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Shockwave Totem Hierophant Build Guide (POE Legion 3.7)

Shockwave Totem Hierophant Build Guide

This Path of Exile Build uses a multitude of options in both offense and defense to create a build that’s both powerful and tanky, if played and geared well. Our version of this build will use a Life-based Archetype combined with the Mind Over Matter Keystone to give excellent defensive potential while still holding onto plenty of DPS.

We will do another version of this guide for a low-Life variant, so keep on the lookout for that.

The damage done by Shockwave Totem is Spell, AoE, Totem and Physical damage, so modifiers to any of these will increase it. As the damage is Physical, it will not benefit from Elemental Spell Damage nodes. We are going to skirt around this by converting to Lightning Damage and scaling that.

The Heirophant Ascendancy will also offer some bonuses to our Totems, which we will then supercharge by pushing for even more Elemental Damage, Crit buffs and of course, plenty of awesome loot.

Defensively you’re relying on the combination of Life and Energy Shield to act as your primary buffer. But since Life regen and Leech won’t really be a major factor, only a minor influence with the best gear, you should never try to facetank with this build. You can still rely on tanking a bit thanks to Mind over Matter, but dodging is just plain better. Path of Exile 3.7 didn’t harm our Ascendancy choice too much, and since Totem builds are a bit off-meta, they should be a tiny bit cheaper to gear up.

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.

Build Pros

  • Great clear speed
  • Easy to play
  • HC viable

Build Cons

  • Not the best leveling build
  • Expensive to gear to the top-end

Passive Tree(s)

Here is the Endgame Passive Tree

Final POE Tree


Upgrade all of these.

Major God: Soul of the Brine King

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 Abberath

offers decent defensive help as well for fire damage. Shakari is another good option for removing Poison from the equation.


Help Allira for the Crit buffs and Resistances which offer a ton of help to this build.

Ascendancy skill points


Ascendancy points:

Preferably in this order:

  1. Pursuit of Faith
  2. Ritual of Awakening
  3. Divine Guidance
  4. Sanctuary of Thought

Pursuit of Faith is huge for our Totems, making them much more impactful. absolutely necessary for this build. Ritual of Awakening helps sustain or Life and MoM defensive layers. Divine Guidance gives us even more MoM effectiveness. Sanctuary of Thought gives a bunch more Mana sustain. This is the key node that will allow you to take this build into a version of low-Life, but that’s beyond the scope of this guide.



Helmet: (From Best to Worst)
40% increased Shockwave Totem Damage
12% increased Shockwave Totem Area of Effect
15% increased Shockwave Totem Cast Speed

0.6% of Damage Leeched as Life and Mana if you’ve Killed Recently
x% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you’ve Killed Recently
Damage Penetrates 10% of Elemental Resistances if you haven’t Killed Recently

Commandment of Light or Frost.

You could also use these Corruptions on Gear:

Curse Enemies with Level (10–12) Elemental Weakness on Hit (Gloves)
(4–6)% Increased Maximum Life (Belt, Body Armour)
% of Fire Damage Leeched as Life (Amulet)

Leveling General Tips

Fireball can run through most of the early game on just a four link by running with some Elemental Damage from multiple Heralds. Mana Regen might be a bit of a pain in late game, so some stopgap gear that offers bonuses to Mana Regeneration is useful. You can check out our leveling Uniques guide for some recommendations on that. If you manage to snag a Tabula, go straight for the 6-Link setup below, this will carry you through leveling.

That final fight with Kitava will be a little easier as long as you have both Decoy Totem and Ancestral Totem to keep adds of your back.

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.

Shockwave Totem-> Concentrated Effect/Increased Area of Effect  -> Physical to Lightning -> Increased Crits -> Controlled Destruction -> Faster Casting

Use Increased AoE for mapping, Concentrated Effect for bosses.


Orb of Storms -> Power Charge on Critical -> Curse on Hit -> Assassin’s Mark

Drop Orbs to generate Power Charges and keep applying your Curse. An Elder Ring with Assassin’s Mark on Hit can free up some slots for other buffs, like increasing the Lightning Damage applied by Orb of Storms.

=== MOVEMENT ===

Flame Dash -> Faster Casting -> Arcane Surge




Rallying Cry

Summon Lightning Golem

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). As usual, you should use POEAffix to search for the bases and mods that work best for your version of any build. Our guide just lays out the most effective options, these aren’t always a must-have choice.

Stat Priorities:

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.

Energy Shield can act as a decent secondary defensive layer. Hybrid Armour/ES base types offer both Life and ES buffs. Evasion Rating can also be a viable option with the right gear choices, although you may lose some DPS options by missing out on Spell Damage affixes. Your best bet for a secondary defensive layer is Mana, which is very important for Mind Over Matter. It’s far easier to scale Intelligence than ES to insane heights.

Lightning is your primary DPS, get this in any way you can, as long as you don’t compromise defenses. You can further increase the damage dealt by this build by adding in buffs to Shocks and Totem Damage.

Critical Strike Buffs offer another layer of offensive potential, and with the passive setup and the right gear choices, Crits become a decent source of extra DPS.

Resistances until capped.

Cast Speed means that you simply attack faster the higher it is. This stat becomes vital for scaling overall DPS.


The best weapon for this build will be a Dagger as it offers the best base Crit Chance rolls. And it also offers a ton of option mods when crafting a Shaper/Elder base with Fossils. Your main goal here would be to buff Orb of Storms and combine it with an Elder Ring that allows you to drop your Curse on Hit Gem setup. This could potentially turn Orb of Storms into a rather powerful 5-Link on your dagger.

Min. requirements:
Added Lightning Damage
% Increased Spell Damage
% Increased Cast Speed
Optional affixes:
% Chance to gain a Power, Frenzy or Endurance Charge on Kill (Essence of Horror)
% Increased Cast Speed (Essence of Misery)
Gain % of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage (Shaper)
Socketed Gems are supported by Level ?? Elemental Damage with Attacks/% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (Shaper)
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level ?? Increased Critical Strikes/% increased Critical Strike Chance (Shaper)
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level ?? Lightning Penetration/% increased Lightning Damage (Shaper)
% Increased Spell Damage per 16 Intelligence (Elder)
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level ?? Efficacy/% increased Spell Damage (Elder)
Damage Penetrates % Lightning Resistance (Metallic Fossil)
% increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil)

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Your primary defensive layer for reducing incoming DPS will be the shield you use. A Shaper base with any of the optional affixes below will be very powerful with this build. The Mana-focused buffs scale wonderfully with MoM.

Min. requirements:
% Increased Mana Regen
% Increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
% Increased Cast Speed
Optional affixes:
Gain an Endurance, Frenzy or Power charge when you Block (Shaper)
Socketed Gems have % reduced Mana Reservation (Shaper)
Recover % of your Maximum Life when you Block (Shaper)
Recover % of your Mana when you Block (Shaper)
Socketed Spells have % reduced Mana Cost (Aetheric Fossil)


A Rare can work in this slot, although without some rather strong mods, it will be lagging behind a Unique option that’s much easier to obtain. Deicide Mask for an Evasion/ES base, Bone Helmet for Armour/ES base. There’s plenty of flexibility in this slot, although one good Unique option is Crown of the Tyrant. Roll the Socket for any colors that work for you. You can drop an Aura in here, assuming you don’t have a Shaper Shield that reduces their Mana reservation, and get a nice boost to DPS.

Otherwise, just use the stats below on a crafted Rare.

90 Maximum Life
Attributes (Dexterity, Strength)
Uncapped Resistances
+ Maximum Mana
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Reduced Attribute Requirements
% Reduced Mana Reserved (Bound Fossil)
+ Maximum Life/% Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Lightning Resistance (Metallic Fossil)
+2 to Level of Socketed ?? Gems (Corruption)
% Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (Crafted)
% Chance to gain a Power Charge on Kill (Shaper)
% Chance to Block Spells (Elder)
Socketed Attacks have % to Critical Strike Chance (Elder)

Body Armor

There are several Unique options for this build, each offering slightly different options. Loreweave offers great DPS and is not too difficult to obtain, although it needs to be very well-rolled. 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. Tabula Rasa can carry you pretty far as well. Thousand Ribbons offers a solid leveling option.  Kaom’s Heart is one of the best defensive options for this build overall, although you will need Shaper/Elder rolls to make up for the lost Gem sockets. This will the ultimate expensive end-game version of this build.

Shavronne’s Wrappings is another option that offers a bit of defense and tons of DPS potential.

A well rolled Rare will likely work really well with this build as well.

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.
  • % 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.

Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
Uncapped Resistances
Attributes (Dexterity, Strength)
Optional affixes:
% Increased Maximum Life (Elder, Pristine Fossil)
Recover % of Maximum Life/ES on Kill (Elder)
+ to Level of Socketed Support Gems (Elder)
% Increased Intelligence (Shaper)
% Increased Damage (Corruption)


Abyss Belts with Life and Resistances are a good option for more difficult end-game sections and bosses. Since you’re primarily focusing on Lightning Damage, you need several rolls that synergize with that. Elemental Damage is a good start, and by adding in Life and Resistances, pretty much any Rare offers a good stopgap solution. Leather Belts are best for Life, Crystal Belts will be best for ES.

Some will opt for the very cheap Cyclopean Coil to get all the Attributes they need, while also increasing damage a bit, although for this build it’s definitely not the best option.

Min. requirements:
70 Maximum Life
Uncapped Resistances
Optional affixes:
Reduced Flask Charges Used
Increased Flask Duration
% Increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil)
% Increased Lightning Damage (Metallic Fossil)
% Increased Cast Speed/Spell Damage during any Flask Effect (Shaper)


Check here for some Unique options, most useful while leveling. These are by no means needed for the build to function, just more of a convenience if you’re trying to squeeze every bit of potential out of the optimal version.

For a Rare, opt for Fingerless Silk Gloves for the extra Spell Damage. Use the following stats as a baseline for a Rare:

Min. requirements:
+ Maximum Life/% Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)
Uncapped Resistances
Added Lightning Damage to Attacks
% Increased Energy Shield (Dense Fossil)
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Reduced Attribute Requirements
Recover % of Maximum Life/ES on Kill (Elder)
% Global Chance to Blind Enemies/Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Blind (Shaper)
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level ?? Faster Casting/% increased Cast Speed (Shaper)
% Increased Intelligence (Shaper) (ES bases)
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level ?? Arcane Surge (Aetheric Fossil) (ES bases)


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. An Armour base is best for high Life and Armour.

Skyforth is a really solid Unique option to grab even more defensive potential.

Min. requirements:
+ Maximum Life/% Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil)
30% increased Movement Speed
Any Uncapped Resistances (>25%)
% Increased Armour
Optional affixes:
% Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (Crafted)
% chance to gain an Endurance Charge on Kill (Elder)
Attributes (Dexterity/Intelligence)


A Rare can work great here, but the best Rare is one which offers some Elemental Damage scaling and Shaper mods, and it will not be cheap. Stone of Lazhwar and Atziri’s Foible are both solid leveling options here. Aul’s Uprising with the right Aura buff can offer some great defensive potential at the loss of some DPS.

A decent Rare with some of the following stats is of course another option.

Min. requirements:
50 Maximum Life
Mana Regeneration
% Increased Spell Damage
Crit Buffs
Uncapped Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chance to gain a Power, Frenzy or Endurance Charge on Kill (Shaper)
% Increased Damage per 15 Intelligence (Shaper)
Damage Penetrates % Elemental Resistances (Shaper)
% Increased Attributes (Shaper)
Increased Aura Effect (Corruption)


Rare rings will likely work best here, Opal Ring bases still offer tons of potential for Elemental Damage, so give those a shot.

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.

Le Heup of All and Berek’s Respite also offer competitive Unique options for the a Unique if you want that. Although a high-end Elder base will get a lot more mileage for this build with the right rolls. If you’re running the Elder base for Curse Enemies with Assassin’s Mark on Hit, Mark of the Shaper can offer a pretty good DPS increase.

Min. requirements:
50 Maximum Life
% Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Adds Lightning Damage
Uncapped Resistances
% Increased Cast Speed
Optional affixes:
% Increased Lightning Damage
Grants Level ?? Herald of Ice/Thunder Skill (Shaper)
Curse Enemies with Assassin’s Mark on Hit (Elder)
% Increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil)
% Increased Damage with Ailments (Corroded Fossil)
Increased Aura Effect (Corruption)


Atziri’s Promise – Great flask for DPS buffs and a bit of defense
Lavianga’s Spirit – Mana regen to help Mind over Matter, pure and simple

Other Flasks:

  1. Catalysed Divine Life Flask of Staunching
  2. Experimenter’s Sulphur Flask of Adrenaline or Alchemist’s Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
  3. Chemist’s Diamond Flask of Heat

You can swap these mods around if needed due to RNG.


Spire of Stone is a great choice here.

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 Clarity, Zealotry 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:

Recommended affixes:

  1. % Increased Maximum Life
  2. % Increased Spell Damage
  3. % Increased Attack Speed and Cast Speed
  4. % Increased Maximum Mana
  5. % Increased Mana Regeneration Rate
  6. Increased Global Critical Strike Chance
  7. % Increased Lightning Damage
  8. % Increased Shock Duration on Enemies/% chance to Shock
  9. % Increased Damage

Optional affixes:
Attributes (Dexterity/Intelligence)
Adds # to # Lightning Damage to Spells
Damage Penetrates % Lightning Resistance

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