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Artillery Ballista Raider Build

Artillery Ballista Raider Build

A simple Artillery Ballista Build for a Raider that deals mixed Elemental Damage

Artillery Ballista
Raider Build

Updated for Patch 3.20

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Guide notes
January 26, 2023
-Build created
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Artillery Ballista is an interesting mix of Totem and Bow playstyle, where you place a Ballista Totem to deliver damage via an Attack, the damage of which is sourced from your Bow. Artillery Ballista has some unique properties. It converts all your Physical Damage to Fire, and it fires Arrows by launching them into the air first, much like with the Arrow Nova Support. There are quite a few tools to assist you with this archetype, like Watchtowers or Panopticon Notables, and unique Quivers or Helmets. You will fire more Arrows than by using an Attack yourself due to the extra Arrows that the Artillery Ballista skill inherently fires, and because of the multiple Totems you will be able to summon at once - 6 or more.

We've picked the Raider Class with Avatar of the Slaughter and Avatar of the Veil to increase the effectiveness of Frenzy Charges, much more Spell Suppression, Phasing, a 50% chance to avoid Elemental Ailments, and a permanent and extremely potent Elemental Exposure inflicted on nearby enemies. The type of Damage dealt is tied to your Bow, and due to the built-in conversion, you will definitely deal no Physical Damage. We recommend a bow with a lot of added Elemental Damage of all kinds - Fire, Cold, and Lightning. The build has a medium amount of Armour, a lot of Evasion Rating, and Spell Suppression, all on top of over 4k of Maximum Life. It's quite durable due to the Totem playstyle - you don't have to constantly engage with enemies and keep a healthy distance from them.

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1. Gameplay

Use Artillery Ballista to deal Damage, they will aim automatically at the enemies. The other supplementary Bow skill will be Frenzy and Ensnaring Arrow - to generate Frenzy and Power Charges and to Ensnare enemies. For a Curse use Sniper's Mark, For a Guard Spell - Molten Shell or Steelskin. Blink Arrow, Dash, or Flame Dash are good mobility skills. For Auras use Determination, Grace, and Defiance Banner for more Armour and Evasion. Precision will increase Accuracy and Critical Strike Chance.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • solid damage due to multiple ballista totems firing tons of arrows
  • extremely cheap, doesn't need any expensive rare or unique items
  • quite tanky - has average defenses and uses totems
  • A good bow and other high-end items can get expensive
  • Ballistas take a bit of time to deploy, fire, and kill an enemy


3. Leveling tips

A compelling leveling guide for this build can be found here: Ranger Leveling Guide with Bows/DoT. It's a guide that focuses on Damage over Time, not Hit Damage, but we will alter it here so that you won't need to respec a lot of points later.


Kill all three bandits and be rewarded with two additional Skill Points


Leveling Skill Trees:

25 Points Passive Tree
Allocate Maximum Life, Bow and Projectile Damage nodes, and Charisma after entering act 2.

67 Points Passive Tree
Pick some more Maximum Life, allocate the big Bow Cluster, Maximum Frenzy Charges, and Elemental Damage. We've not selected any DOT nodes so far, so you can keep using a Hit-focused Elemental Bow Skill such as Ice Shot or Lightning Arrow.

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

120 Points Final Passive Tree (doesn't include Jewels)
120 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Way of the Poacher
  2. Avatar of the Slaughter
  3. Quartz Infusion
  4. Avatar of the Veil


Major God: Soul of Lunaris: 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%; 1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%

Minor God: Soul of Ralakesh: Moving while Bleeding doesn't cause you to take extra Damage; 25% reduced Physical Damage over Time Damage taken while moving


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Artillery Ballista setup
Artillery Ballista Artillery Ballista - Fires multiple Arrows that later land in a line dealing area damage. It converts all Physical Damage to Fire. Increasing the Gem Level to 22 allows you to summon an extra Totem. Consider the Divergent version for more Projectiles.
Inspiration Inspiration Support - Lowers the Mana Cost, increases Elemental Damage, and Critical Strike Chance. If your Critical Strike Chance is already high, and your Mana Cost is already low, use Trinity Support Trinity Support (given you can generate Resonance Stacks).
Elemental Damage with Attacks Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - Increases Elemental Damage with Attacks, you won't deal any other type of damage.
Increased Critical Damage Increased Critical Damage Support - Critical Strike Multiplier is increased, it's good only if you have a fairly high Critical Strike Chance. If that's not the case, use Elemental Penetration Elemental Penetration, the Awakened version of support gems with Added Elemental Damage, or Elemental Focus Elemental Focus - to increase the Gem Level of Artillery Ballista to 22.
Increased Critical Strikes Increased Critical Strikes Support - Increases the Critical Stike Chance for the linked Skill.
Added Cold Damage Added Cold Damage Support - Adds Cold Damage to Attacks, the Awakened version is highly recommended.
[UTILITY] Frenzy/Ensnaring Arrow setup
Frenzy Frenzy - An Attack that grants you a Frenzy Charge if it Hits.
Ensnaring Arrow Ensnaring Arrow - Enemies Hit with Ensnare Arrow are Ensnared - this effect stacks up to three times. It increases Projectile Damage taken and reduces Movement Speed. Be sure that your Projectiles cannot pierce.
Power Charge on Critical Power Charge on Critical Support - Dealing a Critical Strike with any of the linked Skills has a chance to grant a Power Charge that increases the Critical Strike Chance.
Inspiration Inspiration Support
Greater Multiple Projectiles Greater Multiple Projectiles Support - More Projectiles to Hit more enemies - it increases the chance of hitting and gaining Charges.
Life Gain on Hit Life Gain on Hit Support - Grants Life on Hit, one of the few ways to replenish Life Pool. If that's not necessary, use Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support instead.
[UTILITY] Mana-reserving Spells setup
Defiance Banner Defiance Banner - Increases Armour, Evasion, and reduces Critical Strike Chance for nearby enemies.
Grace Grace - Adds and increases Evasion Rating for a higher chance to avoid Attack Hits.
Determination Determination - Adds and increases Armour Rating to mitigate more Physical Hit Damage.
Enlighten Enlighten Support - Linked Skills have increased Mana Reservation Efficiency.
[UTILITY] Mark/Guard Spell setup
Molten Shell Molten Shell - A temporary buff that reduces incoming Hit Damage. It absorbs more Damage the more Armour you have.
Sniper's Mark Sniper's Mark - Marked enemies receive increased Projectile Damage.
Lifetap Lifetap Support - All linked Skills cost Life instead of Mana.
Mark on Hit Mark on Hit Support - Rare and Unique enemies are Marked on Hit with Sniper's Mark.
[UTILITY] Dash/Tornado setup
Dash Dash - Your character dashes, it makes you more mobile and makes dodging easier.
Tornado Tornado - An Orb Spell that you can Hit, it deals reflected Damage to Enemies based on received damage.
Onslaught Onslaught Support - Tornado grants Onslaught. If you already have a source of this buff, use Combustion Support Combustion Support to reduce Fire Resistance.
[UTILITY] Precision
Precision Precision - Precision increases Critical Strike Chance and grants more Accuracy Rating

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6. Gear Setup

You won't need any Unique Items, the build is good with rares only. The Bow will be the most important and the most expensive item, your damage will depend mostly on it. Critical Strike Chance can be also found on Jewelry, and the Belt can increase your Elemental Damage. Body Armour can get you more Critical Strike Chance, or reduce the Mana Cost of Skills. Boots could provide a source of Onslaught, Elusive, and Tailwind. Corrupted Gloves or Rings can extend the limit of Maximum Frenzy Charges, which the build heavily relies on. You won't deal any Physical Damage, but you can still look for it, it will be converted to Fire. For defenses seek mainly Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, Chaos Resistance, Spell Suppression, Evasion, and Armour. Life and Mana Leech should be implemented too if you don't want to spend extra Skill Points. The build requires over 100 of each Attribute so Strenght and intelligence will need to be sourced from a gear. Extra Mana Reservation Efficiency shouldn't be necessary.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances at 75%
  2. Provide you with enough DPS and Life to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Attack Speed
  4. Added Elemental Damage to Attacks
  5. Added Physical Damage to Attacks
  6. Maximum Frenzy Charges/stats per Frenzy Charge
  7. Critical Strike Chance
  8. Critical Strike Multiplier
  9. Reduced Mana Cost of Skills
  10. Accuracy Rating
  11. Increased Elemental Damage
  12. Spell Suppression Chance
  13. Chaos Resistance
  14. Evasion
  15. Armour
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Rare Helmet is a simple case, look only for the most basic stats in huge quantities. Maximum Life, Evasion, Attributes, Resistances, and Spell Suppression are the most important.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
Spell Suppression
Chaos Resistance
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Starkonja's Head(Helmet) Starkonja's Head - Very cheap Helmet with a lot of Dexterity, Evasion, Maximum Life, Attack Speed, and even Critical Strike Chance. It's good if you already have all the Elemental Resistances and Attributes.
+(50-70) to Dexterity
50% reduced Damage when on Low Life
10% increased Attack Speed
25% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
(100-130)% increased Evasion Rating
+(80-100) to maximum Life
150% increased Global Evasion Rating when on Low Life
Wilma's Requital(Helmet) Wilma's Requital - The Helmet that would allow you to summon an Extra Totem and Increase your Attack Speed, but it also alters your Skill Gem Setup, as you won't be able to deal damage yourself. It's great when combined with Vaal Haste or other sources of Cast and Attack Speed.
+(300-500) to Accuracy Rating
(200-250)% increased Energy Shield
Increases and Reductions to Cast Speed apply to Attack Speed
(20-30)% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Ancestral Bond
Helmet enchantments:
Artillery Ballista enchantment mods
Bow(Weapon) Rare Bow - A bow with Prefixes for added Elemental Damage of all kinds, and Suffixes for Attack Speed and Critical Strike modifiers would be excellent - the higher the numbers the better.
Min. requirements:
Adds Fire Damage
Adds Cold Damage
Adds Lightning Damage
10% increased Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
Critical Strike Multiplier
Critical Strike Chance
Windripper(Weapon) Windripper - Windripper is a cheap alternative to a Rare Bow, it should be replaced later, but until you can afford a good Rare, use this one.
(20-24)% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Adds (48-60) to (72-90) Cold Damage
Adds 1 to (120-150) Lightning Damage
(10-15)% increased Attack Speed
(30-40)% increased Critical Strike Chance
15% increased Quantity of Items Dropped by Slain Frozen Enemies
30% increased Rarity of Items Dropped by Slain Shocked Enemies
Quiver(Off-hand) Rare Quiver - Quivers do offer decent defensive modifiers like Maximum Life and Resistances, but added Elemental Damage or Critical Strike modifiers could also be valuable.
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
+30% to Elemental Resistances
30% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Optional affixes:
Bow Attacks fire an additional Arrow
Adds Fire/Cold/Lightning Damage to Attacks
increased Critical Strike Chance with Bows
Critical Strike Multiplier with Bows
increased Attack Speed
increased Damage with Bow Skills
Skirmish(Off-hand) Skirmish - Skirmish allows you to summon an Extra Totem and grants Mana Leech, but there's not much else here.
(20-30)% increased Global Accuracy Rating
+(15-25) to Intelligence
+(30-50) to maximum Mana
(20-30)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
0.2% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
Attack Skills have +1 to maximum number of Summoned Totems
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - Maximum Life, Extra Critical Strike Chance, and Elemental Resistances are the best modifiers to have on a Body Armour.
Min. requirements:
+80 to Maximum Life
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Attacks have +1% to Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
You can apply an additional Curse
Socketed Attacks have -15 to Total Mana Cost
Spell Suppression Chance
increased Maximum Life
Hyrri's Ire(Body Armour) Hyrri's Ire - This Body Armour offers tons of Added Damage, Evasion, Dexterity, and Chance to Suppress Spell Damage. It's good, but grants no Life, Resistances, or Critical Strike Chance.
+(40-50) to Dexterity
(140-220)% increased Evasion Rating
25% increased Chill Duration on Enemies
(105-145) to (160-200) Added Cold Damage with Bow Attacks
+30% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - We recommend a pair of boots with Elemental Resistances, Movement Speed, Maximum Life, and some additional offensive mods listed here.
Min. requirements:
+50 to maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
chance to gain Onslaught o Kill
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
Spell Suppression Chance
Darkray Vectors(Boots) Darkray Vectors - As a Raider with Avatar of the Slaughter you can easily reach 10 Frenzy Charges, making Darkray Vectors extremely powerful.
(40-70)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(20-40)% to Lightning Resistance
5% increased Movement Speed per Frenzy Charge
+1 to Maximum Frenzy Charges
40% reduced Frenzy Charge Duration
25% reduced Light Radius
10% increased Evasion Rating per Frenzy Charge
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Gloves have quite a few decent modifiers for Attack Builds - look for Attack Speed, Added Damage, Critical Strike, or Accuracy modifiers. Life and Resistances should also be included.
Min. requirements:
70 Maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Attack Speed
Spell Suppression Chance
Added Elemental or Physical Damage to Attacks
increased Critical Strike Chance
Accuracy Rating
Breathstealer(Gloves) Breathstealer - Breathstealer grants Resistances, Attack, and Cast Speed (making them good with Wilma's Requital), but the iconic ability to summon Spores is great as well - you can benefit from almost any Aura created by these fungal allies. You can anoint them.
(100-150)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(30-50) to maximum Mana
+(10-16)% to all Elemental Resistances
(5-10)% increased Attack and Cast Speed
Create a Blighted Spore when your Skills or Minions Kill a Rare Monster
Mercenary's Lot(Gloves) Mercenary's Lot - A very cheap pair of Gloves with Attack and Cast Speed, Evasion Rating, and increased Damage against Marked opponents. We recommend corrupting such inexpensive gloves to have an extra Maximum Frenzy Charge.
+(80-120) to Evasion Rating
(5-8)% increased Attack and Cast Speed
Mark Skills have (10-15)% increased Cast Speed
(30-50)% increased Damage with Hits and Ailments against Marked Enemy
Your Mark Transfers to another Enemy when Marked Enemy dies
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - Stygian Vise with just Life, increased Elemental Damage with Attacks, and Resistances will be good. Try to also gain some extra Strength.
Min. requirements:
70 Maximum Life
+80% to Elemental Resistances
35% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills (crafted)
Optional affixes:
increased Elemental Damage
increased maximum Life
Prismweave(Belt) Prismweave - Prismweave is cheap. It adds tons of Elemental Damage and increases it, but grants no Life.
(12-24)% increased Global Physical Damage
Adds (14-16) to (30-32) Fire Damage to Attacks
Adds (10-12) to (24-28) Cold Damage to Attacks
Adds 1 to (60-68) Lightning Damage to Attacks
+(6-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
30% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills during any Flask Effect
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Life, Resistances, and Critical Strike modifiers are very common on an Amulet. Attributes, Added Damage, Accuracy, and reduced Mana Cost of Skills are available too.
Min. requirements:
50 Maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
25% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
Adds Physical/Elemental Damage to Attacks
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Hyrri's Truth(Amulet) Hyrri's Truth - Hyrri's Truth Grants level 30 Precision at half of its Cost making it already great. It increases the Critical Strike Multiplier, grants Culling Strike, and tons of Dexterity. It lacks Life and Resistances.
+(20-30) to Dexterity
Grants Level 30 Precision Skill
+(40-80) to Dexterity
Bow Attacks have Culling Strike
+(25-50)% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Precision has 100% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency
Recommended Anointments:
Whispers of Doom
Shaman's Dominion
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Rare Rings are an excellent source of Resistances and Attributes, but you could also get some Accuracy, Maximum Life, added Damage, Critical Strike, Hex Curse on Hit, and reduced Mana Cost of Skills.
Min. requirements:
+60% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Adds Physical/Elemental Damage to Attacks
Accuracy Rating
Global Critical Strike Chance
Elemental Weakness on Hit (if you can apply more than one Curse)
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
The Taming(Ring) The Taming - The Taming is very fitting, that is if you're not using Elemental Focus (which you shouldn't). It simply increases Elemental Damage, the chance to apply Elemental Ailments, and grants Elemental Resistances.
+(8-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
20% increased Damage with Hits and Ailments per Freeze, Shock or Ignite on Enemy
+(20-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
30% increased Elemental Damage
10% chance to Freeze, Shock and Ignite
30% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - You can fix your Elemental Resistances and Attributes or get some powerful offensive modifiers if needed, but try to prioritize Maximum Life on your Jewels.
Recommended affixes:
7% Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Damage or Critical Strike with Elemental/Fire Skills
Elemental Resistances
Lethal Pride(Jewel) Lethal Pride - It grants a lot of Strength and upgrades all nodes in its radius, socket it near Fervour or Savagery.
Commanded leadership over (10000-18000) warriors under (Akoya-Kaom-Rakiata)
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Karui
Forbidden FlameForbidden Flesh(Jewel) Forbidden Flame & Flesh - You can borrow some Keystones from the Deadeye's Ascendancy Tree, such as Gathering Winds, Endless Munitions, or Focal Point. You could pick some of your own Keystones at the end of a branch and allocate Rapid Assault instead. Veteran a Bowyer is good too.
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
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Your Auras are Grace, Determination, and Precision. Some of Precision's mods for Critical Strikes or increased Attack Damage are good.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Life Flask with Freeze or Bleed immunity
  2. Diamond Flask with an increased Attack Speed
  3. Quicksilver Flask with increased Critical Strike Chance
  4. Jade Flask with increased Evasion Rating
  5. Granite Flask or Sulphur Flask with increased Armour Rating
Jade FlaskLife FlaskGranite Flaskdiamod flaskquicksilver flask

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If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below. We are always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

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