A Deadeye and a bow, does it really get more iconic when it comes to Path of Exile builds, I wonder? This duo has been on top of the ladder when it comes to clearing maps and doing damage for as long as Ascendancies have existed. Whereas it has undergone a couple of meta-shifts, nerfs, buffs, iterations and what not, it has never really completely ebbed away from the meta. Wielding a bow on a character that moves at the speed of light will always make a lot of people tick and this build is no different.
Now, I’d argue the most known archetype of Deadeye bow builds is a Magic Find oriented build that farms very low tier maps because it simply can’t handle much more than that. When talking about such builds, our ancient beloved Tornado Shot comes to mind (may it rest in peace) but that obviously got nerfed so significantly hard that the Magic-Finders had to swap skills. So much for diversity one would say, because they also swapped to Ice Shot and Barrage, a deadly combo we will be showcasing in our build guide here, albeit it the endgame non Magic Find version.
This take on Deadeye brings us a very versatile character that can be altered in many ways, but effectively as showcased here does a little bit of everything. It has excellent clear through the combination of Voidfletcher to clear up stragglers and Ice Shot‘s inherent mechanics making it a skill that deletes multiple screens of monsters instantaneously. While it is a struggle, the build also manages to reach a respectable amount of health and defenses to make it possible to kill all the endgame bosses on it. Do not be mistaken, that does not mean that Sirus AL8 is a joke with it, or that Uber Elder can be killed while you’re AFK. It requires you to play well, make use of your DPS uptime and dodge most telegraphed mechanics, but the numbers are there and they’re fairly impressive! There’s definitely more tanky builds out there but they don’t bring this type of ranged clearspeed.
The reason why Voidfletcher brings so much for this build is because of the Void Charges it grants and the Void Shots those unleash whenever you use a bow skill. They are a little bit delayed, so generally your Ice Shot will do most of the heavy lifting while mapping, but whenever something is left alive the delayed Void Shot will kill it, for sure, which means you don’t have to slow down for it. The emphasis on them killing the stragglers with certainty is because they deal tremendous amounts of damage. It is relatively hard to estimate, but I assume that in this build in optimal conditions they can add anywhere between 5 and 7 million damage. This is because they overlap, so every projectile is a more multiplier, and we stack a lot of those with Barrage. Additionally it has a really high damage effectiveness, which means we’re stacking as much Flat Damage as possible to greatly improve its damage.
For you to feel comfortable to kill all those aforementioned bosses (such as Sirus, Uber Elder…), this build requires a moderate amount of investing. However, it excels at generating the currency, as after a fairly low entry-cost it will blast through maps at the speed of light! When you’ve acquired all the pieces of the puzzle I’m presenting you today, the build reaches over 4,500 Health with close to cap Evasion and Spell Suppression. That means it can take a hit, and multiple even, while getting hit rarely in the first place. The returns you are getting for it on the other side of the PoE spectrum, though, are pretty impressive. While staying focused on Clear Speed, it packs around 6 Million Sirus DPS without the Void Shots, which should theoretically equate for about the same amount of damage which is quite the number for a Deadeye of this caliber.
Pros and Cons
+ It’s a ranged build with a lot of freezing, making it extra safe
+ Top tier Clear Speed, as you’d expect out of a bow character
+ Fairly cheap to get off the ground
+ Incredibly fun and satisfying to play
– Gets relatively expensive after your basic items
– Requires those decent investments to kill high end bosses
– While it’s fairly safe, I wouldn’t call it Hardcore viable
Map Modifiers to be Avoided
Elemental Reflect will kill you, no matter what. Otherwise the build should deal with most mods relatively well unless its a very nasty combination of offensive mods.
Playstyle, Mechanics & Strengths
Ice Shot has always been up there in terms of clear speed but has always lacked the damage to compete. It recently got buffed fairly significantly, putting it up there with most other contenders for Tornado Shot after its nerf. Right now, in combination with Deadeye and Awakened Chain Support, it offers the best clear we have ever seen out of a bow skill as long as you are playing a damage-oriented build. Once Ice Shot starts lacking damage, it falls off a cliff rather rapidly, leaving stragglers around and whatnot.
Even though all of those buffs helped the skill tremendously, it also suffers because of the boss changes that happened a couple leagues back. Whereas builds that had a couple million DPS were usually calculating their damage in Shapers per second, they now struggle to kill white monsters in a Tier 16 map. Sadly, that means you’re not going to be able kill anything that has a sizeable chunk of health such as high tier map bosses while solely relying on Ice Shot. There’s no shame in that, as most (read: all) bow builds nowadays are forced into either a Barrage or a Barrage Support setup anyway.
I personally don’t really appreciate builds that use multiple skills, but this one definitely makes up for that inconvenience by how pleasant and fast it plays and how capable it still is of killing bosses. Since you already are using two keys actively for main skills, I decided to keep the other skills as low-effort as possible with the only manual application you have worry about being the cast of a single Sniper's Mark on a boss.
Through usage of Surpression, Hyrri's Ire and Withering Step, you get to Cap Evasion, Cap Suppression & 15% Damage Avoidance, meaning it is impossible for you to die to repeated small or medium-sized hits. However, your defensives versus one-shot mechanics are rather limited. Wind Dancer increases your maximum hit taken by about 20% when it matters, but that’s all there is. So, occasionally, you might randomly get popped by Deliriums, Metamorphs, certain boss attacks and so on. That’s why I personally wouldn’t take the build for a spin in any Hardcore environment.
Passive Skill Tree, PoB, and Gem Links
You can find an optimized Path of Building here. Every build I release will use the community fork of Path of Building, which is maintained and updated in a much more regular fashion than the original one. You can find PoB’s Fork, by LocalIdentity, here.
If you are not comfortable with Path of Building, we also have a Tree from the PoE Website for you. Do note that this does not support Cluster Jewels and some specific unique jewels and it is highly recommended you install Path of Building to follow builds most optimally.
More information about the Passive Skill Tree, as well as all the Gem Links can be found on our dedicated 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.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
A lot of this is explained more in depth in the Gear Page, however we will provide you with a basic idea of what gear you’re looking for in this short summary.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Head||Rare Asenath's Mark|
|Gloves||Rare Gloves with Life, Damage, Attack Speed & Spell Suppression|
|Belt||Stygian Vise with Strength, Life and Elemental Damage with Attacks|
|Rings||Mark of the Elder and Shaper Ring with Life/Resists|
Questions & Support
I made it a habit to check all comments in my guides on a daily basis. Obviously, there might be occurrences where getting a reply might take longer but I really do try to get back to you as soon as possible. I prefer you making remarks, suggestions or asking questions that way as it allows others to read through the comments, providing them with a potential answer to their question, without having to wait for me again. If I have somehow missed your question, you can try reaching me on our Discord.
If you enjoy my content to such an extent that you’d like to support me and my work, I have a Patreon you can check out. At no point should you feel pressured to contribute, but if you do, your support means more to me than you will ever imagine.
Since we are very adamant about trying to give you a leveling experience that lies as close to your endgame playstyle as possible, we will be providing you a way to level up with Rain of Arrows as Ice Shot is just not a viable way of leveling a character. If you are looking for the most optimal way to level a character to maps, we refer you to the following guides.
- 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.
In order to level this build as a Rain of Arrows build, you need to make your way to level 12 to be able to use the gem.
Getting to Brutus & Merveil
For starters, create a Ranger in whichever league you want to start.
Check if you can pick up a Quiver from the vendors before starting your journey. Two Iron Rings can also help you a lot. Use the following links:
After killing Brutus, you will be adding an Added Lightning Damage Support to your Caustic Arrow for a couple of levels as you’ll need it when you make the swap.
Level 12 and Onwards Setup
From level 12, after killing Merveil, you’ll be setting up for your road to maps. It might be a little rough for some bosses, but you should eventually be fine with this setup.
- Vaal Rain of Arrows
- Mirage Archer Support
- Added Lightning Damage Support
- Added Cold Damage Support
- Concentrated Effect Support
- Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
Use the following on bosses:
Run the following auras: