Here we are going to take a look at a very interesting non-meta Hierophant totem build that uses The Whispering Ice‘s Icestorm as its main skill. We will also be taking advantage of Indigon, a very unique helmet that increases the Mana cost of our skills, but also increases our damage with each cast.
The main idea behind the build is the more Intelligence we get, the more damage our The Whispering Ice does and the more Mana we have the more damage we can get from our Indigon. But that is not all – the build is extremely durable, allowing us to make very smooth Uber Lab runs. Thanks to the Hierophant’s Ascendancy we will have 50% effective Mind over Matter effect, we will have 20% of our Mana as extra Energy Shield, and if we get our Watcher's Eye with Clarity effects we will have potentially around 10K Energy Shield. On top of that we will also have Transfiguration of Mind and Transfiguration of Body – these two increase our Damage and Life based on on the % Increase Mana we have – which will result in having around 4K Life Points as well and we will also have a good amount of regeneration effects. So to sum it all up – when we get Mana and Intelligence – we get damage , Health, Energy Shield, and Mana – everything we need.
Pros & Cons
+ Extremely durable
+ Easy Uber Lab runs
+ Decent clear speed
+ Decent boss Killer
+ Cheap gear to start with
- Hard to level up
- Some of the best items are very expensive
- Totem playstyle might not suit everyone’s taste for gameplay
- Damage starts lacking at the end parts of the game
- Weak against Chaos damage until you get your Transfiguration of Body
As already mentioned, we will be using the The Whispering Ice‘s Icestorm skill, linked with Spell Totem Support as our main source of damage. We will be placing a couple of totems while running, and they will clear most stuff out. Most of the time, we will be triggering our Indigon by simply using Icestorm and Flame Dash. Thanks to our huge Mana regeneration, it will not be a problem to sustain it. However, when we get into a tougher fight or a boss fight, we should place as many totems and keep spamming more totems so we can get the most damage potential from Indigon; this will happen within a second or two, as we will have a huge amount of Totem Placement Speed. We will also be cursing enemies with Frostbite to get some extra damage – after we place our totems, that is the first thing to do.
Important Note: The Mind over Matter effect does not protect our Energy Shield. It protects only our Life. Keep that in mind as you read below tips.
- Be very mindful when you are using your entire Mana for Indigon, as we also have a 50% Mind over Matter effect, so you should always make sure you have a safe spot if you are going to waste your entire Mana. For example, if you are running the Uber Lab, you should be using your Mana only for the MoM effect, with the exception being Izaro.
- Another way to trigger your Indigon is when you place a couple of totems and you start spamming your Frostbite. This way, we will not summon Totems all the time, as there is a slight delay before the Totem starts using its skill.
- The best way to utilize your Indigon is not to waste your entire Mana at once. You should make sure your Mana declines gradually, at a normal rate.
Your early game passive tree should look like this
The mid game passive tree should look like this
End Game Passive Tree
Your end game build should look like this
Ascendancy – Hierophant
- Divine Guidance
- Sanctuary of Thought
- Pursuit of Faith
- Ritual of Awakening
Normal Lab – Divine Guidance
After we complete the Normal Lab we will pick Divine Guidance. It increases our maximum Mana by a lot and gives 10% extra Mind over Matter effect. But it also gives us Transfiguration of Mind, which means that all the % increases to our Mana apply to our Damage as well, but at a lower ratio.
Cruel Lab – Sanctuary of Thought
After we complete the Cruel Lab we will pick Sanctuary of Thought which will give us 20% of our Maximum Mana as extra Energy Shield – as well as providing us with more Area of Effect for our skills.
Merciless Lab – Pursuit of Faith
After we complete the Merciless Lab we will pick Pursuit of Faith which will allow us to place one extra totem and give us significant damage boost.
Eternal Lab – Ritual of Awakening
Ritual of Awakening will give us a lot of Energy Shield and Mana Regeneration.
The gems that are in your The Whispering Ice do NOT need to be linked and they are the following:
- Spell Totem Support
- Multiple Totems Support
- Controlled Destruction Support
- Concentrated Effect Support
- Faster Casting Support
- Cold Penetration Support
Steel Skin (3-link)
- Steelskin (keep at level 18)
- Cast when Damage Taken Support (keep at level 15)
- Increased Duration Support
Frostbite/Flame Dash (4-link)
Note: We have 2 golems thanks to the Golem Commander node.
Bandits & Pantheon
For a major god, the best one is Soul of Solaris, as it reduces the damage we take while there is only one nearby enemy. We will be trying to avoid danger and stay at distance with this build, so this is a great option.
For a minor god, the best one is Soul of Tukohama, as it reduces physical damage taken while stationary. Most of the times we will be deploying our totems while stationary, so this one will be helpful.
Gear / Items
The mandatory weapon for the build is The Whispering Ice.
The mandatory helmet for the build is Indigon.
The best in slot here would be a Cloak of Defiance as it gives us 10% extra Mind over Matter, lots of Mana Increase and 1% Mana regeneration. Just make sure you get one as soon as possible and do not worry about the gem links on it; they will come later. Another good Armour we can use is Shavronne's Wrappings, as it will not allow Chaos damage to penetrate our Energy Shield, but we will lose significant damage and Energy sShield compared to Cloak of Defiance.
A pair of rare Energy Shield gloves is the best option here with the following stats:
- + % total Elemental Resistances
- + to maximum Mana
- + to Intelligence
Note: Make sure your gloves have a decent amount of resistance, at least 35% each. Then you can look for them to have Mana or Intelligence.
A Cyclopean Coil is the best option here.
Here we have another mandatory unique – Inya's Epiphany.
In our rings we should look to cap our Elemental Resistances and look for the following stats as well:
- + % total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
- + to Intelligence
- + % increased Mana Regeneration rate
- + to Maximum Mana
Here we will have to use the mandatory unique Astramentis. This is one of the most expensive parts of the build.
Important note: This is where we get our Transfiguration of Body; increases to maximum Mana will also apply to Life at a lower ratio. We can get it by annointing our Astramentis
with Golden Oil and Crimson Oil. The enchant is extremely costly as well.
For jewels, we will have to use one Healthy Mind and place it above the Witch starting area – right above Lord of the Dead.
Watcher's Eye with the Clarity mod ‘‘Gain % of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity’‘ is by far the most expensive part of the build. It costs a lot, but it is definitely worth it, as it will give us around 1500-2000 Energy Shield bonus.
Other than that we will not be prioritizing any jewels; look for the following stats on your other jewels:
- + to Intelligence
- + to Maximum Mana
- + to maximum Life
- + % Increased Area Damage
- + % increased Cold Damage
For Unique flasks, we would recommend Atziri’s Promise Atziri’s Promise for the extra damage.
Other than that, go for one Quicksilver Flask ideally with movement speed increase & duration increase and two instant recovery Health flasks. Make sure you have Freezing removal (of Heat), Burning removal (Dousing), and Bleeding removal (of Staunching) effects on your flasks. A Sulphur Flask is also great to have.
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.
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.
This build will be really hard to level up at the beginning and it will get easier as we get a higher level. We will take advantage of the high amount of Mana we have and start with Summon Raging Spirit – link it with Infernal Legion Support Minion Damage Support and Faster Casting Support if you have slots.
Start using Discipline as well instead of Wrath. Link your The Whispering Ice with Faster Casting Support, Controlled Destruction Support, Concentrated Effect Support, and Cold Penetration Support. At this point, you will not have Ancestral Bond yet so you will have to cast the Icestorm yourself. You can also use the Icestorm with a totem and cast another spell yourself. Once you get your Ancestral Bond, it will get a lot easier. Get your 6 support gems on The Whispering Ice as soon as possible and after you obtain your second Ascendancy point, you will feel almost immortal while leveling up.
As always make sure you keep your resistance and gear updated at all times. Since the build has very low health especially while leveling up, you should make sure you get it from items.
Recommended leveling uniques:
This build is great for running the Uber Lab and most maps without being too afraid for our lives, however the damage is lacking for the end game content.