BalorMage’s Explosive Arrow Totems Heirophant
This is a more advanced build than the other builds currently on this website. If this is only your first or second league playing PoE and you are not overly experienced, I would not suggest starting with this build (but make sure to take a look at the other guides available). It involves respeccing and changing playstyles during the levelling process – but is otherwise fantastic for slightly more experienced players. If you’re a seasoned player and just want the POB link, you can find it below, but you’ll want to make sure you understand how the build works first; it isn’t your run-of-the-mill totem build.
This build is capable of all content, including all bosses with minimal investment, and is able to clear T16 maps on nothing more than a Tabula Rasa and around 10c worth of other unique items. All maps mods can be run (with room to swap flasks around for no regen etc).
It is fast, tanky, and thoroughly enjoyable to play. Further investment will allow it to push deep into the end game for a total cost of 10 to 20 exalts. See the advanced section at the end for details on how to push the build further.
How does it work?
Explosive Arrow is a projectile attack skill, with an interesting mechanic. Every time a mob is hit it will leave a fuse behind with a 1 second cooldown (do NOT get quality on EA unless it’s a divergent version). Multiple hits will stack the fuses together, and when either 1 second expires or 20 fuses are reached, a large explosion occurs (the radius of this explosion increases per fuse, maxing out once 12 fuses are reached). This build focuses around causing these explosions as many times per second as possible, by utilizing 8 totems and stacking as many arrows as we can. Totems go Brrrrt!
Important: Any sort of projectile modification can potentially ruin the damage output. This is because EA will only leave a fuse in the last mob hit, and not every mob. Therefore sources of Chain, Fork, Pierce, and Split are all BAD and should NOT be used whatsoever.
Important: This build uses Elemental Equilibrium and you must be incredibly careful to NOT have added Fire Damage to attacks on any pieces of gear. We do, however, want added cold or lighting damage somewhere. This will apply to the arrows (which do barely any damage) and will make the target weak to fire – perfect for the explosion damage. The explosion will then flip the enemy to being resistant to fire… right until the next arrow hits, an instant later.
Important: We will be levelling this build as Spells until such time that we can acquire all the gems needed at level 28. Attempting to level this as totems until that point will likely feel quite horrible.
How do you play it?
This build will require a little adjustment to get used to. Despite appearances, especially with the 1 second fuse, this build is actually a fast mapper. You need to adopt a ‘cool guys don’t look at explosions’ mindset and just trust that the totems are killing behind you. 3-4 totems per room/pack is more then enough. A good loot filter (click here for Balor’s filters) will let you know whenever something good has dropped via sound; otherwise you can continue zooming through the maps. As for bosses, well, see for yourself
Some quick snippets of Balor running this build for the first time:
- In an Awakening level 6 Atlas, with a 4-link Tabula Rasa setup at level 65: Click here
- Same character, same level, in a T7 and still in a 4-link : Click here
- T11, same setup, to push the build to its limit on a league start setup: Click here
- Sirus 6 fight, in the end game gear at lvl 94 (with a little bit of gear removed because it was supposed to be Sirus8.) Oops.
- Catarina Fight in end game gear but without chainbreaker (due to the 3.14 nerf). She didnt stand a chance.
v1.01 – 15/04/2021
- 3.14 Tree finalized to make room for flesh and stone mana reserve increasing, -mana cost crafting change, and the loss of chainbreaker.
v1.0 – 14/04/2021
- Guide created
Passive Tree, Ascendancy & Pantheon
Level 90 Tree
Link to tree (Use POB instead though)
- Normal Lab: Pursuit of Faith
- Cruel Lab: Conviction of Power
- Merciless Lab: Ritual of Awakening
- Eternal Lab: Divine Guidance
- (Uber lab is very optional here)
Major – Soul of the Brine King
Minor – Soul of Shakari
Explosive Arrow – Levelling and early end game
Explosive Arrow –Ballista Totem Support – Barrage Support – Elemental Damage with Attacks – Combustion Support
with any of these as a 6th link:
Hypothermia | Fire Penetration | Point Blank | Damage on Full Life
Explosive Arrow (crafted End Game bow)
Explosive Arrow –Ballista Totem Support – Barrage Support – Elemental Damage with Attacks – Combustion Support – Empower
4 Link: Frenzy and curse
Frenzy – Greater Multiple Projectiles – Flammability – Hextouch Support
Other skill gems (any link):
Precision | Skitterbots | Cast when Damage Taken (lvl 4) + Molten Shell (lvl 12)
Dash + Second Wind
Flesh and Stone
Gear, Flasks and Jewels
This build uses a lot of cheap uniques all the way to its final form, providing a very smooth gearing progression. Each can be purchased as you see fit, as each will bring a noticeable change to the build as you equip them.
There is a steep dexterity requirement and you may need to take the 30 dex nodes on the tree that the pathing will pass depending on gear.
Essential Shopping List:
Your first priority should be a Quill Rain which does not need to be linked.
Skirmish Quiver (point blank or additional arrow corruption is a win)
Refer to the POB for remaining gear.
End game will eventually require a switch to a crafted 6L bow which will be the hardest item to obtain. A guide on crafting a basic version can be found at the bottom of this guide.
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
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.
*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:
Secondary jewel stats: