For itemization, we will begin with the powerhouse of damage on the build – the bow. There are many different variants this bow can take, but here I will walk you through a progression of quite simple (but effective up until red maps) to more expensive, but more effective. There is a top end of extremely expensive synthesized bows that are possible to push damage as far as humanly possible, but that sort of thing can take you into the triple digit exalt budget and this build guide is meant to be more oriented towards the achievable than the theoretically possible.
For your starter bow, I recommend farming or purchasing the cards to put together an Imperial Legacy set – this six link base is just a tiny bit off of our ideal base, a Thicket Bow , in terms of attack speed – and the div cards are farmable in the story if need be, in the Foothills zone, so are very accessible. Getting a +2 bow gems roll (as depicted) is relatively easy, since you can guarantee this mod in particular with a Shrieking Essence of Dread. I personally like to reroll these until I have an attack speed roll (doesn’t have to be a great one) and an open prefix to craft chaos damage over time multiplier, once you unveil it. This bow ought to handle content up until mid-red maps just fine.
Upgrading to the next bow is best done using fossils – the combination of Corroded Fossil Metallic Fossil and Jagged Fossil is the best, as it will narrow down the possible prefixes on a basic bow (as in, uninfluenced) to only + to socketed gems and + to socketed bow gems. Roll these fossils on an uninfluenced thicket bow, ideally one that you’ve boosted quality on with some perfect fossils beforehand to make socketing and linking easier – and ideally item level 82 or higher for the chance to hit tier one %Damage over time Multiplier. Roll fossils on this base until you have +2 to Socketed Bow Gems alongside at least one good suffix – high Attack Speed or Damage over Time Multiplier is ideal, with Bow attacks Fire an Additional Arrow being a nice bonus. At this point, you will then need to remove any other prefixes your bow has – this can be done with targeted harvest annulments, regular old Orb of Annulment (if you feel lucky) or beast crafting with Farric Lynx Alpha to remove prefix and add suffix. Keep in mind however, that you will need a suffix open as well to finish your bow, so don’t fill up all three. Once you have a bow with +2 to Socketed Bow Gems, a good suffix or two, an open suffix and two open prefixes, you will then need to craft the mod Cannot Roll Attack Modifiers using your crafting bench, which will cost one Exalted Orb so be sure to double check everything is in order before spending your currency. Now, at this point, your bow should look something like this:
Ensure you have a second “filler” suffix alongside the good one you’ve hit, as if not you may end up exalting a suffix when you go to slam your bow. If everything has lined up properly, though, the only modifier that an exalt should be able to add will be +1 to Level of Socketed Gems. Ideally, whatever filler suffix you have will be one you can easily remove with harvest, such as a remove cold craft to get rid of the cold resistance in the example bow. After that, merely craft yourself some Chaos Damage over Time Multipler for your final prefix and you’ve got a great bow to push endgame content with.
The final bow is the hardest to make, and is provided simply as an example of where you can push the build if you choose to. Technically, due to Awakened support gems and the potential of a high level Empower Support +2 to Socketed Support Gems is a more potent modifier than +2 to Socketed Bow gems – and the two of them cannot be on the same item simultaneously. I would begin with Orb of Alteration spam to attempt to get t1/t2 Damage over Time Multiplier, regaling and trying to add a couple of other suffixes that can be removed later when you hit it. If you manage this, simply follow the same steps as earlier to force +1 to Socketed Gems and then remove the junk suffixes with harvest, and do add/remove speed crafts until you get good attack speed (if you weren’t lucky enough to regal into it). After you have this together, multi-craft your bow for +2 Socketed Support Gems and Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier and you’ll have an excellent bow on your hands. As mentioned, be sure to use an Empower Support level 3 or 4 alongside this bow, instead of s Swift Affliction Support. A synthesized bow (still a Thicket Bow base though) with a good implicit is an excellent candidate for this crafting method, if you’ve got the budget.
Alright, that was a lot of bow talk. Don’t worry, other gear slots are simpler. The Chestpiece for this build is a great defensive tool, and can also solve our recovery issue whilst clearing with a nice influence mod from either Elder or Warlord influence. A basic good evasion chest ( Assassin's Garb, ideally, but any high evasion base will do) with life and room to craft spell dodge is a great starter, so just essence spamming on a six linked base is a fine way to start. Eventually, however, you will want a Warlord or Elder influenced base (ideally Warlord) to roll the influenced modifier Recover % of Life on Kill. This mod carries sustain while clearing really really hard, as it is essentially a full heal from any decent pack of monsters. Even better, since damage over time kills are (almost) always attributed to the player, kills from both you and your ballistae will recover you some life. Attaining this mod will also allow you to swap off of the Hired Killer anoint in the amulet slot (talked about later) which can save you 4 or 5 passive points, a very big deal. If you end up with a free prefix alongside both recovery on kill and a good life roll, a fire aug will easily net you some physical taken as fire as well, which is a great defensive stat. Finally, for a super high budget setup, consider using an Awakener's Orb to combine both life on kill and frenzy charge on hit, a super powerful redeemer influence modifier for bossing.
Atziri's Step are hands down my pick for this slot. In theory if you were super-pinched for resistances, some rare boots with a dodge roll (either from temple mods or redeemer influence) could work here, but Atziri's Step are super cheap, easy to self-farm, and very effective defensively. A life regen enchant is my pick, but attack and cast speed or dodge are both good options as well.
One thing I neglected to put into the graphic is that this slot is great for a 10% aoe craft, which can be the difference between landing 4 and 5 pods on a boss. That aside, the rest of the options here are pretty basic so feel free to get some res in this slot if you don’t want to go all out and push for culling strike. I’d recommend Aberrant Fossil and Pristine Fossil spam on an elder base to get your basic Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier gloves. A bit of Chaos Resistance can also go a long way, and is pretty likely with this method. Alternatively, g Shrieking Essence of Greed are fairly cheap at time of writing, and are great if you just need some basic gloves quick.
Use the Hired Killer anoint until you have access to a chestpiece with %life recovered on kill. This slot can also be used for a -mana cost craft, however that does rob you of some AOE (unless you multimod), so I prefer to find mana cost reduction on rings. The Fortify Effect roll is obtained through Essence of Horror. Rolling a basic Horror amulet is made far easier by using a base with a good fractured life roll, however this does preclude the addition of hunter influence. Luckily, the only chaos prefix on a hunter amulet is +1 chaos gems, so if you can just hit good life, the horror mod, and space to chaos aug with an open prefix, you can get +1 onto an amulet fairly easily. As mentioned though, be sure there are no open suffixes on your amulet when you attempt this as it will more than likely give you Chaos Resistance instead. Unless you want that as well, then go ahead! I’d recommend either an Onyx Amulet or Agate Amulet base, as the build lacks somewhat in both strength and intelligence from the tree.
A high budget option here not pictured in the graphic is the use of Glyphic Fossil rolls on a hunter influenced amulet base, with the intention of isolating the fortify effect mod alongside malevolence mana reservation reduction. This is fairly achievable with the combination of Lucent Fossil Glyphic Fossil and Pristine Fossil. Doing this can be invaluable, as it will free up your helmet enchantment to be something other than a mana reservation oriented one. I would really only recommend this with a decent budget, though.
Again, for early on, you’ll want to use the Hired Killer anoint. This can be replaced with a Watchtowers anoint once you’ve obtained a chestpiece with %life recovered on kill, saving a good number of passive points.
The belt slot is a resistance/stat workhorse in this build. If you’re particularly high budget, getting some %life here on a hunter base is great. Also, the only chaos prefix is %chaos damage, so go for that if you have a chaos aug on an already good hunter belt. The best base, as usual, is a Stygian Vise. There is a moderately rare harvest craft that allows you to roll for a random influence type on a piece of jewellery, which is how a hunter influenced Stygian Vise can be obtained, with some luck. If on a budget, consider using resistance essences (like Shrieking Essence of Hatred, Shrieking Essence of Anger or Shrieking Essence of Wrath) to roll a decent belt. Shrieking Essence of Envy can be a great choice as well, if you need the chaos resistance.
High evasion bases here are ideal, with an emphasis on getting either a Flesh and Stone or Malevolence mana reservation reduction enchant for your endgame helmet. Withering Step applies additional wither debuffs is a great choice too, but makes fitting Flesh and Stone into the build a bit trickier, as you’ll need a Malevolence reduced reserved hunter amulet to make it work alongside a level 20 Vitality and level 3 Enlighten Support. This slot is another great source of physical mitigation, both through Korrell’s veiled craft for physical taken as fire and eventually fortify effect (likely will need to Crusader's Exalted Orb a base that is already enchanted, just be sure the ilvl is high enough for fortify effect). If you still have an available prefix, you can even augment lightning with harvest to get an extra couple of points of maximum lightning res (assuming no open suffixes) – but this isn’t a huge priority. This slot is another place to potentially pick up a much needed %AoE craft as well, which you will need either here or on the gloves to reach high enough radius breakpoints with Toxic Rain.
Replica Conqueror's Efficiency is core, but luckily is also cheap. Aside from that, a bit of totem res on jewels can go a long way to keeping them from getting shredded too fast in endgame content. Consider a malevolence/vitality Watcher's Eye if you got a lot of money to burn. For damage stats on rare jewels, %attack speed is great and %chaos dot multi. Aside from that, any applicable %damage mod is fine – area damage, damage over time, chaos damage, etc.
The quiver is a powerful damage scaling slot, with double dot multi and attack speed being possible. Ideally you actually want crafted attack speed, as it matches explicit attack speed and is easier to get. Chaos rerolls/augments are your friend here, though they can hit a poison suffix, which is a pain. Your best base is a high level Sharktooth Arrow Quiver for the life gain on-hit, but don’t stress too much if you get some other random base, as the benefit here is minimal. The affixes are far more important on this slot.
You’ll need a curse on hit ring to be able to drop Witchfire Brew, and ideally each ring will have a -mana cost craft to eliminate mana problems in the lategame. Hunter rings are also excellent as a source of life gain on hit, which is invaluable for bossing sustain Shrieking Essence of Envy can push that extra little bit of oomph in this slot, but are not necessary by any means. Eventually you’ll want to quality each slot with Fertile Catalyst quality, as this will scale not only the life roll but also the Mana cost reduction. You will likely also need an intelligence or strength roll across these somewhere.
Witchfire Brew is a stopgap until a curse on hit ring is acquired, and should be replaced with Dying Sun when you get there. Be sure to have an instant life flask! Staunching, Warding, and Heat are all core utility effects.