With a rather simple concept, this POE build can take that idea and go to the moon with it. The more you pump into this, the better it gets, and the beauty of this build is that it’s very easy to gear for initial mapping, making it a pretty good starter build for any POE League.
Offensively the mapping and bossing process are relatively similar, apply curses and deal mountains of Cold Damage using your Freezing Pulse to lock down packs and chill them into nothing but ice cubes. Unlike other POE builds, there’s no super-complicated rotation of skills, just get good gear targeting a combination of that needed stat priorities (Detailed down below) just spam Freezing Pulse after procing Fortify with Shield Charge.
Defensively this build uses Mind over Matter to shave off Mana before Life, by combining this with a good Shield and tons of DPS, we can easily tank plenty of damage before we even have to worry about dodging. Of course actually dodging attacks is always better. You could face-tank, but the only way that remains viable past the basic endgame of White Maps is to scale into seriously expensive Elder/Shaper gear. Vaal Clarity and Haste can be used to help as a stopgap too.
You’ll find all you will need to construct this build down below. The guide assumes that you’re going all-out and are maximizing every aspect, but you don’t have to go that far at all to reach a point where the build is enjoyable. Even in the low 90s with less-than-perfect gear, the build runs Maps and Delves just fine. And it’s a great choice as a league starter build for any POE player. If you are a brand new Path of Exile player, feel free to check out our various POE guides for noobs.
- Great clear speed
- Can get going on starter gear
- Relaxed play
- SSF and HC viable
- Not the best leveling build
- Not meant for endgame boss farming
Here is the Endgame Passive Tree
As in most builds, we recommend investing into critical strike nodes later, preferably after level 60. In the beginning, we focus on picking up life, spell and cold damage, Mind over Matter and some mana nodes.
Use the PoB as a guide, not a final goal as the gear there is absolutely the best you’ll ever get, and it won’t be cheap to get those kinds of stats. In short, it’s just an example of what this build might achieve.
Upgrade all of these.
Major God: Soul of Solaris
Soul of Lunaris offers great defensive options for mapping. If facing some bosses with lots of DoT, opt for an upgraded Arakaali.
Minor God: Soul of Gruthkul
Abberath offers decent defensive help as well for fire damage.
Allira is best for Resists and Crit, both of which help this build immensely.
Ascendancy skill points
Preferably in that order:
- Instruments of Virtue
- Righteous Providence
- Inevitable Judgement
- Augury of Patience
Helmet: (From Best to Worst)
40% increased Freezing Pulse Damage
12% increased Freezing Pulse Cast Speed
0.6% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you’ve Killed Recently
Damage Penetrates x% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven’t Killed Recently
x% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you’ve Killed Recently
Commandment of Light or Force.
You could also use these Corruptions on Gear:
Curse Enemies with Level (10–12) Elemental Weakness on Hit
(4–6)% increased maximum Life
(8–10)% increased Attack Speed
Leveling General Tips
Efficient Farm Locations:
Act 1: The Ledge
Act 2: The Fellshrine Ruins
Act 3: The Docks
Act 4: The Dried Lake
Act 5: The Chamber of Innocence
Act 6: The Ridge
Act 7: The Temple of Decay lv1-2
Act 8: The Harbour Bridge
Act 9: The Blood Aqueduct
Act 10: The Ossuary
Avoid these map mods:
* Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield
* Elemental Reflect
Be careful of these map mods:
* Monsters have #% increased Critical Strike Chance / +#% to Monster Critical Strike Multiplier
With high evasion, attack should almost never crit you. Spell on the other hand can still hit hard.
* Monsters fire 2 additional Projectiles
Scary mod on some bosses and monster types. Some monsters are still able to spam out too many projectiles to handle.
* Area contains two Unique Bosses
Your goal to survive this mode is a combo of extreme DPS and Life. The faster you can down the bosses, the less threat they pose.
* #% increased Monster Movement Speed / #% increased Monster Attack Speed / #% increased Monster Cast Speed
Some bosses are going to be too fast to hit effectively, meaning you’ll spend more time than you normally should kiting them. This combination with Temporal Chains is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.
* Players are Cursed with Vulnerability
Negated during mapping with a Warding Flask, but not against bosses. Bleeds from bosses can kill you easily.
* Players are Cursed with Temporal Chains
I would personally avoid this on high-tier maps.
Final Skill Gem Setup
You’ll find recommendations for different attack skill setups for this build below. The basic buff and aura setups are down there too.
=== MAIN ATTACK ===
Freezing Pulse -> Hypothermia-> Controlled Destruction-> Spell Echo -> Increased Critical Strikes -> Added Cold Damage
=== MOVEMENT ===
Shield Charge -> Faster Attacks -> Fortify
=== AURA/UTILITY ===
Cast When Damage Taken -> Immortal Call -> Increased Duration
Herald of Ice -> Curse on Hit -> Assassin’s Mark
Build Uniques / Example Rare Gear
In this section you will find all the suggested items for this build. We always try to include optional gear in our listing, or try your own assuming you get similar stat rolls. Aim for high-quality Rares if you’re replacing Uniques. The Minimum/Optional requirements listed assume you’re using Rares as a replacement for listed Uniques (where possible).
Depending on your gear choices, you can go for either a lot more DPS at the expense of Life, or go for more defensiveness by sacrificing a portion of DPS. This is your choice. In most cases, I would prefer Life personally, as it’s just a bit more forgiving. If you’re a new player, this may the path for you.
Life is super important for survivability, especially at endgame. Although be careful not to forsake too many damage mods for it or you won’t be able to kill mobs quick enough for your defenses to handle incoming DPS.
Mana is very important for Mind Over Matter, we get a fair bit from Intelligence, but just be careful not to compromise other Attributes or your main damage types getting it.
Spell/Cold Damage is your primary DPS, get this in any way you can, as long as you don’t compromise defenses.
Resistances until capped.
Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier can help increase your damage a fair bit.
Cast/Attack Speed means that you simply attack faster the higher it is. This stat becomes vital for scaling overall DPS. Attack speed is great for Shield Charge to keep Fortify up.
The optimal option will be to go Dagger/Shield for both Crit buffs and extra defensiveness from Block Chance. High-end Elder/Shaper bases in some gear slots can help buff that Block Chance if you do go without a Shield, but it’s very much discouraged due to cost. Refer to the PoB above for the absolute best examples of gear in each slot though.
Your two choices with dual-wielding are to either go for dual Wands, or dual Daggers. Rare Daggers with the stats listed below will be very pricey in melee-focused Legion, so a better option is to go Wands if you want to get into endgame a bit faster.
Elemental Damage with Attacks
Damage Penetrates x% Cold Resistance (Tangled Fossil)
A Rare works best here, the enchant is where most of the power of this slot comes from. I would say going for enchants which increase your main skill damage are best. Some Unique options do exist though. Doedre’s Scorn is great for Curse effectiveness, although you’ll want to opt for a high end Elder/Shaper Helmet once you can drop your Curse on Hit Gems.
If running a Rare, use Eternal Burgonet as a base with this build for the most Strength, Armour and Life gain.
90 Maximum Life
Attributes (Dexterity, Intelligence)
Reduced Attribute Requirements
Nearby Enemies take #% Increased Physical Damage (Jagged Fossil)
There are several Unique options for this build, each offering slightly different options. Loreweave offers great DPS and is not too difficult to obtain Belly of the Beast offers another tanky option but with the caveat that you’ll want to run a Life Flask to give it the most impact. Cloak of Defiance offers a great starter Unique, Tabula Rasa can carry you pretty far as well.
A high-end Rare can do really well with this build in a pinch though. You can go either for an Armour or ES base, as they have pretty similar stats.. If going the Rare route, prepare to get needed attributes on the chest in order to get more DPS from your Jewels and other Affixes.
There are several ways to further increase the effectiveness of a Rare here, but they will massively increase the currency cost, as a high-end Armour that fits these parameters would be Mirror-service-worthy.
- A +1/+2 Level to Socketed Gems Corruption is extremely useful if running a Rare.
- Shaper ES bases can roll Recover % Increased Max Mana or % of Damage is taken from Mana before Life, both very strong.
- % Increased Effect of Auras on you is good too, that comes from Bound fossils.
- Getting Reduced Attribute Requirements can really help if you’re struggling with attributes. This can also free up other Affixes as you no longer need to waste them. This would allow you to further increase your DPS. Although getting this mod combination will be extremely hard, and will cost a lot of currency, so bank on just using a crafted affix instead.
- Getting a high, or possibly Legacy, Increased Life and/or Chaos Resistance roll really helps with survivability.
100 maximum Life
% Increased Maximum Life (Elder)
% Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)
Recover % of Maximum Life on Kill (Elder)
+ to Level of Socketed Support Gems (Elder)
% Increased Intelligence (Shaper)
Spells have +#% to Critical Strike Chance (Shaper)
% increased Damage (Corruption)
Abyss Belts with Life and Resistances are a good option for more difficult end-game sections and bosses. Other Rares might do in a pinch, but not having good rolls can make you a lot more squishy than is tolerable. Abyss Jewels are also a great source for damage buffs as well. Buffing your damage and Life is the best bet here with Jewels.
Elder/Shaper variants are good too, assuming you can get a good combo of Life and Resists on them.
Another good bet is a Cyclopean Coil. Although this will be really expensive as it’s pretty high-demand. The added life and Attributes are extremely useful, so this is a good option if you want to avoid wasting other affixes on attributes in favor of more DPS, assuming you can afford it.
70 Maximum Life
Reduced Flask Charges Used
Increased Flask Duration
% Increased Cold Damage (Frigid Fossil)
% increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil)
Check here for some Unique options, most useful while leveling.
For a Rare, opt for Fingerless Silk Gloves for the extra Spell Damage.
70 Maximum Life
% Increased Attack Speed
Added Cold Damage to Attacks
Reduced Attribute Requirements
Rare boots with max rolled Life, Resists and Movement Speed are great as a generic choice, but you may find yourself a bit more prone to taking hits than you would like. This one is more of a personal judgment call. Here’s the basic requirements for Rare in this slot. Two-Toned Bootes are good here for the extra Resists.
70 maximum Life
30% increased Movement Speed
Any Uncapped Resistances (>25%)
% Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (Crafted)
Once you’ve gotten decently into end-game, you may want to switch to a Unique that’s more tailored for the playstyle of the build.
Kaom’s Roots – This is the best Unique pair of Boots for this build, and will provide decent defensive stun immunity, just be sure you don’t compromise your resists or other defenses using these. You may also be Socket-starved with this, so weigh your options.
A Rare can work great here, but the best Rare is on which offers some Elemental Damage scaling, and it will not be cheap. Carnage Heart offers a decent starter Unique option for this build.
50 Maximum Life
% Elemental Damage with Attacks
Crit Strike Chance
Cold Damage Leeched as Life
Chance to gain a Power, Frenzy or Endurance Charge on Kill (Shaper)
Increased Aura Effect (Corruption)
Rare rings will likely work best here, Opal Ring or Steel Ring bases still offer tons of potential for Elemental Damage, so give those a shot. You will want to have a Two-Stone Ring as a secondary There are a ton Fossil and Shaper/Elder mods which can be useful here, check out this list. And if you’d like to search for a specific Fossil mod to find out what Fossil it comes from, go here.
50 Maximum Life
% Elemental Damage with Attacks
% Increased Attack/Cast Speed
Curse Enemies with Warlord’s Mark on Hit (Elder)
% Increased Cold Damage
Increased Aura Effect (Corruption)
- Panicked Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Life and Bleed Immunity)
- Experimenter’s Diamond Flask of Heat (Freeze Immunity, Swap for Iron Skin if using Kaom’s Roots)
- Experimenter’s Sulphur Flask of Warding (DPS and Curse Immunity)
You can swap these mods around if needed due to RNG.
The only really necessary Uniques in the entire build are 2x First Snow. Abyss Jewels that have a chance to gain Onslaught can also be used in a slot for a damage increase. Watcher’s Eye with buffs to Hatred or any other Auras you use can be really powerful. Rare Jewels will work just as well though in most cases, and be much cheaper.
Rare Jewels can run with the following stats:
- % Increased Maximum Life
- % Increased Spell Damage
- % Increased Cold Damage
- % Increased Maximum Mana
- % Increased Physical Damage
- % Increased Damage
- % Increased Projectile Damage