Manni's Lightning Arrow Deadeye Build Guide (PoE Necropolis 3.24)




Bow characters received huge buffs in recent patches and became one of the best archetypes for both starting in a fresh league and efficiently farming endgame content.
Lightning Arrow Lightning Arrow is an iconic Bow Skill, known for its satisfying clear and playstyle.
Crit-Based Bow builds like this one are historically known to be high-investment and high-reward, but the barrier to entry has been vastly decreased in recent patches.

The addition of the Vengeant Cascade anoint in Patch 3.21 (Crucible), which granted characters with “Attack Projectiles Return to you” made Lightning Arrow one of the dominating meta skills of that league. Although Vengeant Cascade has been completely reworked, Lightning Arrow still is a great build going forward as the recent power creep for elemental Bow Builds has made it possible for it to remain a strong build in the current state of the game and to work well in a low budget and league start environment.

The build is powerful enough to conveniently progress through the atlas, beat the necessary endgame bosses and efficiently farm all the content needed to upgrade the build further. In my opinion, the biggest appeal of choosing this build is the flexibility. While it serves well as a league starter, it is also one of the go-to-builds for many efficient endgame farming strategies. There is nearly endless room for upgrading and optimizing the build past what we show in this guide, like the transition into a more expensive build with Crystallised Omniscience Crystallised Omniscience or a high budget Tornado Shot Tornado Shot build capable of clearing Uber Pinnacle Bosses.

This guide’s purpose is to guide you through the build as a League Starter or Low Budget Build. It should set you up nicely to explore the vast endgame of Path of Exile and to farm for the more expensive versions that are possible.

Build Overview

This section covers the general playstyle, strengths and weaknesses of the build to help you decide if it is the right build for you.


The build is simple to play, using two Active Skills (Lightning Arrow Lightning Arrow and Artillery Ballista Artillery Ballista) and two Movement Skills (Blink Arrow Blink Arrow and Flame Dash Flame Dash). No other hotkeys are required as we automate our other utility skills such as Mark On Hit Support Mark On Hit Support + Sniper's Mark Sniper's Mark and Manaforged Arrows Support Manaforged Arrows Support + Frenzy Frenzy.

For the most part, we run through maps with high Movement Speed thanks to Gathering Winds while blowing up packs with Lightning Arrow. For tougher enemies, we summon a few Artillery Ballistas and continue firing Lightning Arrow at the enemy.

The high mobility and few active skills allow us to focus on positioning and dodging enemy mechanics. The build can be described as a classic glass cannon build, with our only defences being high Evasion and capped Spell Suppression. Even with taking the occasional deaths into account, this build generally progresses and farms faster than most other builds. If you dislike deaths and their experience penalty however, this is probably not the build for you.


  • Great clear speed with high Movement Speed and solid single target damage makes the build very efficient for many lucrative strategies.
  • Simple playstyle for relaxed grinding.
  • Solid Allrounder – the build is decent for every type of content.
  • League Start viability – one of the fastest builds to unlock the atlas with.
  • Scalability – from league starter to multiple Mirrors worth of investment, there is always another upgrade to look forward to.


  • Low Tankiness – even with solid gear, we are still weak to burst damage from a lot of bosses or beefed-up rares, so any mistake can result in dying.
  • Bossing as a new player will require you to gain experience with boss mechanics, as our single target damage is not enough to trivialize bosses and most mechanics cannot be tanked through.
  • Relatively gear-dependant – while the build works without trading for anything, it does suffer from being under-geared more than spell-based league-starters do, who can rely on gem levels for damage. Neglecting or getting unlucky on Bow loot and crafts can be punishing. This point can be mostly circumvented by minimal trading.

Build Concept

Elemental Damage and Trinity

The damage scaling of the build is mainly based on stacking flat Elemental Damage. We are gaining the majority of this scaling from added elemental damage modifiers on our Bow, however Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support and Herald of Ice Herald of Ice are used to improve this damage, especially in the early stages when our Bow does not provide as much flat damage as an expensive endgame Bow. Additionally, prefixes on Rings, Amulets, and Quiver can provide additional sources of flat damage to push our damage output further.
Generally, we do not care which of the 3 types of Elemental Damage we deal because we avoid taking specific stats like “Lightning Damage” or “Fire Penetration” and prefer generic modifiers like “Elemental Damage”, “Projectile Damage” or “Elemental Penetration” to make sure the entirety of our damage is scaled.

In order to reap the benefits of Trinity Support Trinity Support, we need to make sure our damage spread allows us to gain Resonance from attacking. Trinity builds Resonance stacks for the two elements that did NOT deal the highest damage on a hit and our goal is to build all three types of Resonance. Therefore we need our highest elemental type to vary between our hits. We achieve this by getting a decent amount of flat Lightning Damage on our build. Lightning Damage has a wide range of values in which it can randomly roll.
This will cause some of our hits to be dominated by Lightning Damage (when the lightning roll is high) and some hits will be dominated by Fire or Cold (because Lightning rolled a very low amount).

It is generally easy to achieve this as long as there is a solid Lightning Damage roll on our Bow.

Crit vs Precise Technique

While Crit is the way to go, Precise Technique is a very good alternative for the early stages of the build. Precise Technique allows us to ignore Crit early on, so we can focus on important damage and projectile passives first as well as having one less Bow suffix to worry about.

Pierce, Chain, and Return Mechanics

We need to modify our projectiles to hit multiple enemies to be able to deal with large crowds of enemies.

Our main options are Pierce, which makes our projectiles continue past an enemy to hit more enemies and Chain, which makes Projectiles seek out new nearby enemies after impact.

Chain is generally more powerful, but harder to acquire. For this build we chose Pierce because it only requires an investment of three passive points, while Chain would take up an Ascendancy node or a support gem. Pierce allows us to have more damage at the cost of clearing potential – a trade-off that is well worth it on a low budget. We can always go for Chain on a higher budget build, where its inherent ability to clear will outshine further investment into damage.

We never want to combine Pierce and Chain because then Pierce would have priority and Chain would almost never work.

Returning Projectiles is a very strong mechanic for Lightning Arrow because the returning projectiles can hit the same enemies that we already hit again, essentially acting as a multiplier to our total damage and doubling our Life gained on hit. The returning projectiles also fly past our character and can hit enemies behind us, increasing our clear coverage. Because of these reasons, we use the new Returning Projectiles Support Returning Projectiles Support!

Far Shot

We utilize Far Shot in our build, which scales a projectile’s damage with their distance travelled, meaning we want to stay far away from enemies rather than going close. It also synergizes perfectly with the Long Shot passive and the Bow Mastery granting Crit Chance per distance travelled. Note that these mechanics use the actual distance travelled by the projectile from its point of origin and not from your character’s current position. This makes returning projectiles always have maximum effect of Far Shot since it includes all the initial distance travelled before the projectile started returning.

Defensive mechanics

High Evasion in combination with our fast clear and long range means we get hit by attacks very rarely. If we do get hit however, we are especially vulnerable to Physical Damage as we have nearly no Armour. Wind Dancer is a great tool to help us prevent getting killed in one hit. Crafts on our Helmet and Body Armour that grant “Physical Damage taken as Elemental Damage” will also help our physical damage mitigation immensely by applying our Elemental Resistances to these hits, but it can take a while to unlock those crafts in a new league. Since our build scales Evasion very well we should not undervalue the importance of Evasion rolls on our gear.

Capping Spell Suppression is extremely easy on this build and can be done entirely from the passive tree if needed. The Suppression Mastery that grants lucky Suppression Chance can grant us very solid Suppression Chance before we have all the passives required to cap out.

Additionally, the build sustains damage taken through Leech and a small amount of Life Gain on Hit from the passive tree, quickly refilling its life pool.

Build Progression

There are three main stages that we go through to efficiently reach our endgame build. The Path of Building contains all of them, so make sure to take notice of the different provided trees and gems.

  1. Rain of Arrows during the campaign (up to Level 65)
  2. Lightning Arrow with Precise Technique (non-Crit) (Level 65-85ish)
  3. Lightning Arrow Crit (Endgame build)

Rain of Arrows outclasses Lightning Arrow early on since it does not rely on extra projectiles or Pierce. Once we finish the Merciless Labyrinth and reach around level 65, we have a total of 4 extra arrows from the passive tree and Ascendancy tree as well as Pierce from the passive tree. We now switch to Lightning Arrow, not using Critical Strikes yet because we lack Crit-related gear and passive points.

The endgame version in this guide and the included PoB is around level 93 and the budget should be easily within what we looted on the way to level 93. At this point we should be flying through Tier 16 maps and can start farming whatever we desire. Of course there will be plenty of room for upgrades and improvements after that, but those are beyond the scope of this league-start-focused guide.

Path of Building, Passive Tree and Gem Links

Check the comprehensive Path of Building that includes a passive tree progression including over 10 passive trees, showing the progression step by step.

The Path of Building also includes a higher budget setup that I progress to after this guide.

For more details about the passive tree and Gem Links, there is a dedicated page with explanations and variations:

PoB, Passive Tree and Gem Links

Ascendancy, Bandits & Pantheon

The Ascendancy, Bandits & Pantheon page shows and explains our choices for these aspects:

Ascendancy Overview, Bandits Choice and Pantheon Powers


We need at least one Spell Suppression, one high Accuracy roll, a bit of STR and INT on our gear and very importantly, enough Elemental Resistances to cap our Resistances. After that, we are looking to get as much Life, Evasion and Damage as possible.
Below is a short summary of which stats we try to get on each slot for our endgame version:

Item Slot Item Name
Bow High Elemental DPS with a high base Crit Chance Spine Bow Spine Bow
Quiver Rare with Life, Crit Multiplier, Projectile Speed, Flat Elemental Damage, Damage with Bow Skills
Chest Rare with Evasion, Resistances, Suppression or Hyrri's Ire Hyrri's Ire
Helmet Rare with Life, Evasion, Accuracy, INT, Resistances or Rat's Nest Rat's Nest
Boots Rare with Movement Speed, Life, Resistances, Suppression
Gloves Rare with Life, Accuracy, Attack Speed, Suppression, Resistances
Amulet Rare with Crit Multiplier, Life, INT, STR, Flat or %Elemental Damage or Hyrri's Truth Hyrri's Truth
Rings Rares with Life, Resistances, Flat or %Elemental Damage, INT, STR or The Taming The Taming
Belt Rare with Life, Resistances, %Elemental Damage

Check out the dedicated Gearing Page for a detailed analysis of each gear slot, eldritch implicits, Flasks, Jewels and some unique item options.



For the passive tree progression I recommend checking the different early game trees provided in the Path of Building . Below is a walkthrough for everything else you need to know to reach the endgame version of the build.

I included Twitch VODs of a Campaign Playthrough and Early Map Progression to level 85 from a test run I have done in preparation for the Trial of the Ancestors League.


After Hillock, we use Galvanic Arrow Galvanic Arrow with Momentum Support Momentum Support to start progressing through Act 1.

During Act 1, our goal is to find items that have the proper sockets to use our gems, most notably a G-G-G 3-linked item. We also want two Iron Ring Iron Ring and a Serrated Arrow Quiver Serrated Arrow Quiver as early as possible to get a very significant damage boost.

After Tidal Island and Mud Flats, we buy a few gems and our setup looks like this:

Make sure to cast Sniper’s Mark on tough enemies and don’t forget to summon and resummon ballistas during boss fights.
Note that Blink Arrow does not share a cooldown with the other Movement Skills, so we can use both in quick succession to move quickly through areas.

Upon reaching Merveil’s Lair and level 12 we can change Galvanic Arrow to
Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows + Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support + Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
and replace Dash with Frostblink Frostblink.

At level 16 we can add Herald of Ice Herald of Ice and a temporary Herald of Ash Herald of Ash.
Once we get another G-G 2-link, we can start running Frenzy Frenzy + Manaforged Arrows Support Manaforged Arrows Support to generate Frenzy Charges, which grant inherent bonuses to Damage and Attack Speed.
Blood Rage Blood Rage is also an option to gain increased Attack Speed, but can easily be skipped if you do not want to deal with the life degeneration debuff that it applies.

At Level 24 we replace the Herald of Ash with either Grace Grace or Haste Haste, depending on your preference and the level of comfort with your current survivability,
At this point, we should have the Precise Technique Keystone allocated which requires our Accuracy Rating to be higher than our Maximum Life. I strongly recommend regularly checking your Character Panel (Default Hotkey C) to check that this is in fact the case. Replacing Herald of Ice with Precision Precision is an option to fix our Accuracy, but is usually not necessary.

After killing Gravicius and reaching level 28, we change Shrapnel Ballista to the much stronger Artillery Ballista. At this point we might already have 4-link items or should start to find them through vendors and drops soon. Our two 4-link setups from here until the end of the campaign should look like this:
  1. Rain of Arrows Rain of Arrows + Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support + Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support + Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  2. Artillery Ballista Artillery Ballista + Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support + Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support + Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support (replaced by Focused Ballista Support Focused Ballista Support once you get it.)

At level 38 we add Mark On Hit Support Mark On Hit Support to Sniper's Mark Sniper's Mark to automate triggering it.

For the rest of the campaign we do not need any new gems and we just keep following the passive tree progression as outlined in the PoB. Always keep an eye on your Accuracy Rating to make sure it is higher than your Life total, enabling Precise Technique and its large boost to damage. Don’t neglect to identify any rare Bows and Quivers that you come across, and try to constantly upgrade them. If you cannot find a weapon upgrade for a long time, consider using an Orb of Alchemy Orb of Alchemy, Orb of Binding Orb of Binding or an Essence on the highest level Bow base you can find.

There are many strong levelling uniques for this build, most notably Storm Cloud Storm Cloud which can work all the way up to level 50 or higher. On top of the usual levelling uniques that grant Movement Speed, most unique items that grant flat Elemental Damage are very good for us, for example Prismweave Prismweave, Tasalio's Sign Tasalio's Sign, Lioneye's Paws Lioneye's Paws and Wake of Destruction Wake of Destruction.

Transition from Rain of Arrows to Lightning Arrow

We aim to have 4 additional Arrows before we change to Lightning Arrow, so we can avoid using Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support, which would reduce our damage, and still have a sufficient amount of arrows to clear well. To achieve this, we need Master Fletcher and Multishot from the passive tree as well as Endless Munitions from the Deadeye Ascendancy which we pick up in Merciless Lab. We also require Piercing Shots for the necessary pierce. The PoB includes a passive tree for the swap to Lightning Arrow which requires around level 65 and all passive points from optional campaign quests.

Beating the Merciless Labyrinth at around level 65 to acquire our much-desired third Ascendancy might be the hardest part of levelling this build. I recommend delaying Act 10 Kitava until after this lab to avoid the -30% Resistance penalty that comes with defeating the last campaign boss. Make sure that your Resistances are capped, that you have at least 2,000 Life and consider running Grace over Haste for additional safety. Clearing a few additional Blood Aqueduct or Foothills instances to gain additional levels and gear before entering Merciless Lab is totally valid if you are not confident with the Izaro fight.

After the Merciless Labyrinth we now replace the Rain of Arrows gem setup with
Lightning Arrow Lightning Arrow + Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support + Trinity Support Trinity Support + Returning Projectiles Support Returning Projectiles Support + (Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support or Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support if we already have a 5-link.)

Doublecheck that Trinity builds all three types of resonance when you repeatedly attack monsters with Lightning Arrow!

Progressing to the Endgame build

When we start mapping, we should have a solid Flask setup by now, such as:
  1. Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask with bleed removal
  2. Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask with freeze removal
  3. Jade Flask Jade Flask
  4. Quartz Flask Quartz Flask
  5. Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask

We also aim to upgrade our Brine King Pantheon for freeze immunity as soon as we get our first Divine Vessel Divine Vessel

We aim to reach 100% Spell Suppression by the time we run red maps. The provided endgame tree in the PoB already reaches 90% Suppression from the passive tree alone, so a single good Suppression roll on any item will cap us. The more Suppression we can find on gear, the more passive points we can move to Damage or Life instead. On lower levels, before we have all Spell Suppression passives, the Spell Suppression Mastery that grants Chance to Suppress Spell Damage is Lucky” is a good alternative to capping at 100%.

The long-term goal is to transition away from Precise Technique into our Crit-based endgame build. For this swap to be worthwhile we will need:
  • a Bow with acceptable elemental DPS and Critical Strike Chance roll, preferably a Spine Bow Spine Bow base so that it can have over 7% base Crit Chance
  • a Diamond Flask that replaces one of the two previously suggested Life Flasks.
  • Crit Multiplier rolls on our Amulet and/or Quiver.
  • enough levels to allocate the required Crit passives and Masteries without having to drop crucial passives, usually level 80 or higher.

Once we have this checklist covered, we can transition into the endgame version that is part of the PoB. This includes respeccing around 10 passives, changing the Bow Mastery, removing Precise Technique, and adding Power Charge On Critical Support Power Charge On Critical Support to our Manaforged Arrows Support Manaforged Arrows Support setup.

Additional tips and notes

Map Modifiers

There are a few map modifiers that give us trouble:
  • Elemental Reflect has to be rerolled.
  • Physical Reflect is dangerous but is doable with the Yugul minor Pantheon.
  • Cannot Leech – We have a small amount of Mana on hit that allows us to sustain Mana while clearing packs. On a single enemy, we rely on mana leech and are therefore in trouble with this map mod. Swapping in a Mana Flask for any of our Flasks will fix it.
  • – 20% to the amount of suppressed spell damage prevented / Monsters have 50% increased Accuracy rating – this mod targets our only 2 defensive layers and is probably the scariest map mod for us. Runnable but very dangerous.


Generally bossing is not one of the strengths of the builds but we are able to handle basic bosses like the Searing Exarch and the Eater of Worlds just fine. Here’s some advice for tough bosses if you find yourself struggling:
  • Replace the Quartz Flask with another Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask. We do not need phasing in most boss fights.
  • Consider changing Lightning Arrow to Barrage Barrage (you might have to level it up to a decent level first). While it can be harder to hit the boss with Barrage in hectic situations, Barrage provides higher potential DPS.
  • Remember that we have Far Shot and Long Shot and benefit from being far away from bosses, losing damage when close.
  • For some bosses, Evasion is relatively weak, like for Searing Exarch, the Shaper, the Uber Elder or the Maven. Changing Grace Grace to Haste Haste or Anger Anger can make the fights easier.
  • If you are using any unique items that grant stats like Rampage or Magic Find, consider replacing them temporarily since those stats are largely useless in boss battles.


If you feel like something is wrong with your character and it is underperforming, please consider the following list of commonly found issues and suggestions to address them:

Problem: “My damage feels lacking.”

Common solutions:

  • Run a map and check if you are building up all three colours of Resonance for Trinity. Check the section about Trinity if the Resonance is not building up.
  • Check your Accuracy Rating and Chance to Hit in the character panel (Default Hotkey C). If you are playing the Crit-Version already, you should aim to have at least 3300 Accuracy Rating for Tier 16 maps. If you are still playing the Precise Technique version of the build, your Accuracy Rating must be a bigger number than your maximum Life
  • Make sure you keep summoning Artillery Ballistas during the battle if they expire or get destroyed. The ballistas are a big portion of our boss damage and some encounters with AoE damage can destroy the ballistas pretty fast, so make sure to keep an eye on the ballista counter in the top left corner of the screen and resummon them if necessary
  • Assuming you are already in the Crit stage of the build, check your Critical Strike Chance and Critical Strike Multiplier, ideally in PoB with correct configuration or at least in the character panel (Default Hotkey C) ingame (make sure to choose the Lightning Arrow skill). If your Crit chance (including buffs like Power Charges and Diamond Flask) is lower than 60-70%, you should consider acquiring a Bow with a better base Crit Chance or test Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support. If your Crit Chance is solid (70%+), your Crit Multiplier should not be below 300% (or 450% if you are using Crit Damage support). Your Amulet, Quiver, Jewels, and Eldritch Ember implicit on Body Armour are easy sources of Crit Multiplier.
  • If none of these applies, gear quality is likely lacking. Usually, the biggest damage upgrades are a better Bow, more links and gear with more damage affixes (without compromising Life and Resistances). Check the gearing section to see what to look out for.

Problem: “I die a lot.”

Common solutions:

  • Double-check your Elemental Resistances and Suppression values. For red maps, I recommend being either capped on Suppression or at least being at 80%+ with the Mastery that grants “Chance to Suppress Spell Damage is lucky”.
  • Make sure you have a Flask against bleeding and Corrupted Blood and don’t forget to use it when necessary – look out for debuffs showing up in the top left corner of your screen.
  • Make sure to either have a decent amount of Chaos Resistance on gear (enough to reach a positive value on the character panel) or at least acquire Poison Immunity from the Armour and Evasion Mastery on the Graceful Assault passive skill Notable.
  • Make sure you have protection against freeze and chill, either with a Flask suffix or an upgraded “100% chance to avoid being frozen” from the Brine King Pantheon.
  • Does your character have adequate Maximum Life and Evasion rolls? For Tier 16 Maps I recommend at least 4,000 Life and 25,000 Evasion Rating (during Flask effects) on your character to feel safe.
  • Use your high mobility to avoid melee hits from dangerous bosses or rares (especially Essence, Harvest, Expedition or similarly strong enemies). We are using Far Shot and want to be far away from enemies if possible

Closing Notes

Please keep in mind that everything in here is a guideline, and don’t be afraid to adapt the build to fit your play style or the drops you get. The guide does not cover the near endless possibilities to customize and optimize your build in the deep endgame of Path of Exile. The purpose of this guide is to help you reach and explore the endgame on a fun character! If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, don’t hesitate to ask on my discord or Twitch Stream, where I stream almost daily.


  • Updated for PoE Affliction 3.23

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