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Ball Lightning Guardian Build

Ball Lightning Guardian Build

a nearly-immortal Guardian Build that can be played as Aurabot

The Immortal
Ball Lightning Aurabot
Guardian Build

Updated for Patch 3.21

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Guide notes
March 31, 2022
-Build created
April 22, 2023
-Updated for Patch 3.21
Build overview



Boss DPS:



It's an Armour Stacking build that uses Aegis Aurora, a core element of one of the tankiest types of build in the game thanks to the instant ES Replenish on Block that's based on Armour, making Armour and Energy Shield the most valuable resources. The Determination and Aura Effect modifiers play a big role, but the Guardian's ascendancy ties it together with Radiant Faith. Your character has a lot of Life and Mana Reserved in order to gain Armour and Energy Shield. As you've reserved a lot of Life, another Unique item you can benefit from is The Ivory Tower - it grants you 30 ES per 100 reserved Life, making it the best-in-slot Body Armour by far. With all of your Mana reserved too, you're forced to have Coruscating Elixir up at all times, so as to not die of Chaos Damage.

It's the most durable build - it has a lot of ES, Armour, Block Chance, ES on Block, All Elemental Resistances at 90%, high ES Regeneration, Elemental Ailments immunity, and almost complete Curse Immunity. Your only weakness is Chaos Damage, but it can be mitigated by Chaos Resistance and Pantheon choices. The Damage isn't great, but there are ways to enhance it - for example allocating Elemental Overload with Lightning Mastery so that Non-Crit Hits are lucky, or Righteous Providence via Forbidden Flesh and Flame to boost your Critical Strike Chance and get additional Critical Strike Multiplier on your gear (that's the even more EXPENSIVE option though). Use Ball Lightning as the Skill to deal damage with, it's a great Spell that you can benefit from by taking Pain Attunement and easily-reachable Passive Skills.

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1. Gameplay

Use Ball Lightning to deal Damage which can be further increased by Vaal Righteous Fire, Curse, and Aura granted by Smite Skill. Your Guard Skill should obviously be Molten Shell, and for movement Skill, it is recommended to use Shield Charge. The Skills that stay on to affect the character constantly are Zealotry, Wrath, Purity of Elements, Purity of Ice, Determination, Discipline, Tempest Shield, and Clarity.


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • probably the tankiest build in Path of Exile, that can take pretty much any hit in the game
  • very simple to play that doesn't punish you for being clumsy or going AFK during Boss fights
  • excels in teamplay thanks to multiple Auras with greatly increased effectiveness
  • very expensive
  • mediocre single-target DPS if you intend to play solo


3. Leveling tips

You should begin as a standard Spellcaster, Lightning Damage dealt via Spells such as Arc or Ball Lightning is a great way to start. The build works only after assembling the many mandatory Unique Items and accumulating enough Armour, Block Chance, and Energy Shield, which is around level 70 to 85. Until then, just pick gear with Spell Damage and Maximum Life.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Arc setup
Ball Lightning Ball Lightning - a simple Lightning Spell that can be used for leveling
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - the cost of linked Skills is lower while Elemental Damage and Crit. Chance gets increased
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - grants you a Buff increasing the Spell Damage and Mana Regeneration Rate
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - adds Lightning Damage to your Spell
various Gems
Conductivity Conductivity - lowers the Lightning Resistance of cursed enemies
Flame Dash Flame Dash - used for an enhanced mobility
Wrath Wrath - increases Lightning Damage and Spell Critical Strike Chance
Clarity Clarity - it helps you with Mana sustain


KIlling all Bandits for two additional Passive Points is the best option

Leveling Skill Trees:

31 Points Skill Tree
Get the Maximum Life, Arcane Capacitor, and Spell Damage nodes

66 Points Skill Tree
Continue getting more Life, Lightning Damage, and Mana Reservation Efficiency


Recommended leveling items:

LifesprigLifesprig - a cheap Wand with good stats that can be used since level 1
(8-12)% increased Spell Damage
+1 to Level of Socketed Spell Gems
(20-28)% increased Spell Damage
(5-8)% increased Cast Speed
+(15-20) to maximum Life
+(15-20) to maximum Mana
Regenerate (6-8) Life over 1 second when you Cast a Spell
Axiom PerpetuumAxiom Perpetuum - one of the best leveling weapons for casters
12% increased Elemental Damage
Adds (2-3) to (5-6) Fire Damage to Spells
Adds (2-3) to (5-6) Cold Damage to Spells
Adds 1 to (10-12) Lightning Damage to Spells
(4-6)% increased Cast Speed
(100-140)% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
GoldrimGoldrim - good for leveling most of the builds
+(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 RasaTabula Rasa - allows you to link any six Gems from the start
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

111 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Unique or Cluster Jewels)
121 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Harmony of Purpose
  2. Radiant Faith
  3. Unwavering Faith
  4. Time of Need


Major God: Soul of Arakaali: 10% reduced Damage taken from Damage Over Time, +40% Chaos Resistance against Damage Over Time

Minor God: Soul of Shakari: You cannot be Poisoned while there are at least 3 Poisons on you, 50% less Duration of Poisons on You


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Ball Lightning setup
Ball Lightning Ball Lightning - a simple Lightning Spell that has probably the best damage out of all similar Spells when under the right circumstances. Use the Divergent version which will grant it a higher chance to deal more damage and have increased AoE
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - higher Critical Strike Chance, increased Elemental Damage and lowered Mana Cost
Slower Projectiles Support Slower Projectiles Support - less Projectile Speed, but more and increased Projectile Damage. Both work in favor of Ball Lightning, with each projectile being able to hit a single enemy additional times
Spell Echo Spell Echo Support - Spell is repeated additional times resulting in greatly increased Cast Speed (and DPS as a result)
Pinpoint Support Pinpoint Support - increases the number of your Projectiles when you are progressing through Areas, and increases the DPS when you are stationary against Bosses but firing just 1 projectile then
Lightning Penetration Lightning Penetration Support - your Lightning Damage penetrates a lot of Lightning Resistance. Use Awakened Gem so that you can apply Lightning Exposure with it
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Zealotry Zealotry - additional Critical Strike Multiplier, Spell Damage, increased Critical Strike Chance, and the ability to create Consecrated Ground during tough fights
Purity of Elements Purity of Elements - it grants you immunity to all Elemental Ailments and a lot of Elemental Resistances. Pretty much mandatory if using Melding of the Flsh
Wrath Wrath - grants you more Lightning Damage with Spells
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - increased mana Reservation Efficiency for linked Spells
[UTILITY] Assassin's Mark setup
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - Additional Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier, slain Cursed enemies grants Mana, Life, and Power Charge. Only good when combined with Righteous Providence. If you have Gloves with a good Curse on Hit you should skip this setup completely.
Mark on Hit Support Mark on Hit Support - linked Mark will be applied as you Hit an enemy with Attack - Smite and Shield Charge
[UTILITY] Arrogant Auras setup
Discipline Discipline - adds and increases your Energy Shield. Mandatory Aura for this setup
Determination Determination - adds and increases Armour which reduces Physical Damage taken by your character
Arrogance Suppor Arrogance Support - linked Skills that reserve Mana reserve your Life instead. Use the Anomalous version.
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support
[UTILITY]  Auras setup
Clarity Clarity - Clarity will continuously regenerate a lot of Mana allowing you to spam Ball Lightning with ease
Tempest Shield Tempest Shield - use it mainly for the additional Spell Block Chance it provides, and a high chance to Shock enemies
Purity of Ice Purity of Ice - increases your Maximum Cold Resistance, great when combined with Aura Effectiveness, Aegis Aurora, and Melding of the Flesh
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support
[UTILITY] Vaal Righteous Fire
Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire - damages you to grant a temporary boost to your Spell Damage. Just use the Vaal part of this skill whenever needed
[UTILITY] Molten Shell
Molten Shell Molten Shell - Guard Spell that scales well with Armour to absorb more Damage
[UTILITY] Smite and Shield Charge setup
Smite Smite - an Attack that grants you an Aura for increased Cast Speed, added Lightning Damage, and a chance to Shock
Shield Charge Shield Charge - a Movement Attack that's also used to apply Assassin's Mark reliably
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support - linked Attacks have increased Attack Speed

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6. Gear Setup

It can get very expensive very fast - it requires tons of Armour, Energy Shield, Maximum Life (for Armour), Maximum Mana (for ES), Strength, Intelligence (great with Righteous Providence), and capped Block Chance. For Damage look for Spell Lightning Damage with Projectiles and Critical Strike mods. After having the build working, focus on your weak spot - the missing Chaos Resistance. The vital part of the build is to have your Coruscating Elixir up at all times. It can be done by allocating the Traitor Keystone. A source of Exposure and Unnerve can be found as Eldritch Implicits on Gloves. You don't need Critical Strike Chance or Multiplier at all, given you've allocated the Elemental Overload.

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. Elemental Resistances
  2. Energy Shield
  3. Block Chance
  4. Mana Regeneration Rate
  5. Maximum Life
  6. Armour (it comes mostly from Aura)
  7. Added and increased Lightning Damage for Spells
  8. Cast Speed
  9. Chaos Resistance
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - seek Energy Shield, Resistances, and increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills. If you decide to allocate Caster Mastery for +1 Maximum Intensify you will need the Lab Enchant for extra Projectile.
Min. requirements:
200 Energy Shield
+60% to Elemental Resistances
10% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Optional affixes:
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Lightning Resistance
Chaos Resistance
Helmet enchantments:
40% increased Ball Lightning Damage
Ball Lightning fires an additional Projectile
Nebulis(Weapon) Nebulis - it's the best weapon for the build since your Resistances are very high and so you will deal a lot of damage
<One to three random synthesis implicit modifiers>
(15-20)% increased Cast Speed
(15-20)% increased Cold Damage per 1% Cold Resistance above 75%
(15-20)% increased Lightning Damage per 1% Lightning Resistance above 75%
Aegis Aurora(Weapon) Aegis Aurora - it's one of the core elements of the build - use it for instant ES replenishment on Block and Maximum Cold Resistance
(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
The Ivory Tower(Body Armour) The Ivory Tower - this Armour grants you Intelligence, Energy Shield, ES Regeneration, and Maximum Mana - all of which are very important, but it requires another component in the case of this build
+(40-70) to Intelligence
+30 to maximum Energy Shield per 100 Reserved Life
+(80-100) to maximum Mana
Regenerate 2% of Energy Shield per second
Chaos Damage is taken from Mana before Life
boots(Boots) Rare Boots - a Pair with Movement Speed, Elemental Resistances, and Energy Shield should be enough
Min. requirements:
100 Energy Shield
25% increased Movement Speed
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Gloves offer a wide range of useful offensive mods, look for the Critical Strike ones since they're the most beneficial
Min. requirements:
50 Energy Shield
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
increased Critical Strike Chance against Shocked Enemies
increased Cast Speed
Hands of the High Templar(Gloves) Hands of the High Templar - There are quite a few Corrupted Implicits that are immensely beneficial, especially the Elemental Weakness Curse on Hit or bonuses to Socketed Gems to increase the effectiveness of Auras Socketed here
Can be modified while Corrupted
Can have up to 5 Implicit Modifiers while Item has this Modifier
(150-200)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
(7-12)% increased maximum Life
+(20-30)% to Fire and Lightning Resistances
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - You can go for a Crystal Belt or Stygian Vise. Belts can be found with an Implicit for increased Attributes such as Strength or Intelligence which is desirable.
Min. requirements:
100 Energy Shield
+70% to Elemental Resistances
60 Strength
Optional affixes:
Maximum Energy Shield
increased Damage
increased Attributes
Ashes of the Stars(Amulet) Ashes of the Stars - Ashes of the Stars is the best Amulet, especially when combined with Divergent Ball Lightning or Tempest Shield
+(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
Recommended Anointments:
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Be sure that one of your Rings has an empty socket for a Molten Shell or Vaal RF. Rings have a lot of useful mods, but Attributes are especially interesting.
Min. requirements:
100 Attributes
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
increased Attributes
Maximum Energy Shield
Non-channeling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Added Lightning Damage to Spells
increased Spell Damage
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - they should provide extra ES and some other various Stats and Attributes

Recommended affixes:
Maximum Energy Shield
Elemental Resistances
Increases Lightning Damage
Increases Critical Strike Chance or Multiplier

Melding of the Flesh(Jewel) Melding of the Flesh - it lowers all your Resistances and Maximum Elemental Resistances, but if you manage to recover from it then it's a potential 90% Resistance for all types of Elemental Damage
-(80-70)% to all Elemental Resistances
Elemental Resistances are capped by your highest Maximum Elemental Resistance instead
-(6-4)% to all maximum Elemental Resistances
Brutal Restraint(Jewel) Brutal Restraint - it grants you the Traitor Keystone, after allocating it you will gain a lot of Flask Charges, but two of your Flask Slows must be empty
Denoted service of (500-8000) dekhara in the akhara of (Asenath-Balbala-Nasima)
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Maraketh
Unnatural Instinct(Jewel) Unnatural Instinct - you can put it near Shaper and be rewarded with a lot of small nodes with useful stats
Allocated Small Passive Skills in Radius grant nothing
Grants all bonuses of Unallocated Small Passive Skills in Radius
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - look for increased Lightning Damage with Wrath, Arcane Surge with Zealotry, or Resistance Penetration
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - Almost all of the Notables found on Lightning Damage base type are good, use it for more Damage, ES Leech, and Elemental Resistances
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Doryani's Lesson
1 Added Passive Skill is Storm Drinker
1 Added Passive Skill is Scintillating Idea
1 Added Passive Skill is Corrosive Elements
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - Master of Fear and Wish for Death grant you Culling Strike and Unnerve on Hit increasing your damage
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Master of Fear
1 Added Passive Skill is Wish for Death
Small Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewels - Use it to increase the effectiveness of your Auras, you're using seven Auras after all
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Introspection
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - Bottled Faith is one of the best Flask - it increases your Damage, Crit. Chance, and creates Consecrated Ground
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
Coruscating Elixir(Flask) Coruscating Elixir - it's substantial to have this Elixir up at all times, if you're not under its effect then even the smallest amount of Chaos Damage can kill you
+50% to Fire Resistance
20% less Fire Damage taken
Chaos Damage does not bypass Energy Shield during effect
Removes all but one Life on use
Removed life is Regenerated as Energy Shield over 2 seconds
25% increased Duration

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Quicksilver Flask for Movement Speed with random Ailment removal
  2. Bismuth Flask for Elemental Resistances  with random Ailment removal
  3. two empty Flask Slots
Coruscating ElixirQuicksilver FlaskBismuth 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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