Velyna's Ethereal Knives Chieftain Build Guide (PoE Crucible 3.21)




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.

An off-meta tanky spellcaster using chieftains easy fire conversion. Very good for mapping since we run Herald of Ash Herald of Ash and Haste Haste. Lots of armour and evasion, plus Petrified Blood Petrified Blood with massive regen, feels very solid in high tier maps. Requiring very few buttons is just the icing on the cake.



✔️ No Meta Tax: Ethereal Knives Ethereal Knives brings a lot of value without the added tax, there are no big ticket uniques required.

✔️ Easy Leaguestart: Very few required uniques, just running Doon Cuebiyari Doon Cuebiyari, The Magnate The Magnate and Crown of Thorns Crown of Thorns for early league.

✔️ Smooth Mapping: Haste Haste, Herald of Ash Herald of Ash, perma-phasing, big range, this build just feels great to map with.


Bosses: Maven, Sirus, etc, are no problem, but DPS is low for the Uber-Ubers.

Uncommon Gear: With a small market for the gear we use, it’s sometimes hard to find. This can be fixed by crafting it yourself.

How Does it Play?

Ethereal Knives Ethereal Knives is a frontal cone with big range, when you see a pack just start blasting. The spell consists of multiple overlapping projectiles that don’t shotgun but can pierce, so we stack 3-4 pierces to make packs absolutely melt. All that and you can take a hit as well.

Damage and Defensive Scaling

Our Ethereal Knives Ethereal Knives is fully fire converted so both %phys and %fire increases will work, but gem levels and cast speed are the big mods for us, along with spell damage. Using Petrified Blood Petrified Blood gives access to Pain Attunement through Crown of Thorns Crown of Thorns and later Skin of the Lords Skin of the Lords.

For defense we have Determination Determination and Grace Grace plus Defiance Banner Defiance Banner. Elemental Resistances are 80/78/78. Ailment Immunity is not hard to accomplish since we get Ignite from our ascend and Freeze from pantheon, just leaving shock. Our ascend also gives us leech, and MASSIVE regen. The final layer is Forbidden Jewels for either Untiring or Unbreakable.

PoB Imports

The current PoB’s for this build are always available here:

Pobs and Skills

For help with this build, the best place to ask is my Stream, My Discord, or the PoE Vault Discord.


The gear page has premade item searches and info about the endgame items.



Use the skill setup below, not the one in leaguestart PoB, until finishing acts 1-10.

All of my Leaguestart PoBs contain step-by-step pathing, and you can scroll down on this page to see what skills to use in acts 1-10.

Act 1

Don’t use Avatar of Fire before doing first lab, if you don’t have 100% fire conversion it cuts your damage in half!

Do the mud flats and tidal island quest with a templar first, this gives access to Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support which we wouldn’t otherwise get. The extra Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask plus free Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem and Frostblink Frostblink are nice also. Caster marauders will lag in the first 3 acts so we want to set ourselves up for success.

Don’t level arcane surge too high, you want the buff to have maximum uptime.

You will need a few transmutes to buy gems, get them by picking up blue items to vendor without identifying. Any excess transmutes you end up with can themselves be vendored for wisdom scrolls.

Remember that Rustic Sash Rustic Sash is a DPS increase for EK.

It’s normal to be riding your flasks pretty hard before killing Brutus, I usually save a portal scroll and use it right when I engage him. When I run out of flasks I quickly step in and return to finish the fight.

Act 2

Don’t forget the Great White Beast quest gives a rare belt reward!

You can start leveling the Herald of Ash Herald of Ash you get in your alternate weapon slots.

Kill all the bandits.

Act 3

This is the low point for our damage, but that will change once we ascend. Get EK in a 4link, finish the act, and when you feel ready go tackle lab. Put a point in Avatar of Fire when finished.

Also buy Determination Determination, Petrified Blood Petrified Blood, and Arrogance Support Arrogance Support to start leveling in weapon swap.

Act 4-10

Now that you are fully fire converted, drop the banner and run Herald of Ash Herald of Ash.

The supports you have from act 3 still work just fine with elemental damage, but start trying to get the setup above running.

This was the setup I ended the acts and started mapping with, then I started looking at the Leaguestart PoB skills.

Need Help?

I try to give all the information needed to enjoy the build and succeed, but questions do come up. If you need any help with my builds the best place to go is either My Stream or My Discord

This site also has guides for game mechanics, trading, crafting, and just about anything else, all collected here:

GL out there, Exile!

For any questions or support please join our Discord (PoE-Vault Discord)