The classic “clear speed bow build” is as old as Path of Exile itself, undergoing constant evolution to keep up with the times. Ever since the release of Windripper, this build has become incredibly popular as a currency farmer, particularly for players hunting The Doctor, which builds into the infamous Headhunter.
Few builds can rival the incredible clear speed and magic find potential of this one, but a leviathan slayer it is not. While this build may be incredible for farming maps and generating piles of currency, it is poorly suited for high tier mapping and boss killing. Windripper is all about watching the currency stack up as you blast through maps, bolstered by the Deadeye Ascendacy, which quickens clear speed immensely.
+ Phenomenal clear speed, arguably one of the fastest in-game — clears multiple “screens” with a single ability
+ Generates stacks of currency
+ Functions on a moderate budget but has plenty of investments you can make to outfit the build with
+ Long ranged build and very safe, particularly in the hands of seasoned players
+ Satisfying “screen shatter” with Herald of Ice
+ Able to deal with nearly all content
- Lackluster boss killer (even with best gear possible)
- Magic Find variant is squishy in high tier maps
- Poor lab farmer
- Can be extraordinarily expensive
This build clears with immense speed, and the Deadeye Ascendancy only helps further our pursuit of that aim. This is a super fun and super fast build that smashes through packs like they’re made of ash. It also generates a ton of currency, and is the current best possible choice for players looking to farm a lot of currency and Divination Cards. This build is primarily suited to clear speed and currency generation, and struggles with some of the higher map tier bosses.
With this build in particular, there are some noteworthy differences between the trees. While the “Classic” build is perfectly capable of reaching maximum level in a seasoned player’s hands, it is not recommended for new players unless currency farming is your only priority. If leveling past 92 is important to you and you have never played a bow build, it is highly recommended you start with one of the Survivability builds — even the “Hardcore/Survivability” build has little trouble one-shotting packs in most map.
For clarity’s sake, the choice you are making here is between really fast clear speed and really really fast clear speed. If you’re planning on farming exclusively Shaped Burial Grounds, for example, it is best to go with the “Classic” variant, as it will generally clear a few seconds faster per map, which adds up if you farm the map a hundred times every day, and you aren’t likely to die. If you’re planning on venturing into Red Tier maps, you should modify the “Classic” build or choose one of the “Survivability” builds, as the “seconds” you save will likely be lost in hours of extra grinding due to the deaths you accrue.
This build is intended primarily for clear speed and farming, and has very powerful damage. Experienced Windripper players will have no trouble clearing to 100 with this build, but it is not recommended for Hardcore leagues. Use any remaining points to grab the Jewel near Profane Chemistry, as well as a few additional points in the Revenge of the Hunted wheel. If you’re ever struggling with Mana, put a point into Mana Leech below the Herbalism notable. This version leaves room for a second 6-Link item.
This build is an alternative choice to the “Classic” variant, offering noticeably more tankiness without significant loss in clear speed.
With 199% Increased Maximum Life, an abundance of Increased Evasion and Dodge chance, and a staggering 8 Jewel Sockets, this variant of the build isn’t easy to kill. The best part is that you will still have no trouble ripping through packs, usually clearing the entire multiple screens of enemies in a single shot. This version of the build utilizes Kaom's Heart.
This variant is not limited exclusively to Hardcore, although this tree and similar versions are most played on that ladder. The tree used in this edition is best suited for players who wish to maximize experience per hour and reach level 100 as reliably as possible, as it clears quickly and is significantly less prone to random deaths than the “Classic” variant, especially once you enter Red Tier maps.
Tornado Shot is our primary skill, and is always used for clearing. Tornado Shot may also be used for dealing with bosses, particularly once you have additional projectile items such as the Labyrinth enchant and Dying Sun. A second 5/6-link can also be utilized by using Barrage, which can significantly bolster your boss damage.
Our Cast when Damage Taken Support + Immortal Call link also incorporates a Vaal skill, which does not trigger from CWDT, but does benefit from the Increased Duration Support gem. Either Vaal Grace or Vaal Haste can be used, depending on what level of map(s) you plan on farming.
Tornado Shot 6-Link
|Tornado Shot||Elemental Damage with Attacks Support||Mirage Archer Support||Greater Multiple Projectiles Support||Added Cold Damage Support||Increased Critical Strikes Support|
You can swap out Increased Critical Strikes Support for Increased Critical Damage Support at a certain threshold, although this is best calculated through Path of Building. Ice Bite Support is another alternative that provides organic Frenzy Charge generation and additional chance to freeze. Finally, Damage on Full Life Support can result in the highest possible damage for a 6th link, but only functions If you are not using Blood Rage.
Secondary 6-Link (Chest) or Weapon Swap ( Chin Sol)
This link is designed to provide you an alternative to Tornado Shot in order to increase your single target damage output.
|Barrage||Elemental Damage with Attacks Support||Added Cold Damage Support||Increased Critical Damage Support||Slower Projectiles Support||Elemental Focus Support|
No Barrage Link
Some players find the Barrage link unnecessary, as once you enchant your helm with +2 Tornado Shot projectiles the damage becomes quite comparable to Barrage, even on a single target. Tornado Shot also affords greater kiting and the Mirage Archer Support gem only empowers this niche. If you don’t feel like Barrage is a necessary addition to your build, you can use the chest sockets/links to fulfill whatever purpose you like. You can also fit in extra gems for convenience or leveling, such as Portal or Empower Support.
Blink Arrow 4-Link
|Blink Arrow||Faster Projectiles Support||Faster Attacks Support||Culling Strike Support|
Alternative Blink Arrow Placement
Blink Arrow can be placed in your chest link if you are using Queen of the Forest / Greed's Embrace (or any non- Kaom's Heart chest) but not Barrage. This is highly recommended if you decide to utilize 2-Jewel versions of Tombfist and Lightpoacher.
Herald of Ice/Curse On Hit 4-Link
|Herald of Ice||Curse On Hit Support||Assassin's Mark||player’s preference|
Cast When Damage Taken 4-Link
|Cast when Damage Taken Support (Level 4)||Immortal Call (Level 2)||Increased Duration Support||Vaal Grace or Vaal Haste|
Cast when Damage Taken Support (Level 20) is a convenient choice for automatic golem summoning.
|Wrath||Summon Ice Golem||Enlighten Support (Level 3-4)||player’s preference|
2-Links (For Lightpoacher and/or Tombfist)
Cast When Damage Taken/Immortal Call
|Cast when Damage Taken Support (Level 4)||Immortal Call (Level 2)|
|Vaal Haste||Increased Duration Support|
Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon
- Gathering Winds
- Far Shot
- Endless Munitions
The Ascendancy choices for this build are extremely flexible, allowing for a variety of playstyles and preferences to flourish.
Gathering Winds is a fantastic talent for leveling, providing a great deal of movement speed and survivability. This also scales well with addition Evasion nodes on the tree, allowing your character a great degree of comfort at a very early stage of the game.
Far Shot gives you a great deal of extra range, which also influences the projectiles of your Tornado Shot as well. The benefit of this is that you are granted a much higher amount of off-screen clear, allowing you to farm out certain maps with only a few well placed shots. Additionally, leveling is even safer than before, and your leech is higher than ever.
Richochet provides additional Tornado Shot chains, which spreads additional ailments, resulting in more clear via Herald of Ice shatters. This skill is a nice boost for dealing with difficult or tanky Magic and Rare mobs.
While these four options comprise our basic recommendations, there are definite merits to the other Ascendancy options in the Deadeye tree. This Ascendancy has a variety of playstyles that can be successfully built around and catered to within the Ascendancy itself, so don’t be afraid to experiment with some different options.
Fast and Deadly is a really powerful Ascendancy, as it essentially makes Accuracy a non-factor. The additional Projectile Damage and Increased Attack Speed is also a significant injection to our damage, and the Blink Arrow recovery speed can feel really nice when you get a fast rhythm moving through a familiar map. This Ascendancy is commonly used in place of either Endless Munitions or Richochet. All three options are viable, and we have used them all in our builds before to great effect. Definitely consider this node if you rely on your Blink Arrow and want to increase your movement speed throughout the map.
Rupture is an uncommon choice in 3.4, but it can be a really powerful and comfortable choice for certain situations. While it is not terribly useful for lower tier maps, as you destroy entire screens with a single sweep, Rupture begins to become useful for players looking to push into high Red Tier maps in the pursuit of experience. Against packs that don’t die to a single Tornado Shot, this node can provide a lot of additional closing power, as well as some potent life gain on hit. The puncture immunity is also a nice quality of life bonus, although you will still require a bleed flask. While Rupture is not our go-to choice these days, it can be useful if you’re up against challenging packs that take a few shots. Builds that utilize Rupture typically use Fast and Deadly, Gathering Winds, and Powerful Precision to hit and draw from as many targets as possible.
Deal With the Bandits Reward
Obtaining the 2 Passive Points from Eramir is the standard choice for all variants of this build. This means killing all the bandits.
There are a variety of viable options based on your preferences, or what situations you wish to avoid dealing with.
- Soul of Arakaali: A popular choice due to its effectiveness against frustrating damage over time effects, particularly the chaos variants. The additional regneration and shock resistance are also nice bonuses, with the regeneration being particularly vital to some boss encounters.
- Soul of Lunaris: A great jack-of-all-trades defensive choice for mapping, with solid upgrades on each tier. This Pantheon choice is particularly effective for mapping on players using Summon Ice Golem (or any golem) as it will allow you to avoid any chained projectiles.
- Soul of Solaris: The classic boss killing choice, particularly against Elder, Shaper, and Atziri. While our build isn’t the number one boss feller out there, it is definitely capable of dealing with them once you’re build is stable. This is generally the best choice for farming any of the major bosses.
- Soul of Shakari: A popular choice lately, and especially effective once fully upgraded, as you will be fully immune to Poison and thus one of the map mods. The reduction against damage over time also feels good against some of the games spookeir mechanics.
- Soul of Gruthkul: This is a solid choice for general mapping, especially when paired with Soul of Lunaris for that overall “reduction tank” feel.
- Soul of Tukohama: A potential choice for bosses like Elder and Shaper. This should be used in combination with Soul of Solaris.
Gear, Jewels, and Flasks
Queen of the Forest is the recommended choice for most builds. The superb movement speed is a huge steroid for your clear, and the general great survivability stats spread between Life, Resists, and a massive chunk of Evasion make it an easy choice. The fact that it is an obtainable item early in the league make it a realistic pickup fairly early in every league. If you’re comfortable playing the build, this chest can be used virtually forever as the best choice, as the movement speed alone is so valuable to our clear time.
Kaom's Heart is the best way to minimize the potential of random one-shots. Due to the potential of Tornado Shot once your gear is fully enchanted with additional projectiles, the alternate Barrage link can be dropped in favor of additional survivability. This comes at the cost of some movement speed and evasion, which slows down clear. You also lose a large chunk of evasion, which makes damage intake from general mapping feel worse, but large spikes in damage feel better. Kaom’s Heart is generally a recommended pickup for Hardcore leagues, or players looking to hit 100 for the first time on a bow build.
Farrul's Fur is the absolute best option available, but be prepared to pay a heavy premium for the privilege.
Devoto's Devotion is great for clear speed, and fairly easy to find an enchant on early on. This item is recommended for players looking to farm a lot of Shaped Burial Grounds, as the necessity for powerful defensive itemization is lessened. Devoto’s is a perfectly fine option for all map tiers, however, provided movement speed throughout the map is your priority.
Starkonja's Head is the equally good alternative to Devoto’s, offering powerful survivability via Life and Evasion, as well as a nice boost to damage via the Critical Strike Chance. This is another really easy helm to find an enchant on early in the league, and thus a great choice while you’re still finding your footing. Despite its amazing potential as an early mapping unique, Starkonja’s can and has been used all the way to level 100 by many players due to its amazing all-round stats.
Lightpoacher is perhaps the best possible option, but only if it has 2 Abyss jewels. It offers a ton of clear speed, defensive potential, and high amounts of Life and damage via Jewels. Using Abyss items are personal preference, as some players prefer to have multiple 4-Links instead of focusing additional damage into a single single. Lightpoacher is a great choice in any situation, however, due to its all around power in both offense and defense categories. The downside is that it can be a very expensive option, especially early in a league, and you likely won’t see an enchanted version for a reasonable price for some time, if ever. This is definitely more of a luxury item than a necessity.
Recommended Enchant for Head: Tornado Shot fires an addition 2 projectiles.
The enchant is a very large increase in damage and should be one of your earliest investments after acquiring your early gear.
- Increased Attack Speed
- Curse Enemies With Level 12 Elemental Weakness on Hit
- % Increased Maximum Life
- +1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
Rare gloves with 70+ Maximum Life and Resists are a great option for starting out or leveling further. Try to pick up some nice damage stats in addition to Life and Resists, such as Increased Attack Speed, Fire/Lightning/Cold Damage to Attacks, A nice Evasion roll is another really great thing to look out for to round out a piece.
Tombfist with 2 sockets is the best possible option for offense and defense, and should be used if pushing through maps to level 100 is your aim. It is worth investing into a good double corruption if possible, as it really compounds the value of the item to build. The base stats on this item are great, however, and the Jewel slots allow us to gain a large amount of Life and damage.
Goldwyrm are the most common and popular choice for Magic Find builds due to their huge increased quantity. Always ensure you have a maxed roll quantity set.
A pair of Rare boots with high Life, Resistances, and Movement Speed is typically the best option if you are not farming using a quantity bonus set.
Atziri's Step can also be a solution if you can pick them up fairly early. While they are not quite as good as a very nicely rolled Rare, they are likely to be cheaper. The high Evasion, solid Life, and 30% Movement Speed form a trinity of yummy stats, and the additional chance to dodge spell hits stacks up nicely with the rest of our defenses. The main issue with these boots is that you are likely to run into problems with Resistances, depending on what uniques you are using in other slots. If you can pick them up early and for a good price, they are a great item to last you until you can upgrade.
Rigwald's Quills is a fantastic option that is fantastic for clear speed, albeit quite expensive. This item is a matter of some preference; some players love it, while others prefer to use a shaped quiver. In terms of pure clear speed, this is likely the best option available, and the life gain on hit is not insignificant. This piece is definitely a worthwhile investment, and though it is expensive, it delivers on fast clear speed and very high damage output.
A Rare Shaped Quiver is the best overall option as a do-it-all choice, as it offers high damage and good survivability. If you plan on pushing higher tier maps and/or killing high tier bosses in addition to farming for currency, this is a strong option. A Spike-Point Quiver is a good base to start with, however, you’ll want to upgrade to a Fire Arrow Quiver once you can afford it for the additional projectile. Look for these stats on Shaped Rare quivers, in order of priority:
- Bow Attacks Fire An Additional Arrow
- Global Critical Strike Multiplier
- Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
- +# to Maximum Life
- Gain % of Physical Damage as Extra Elemental Damage
- % increased Projectile Speed
Windripper is the most commonly used bow for this build, and a really fun option due to its high base critical strike chance and attack speed. The inherent Quantity and Rarity bonus from simply killing enemies make this item ideal for farming, but it is more than enough damage to take you through all maps and most bosses. Windripper is usually relatively affordable, even very early in the League, making it a high priority acquisition early in your build. Usually, this will be your first big pickup (or Queen of the Forest).
A shaped bow is the absolute best option for damage and deep end-game, but isn’t a necessary investment to make the build feel complete and powerful. If you plan on trying to boss with this build, or just want to kit out your character, this is likely to be one of the last investments you make to round out the build. Look for bases like Decimation, Imperial, Highborn, and Harbinger. The best available Shaped affix is % Chance to Deal Double Damage + % Increased Attack Speed (a dual affix). You will also want to look for high flat Elemental damage. Ideally, you want the Shaped suffixes % Chance to Deal Double Damage + % Increased Attack Speed and % Chance to Gain a Power Charge on Critical Strike + % to Global Critical Strike Multiplier (another dual affix). Flat elemental damage and Elemental Damage with Attack Skills are the best conventional prefixes, but there are some nice Shaped options as well. Adds # to # Cold Damage to Attacks With this Weapon Per 10 Dexterity and Gain % of Physical Damage as Extra Cold damage are both solid affixes as well. We recommend finding a bow with the suggested Shaped suffixes (Double Damage + Attack Speed is very powerful) and high flat Elemental Damage, then trying to find one or two of the other affixes to round it out.
Chin Sol is an option as a weapon swap if you are using Barrage. While this will not be as effective as a Shaper Bow, it is a significantly less expensive investment and can be resold later if necessary.
Bisco's Leash is the best amulet for Magic Find, due to its significant Quantiy and Rarity bonuses.
Ventor's Gamble is the best and most popular ring(s) for Magic Finding, and can be used in both ring slots. The Quantity roll is the most important, and you should always aim for an 8%+ roll at least. A decent rarity roll and at least one Resistance are enough to round out item, and with an item like Ventor’s, there is always room to upgrade later on due to the sheer amount of variance.
Rare rings with Life, Resistances, and damage are a great alternative for leveling deeper into the 90’s, or pushing delves further. Prioritize stats as follows:
- Resistances (if uncapped)
- % Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
- Flat Lightning Damage to Attacks
- Global Critical Strike Multiplier (Elder)
- Flat Cold Damage to Attacks
- Increased Attack Speed
Bisco's Leash is an affordable choice for Magic Finding early on. If you are farming Shaped Burial Grounds often, this belt is a perfect companion as extra damage will be unnecessary.
A Rare belt is the best option for leveling barring Headhunter, due to the high damage potential and Resistances. A Stygian Vise is the best best, followed by Leather Belts. Prioritize stats as follows:
- Resistances (if uncapped)
- Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
- % Increased Lightning Damage
Headhunter is utilized better in this build than any other, catapulting your clear speed to new and extraordinary heights. While it is an expensive item, and indeed, an item many players see as unattainable, it is a great end-point to shoot for, and a worthwhile goal. Due to the sheer amount of currency this build farms, Headhunter is never “out of the cards” (excuse the pun).
Lioneye's Fall is mandatory to properly play the build. Though it can be a little pricey, Soul Raker is one of the most efficient nodes on the right side of the tree, and gives us everything we need along the way; Critical Chance, Multiplier, Ailments, and Leech.
Inspired Learning, or “mini- Headhunter” as we like to call it, is an excellent Jewel for this build, and effectively utilized in the lower right hand part of the tree. Since we naturally acquire all four of these notables and the Jewel socket regardless, this is a natural fit for our build. Best of all, it stacks with Headhunter, making you seriously powerful once you are fully kitted out.
This build is an amazing user of Abyss Jewels, and they outperform their “standard” counterparts in every instance. The rest of our Jewel slots should be filled with Searching Eye Jewels, which are the best available option. Jewels can be pricey, but they are well worth the investment. Prioritize stats as follows:
- Lightning Damage to Bow Attacks
- Lightning Damage to Attacks
- Fire/Cold Damage to Bow Attacks
- Fire/Cold Damage to Attacks
- Global Critical Strike Multiplier
- Increased Attack Speed
This is our recommended Flask setup.
- Seething Divine Life Flask of Staunching
- Dying Sun
- Atziri's Promise
- Experimenter’s Diamond Flask of Warding
- Alchemist’s Quicksilver Flask of Heat
Dying Sun can be swapped out for another flask until you can afford it, ideally either a Silver or Jade flask with an Adrenaline suffix. Vessel of Vinktar with flat lightning damage can also add a lot of damage, but is not necessary for clearing.
The Wise Oak is also exceptional for this build if you are able to balance your resists evenly, but otherwise not worth using.
Atziri's Promise is the least essential of the flasks, and can be swapped out for any of the above options.
I’m Always Running out of Mana. How do I sustain?
Once Lioneye's Fall is acquired, the Soul Raker notable should be more than enough to sustain you. Until then, put a single point into the Mana Leech wheel near the bottom right of the tree.
Can I Do X and X with the Build?
Of course! Tornado Shot builds can be built in a variety of ways, and between leagues we have built our own characters in many different ways. If you were to play this build on Hardcore, for example, you would want to acquire the Scion wheel of life and focus more on Life. As long as you have a 6-link, decent Jewels, and Flasks, you are set to clear.
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.