Pure Fire Shockwave Totem Chieftain Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

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Introduction

The Pure Fire Shockwave Totem Chieftain is a very tanky Totem character that has great sustain and fun playstyle. The build is non-Crit-based and utilizes multiple keystone notables in order to reach its full potential. Ancestral Bond allows us to fully rely on our Totems to do the work, while Avatar of Fire makes them only deal damage of the Fire element and non else. Elemental Overload boosts our Elemental damage substantially and Blood Magic & Mortal Conviction solve all of our Mana problems and allow us to run Anger Anger for free.

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, Totem damage, Physical damage, Fire damage and AoE damage. 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

- Single target damage in the endgame is not comparable to top tier boss killers, but is enough

Playstyle

Offensively, placing a single set of Totems will 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 trigger the keystone. 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.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy

  1. Ngamahu, Flame’s Advance
  2. Tukohama, War’s Herald
  3. Arohongui, Moon’s Presence
  4. Hinekora, Death’s Fury

Ngamahu, Flame’s Advance converts 50% of Shockwave Totem Shockwave Totem‘s Physical damage to Fire, which allows you to greatly benefit from Fire Penetration and sources of damage that increase elemental damage done like Elemental Overload; this ascendancy node also provides a rotating damage buff that is a huge damage increase.

Tukohama, War’s Herald gives your Totems the ability to leech Life for you.

Arohongui, Moon’s Presence makes your Totems even harder to kill and immune to Fire damage (which allows you to run elemental reflect zones).

Hinekora, Death’s Fury allows you to cover enemies in Ash, increasing their Fire damage taken and slowing them down. You can also choose to pick Ramako, Sun’s Light for additional Fire Penetration or Tasalio, Cleansing Water for more survivability.

Passive tree

This is what the endgame passive skill tree looks like. The main keystone notables we use are Blood Magic, Ancestral Bond, Avatar of Fire and Elemental Overload. Besides that we focus on picking great amount of Life (way more than the average builds out there), Totem and AoE-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.

Bandits

Considering the build is not Critical-based, we choose to kill all bandits for the two additional passive points.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Lunaris is probably the best choice, since it will allow you to deal with Chaining projectiles when upgraded.

Minor: Many of the minor Pantheon powers can be chosen based on personal preference. We recommend Soul of Shakari for the Poison immunity.

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

Shockwave Totem Shockwave Totem is your signature skill, which should ideally be used in a 6-Link. For mobility, you should use Flame Dash Flame Dash. Orb of Storms Orb of Storms will allow you to trigger the Elemental Overload passive keystone. Flammability Flammability will lower enemies’ Fire Resistance when you need to deal with tougher enemies; Summon Flame Golem Summon Flame Golem can be used for the additional damage it provides. Anger Anger should be used for free (because of the Mortal Conviction keystone) for the extra 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.

Shockwave Totem (6-Link)

Shockwave Totem Shockwave Totem is a Totem that deals Physical damage in an area of effect.. The following link works well for both clearing and single target.

  1. Shockwave Totem Shockwave Totem
  2. Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support
  6. Fire Penetration Support Fire Penetration Support

Flame Dash (3-Link)

Flame Dash Flame Dash will let you jump over terrain and provide you with the Arcane Surge buff when used; make sure the Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support gem is level 4 or lower.

  1. Flame Dash Flame Dash
  2. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

Note: Once you have picked up the Blood Magic keystone you should drop Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support since you are not spending Mana anymore.

Orb of Storms (3-Link)

Orb of Storms Orb of Storms will allow you to trigger Elemental Overload with the following link.

  1. Orb of Storms Orb of Storms
  2. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Flame Golem (4-Link)

Summon Flame Golem Summon Flame Golem is used as a debuffing utility pet. In combination with Combustion Support Combustion Support the Golem is able to reduce enemies’ Fire resistance by a considerable amount.

  1. Summon Flame Golem Summon Flame Golem
  2. Combustion Support Combustion Support
  3. Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support
  4. Minion Life Support Minion Life Support

Other Gems

Flammability Flammability should be used in order to augment single target damage. Anger Anger should be used for additional damage. Steelskin Steelskin will provide additional on-demand damage mitigation for short duration.

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

A well rolled Helmet is best in slot. For labyrinth enchant you should look for “15% increased Shockwave Totem Cast Speed”. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (90)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. Nearby Enemies have -9% to Fire Resistance (Scorched Fossil Scorched Fossil)

Body Armour

A Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast can provide a lot of extra Life, helping you scale your large Life pool even further. Even a simple Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa can carry you a long way. Prior to these Body Armours use any linked rare with Life and resistances. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (90)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil; Elder Prefix)
  4. % of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Cold Damage (Essence of Horror Essence of Horror, expensive)
  5. # to Strength
  6. % to Chaos Resistance

Gloves

A rare pair of Gloves is best in slot. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (90)
  3. # to Strength
  4. % to Chaos Resistance

Boots

A rare pair of Boots is a great choice, you can also use Kaom's Roots Kaom's Roots for boss killing. For labyrinth enchant, look for “Damage Penetrates #% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven’t Killed Recently”. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (60)
  3. % increased Movement speed (at least 20%)
  4. % increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)

Belt

Use a rare belt, preferably Stygian Vise Stygian Vise for the additional Abyssal socket. Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (90)
  3. % increased Global Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil Jagged Fossil)
  4. % increased Fire Damage (Scorched Fossil Scorched Fossil)
  5. # to Strength
  6. % to Chaos Resistance

Amulet

A well rolled Elder-based Amulet can provide a great amount of damage for the build. Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage (Elder Prefix)

Rings

Rare Opal Ring Opal Rings are a great choice for the build. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage (Essence of Hysteria Essence of Hysteria)
  4. # to Strength

Weapon

Doon Cuebiyari Doon Cuebiyari can be used if you have a good amount of Strength. A rare Shaper-based weapon should easily outclass this unique Mace. The rare affix priority is:

  1. Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage (Shaper Prefix)
  2. % increased Spell Damage
  3. % increased Cast Speed

Shield

Shields allow us to have an additional maximum Totem. Tukohama's Fortress Tukohama's Fortress is a good unique Shield that will do the work, but it is outclassed by a decent rare Shaper-based shield. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +1 to maximum number of Summoned Totems (Shaper Prefix)
  2. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  3. +# to maximum life (90)
  4. +1% to all maximum Resistances (Shaper Prefix)

Flasks

Due to the fact you will have an immense Life pool, a regular Life flask will probably not do the work, this is why recommend using Blood of the Karui Blood of the Karui. The build can use The Wise Oak The Wise Oak in order to penetrate more Fire resistance. For defense, you can use Rumi's Concoction Rumi's Concoction, Granite Flask Granite Flask, Basalt Flask Basalt Flask or any other utility flask you prefer. Since the build’s mobility is on the low-end we strongly recommend having Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask and Silver Flask Silver Flask. Here is a loadout of flasks that should work in all situations: Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask,Silver Flask Silver Flask, Blood of the Karui Blood of the Karui, The Wise Oak The Wise Oak and a Basalt Flask Basalt Flask. Make sure you have Bleeding and Curse immunity on your flasks.

Be sure to check out our Flask Crafting Guide to learn everything you need to know about how to set up your non-Unique flasks.

Jewels

There is no mandatory unique Jewel for the build. We recommend using Spire of Stone Spire of Stone, this Jewel will solve the problem of your Totems getting stun-locked. A Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with the “Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Fire Resistance while affected by Anger” can be very powerful, but expensive.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % increased Maximum Life
  2. % increased Spell Damage
  3. % increased Totem Damage
  4. % increased Minion Damage
  5. % increased Fire Damage
  6. % increased Cast Speed

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. Maximum Life (at least 30)
  2. Damage Penetrates 2% Elemental Resistance if you haven’t Killed Recently
  3. % increased Cast Speed
  4. % increased Movement Speed if you haven’t taken Damage Recently
  5. Damage Penetrates 1% Fire Resistance (Scorched Fossil Scorched Fossil)

Leveling

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

You can start using Shockwave Totem Shockwave 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 Shockwave Totem Shockwave Totem efficiently. After that you should head to Avatar of Fire 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
  3. Maim Support Maim 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. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. 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

At level 24, you should pick up Anger Anger.

Once you have picked up Ancestral Bond, you can start using your signature skill, Shockwave Totem Shockwave Totem. You should ideally do this around level 38, until then the skill might feel clunky (the reason being Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support). Replace Molten Strike Molten Strike with the following Shockwave Totem link.

  1. Shockwave Totem Shockwave Totem
  2. Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support
  6. Fire Penetration Support Fire Penetration Support

FAQ

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 passive 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 Pure Fire Shockwave Totem Chieftain places very tough Totems that deal reliable amount of damage that is enough to take down the hardest of encounters. The character is very tanky and has great sustain, which will allow you to learn boss fights while having the option to make a mistake here and there.

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