Due to the latest balancing changes, we do not recommend playing this build anymore, as it does not meet the high standards we apply to our guides in terms of fun and performance. We are leaving it up as a reference and it might be revived in a later patch.
The classic clear speed focused bow build is as old as Path of Exile itself, undergoing constant evolution to keep up with the times. 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. Tornado Shot is one of the fastest and most prolific builds to ever grace Wraeclast’s shores. This is an ability that can clear multiple screens at a time with a single click. Anything that survives the initial salvo is quickly mopped up by Mirage Archer Support — blow through maps like the wind and have no need to look back.
Although this build can outstrip virtually any other in terms of raw clear speed and magic find potential, one of the key downsides to take note of is its bossing ability. This build may be incredible for farming maps and generating piles of currency, but 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.
Tornado Shot is most famously played as the Deadeye ascendancy. Deadeye is light and speedy and kicks into the end-game faster than the other two Ranger ascendancies, immediately boosting your clear with high impact bonuses like chaining and additional projectiles. The Deadeye variant is well known for being an exceptional Magic Find build, and is commonly set up as a currency farmer.
+ Phenomenal clear speed (arguably one of the fastest builds in Path of Exile) — clears multiple screens of enemies with one click
+ Ideal for Currency and Divination Card farming — the quintessential build for hunting The Doctor
+ Can function on a moderate budget, but the sky is the limit for investment — great to play and outfit over an entire league
+ Long ranged build that freezes and shatters enemies — safe and satisfying
+ Multiple gear and tree configurations allow you to play the build your way
+ Fits perfectly into party play
– Very lackluster boss killer — Uber Elder is doable, but this is not designed to be a boss hunter
– Magic Find configuration can feel very squishy in high tier Maps
– Tornado Shot is a scaling ability — without investment and levels it is not powerful at all
– Requires commitment and heavy investment to be truly “monstrous”
Path of Building
Path of Building for the Magic Find setup of the build is available here.
Included is the recommended set of gear, a full skill tree, and all the gem links needed to get the build to tick.
We use the Path of Building Community Fork for all of our builds, which is highly recommended. If you are encountering errors importing the build, please ensure you are using the Community Fork.
Playstyle and Build Mechanics
Tornado Shot is a hugely popular skill for good reason. It is truly the “shotgun” of Path of Exile, firing off tens of projectiles at a time that cover multiple screens. Anything that is not immediately wiped out by this mass coverage is typically dealt with by shatter-chains caused by Herald of Ice. Should anything remain standing, the Mirage Archer Support cleans up the remains.
So what kind of playstyle does this create? A fast “fire-and-forget” style of bow build that likes to move very quickly. Players who want to zip through maps as fast as possible will be the ones to truly appreciate and unlock the potential this build contains, pushing some of the highest experience rates possible without any cheesy mechanics or systems to rely on. In most maps you will fire a single Tornado Shot at the first pack you see and immediately Blink Arrow towards the next one. Keeping your flasks up does a lot for this build; some of the potent unique options, such as Dying Sun, can nearly double your entire damage output when active. Keeping the Quicksilver Flask active at all times also helps facilitate even more dizzying clear speeds.
Cycling your chosen Vaal Auras, such as Vaal Grace or Vaal Haste, can further boost your damage, clear, and survivability. In proper end-game gear, virtually all your additional gem links are optional and can be smoothly swapped out to suit your preference or your party (should you choose to play in a group). If you decide to use Abyss items, such as Lightpoacher and Bubonic Trail, you will have fewer options for additional luxury links, but higher damage potential. These types of items are more ideal for party play with an aurabot, as you will not require sockets to fulfill your aura links. If you are utilizing items with traditional sockets you will have access to a few luxury links to kit out your build, such as curses or Power Charge On Critical Support.
Where to Aim Tornado Shot
Tornado Shot should be aimed to land just behind your intended target. This results in the most possible projectiles converging on a single position and conferring the maximum damage to a single area. Aiming Tornado Shot is extremely important to maximizing damage — unlike many builds, your aim actually has a massive influence over your damage output. First time players of Tornado Shot will notice a huge difference in their damage by the time they become seasoned veterans.
Passive Skill Trees
These are our recommended Passive Skill Trees:
For more information, be sure to check out the Passive Skill Tree page.
We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.
Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon
Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
These items strike a balance between power and cost-effectiveness. If you want to explore more options for Gear (both budget and high-end), Flasks, or get more information on alternatives and specialty items, please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels, and Flasks section in its entirety.
Example Magic Find gear:
|Queen of the Forest or Greed's Embrace
|Headhunter OR String of Servitude (Quantity Roll) OR Bisco's Leash
|Windripper or Rare Bow
|Rigwald's Quills (maximum clear speed) OR Shaped +1 Projectiles Spike-Point Arrow Quiver (all round)
End-Game / Hardcore
Example end game gear:
|Rare Helmet or Lightpoacher (2 Abyssal sockets)
|Rare Amulet ( Agate Amulet is ideal)
|Kaom's Heart or Shroud of the Lightless (1 Abyssal Socket)
|Rare Gripped Gloves or Tombfist (2 sockets)
|Bubonic Trail (2 sockets)
|Headhunter (clearing) OR Stygian Vise (bosses/all round)
|Windripper or Rare Harbinger Bow/ Imperial Bow
|Shaped +1 Projectiles Spike-Point Arrow Quiver (all round) OR Rigwald's Quills (clearing)
For much more detailed information on the best gear, jewels, and flasks to use, be sure to check out our Gear page.
Tornado Shot is not a suitable skill for leveling. While it may have exceptional scaling and late-game potential, the base damage of this skill is exceptionally low. If you try to level using Tornado Shot, even with a Tabula Rasa, you may become frustrated due to a lack of single target damage.
As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character as efficiently and easily as possible.
- 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.
Bow builds are infamously poor for leveling but it is absolutely possible to do it from scratch, even as a league starter. If it is not a league starting character, however, you will definitely want to get your hands on some leveling gear — even just a Tabula Rasa and a Storm Cloud will go a long, long way.
You will want to start out with Split Arrow, linking this to ###item:onslaught-support### and whatever other supports you can get your hands on as soon as possible.
Pick up Precision immediately after killing Brutus and activate it. Avoid leveling this gem past Level 5-6 during the leveling process.
- Rain of Arrows ( Vaal Rain of Arrows is even better)
- Added Lightning Damage Support
- Mirage Archer Support
- Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
- Added Cold Damage Support
- Faster Attacks Support
Most of these gems are obtainable in Act I, but if you are using Tabula Rasa then you will want to hold on to your ###item:onslaught-support### gem (in place of Faster Attacks Support) for as long as you can, as it is an exceptional gem for boosting leveling speed. Once you feel like you need more damage, you can swap in Faster Attacks Support.
The skill tree is similar enough that you do not need to make any major deviations. Rain of Arrows can be used all the way into maps if you like — simply swap in Concentrated Effect Support for Added Lightning Damage Support.
Be sure to pick up Herald of Ice while leveling and activate it. You can level up Wrath as you proceed through the game, but do not bother activating it yet, as you simply will not have enough Mana to sustain it with the other two auras running.
Which Annointment Should I Use for my Amulet?
Annointments allow you a high degree of flexibility to take notables that make sense within the context of your own gear and power level, so do not be afraid to deviate from these recommendations to take a node that fits your situation better. That said, we advise:
- Divine Judgement: Grants a fair amount of elemental damage as well as penetration for all our elemental damage, resulting in a big damage increase and better ability to deal with map bosses.
- Constitution: Great option for bolstering survivability and reducing the possibility of random one-shots.
- Throatseeker: Competes as a damage option depending on your current gear. Check Path of Building for more accurate comparisons.
- Utmost Intellect: Might be necessary when running full Magic Find in order to meet gem requirements.
I’m Always Running out of Mana. How do I sustain?
Make sure you are putting the single point into the Mana Leech wheel near the bottom right of the tree. Alternately, you can use the Lioneye's Fall Jewel to access the Soul Raker notable, which should be more than enough to sustain you.
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.
Bisco's Leash vs. Perandus Blazon vs. String of Servitude ?
Bisco's Leash is affordable, provides good Quantity and Rarity, and boosts clear speed noticeably via Rampage. The small upgrade in Quantity from Perandus Blazon is absolutely not worth the trade-off, however, the almost triple increase in Quantity from String of Servitude can be attractive. If you are running exclusively Burial Chambers maps and not [yet] using Headhunter, the String is the best option. If you are running a Hybrid MF and leveling setup and pushing into a few higher tier maps, Bisco’s will be your best bet in combined MF and clear speed.
Playing Without Lioneye's Fall
Lioneye's Fall has long been a staple item of this build, providing everything we could ask for from the Soul Raker Claw node — a healthy amount of Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier alongside Mana and Life Leech. While we have described it as “mandatory” item in the guide above, could this build be played without this essential Jewel?
The answer is, as you might expect, yes — but to varying degrees of effectiveness. If you are playing this build in the extreme end-game, where you are making investments of multiple Exalted Orbs on each item slot, it is likely you will actually gain noticeable damage by swapping out Lioneye's Fall with a top-tier Abyss jewel. A single point will have to be re-allocated to Mana Leech beneath the Herbalism notable, to compensate for the lost Mana Regeneration. A relatively high level is also necessary to properly make use of the points you will gain, as is an innately high Critical Strike chance, as you will lose a fair amount of it.
Overall, even with the best possible gear, many players will still opt into Lioneye's Fall for the consistency of Criticals and Leech. It is a matter of preference, though for most players we recommend defaulting to Lioneye’s Fall due to ease of use and effectiveness earlier in the end-game.