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:
The Scourge Arrow & Herald of Agony Pathfinder is a Bow type of character that heavily specialises in dealing tons of Chaos damage, which Poisons the enemies. Scourge Arrow is a Bow channelling skill that deals an initial hit and leaves spores on the ground, which explode after a very short duration, releasing many secondary projectiles; the skill has 5 stages and deals 150% more damage with Ailments per stage, which makes it very worth it to fully cast the skill against powerful enemies. Essentially, with a single channel of the skill, you can Poison multiple times, which is great for the build’s main idea. Herald of Agony is used in order to augment our single target; the Agony Crawler is easily sustainable due to the fact we Poison so many times per second, therefore it is easy to generate Virulence stacks; Pathfinder’s Master Toxicist also allows us to lose Virulence stacks 50% slower.
The Pathfinder ascendancy class greatly synergises with everything for a couple of reasons. Since we decide to go non-Crit, it is definitely better than Assassin. We gain the ability to proliferate Poisons when enemies die, and we have 40% chance to deal 100% more Poison damage when under the effect of flasks, which is also huge damage gain. Master Toxicist also provides a great amount of extra Chaos damage to attacks and allows us to convert more Physical to Chaos.
The build can be started without any items and is an amazing league-starter. Overall, with very little gear you can achieve great amounts of damage with very respectable survivability. Darkscorn became a very powerful Poison Bow after its buff, but ideally we have the option to craft a Physical Bow with Corroded Fossils. Our main goal is to have decent pDPS on the Bow along with the “% chance for Poisons inflicted with this Weapon to deal 100% more Damage” mod.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Can be played on a budget
+ Great at both clearing and boss fights
+ The build is unaffected by any type of Reflected damage
- Playing a Poison build means the front-end damage is low
Offensively, channelling a Scourge Arrow to 5 stages will be enough to clear a screen of monsters; the skill has an amazing synergy with Mirage Archer Support, which will clear packs of monsters by itself sometimes. Blood Rage should be active all the time for the additional Attack Speed and Frenzy charge generation.
Defensively, this is a character that heavily relies on Chance to Evade and Dodge Attacks (and Dodge Spell Hits via Phase Acrobatics). Due to how strong Pathfinder’s flasks are in general, and having in mind that we pick a lot of flask effect on the passive tree, makes a combination of utility flasks like Stibnite Flask and Jade Flask very strong defensively, since you gain Evasion rating in the ten-thousands. The build also achieves a pretty respectable amount of Life on the passive skill tree. Steelskin can be used in order to prevent some incoming damage.
For playstyle, you need to keep in mind that your Mirage Archer channels his Scourge Arrow as much as you did, so sometimes when clearing trash you can clear with 3 stages in order for his hit to be faster too; against tough bosses stack it to 5 so the Mirage Archer hits harder (but slower) too. Overall, the character is very mobile and feels great to play. You have Blink Arrow to move around and whenever it is on cooldown Dash is always at your disposal when you need to dodge lethal game mechanics or jump over map terrain.
This is what the endgame passive skill tree looks like.
For more information, be sure to check out the Passive Skill 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.
We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our 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.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Belt||Rare Stygian Vise|
|Rings||Rare Opal Ring|
As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.
- 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.
Useful Leveling Unique Items
As you begin a new character there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Quill Rain and Ondar's Clasp will help out with the damage early on.
Using ###item: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.
At level 8, your Ice Shot link should look like this.
- Ice Shot
- Pierce Support
- Added Cold Damage Support
- Lesser Multiple Projectiles Support
- Onslaught Support
At level 10, you should add Blink Arrow, which will help out with mobility.
At level 18, add Herald of Agony in order to improve single target damage.
By level 38 your Scourge Arrow should look like this.
- Scourge Arrow
- Mirage Archer Support
- Vicious Projectiles Support
- Added Chaos Damage Support
- Deadly Ailments Support
- Vile Toxins Support
The build has little upfront damage, since you cannot rely mainly on leech, where does the sustain come from?
Combining Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics will keep you very safe. Make sure to keep your distance and whenever you get hit just escape with Blink Arrow or Dash. Having good uptime on your utility flasks can also save your life so use them wisely.
Why would I choose to play a Poison build? It is generally slower than most instant damage builds.
While this might be true here are few reasons that Poison builds are better than the instant damage builds. Instant damage builds rely on meeting weaker foes and killing them with single strike, they tend to lack on single target damage more than the Poison-stacking builds. With the Scourge Arrow Pathfinder you also make a great use of ###item:Herald-of-agony###, which in many cases removes the clear speed problem. The build remains extremely strong in single target encounters with all the Poison stacks and the bonus damage from the Agony Crawler.
The Scourge Arrow & Herald of Agony Pathfinder is Poison-based Bow character that excels at dealing tons of Chaos damage and melting endgame bosses. The build does not require any initial currency investments but has the room for improvement when it comes to the late game.