Ball Lightning Mines

BalorMage’s Ball Lightning/Arc Mines Saboteur


This is a zero budget, league start and hardcore viable build guide designed for all players veteran and new. If you’re a seasoned player and just want the POB link, you can find it below. If you require a more detailed guide then read on!


v2.0 – 16 June 2020

  • Updated tree and PoB for 3.11 (Harvest)

v1.01 – 13 March 2020

  • No changes, good to go for 3.10

v1.0 – 11 December 2019

  • Guide Published


The written portion of this build guide is designed for new players who feel like they need some hand holding. As such some things that veteran players and experienced racers might do in the early levels have been left out as to not be too complicated. That being said, this should still be a smooth and quick leveling experience.

Please note that with the buffs to Arc this league, I have added Arc is as an alternative to Ball Lightning. Nothing else in the build, aside from one support gem changes as the scaling of both skills are identical. Instead of Slower Projectiles, you would use Added Cold Damage Support. Please test Arc and Ball Lightning yourself to see what one you prefer, as at this point they are both fantastic and it is personal preference.

Path of Building

Not sure how to use Path of Building, or what it is? Engineering Eternity has a brilliant guide that you can check out here

Pastebin Import:

Passive Tree, Ascendancy & Pantheon

Level 90 Tree


  • Normal Lab: Born in the Shadows
  • Cruel Lab: Pyromaniac
  • Merciless Lab: Bomb Specialist
  • Eternal Lab: Explosive Expert


Major – Soul of the Brine King
Upgrading all of this pantheon is a low priority, as the most important part is given to you by default.
Minor – Soul of Shakari
Capture Terror of the Infinite Drifts

Gem Setup

Main Skill: Ball Lightning / Arc

Ball Lightning/ArcBlastchain Mine Support Inspiration SupportSwift Assembly SupportControlled Destruction SupportSlower Projectiles Support(for ball lightning)/Added Cold Damage Support (for arc)

4 Link: Orb of Storms

Orb of StormsInspiration Support Controlled Destruction SupportElemental Focus Support


Prior to ‘trigger socketed spell’ weapon:

Curse On Hit SupportWave of Conviction (Level 1)*Elemental WeaknessPhysical to Lightning Support

In trigger socketed spell weapon:

Wave of Conviction (Level 1)*Elemental WeaknessPhysical to Lightning Support

*Ensure that you do not level up your Wave of Conviction so that you can still do elemental reflect maps – we want the exposure debuff.

Movement (these can be in a single 4 link, or 2 separate 2 links)

Smoke MineIncreased Duration Support

Flame DashArcane Surge Support


Zealotry / Summon Skitterbots

Gear, Flasks and Jewels


All of the gear on this character can be rare, with simple focus on life and resists. This gives us a very easy time gearing, there are two modifiers that will make the build feel better:

‘% increased Mine Throwing Speed’ can be crafted as a suffix on helmets and amulets.

‘Trigger a Socketed Spell when you Use a Skill’ can be crafted as a suffix on your weapon. This makes cursing and wave of conviction cast automatically.


  • Seething/Bubbling Divine Life Flask
  • Alchemist’s Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline  (This is for speedy speed)
  • Granite Flask
  • Diamond Flask
  • Enduring Mana Flask

On these flasks, we will need to roll some affixes when we reach maps.  It doesn’t matter which of the last three flasks has which affix, as long as all three affixes are covered.  
-Staunching, for bleed
-Warding, for curses
-Heat, for freeze
-Enduring Mana Flask

This combination will mean you cannot bleed, be frozen, or be cursed while your flasks are active. This is very helpful and strong, especially with certain map modifiers.

The enduring mana flask is very important as it makes sure you can keep spamming your mines forever without having to invest in mana or mana recovery at all.

*Note* The Quicksilver Flask could also have any of these suffixes initially if you are okay moving through maps a little more slowly. This is just the ideal setup; what’s really important is you have the Enduring mana, Staunching, Heat, and Warding on utility flasks by the time you enter maps – in that order


Primary jewel stats:

  • Life
  • Flat spell damage
  • Penetration
  • Any missing resists

Secondary jewel stats:

  • Increased Damage
  • Spell Damage
  • Lighting damage
  • Elemental damage


There are some good general leveling guides that can be found here for specifics on how to get through the acts: 

Got GemSourceQuest
Stormblast Mine Reward Enemy at the Gate
Swift Assembly Support NessaMercy Mission
Arcane Surge Support NessaMercy Mission
Orb of Storms RewardBreaking Some Eggs
Frostblink Nessa Breaking Some Eggs
Added Cold Damage Support Reward The Caged Brute
Flame Dash Nessa The Caged Brute
Blastchain Mine Support NessaThe Caged Brute
ArcReward The Siren’s Cadence

After killing Hillock, choose Stormblast Mine as your quest reward.

Check Tarkleigh for movement speed boots (you can use the search function at the bottom right of the trade window with Ctrl+F and type “move” to search his inventory quickly – this will highlight anything with movement speed).

As we move through the first act, keep an eye out for 3-links dropped on the ground (or from the vendors in town) with the colours Blue, Blue, Green. These links can be in any gear slot, though we try to avoid wearing body armour if possible for the first few acts (for speed), and we do prioritise movement speed on boots ahead of sockets or links.

After completing the quest ‘Breaking Some Eggs’, return to town at the next way point and pick up Frost Blink as your quest reward. Also buy Orb of Storms from Nessa. This is now when you should go to Tidal Island and fetch Nessa’s Medicine Chest; receiving a Quicksilver Flask as the quest reward, and also buying Swift Assembly Support to link with Stormblast Mine.

From here on (and forever more) you should cast Orb of Storms during tough single target fights. Using a lightning skill (such as Stormblast Mine) while standing in Orb of Storms will proc the Orb of Storms damage again for each mine throw – and our mine throwing speed will become quite fast quite quickly, so this greatly increases our single target damage.

Once you’ve killed Brutus, select Flame Dash as your quest reward. Don’t forget to left click Flame Dash on your bar and set it to ‘always attack without moving

Complete the passive point quest ‘The Marooned Mariner’ (in the Ship Graveyard). Grab the way point in the Cavern of Wrath and return to town to pick up Arc as your reward. You should now change from Stormblast Mine to Arc mines as soon as you have a BBG 3-link available (which you should have by now). Our links should now be:

  • ArcBlastchain Mine SupportSwift Assembly Support

NOTE: If you happen across a 4-link by this point, then Added Cold Damage Support or Added Lightning Damage Support will do very well as the fourth link for now, which you can then replace with Controlled Destruction Support later.

  • Orb of StormsAdded Cold Damage Support – and/or – Added Lightning Damage Support

Either support is fine, and of course use both if you have been lucky enough to find a second 3-link with these colours.

Towards the end of this act, you should attempt to use a vendor recipe to craft 2 wands with an ‘Adds x to x Lightning/Fire/Cold Damage to Spells‘ affix.

Sell the following items to a vendor for each wand:

  • 1x Magic Wand
  • 1 of the following:
    • Ruby Ring (for Fire Damage) or 
    • Topaz Ring (for Lightning Damage) or 
    • Sapphire Ring (for Cold Damage)
  • 1x Orb of Alteration
Skill tree at the end of Act 1
Elemental Focus SupportRewardSharp and Cruel
Controlled Destruction SupportYeenaSharp and Cruel
Summon SkitterbotsRewardIntruders in Black
Herald of ThunderYeenaIntruders in Black

In this build we Help Alira for critical strike multiplier and elemental resistance. If you wish to in late maps (tier 10 and above) you can change this reward to 2 passives, but I don’t normally find it worth it.

Once you’ve completed ‘Intruders in Black’ (in the Chamber of Sins), Gruest will reward you with Summon Skitterbots. This gem can go anywhere in your gear and does not need to be linked to any supports. You should also buy a Herald of Thunder. We will use this for now until we have a large enough mana pool to swap it out for Zealotry. (This could happen anytime between acts 3 and 6 depending on your gear, so once you have access to Zealotry you should test whether you can swap it for Herald of Thunder every now and then.)

Once you complete the quest ‘Sharp and Cruel’, choose Elemental Focus Support as your reward and link that with Orb of Storms. This can replace either of the added damage supports if you have a 3-link for this skill. Also purchase Controlled Destruction Support and place it in a spare socket to start leveling it for later.

Ideally by the end of this act we have two separate 3-links for our damage abilities, along with our two mana reservation skills and our movement skill:

  • Orb of StormsElemental Focus Support Added Lightning Damage Support
  • Arc Blastchain Mine SupportSwift Assembly Support
  • Summon Skitterbots / Herald of Thunder / Flame Dash
Skill tree at the end of Act 2
Ball LightningRewardSever the Right Hand
ZealotryVendorLost in Love
Elemental WeaknessVendorLost in Love

Once you complete the quest ‘Lost in Love’, buy a Zealotry gem. While you’re at Clarissa, also take the opportunity to purchase Elemental Weakness

Kill General Gravicius and complete ‘Sever the Right Hand’ to receive Ball Lightning. From this point on you can use either Ball Lightning or Arc in your mines – so test out both and see which one you like better!

Zealotry will eventually replace Herald of Thunder, but you may not have enough mana available to use it right away. A good indication of whether or not you can swap is if you have Zealotry and Skitterbots active and can throw the maximum amount of mines on the ground without running out of mana.

Another important item to have is an Enduring Mana Flask. The Enduring prefix means that the effects of this flask will not be removed at full mana.

Elemental Weakness should only be needed for bosses and other tanky single target monsters.

Skill tree at the end of Act 3

There are no new skills to pick up in this act, so continue with your current setup. One thing to note though is that Doedre Darktongue (one of the mini-bosses before Malachai) has a skill that causes her to consume curses she is affected by to buff herself. If you find that you’re struggling with her, simply don’t curse her.

Complete your Normal Labyrinth and ascend to Saboteur before moving on. Start with the Born in the Shadows nodes.

Skill tree at the end of Act 4

The main thing to mention in this act is to start looking out for gear pieces that are 4-linked with the colours that we want. For now, those 4-links are:

  • 1x B B B R
  • 1x B B R G
  • 1x B B B B (Note this is the lowest priority and not required until mid tier map, as it will be our curse on hit setup.)

The skill tree has also shuffled around a few points in the Clever Construction mine and trap wheel on the far right. You should have a few respec points available by now, so spend three points as you level on the crit nodes and then respec the two that we no longer take around the bottom.

Skill tree at the end of Act 5
Inspiration Support x2Lily Fallen from Grace
Wave of Conviction (level 1, keep it there)Lily Fallen from Grace
Physical to Lightning SupportLily Fallen from Grace
Curse On Hit SupportLily Fallen from Grace

After you complete the quest ‘Fallen from Grace’ , Lily Roth sells all skill gems (apart from the few drop only gems).

Buy 2x Inspiration Support, – if you do not have the links to use these yet, then just start leveling them in any empty sockets.

The ideal links to have by the end of this act are:

Arc or Ball LightningBlastchain Mine SupportSwift Assembly SupportInspiration Support

Orb of StormsElemental Focus SupportControlled Destruction SupportInspiration Support

Note: The links below are not important to have right now, but if you happen to get lucky and find a third 4-link then you could start using this too. You do not need to go out of your way to get an item to fit this in though.

Curse On Hit SupportWave of Conviction (Level 1)Elemental WeaknessPhysical to Lightning Support

Skill tree at the end of Act 6

Nothing changes in act 7. Keep an eye out for linked gear with the right colours if you are missing any.

Skill tree at the end of Act 7

Nothing changes here, again pick up any left over socket links you’re missing and start looking out for decent life/res gear as we move closer to maps.

Do your Cruel Labyrinth at some point during this act, and choose the Pyromaniac ascendancy nodes.

Skill tree at the end of Act 8

Again, no changes at this point. If you have managed to find a 5-link chest by this point, then add in either Added Cold Damage Support or Controlled Destruction Support to the Arc/Ball Lightning set up (depending on the available fifth socket colour).

A 4-link is more than enough to start maps on, however, so don’t worry if you don’t find a 5-link just yet.

Skill tree at the end of Act 9

This is our last chance to fix up resistances, so keep an eye out for more gear – particularly jewellery. Important stats are:

  • higher movement speed boots
  • elemental resistances
  • life
Skill tree at the end of Act 10

Complete your Merciless Labyrinth and choose the Bomb Specialist nodes before killing Kitava.

Make sure to check and fix your resistances, then proceed to maps and the end game story line! You should be fine to make it through early maps on a 4-link – your goal will be to progress to a 6-linked chest. You can do reflect maps, just don’t cast Orb of Storms (and if you have the Curse on Hit set up, make sure that the Wave of Conviction gem remains at level 1).

End game tree


Coming soon