a good choice, you can do it for sure!

  3. Posts
    1

    In the passive tree I notice that there are no passives taken connected to the start of the tree. How is that possible? Did you refund or is the point of the tree to take the quickest route to the highlighted passives?

  4. Posts
    5

    Hi. i was thinking how to improve more the totems elemental damage with the cold.

    How about this passive skill tree?

    Passive skill tree

  5. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    1683

    On 10/05/2020 at 7:34 PM, elcristo said

    Hi. i was thinking how to improve more the totems elemental damage with the cold.

    How about this passive skill tree?

    Hey, you have 14% increased maximum Life on the passive tree. You will end up getting one-shot everywhere. You should look for at least 170%+ by level 90.

    Edited by Vvckd on May 11th, 2020

  6. Posts
    5

    On 11/05/2020 at 4:48 AM, Vvckd said

    On 10/05/2020 at 7:34 PM, elcristo said

    Hi. i was thinking how to improve more the totems elemental damage with the cold.

    How about this passive skill tree?

    Hey, you have 14% increased maximum Life on the passive tree. You will end up getting one-shot everywhere. You should look for at least 170%+ by level 90.

    Ok, i didnt know that. Thanks.

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