Updated for Patch 3.21
The Best Crafty Guides by Odealo
|November 21, 2021
May 17, 2023
-Updated for Patch 3.21
|Tags: [MELEE] [ELEMENTAL] [ENERGY SHIELD]
Armour-stacking Scion is an interesting build. It gathers immense amounts of Armour, mostly from Auras, later translated into Attack Damage. Replica Dreamfeather Unique Sword will do that, at a rate of 1% increased Attack Damage per 450 Armour. The second, arguably more important part of the build is Doryani's Prototype Unique Body Armour. It renders Lightning Resistance obsolete when it comes to its original function, to protect yourself from Lightning Damage it will be required to gather Armour now - Lightning Damage is basically treated like Physical Damage. Your Lightning Resistance, however, will apply not to your character, but to nearby enemies instead, that's why having as little Lightning Resistance as possible is very important. The last significant function of this Armour is the inability to deal non-Lightning Damage. It forces you to use a short-range Melee Lightning Skill or a Skill whose damage can be converted to Lightning. Smite and Wild Strike are the best candidates here, both are quite similar, but we will stick to Smite due to the Aura it provides. Smite's Aura increases your Lightning Damage which is especially beneficial since you're using multiple auras with their effect magnified many times over, this includes Smite's Aura.
As mentioned, the build relies on Auras to gain more Amour, it's actually the most important part of the build to increase the effect of your Auras, It will require 3 or 4 Large Cluster Jewels and the Small ones put in each outer socket - that is 6 or 8 Small Cluster Jewels with Introspection Notable. You will use Determination and Grace with Iron Reflexes and the Defiance Banner, it should result in up to 1kk Armour. March of the Legion Unique Boots is where you will socket the Grace Aura. The boots were changed a bit in recent times to implement the Divine Blessing Aura, basically increasing the effect of one (socketed there) Aura, but limiting its duration, so that it will have to be activated every 20 or so seconds. Grace grants more Armour than Determination would in this configuration.
Smite is a short-range Elemental Strike Attack that should have a somewhat high Critical Strike Chance, for that use Precision; if your Crit. Chance is low, allocate Elemental Overload Keystone. You should also have Wrath boost your Damage. You will use Chaos Inoculation Keystone that makes you immune to Chaos Damage so you're forced to rely on Energy Shield only, around 3 to 7k depending on your gear. To lower the Lightning Resistance the build uses Melding of the Flesh. It serves its intended purpose - to gain increased Maximum Elemental Resistances, but the downside is actually beneficial too. From this point on you can choose between reaching 90% or Fire and Cold Resistance by picking Aegis Aurora Shield, or gaining simply more damage by equipping a second Replica Dreamfeather Sword.
You can also check our other Path of Exile builds right over here Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List
It's a very simple gameplay-wise build, use your Smite to attack enemies, Ancestral Totems to boost your damage, Molten Shell as a Guard Spell, Leap Slam as a Movement Attack, and most importantly - you will have to constantly enable your four Blessed Aura socketed in March of the Legion, the rest of the Auras stays on at all times. Your Curse can be applied by finding a Gloves' Corruped Implicit such as "Curse enemies with Elemental Weakness on Hit" or by Ring Affix. Support your Smite with Ancestral Call Support to have a bearable clear speed.
Full gameplay video:
Leveling Scion build such as this is especially difficult, the late-game Skill Tree focuses mostly on outer Sockets and Aura Clusters, and you can't level like that. Additionally, it's a Chaos Inoculation build, but you have to begin leveling with Life instead of ES, and later transition to Energy Shield. Your best option is to start with Smite Skill and link it with Ancestral Call, then focus on Attack Damage and Maximum Life. After you've allocated around 70 to 90 Passives, switch to CI and Energy Shield by respecing a lot of previously needed Life Passives. Replica Dreamfeather requires level 66, Doryani's Prototype - 67, and March of the Legion - 58. It's impossible to play the intended way without these three.
Suggested leveling Gem setups:
|Smite - you can safely start with Smite, it's a good leveling Skill that's great with Ancestral Call
|Ancestral Call Support - allows you to target more enemies, it significantly speeds up the leveling process
|Melee Physical Damage Support - increases Melee Physical Damage of Smite Skill
|Inspiration Support - more Crit Chance and Elemental Damage while the cost of Skill gets lower
|Wrath - Wrath increases the Lightning Damage you deal with Smite significantly
|Purity of Elements - Grants immunity to Elemental Ailments and tons of Resistances
|Precision - higher Accuracy Rating and Crit Chance, you can keep it at a low level if you don't have high Mana Reservation Efficiency yet
|Curses and Leap Slam setup
|Frostbite - This Curse lowers the Cold Resistance
|Leap Slam - your main mobility Skill that you will use through the rest of the game
Kill all three bandits and be rewarded with two additional Skill Points
Leveling Skill Trees:
35 Points Passive Tree
Get some Maximum Life, Physical Damage nodes, and Iron Reflexes
78 Points Passive Tree
Start allocating Mana Efficiency and Aura Clusters, get more Maximum Life, and Damage
Recommended leveling items:
|Le Heup of All - more Damage, Attributes, and Elemental Resistances
|Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Damage
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
|Goldrim - it grants a lot of Resistances, which are important at all stages of the game
|+(30-50) to Evasion Rating
10% increased Rarity of Items found
+(30-40)% to all Elemental Resistances
Reflects 4 Physical Damage to Melee Attackers
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
|Tabula Rasa - The best leveling item in the game, allows you to link any 6 gems
|Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
|Meginord's Girdle - it's cheap and you can equip it very early on, it boosts your Attacks and Life
|+(25-35) to Strength
+25 to Strength
Adds 10 to 20 Physical Damage to Attacks
10% increased maximum Life
+(10-20)% to Cold Resistance
25% increased Flask Life Recovery rate
|Terminus Est - One of the best two-handed Swords for Leveling, all its stats are great for nearly any Attack builds
|+360 to Accuracy Rating
(180-220)% increased Physical Damage
20% increased Attack Speed
(50-75)% increased Critical Strike Chance
+10 Mana gained on Kill
10% increased Movement Speed
Gain a Frenzy Charge on Critical Strike
Final Skill Tree:
Preferably in that order:
Major God: Soul of The Brine King: 1% You cannot be Stunned if you've been Stunned or Blocked a Stunning Hit in the past 2 seconds
Minor God: Soul of Tukohama: While stationary, gain 3% additional Physical Damage Reduction every second, up to a maximum of 9%
|[DPS] Smite setup
|Smite - With this Strike, you Hit twice - once with an Attack and then with lightning that deals area damage near the target's location, but one enemy can't be hit by both unless you can target more than one opponent. Use one with Phantasmal Quality for more Attack Speed.
|Elemental Focus Support - Elemental Focus grants more Elemental Damage, but keep in mind you won't be able to Shock
|Ancestral Call Support - Strike skills target additional enemies, heavily recommended even for boss fights since you can strike them with the lightning component of the Attack for more damage
|Multistrike Support - you repeat the attack with increased Attack Speed and deal more damage as the result
|Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - Attack Skills deal more Elemental Damage
|Damage on Full Life Support - With Chaos Inoculation you are always on Full Life making it a good choice
|[UTILITY] Blessed temporary Aura setup
socketed in March of the Legion
|Grace - grants you Evasion Rating which is converted into Armour
|Empower Support - increases Level of Grace which results in more Armour
|Inspiration Support - Use the Divergent version to lessen the Mana Cost. It's its only role in this setup
|Increased Duration Support - Grace lasts longer
|Support Gems Granted by Item:
|Divine Blessing Support - Grace is a temporary Aura which has to be turned on every 20 or so seconds. It greatly increases the effectiveness of linked Aura. You can only have one such Aura at a time.
|[UTILITY] Auras setup
preferably socketed in an item with +2 Level of socketed Aura Gems
|Wrath - adds additional Lightning Damage to your Attacks
|Discipline - you gain more Energy Shield and increased ES recharge rate
|Determination - increases and adds more Armour which is very important. It has to be Divergent for even more Armour.
|Enlighten Support - increases Mana Reservation Efficiency for linked Auras
|[UTILITY] Mana-reserving setup
|Purity of Ice - increases your Cold Resistance, with Melding of the Flesh and Aegis Aurora it can easily grant 90% to Cold and Fire Resistance.
|Vaal Haste - Use only the Vaal component of the Vaal Haste Skill, unless you have enough Mana to have it up at all times. It grants Attack and Movement Speed.
|Tempest Shield - enabling it grants you immunity to Shock and Chance to Block Spell Damage, it's great when combined with Aegis Aurora. If your Clarity, Vitality, or Precision reserve more Mana, put it here instead.
|[UTILITY] other Mana-reserving Skills
|Vitality - Vitality regenerates your Life, with Zealot's Oath it regenerates your ES
|Clarity - it's the least important Aura so keep it at a low level, it helps to regenerate Mana faster
|Precision - prioritize the gem level of Precision over Vitality and Clarity to increase your Accuracy Rating and Critical Strike Chance
|Defiance Banner - It increases your Armour and Evasion Rating while reducing enemies' Critical Strike Chance
|[UTILITY] various Gems
|Ancestral Protector - it grants you more Attacks Speed for as long as it stays active. Use Phantasmal version
|Vaal Ancestral Warchief - it grants you more Melee Damage for as long as it stays active. Use the Vaal version for +1 to maximum number of Summoned Totems.
|[UTILITY] Molten Shell
|Molten Shell - a Guard Spell that's more effective the more Armour you have which is especially good for this Armour-stacking build
|Berserk - If you have the Forbidden Jewels which grants you Berserker Keystone, you should also use the Berserk Skill. It grants you a lot of Attack Speed, Movement Speed, Damage, and reduces damage taken for a short time.
|[MOBILITY] Leap Slam
|Leap Slam - use it to jump over obstacles and to increase your mobility
Build Requires specific Unique items, and it additionally heavily relies on Flasks to increase your Damage and Surviavbilty - use Evasion and Armour Flasks and aim for at least half a million Armour while these are active. To never run out of Flask Charges have a way to constantly gain these Charges back with items or Flask mods - Flagellant's Prefix is the best one here, for Suffixes get "of the Armadillo" for Armour and "of the Impala" for Evasion. Cluster Jewels are crucial as you can get increased Aura Effect, and Mana Reservation Efficiency on just one well-rolled Small Cluster Jewel, multiply it by eight and it adds up to an 80% increased Aura Effect and 48% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency just from these, additional sources are found on Skill Tree and gear. Look for Armour, and Evasion Rating that is transformed into Armour after allocating Iron Reflex. You won't need any Lightning Resistance, it's highly undesirable. The more significant portion of your Armour won't actually come from gear but from Auras. Seek Elemental or Cold Damage with Attacks, Critical Strike Chance, and Attack Speed for more Damage. Energy Shield is used for a bigger "Life" Pool. Grace requires you to get 155 Dexterity which you will need to look for, Strength and Intelligence should be easily covered by your Skill Tree. To reduce Mana Cost of Grace you will need a Flask with crafted "25% Reduced Mana Cost of Skills during Effect". Increase its effect with Enkindling Orb if needed.
Our recommended items will:
Stat priorities on items:
|(Helmet) Rare Helmet - use a Rare Helmet with increased Mana Reservation Efficiency and Energy Shield, additionally seek Armour, Evasion Rating, and Elemental Resistances. It's one of the very few Rare Gear pieces. Use the Eldritch Orbs for increased mana Reservation Efficiency.
10% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
+40 to maximum Energy Shield
increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
increased level of socketed AoE Gems
|(Helmet) Alpha's Howl - a budget option that's still useful since it synergizes good with Auras and offers some defences
|+2 to Level of Socketed Aura Gems
(80-100)% increased Evasion Rating
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
25% chance to Avoid being Chilled
Cannot be Frozen
16% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Smite enchantment mods
|(Weapon) Replica Dreamfeather - An obligatory item, it's the core of the build as it increases your Damage with Armour allowing you to reach very high DPS
|+475 to Accuracy Rating
Adds (40-65) to (70-100) Physical Damage
(5-10)% increased Attack Speed
+(180-200) to Armour
3% reduced Movement Speed
+(280-300) to Accuracy Rating
1% increased Attack Damage per 450 Armour
|(Off-hand) Aegis Aurora - it's a very important item for survivability, as you block it Replenishes 2% of Armour as ES, at 500 000 Armour it's 10 000 ES on Block - more than you will ever have; Replenish means instant recovery
|(300-400)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+10% to all Elemental Resistances
+5% to maximum Cold Resistance
+6% Chance to Block
Replenishes Energy Shield by 2% of Armour when you Block
(10-20)% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
|(Body Armour) Doryani's Prototype - It fits this build perfectly. With your own Lightning Resistance low, your opponents will be vastly more vulnerable.
|(150-200)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(60-90) to maximum Life
Deal no Non-Lightning Damage
Armour also applies to Lightning Damage taken from Hits
Lightning Resistance does not affect Lightning Damage taken
Nearby Enemies have Lightning Resistance equal to yours
|(Boots) March of the Legion - mandatory Unique, it allows you to have one of your Auras temporary but significantly boosted. It's Grace in our case.
|+(3-5) to Level of Socketed Aura Gems
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 25 Divine Blessing
(250-300)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(12-18)% to all Elemental Resistances
(20-30)% increased Movement Speed
|(Gloves) Shaper's Touch - your goal is not to stack the attributes, but your Intelligence is going to be high anyway, increasing your Evasion which increases your Armour, it's also a great source of Energy Shield and Damage
|(80-120)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+4 Accuracy Rating per 2 Intelligence
+1 Life per 4 Dexterity
+1 Mana per 4 Strength
1% increased Energy Shield per 10 Strength
2% increased Evasion Rating per 10 Intelligence
2% increased Melee Physical Damage per 10 Dexterity
|(Belt) Rare Belt - Rare Crystal belt offers a lot of Energy Shield, but a Stygian Vise is a great option too, focus on Energy Shield and missing stats.
+40 to maximum Energy Shield
30% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
|(Belt) String of Servitude - one of the most popular choices, this belt can increase Aura Effect, and then Triple this effect - look for "Grace has increased Aura Effect", all the other mods are mediocre at best
|< 1 to 2 Random corrupted implicit modifiers>
Implicit Modifier magnitudes are tripled
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
|(Belt) Mageblood - it's one of the most useful-for-all-purposes Belts and one of the most expensive Unique items in the game, but it's especially good for this build as you rely on your Flasks heavily - if you run out of charges you're doomed.
|+(25-35) to Strength
+(30-50) to Dexterity
+(15-25)% to Fire Resistance
+(15-25)% to Cold Resistance
Magic Utility Flasks cannot be Used
Leftmost (2-4) Magic Utility Flasks constantly apply their Flask Effects to you
Magic Utility Flask Effects cannot be removed
|(Amulet) Ashes of the Stars - Ashes of the Stars is a good Amulet, use it to enhance the overall effectiveness of all your skills and for Mana Reservation Efficiency. A Rare Amulet with these stats will do as well.
|+(10-16) to all Attributes
(5-10)% increased Experience Gain of Gems
(10-20)% increased Reservation Efficiency of Skills
+1 to Level of all Skill Gems
+(20-30)% to Quality of all Skill Gems
|(Ring) Rare Rings - Rings are very important rare items, you want to gather as much Cold and Fire Resistance, get the missing Attributes, and lower the Mana Cost of Skills - that's their primary role. Synthesised Rings can also increase the effectiveness of specific Auras like Grace and Determination, or straight up increase your Armour, which is absurdly expensive, but desirable.
+45% to Cold Resistance
+45% to Fire Resistance
Adds # Lightning Damage to Attacks
Maximum Energy Shield
Non-Channelling Skills have -# to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
|(Jewel) Thread of Hope - you can use a lot of Thread of Hope Jewels to lower your Lightning Resistance, which we recommend. For the setups check the PoB link above, in section 4.
|Only affects Passives in Large Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
|(Jewel) Conqueror's Potency - increased Flasks Effect and Auras Effect are highly desirable stats
|4% increased Effect of your Curses
Flasks applied to you have 8% increased Effect
3% increased effect of Non-Curse Auras from your Skills
|(Jewel) Melding of the Flesh - Very important Item, used to lower Lightning Resistance and to gain more Maximum Elemental Resistances.
|-(80-70)% to all Elemental Resistances
Elemental Resistances are capped by your highest Maximum Elemental Resistance instead
-(6-4)% to all maximum Elemental Resistances
|(Jewel) Forbidden Flame & Forbidden Flesh - Berserker is what you're looking for on your Forbidden Jewels. It grants more damage, generates Rage, and makes you take slightly more damage.
|Allocates <<Random Ascendancy Notable>> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flesh
Allocates <<Random Ascendancy Notable>> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flame
|(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - You're using Vitality, Clarity, Precision, Wrath, Grace, Determination, Discipline, Haste, and Purity of Ice. That's a lot of potential mods to seek here. You can look for the Wrath's Damage conversion if you don't have it. Armour while affected by Determination is also good.
|(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
|(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - Scintillating Idea and Storm Drinker are the best Notables here, it's more important to get a low number of Passive Skills than to look for useful third Notable - that's why Voices are always a better pick. You will need three or four of these.
1 Added Passive Skill is Scintillating Idea
1 Added Passive Skill is Storm Drinker
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
|(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewels - Six to eight Small Cluster Jewels with one small passive node and Introspection Notable are what you're looking for. These can also grant the missing Resistances and Attributes. Each small node should grant a 6% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills.
1 Added Passive Skill is Introspection
|(Jewel) Voices - it's very hard to afford Voices with few empty passive nodes, but as a luxury upgrade it will serve you well
|Adds 3 Jewel Socket Passive Skills
<Random empty passive skill node mod>
|(Flask) Bottled Faith - It's used simply for more Damage and consecrated ground on use, which has its own inherent benefits like the reduced effect of Curses.
|40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-15)% reduced Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
(100-150)% increased Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Flask effect
If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below. We are always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.
Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Grinding Gear Games.