Spectral Throw has seen its fair share of highs and lows throughout Path of Exile’s tenure, but no one will deny that it has solidified itself as a perennial skill in the metascape for many years past. The high tempo playstyle and ability to approach any content with confidence have long been attractive qualities of Spectral Throw builds. One of the iconic cosmetic skins, Seraph Spectral Throw, has led to this type of build being called the “Buzzsaw”, as it resembles a circular saw as it literally and figuratively carves its way through end-game content.
Though “Buzzsaw” builds can be done in many forms, our guide focuses on the Raider Ascendancy, which focuses on the use and enhancement of Frenzy Charges and Onslaught. This grants us the speed and mobility to zip through maps, run circles around bosses, and maintain a fat rate of experience per hour.
+ Extremely fast clear speed
+ High tempo and engaging build
+ Functions as both a league starter and a late game investment
+ Extremely high mobility
+ Feels powerful in virtually every environment
- High tempo and engaging build (not for everyone)
- Not a “face tank” build — enables the player to deal with mechanics easily but does not make them indestructible
- Limited flask suffixes (must choose between Freeze Immunity and Curse Immunity)
- Not a great delver at depths greater than 400
Here are some example videos done using the build during Delve League.
This build utilizes 7 Frenzy Charges and permanent Onslaught, allowing for extremely fast and fluid gameplay. Whirling Blades feels like a blink as you zip through the map, ripping through enemies with waves of Spectral Throw. Keeping your tempo and clear high and consistent is paramount to maximizing efficiency, as you always want to remain near enemies for the bonus from Point Blank. Getting a subconscious feel for the timing when you can dash forwards into the upcoming packs while your remaining blades clear the packs behind is crucial to unlocking some of the fastest clear speeds possible.
For single target encounters, Greater Multiple Projectiles Support is not a suitable gem and affects your damage and life leech considerably. For this reason, it is necessary to carry around a gem swap for difficult bosses, although it is not necessary for the majority of mapping. Slower Projectiles Support is the best option for maximizing single target, especially combined with Point Blank, allowing you to annihilate bosses that otherwise would cause you grief. You can also lay down Elemental Weakness using Orb of Storms and Curse On Hit Support, and Ancestral Protector to further enhance your single target damage.
Overall, the quintessence of this build is its frenetic pace; this build feels fast. This is a great choice for people looking for a build that can legitimately do it all, from day one of a league to farming the Shaper and the Alluring Abyss. Most of the defense from this build comes from high Life leech and mobility, and for this reason it is not a suitable build for a fresh player. You will have to perform mechanics to succeed in the extreme end-game, however, the mobility and speed of this build enables and empowers the player to do so.
You can find our recommended skill tree layout here. You can alter the build as you see fit, as this build is very flexible based on user preference. The main choice to be made is whether or not to invest 4 additional points into Phase Acrobatics, which could be traded in for additional Jewel(s). This is entirely personal preference, but is recommended for players who intend to level past Level 93.
While we do not recommend leveling using Spectral Throw, it is possible and entirely viable if you are using leveling gear. Start by rushing towards Acrobatics, acquiring some early survivability. Pick up Herbalism and Soul Raker early as well, provided you are using a Claw as a weapon. Talent into Primeval Force before moving towards the Duelist starting area, grabbing Life as you need it, such as the Thick Skin cluster. Start fleshing out the Shadow starting area once you are approaching the 60s.
Leave Point Blank until you are map ready and have a Slower Projectiles Support swap for bossing. Claws of the Falcon, Heartseeker, and Jewels should be left for last, as icing on the cake.
This build utilizes Spectral Throw as its main skill for both clearing and single target damage, though a gem swap is required for maximum efficiency. For mobility, we rely on Whirling Blades or Shield Charge, allowing us to quickly zip around maps without issue. Wrath and Herald of Ice are used to significantly bolster our damage output, as well as creating freeze and shatter chains that are satisfying as well as useful for defense. For additional damage on extremely tough enemies, like end-game bosses, we can also apply Elemental Weakness via Orb of Storms and Curse On Hit Support. Ancestral Protector may also be useful in such situations, granting increased attack speed to help us rip through formidable foes. As with most of our builds, we like to run the standard Cast when Damage Taken Support / Immortal Call combination to deal with bursts of Physical damage, as is common from enemies such as Porcupines.
The rest of the gem setup is relatively flexible, and can be adjusted to suit the preferences of the player, and their aims. We default to using a second Cast when Damage Taken Support setup, linked with Summon Lightning Golem. The golem grants a surprising amount of extra damage, and is recommended, even if you choose not to use the automatic summon. Vaal Auras should also be worked in, as we can maintain a high uptime on them while we zip through the maps. Our default choices are Vaal Haste and Vaal Grace, which we run in a weapon 3-Link along with Increased Duration Support.
Take a look at these sections below for a more specific and in-depth look at the individual links we recommend.
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.
Spectral Throw 6-Link (Chest)
Use Lesser Multiple Projectiles Support until Greater Multiple Projectiles Support can be acquired. Slower Projectiles Support should be swapped in for GMP/LMP for end-game bosses due to its significantly increased potential for single target damage. Increased Critical Damage Support should be your final gem once you have upgraded to a full 6-link chest.
|Spectral Throw||Greater Multiple Projectiles Support|
|Elemental Damage with Attacks Support||Added Lightning Damage Support|
|Ice Bite Support||Increased Critical Damage Support|
Shield Charge can also be used to great effect, based on your preference.
|Whirling Blades||Faster Attacks Support|
|Fortify Support||Blood Magic Support / Reduced Mana Support|
Curse on Hit 4-Link
Other curses can be used, although we have found Elemental Weakness to be the best option for damage by a considerable margin.
|Orb of Storms||Curse On Hit Support|
|Elemental Weakness||Herald of Ice|
Lightning Golem / Ancestral Protector
This is simply a convenience link, allowing your Lightning Golem to resummon itself autonomously and offering additional damage for bosses using Ancestral Protector. Wrath and Ancestral Protector do not need to be linked to anything, though it makes no difference either way.
|Cast when Damage Taken Support (Level 20)||Summon Lightning Golem|
CWDT / Immortal Call 3-Link
The standard Immortal Call link; feel free to adjust levels to your preference.
|Cast when Damage Taken Support (Level 2)||Immortal Call (Level 4)|
|Increased Duration Support|
Vaal Auras 3-Link
This link can be customized to your preferences, but we like to use it to house Vaal skills. Example link:
|Vaal Grace||Increased Duration Support|
Ascendancy, Pantheon, and Bandits
1. Way of the Poacher
2. Avatar of the Slaughter
3. Rapid Assault
4. Avatar of the Chase
Way of the Poacher and Avatar of the Slaughter are standard Raider choices, and form the core platform which most Raider builds incorporate. Ascending as early as possible is essential to leveling quickly, as the organic Frenzy Charge generation you acquire speeds up the process considerably. Cruel Lab also provides a large boon via Avatar of the Slaughter, further boosting your mobility and damage.
Rapid Assault is the advised next investment upon completion of the Merciless Lab, due to the high Onslaught uptime it provides. While this may not seem potent at first glance, the attack speed and movement bonus is not to be underestimated. This removes any necessity from acquiring Onslaught from either Silver Flasks or Abyssal Flasks.
Avatar of the Chase is the natural crowning grace, further enhancing the Onslaught effect, as well as providing additional defense and survivability. Since we have Onslaught permanently, in practical environments, this final upgrade is a noticeable power spike in the build.
Deal with the Bandits Reward
Alira is the standard choice for the build, for the additional Critical Strike Multplier and Resistances it offers. The additional Passive Points can also be considered, although nearby additional Notables that we desire are not so plentiful to make this the default choice.
Pantheon is largely about playstyle and personal preference, and we recommend adjusting to the gods you favor.
Soul of the Brine King: Great choice for mapping and eliminating problematic stun chains. The upgraded functionality is not exceptional, but certainly useful in a variety of environments.
Soul of Arakaali: This selection has become more and more popular since Incursion, due to the upgrades are superb and it greatly improves a variety of frustrating encounters.
Soul of Solaris: Can be a powerful selection for certain bosses, such as Uber Elder, especially when upgraded.
Soul of Shakari: A popular choice in recent leagues, and for good reason. Immunity to Poison (upon upgrade) and reduced damage from Caustic Clouds is fantastic quality of life that feels good in any build.
Soul of Yugul: A possible option for certain bosses, such as Elder, in particular.
Soul of Gruthkul: Another mapping option for dealing with incoming damage.
Gear, Jewels, and Flasks
Belly of the Beast is the best budget option for working your way into the build, providing a great boost to Life and resistances. Belly can usually be obtained cheaply and easily and can be used all the way to level 100, should you desire the extra Life pool.
A well rolled Loreweave is our preferred and recommended option, providing a combination of damage, defense, and bossing potential. Loreweave is not a worthwhile pursuit if you can only afford a mediocre roll, but presents a potent option for players looking to upgrade damage and elemental defense.
Shroud of the Lightless is another potential option, although the defensive benefits do not compare to either previously listed choice. As we use neither Tombfist or Bubonic Trail, the benefits from additional Abyssal Jewels are minimal.
Starkonja's Head is the all around best option, providing good offense and defense. The general availability and popularity of the item also ensures that enchants are easily obtained, furthering our recommendation as this item being the default choice.
Rat's Nest is a possible budget option, especially early in the league. While more difficult to obtain a properly enchanted variant, Rat’s Nest does provide excellent damage output and clear speed, at the cost of defense.
A well rolled pair of Rare Gripped Gloves, as they have a valuable implicit which is arguably better than any Corruption or Enchantment. Here is an example of an affordable item to keep an eye out for, which we acquired for only a few chaos:
Any Rare Boots are suitable for our build, though we will obviously value Evasion pieces higher than other base types. With movement speed being at the core of our build, it is highly recommended you obtain a pair of boots with at least +25% Movement Speed to ensure you can clear quickly. While Whirling Blades does constitute a large part of player mobility, base movement speed still holds fantastic value on bosses, especially when micro positioning is important.
Boss Damage: Adds 1 to 160 Lightning Damage to attacks if you haven’t killed recently
Clear Speed: +1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
Clear Speed:: 16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you’ve Killed Recently
Main Hand (Claw)
A Rare claw is used in our main hand.
The stat priority to look for is as follows:
1. Flat Lightning Damage
2. Flat Cold Damage
3. Attack Speed
4. Flat Fire Damage
5. Critical Strike Chance
6. Critical Strike Multiplier
Critical Strike Multiplier and Critical Strike Chance are interchangeable in value depending on your current stat values.
Lycosidae is an affordable option that can be acquired early in any league. Despite its mediocre overall stat pool, the pseudo Resolute Technique is invaluable, and pays entirely for its lack of defense.
Intelligence is necessary on at least one of your pieces, and Jewelry can be a great place to pick up some extra stats.
A Rare amulet is used, preferably with an Agate, Onyx, or Lapis base. Prioritize stats as follows:
1. Uncapped Resistances
3. Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
4. Critical Strike Multiplier
6. Critical Strike Chance
7. Flat Lightning Damage
Jewelry can also be used to obtain necessary primary stats, such as Intellect or Strength. Selecting a powerful base, such as Agate, can be very beneficial, allowing you greater freedom on other pieces, such as your Rings.
Rare rings are used a provide us with a lot of freedom to shore up Life and Resistances. Prioritize stats as follows:
1. Uncapped Resistances
3. Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
4. Flat Lightning Damage
6. Attack Speed
7. % Lightning Damage
Opal Rings are the best base for our build, however, Resistance implicits are also great, as are Diamond Rings. We Essence crafted both of the rings below for no more than 50 Chaos Orbs total cost.
Many of our stats are shared with typically expensive builds, such as Tornado Shot Deadeyes. This can lead to limited supply and high desirability, which can make the ideal pieces expensive. The example rings above, which we crafted, could easily be obtained for less than an Exalted Orb, and you can compromise for even cheaper bases and gear early in the league.
A Rare Stygian Vise is advised, as it affords the best possible Life and damage. Look for Life, Resistances, and Elemental Damage with Attack Skills, as a baseline.
Lightning Damage and Intellect are icing on the cake. We Delve crafted the above belt, but Essence crafting is also a possible avenue for some nice results.
Abyss Jewels are generally better choices for this build, as flat Lightning damage is incredibly powerful for us. They can be used in any sockets, but you should start with your belt. These are the stats to keep an eye out for on Abyss Jewels, in order of priority:
1. Life (35+)
2. Lightning Damage to Claw Attacks
3. Lightning Damage to Attacks
4. Increased Attack Speed
5. Global Critical Strike Multiplier
6. Global Critical Strike Chance
Murderous Eye Jewels are the best choice for our build in most situations.
These stats can also be very valuable on Abyss Jewels, but are situational depending on your other gear.
- Intelligence (if needed)
- Resistances (if uncapped, or will allow for better Jewelry)
Regular Jewels can also be used, and should prioritize stats as follows:
1. Maximum Life (ideally 7%)
2.. Critical Strike Multiplier with One Handed Melee Weapons
3. Global Critical Strike Multiplier
4. Attack Speed with Claws
5. Attack Speed with One-Handed Melee Weapons / Shields
6. Projectile Damage
7. Increased Damage
8. Attack speed
An ideal normal Jewel would have Life, Critical Strike Multiplier with One Handed Weapons OR Attack Speed with Claws, and Global Critical Strike Multiplier. Jewels with a second desirable suffix are likely too expensive to consider and inferior to their Abyss counterparts, which are much cheaper (when comparing top tier rolled upgrades, at least).
Here is our recommended Flask setup, although you can feel free to change them out based on personal preference.
- Seething Divine Life Flask of Staunching
- Experimenter’s Diamond Flask of Grounding
- Atziri's Promise
- Vessel of Vinktar
- Chemists Sulphur Flask of Heat
Depending on your preference, you can swap out flasks as necessary or change the suffixes. The big thing to note is the lack of a Warding flask — this is a necessary swap for running Temporal Chains maps and certain bosses. Typically I recommend swapping out Atziri's Promise, however, you can also opt to swap out the Heat flask and use fully upgraded Brine King.
You want the flat lightning damage version of Vessel of Vinktar, which provides a massive boost in our damage output. Until this flask is acquired, you can drop the Grounding flask in favor of a Warding flask.
Why Am I Always Out of Mana?
Most of our Mana recuperation comes from Leech as well, specifically, the Soul Raker notable. Until this node is acquired, or if you are struggling while leveling, it is entirely fine to run a Mana flask. Once you reach mapping, your damage should be more than sufficient to sustain without issues.
How Do I Improve My Single Target Damage?
Always use Slower Projectiles Support gem instead of Greater Multiple Projectiles Support when dealing with difficult bosses, as it vastly improves your single target damage and makes it significantly easier to hit all your blades. The combination with Point Blank is extremely potent, however, you will need to play around the boss mechanics appropriate when at extreme close range. Gem levels make a large difference for this build, and enchants are also extremely valuable. Your damage during Flasks is also significantly increased; in particular, always look to maximize uptime when Vessel of Vinktar is active.
Do I Have to Use Claws?
A claw is necessary to make this build work. The main reasons we prefer claws over other weapons are:
- Soul Raker notable is one of the most efficient in the game for damage, point for point
- High Attack Speed
- Imperial Claw implicit is actually very powerful with Spectral Throw, adding a ton of uncapped “pseudo leech” due to the amount of blades in the air
Is This Build Viable in Hardcore?
This build is not recommended for Hardcore players. It is possible to play, but there are builds that are better suited to it.
Why Do I Feel Squishy?
A large portion of our defense originates from mobility and leech. This build is meant to always be on the move, while still having ample defenses to survive the “rogue wave” hits that occasionally penetrate our evasion. Proper use of Vaal Grace can add a huge amount of comfort to your clear, although we have never had issues all the way up until Guardians.
About the Author
Furty has been playing Path of Exile since the release of the Onslaught League in 2013, and has a deep and diverse well of experience within the game. Equally comfortable playing on Hardcore, Softcore, and Solo-Self Found Leagues, Furty finished the Betrayal League at Rank 186 on the ladder playing Elemental Hit. You can follow him on Twitter, or check out his occasional streams on Twitch.