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Death Wish Elementailst Build

Death Wish Elementailst Build

Elementalist Build that uses its Minions to Ignite enemies via Maw of Mischief

Death Wish
Elementalist Build

Updated for Patch 3.21

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Guide notes
December 14, 2021
-Build created
May 17, 2023
-Updated for Patch 3.21
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Maw of Mischief is a Unique Helmet granting you a Skill called Death Wish which makes your Minions Explode dealing Fire Damage based on the Minion's Maximum Life. With this build, you want to scale up your Minion's Health and your Fire Damage over Time, especially with Ignite. You will use Minions with high base Life such as Stone Golem or Sentinels of Purity. This build focuses more on Stone Golems - they have more Life, and as an Elementalist, you can have an additional one that automatically resummons on death. You're not restricted to Stone Golems, the build is flexible enough to include Sentinels of Purity from Herald of Purity, which offers similar results. With Shaper of Flames, Mastermind of Discord, and Heard of Destruction your Ignite DPS and Aoe to unmatchable sizes (slightly nerfed as of 3.17 and again in 3.19).

It's a Life build that doesn't require 6-links, so you might use Kaom's Heart for a major Life boost. Try to increase the Gem Level of your Stone Golem by equipping Vix Lunaris, Invictus Solaris, or Magna Eclipsis, then with Minion Life and Empower Support Gems your Golems should have over 150k Life. Your own Life will be settled at 5k with a lot of Armour and aggressive Minions to shield you from enemies. The Ignite you're dealing with these sporadic explosions should be supported by Berek's Respite Unique Ring that will make your Ignite spread to other targets for better clear speed.

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1. Gameplay

Death Wish is a Channeling skill but you won't need to channel it for long, just the initial cast will be enough to kill one Minion, but the longer you cast it, the more of your Minions you can sacrifice, and the damage of each will grow too - it's useful during boss fights with invulnerability phases. Use a mobility Spell such as Flame Dash, and Guard Spell - Molten Shell. Find a way to inflict Exposure with Master of Fire Notable Passive or with Wave on Conviction. Use Auras such as Determintarion, Vitality, and Defiance Banner to increase your own survivability. Convocation and Flame Surge can be used from time to time for more to recall your minions and create Burning Ground. For a curse use Flammability.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • has one of the best Fire DoT and good clear speed
  • Good defenses due to Life Regen, Maximum Life, and Minions playstyle
  • It's cheap as it uses cheap unique items
  • it doesn't possess any unique defenses aimed at mitigating elemental damage and DoT


3. Leveling tips

Start as a regular Minion build and use Summon Raging Spirits as it is the most recommended choice. Note that Minion Instability keystone makes your Minions Explode at low health, your increases and decreases in Fire Damage won't affect the damage output. For more damage invest only in Minion Damage and especially their Maximum Life, and try to lower the Fire Resistance of your opponents. With Death Wish, you deal the damage that is affected by your Fire Damage and Fire DoT, but with Minions Instability - it's minions that deal all the damage. At level 73 equip Maw of Mischief. At no point in the game invest in Spell Damage, it will grant you nothing.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Raging Spirit setup
Summon Raging Spirits Summon Raging Spirit - Ragins Spirits are a good candidate for a Leveling Minion Spell
Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support - Minion's Attacks cover more area for faster clearing
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - Minions deal more Damage
Minion Life Support Minion Life Support - Minions have more Maximum Life
Auras setup
Anger Anger - increases Fire Damage for your nearby Minions
Clarity Clarity - Clarity can be used for Mana Regeneration
Curse and Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - a regular mobility Skill to improve your leveling process
Flammability Flammability - Cursed enemies take more Fire Damage


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


Leveling Skill Trees:

31 Points Passive Tree
Allocate passives granting Maximum Life for you and your Minions, Maximum Mana, and Minion Instability Keystone

66 Points Passive Tree
Get more Life for you and your Minions


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe 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
GoldrimGoldrim - a Helmet to give you a lot of Resistances
+(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 six-link a setup from the start
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
AshcallerAshcaller - a staple leveling weapon for Raging Spirits or general Fire Damage builds
(18-22)% increased Spell Damage
25% chance to Trigger Level 10 Summon Raging Spirit on Kill
Adds (20-24) to (38-46) to Fire Damage
Adds (20-24) to (36-46) Fire Damage to Spells
10% chance to Cover Enemies in Ash on Hit
TavukaiTavukai - between levels 54 and 73 it's the best Amulet for leveling, your Raging Spirits will explode dealing much more damage
Regenerate (2-4) Life per second
+(30-40) to Intelligence
Minions have +(-17-17)% to Chaos Resistance
Summon Raging Spirit has (20-30)% increased Duration
Summoned Raging Spirits to deal (25-40)% increased Damage
Summoned Raging Spirits to have (25-40)% increased maximum Life
Summoned Raging Spirits take 20% of their Maximum Life per second as Chaos Damage

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

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

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Shaper fo Flames
  2. Liege of the Primordial
  3. Mastermind of Discord
  4. Heart of Destruction


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 Abberath: 60% less Duration of Ignite on You


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Death Wish setup
socketed in Maw of Mischief Unique Helmet
Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support - it makes you deal more Damage with Ailments such as Ignite but less damage with Hits
Burning Damage Support Burning Damage Support - increases Burning Damage
Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support - enemies burn for a shorter time but take more DoT, you can swap it for Cruelty Support Cruelty Support to deal comparable damage without the drawback
Unbound Ailments Support Unbound Ailments Support - Ignite Damage is increased and it last longer
[UTILITY] Stone Golem setup
socketed in Shield or another gear piece that increases Gem Level
Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem - increase the Level of your Stone Golem, it's the most efficient way to boost their Maximum Life
Minion Life Support Minion Life Support - grants even more Life for your Stone Golem
Empower Support Empower Support - your Stone Golem have more Life as their Skill Gem level grows
Enhance Enhance Support - Quality makes your Stone Golems have an increased Maximum Life
[UTILITY] Brand setup
Arcanist Brand Arcanist Brand - Arcanist Brand while attached will cast the liked Spells for you
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - applies Exposure which reduces the Fire Resistance of your opponents
Combustion Support Combustion Support - enemies Ignited by linked Spells have their Fire Resistance decreased
[UTILITY] Convocation, Guard Spell, and Mobility setup
Molten Shell Molten Shell - it's the best option for a Guard Spell if you have a significant Armour, which you should
Flame Dash Flame Dash - Mobility Spell to help you move faster and dodge attacks
Convocation Convocation - recalls all your Minions back to you
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Malevolence Malevolence - you and your Minions deal more Damage over Time, and the DoT effect last longer
Tempest Shield Tempest Shield - you're provided with more Block Chance, Immunity to Shock, and with Shaper of Flames, you will Ignite a lot of enemies on Block. Don't use it if you don't have enough Mana.
Determination Determination - a slot for a defensive Aura, Determination is the best one you can use as it grants you more Armour
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - linked Skill Reserve less Mana
[UTILITY] Herald of Purity
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - Golems alone are often not enough to provide a smooth mapping experience, use Herald of Purity for the perpetually-summoning four extra Minions with a lot of Life, enough to kill smaller enemies.


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6. Gear Setup

There are two necessary Unique Items - Maw of Mischief and Berek's Respite, with all the other items you should focus mainly on Fire Damage over Time and Maximum Life for you and your Minions. Try to increase the Gem Level of your Stone Golem - it is a Red (Strength) Minion Gem. You won't need any Spell Damage modifiers or any Six-linked items making it a rather cheap build with the option for Kaom's Heart. Flasks aren't important, you won't need any Unique ones, but Rumi's Concoction grants you more Block Chance. You will need over 190 Strength if you want to wear Kaom's Heart, Determination and Molten Shell require you to have 155 Strength. Dexterity is needed to level Swift Affliction Support Gem to its maximum level.

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. to cap your Elemental Resistances
  2. Maximum Life
  3. Fire Damage over Time
  4. Summon Stone Golem Gem Level
  5. Minion Maximum Life
  6. Armour
Maw of Mischief(Helmet) Maw of Mischief - It grants you Death Wish Skill making this build possible, also your Minions are Aggressive - their behavior is altered
Minions deal (15-20)% increased Damage
Grants Level 20 Death Wish Skill
+(45-65) to maximum Life
(30-20)% reduced Mana Cost of Minion Skills
Minions are Aggressive
Helmet enchantments:
increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Stone Golems
Convocation has increased Cooldown Recovery Rate
Wave of Conviction's Exposure applies -6% Elemental Resistance
Sceptre(Weapon) Rare Sceptre - you can increase your Fire Damage, Elemental Damage, Damage over Time, and Fire Damage over Time Multiplier, look for the Burning Damage tag for the best result
Min. requirements:
+40% to Fire Damage over Time Multiplier
100% increased Fire or Elemental Damage
Optional affixes:
Damage Penetrates Fire Resistance
Vix Lunaris(Weapon) Vix Lunaris - A shield you use should increase the level of all socketed gems including Empower Support, Vix Lunaric prevents you from being Frozen, but you can use a sister shield - Invictus Solaris, or combine two of them to form Magna Eclipsis.
+2 to Level of Socketed Gems
Triggers Level 20 Cold Aegis when Equipped
(200-250)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(60-80) to maximum Life
Cannot be Frozen
Aegis Aurora(Weapon) Aegis Aurora - If you use Skin of the Lords, you can put your Golem setup there and use a better Shield, such as this one - it's a staple for every Hybrid build with a lot of Armour
(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
Kaom's Heart(Body Armour) Kaom's Heart - you won't need a 6-link so this Armour is probably the best option since it grants tons of Life and Fire Damage
Has no Sockets
(20-40)% increased Fire Damage
+500 to maximum Life
Skin of the Lords(Body Armour) Skin of the Lords - It can increase the level of your Stone Golem Setup, which is highly desirable. With increased Armour, it is also a good match for Aegis Aurora​​​​​.
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Sockets cannot be modified
+2 to Level of Socketed Gems
100% increased Global Defences
You can only Socket Corrupted Gems in this item
Item has 6 Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
<Random Keystone>
boots(Boots) Rare Boots - seek the usual boots affixes, but to significantly increase your damage get the mod that makes your Ignites deal damage faster
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
30% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Ignites you inflict deal Damage faster
Minions have increased maximum Life
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - there isn't much to look for, just the usual defenses, Shaper's or Warlord bases offer some Damage over Time mods so it can be considered a high-end upgrade
Min. requirements:
+40 to Dexterity
+50% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Fire Damage over Time Multiplier
increased Damage over Time
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - Maximum Life and Resistances should be the priority, after that acquire affixes granting your Minions more Life, increase your own Strength, and Fire Damage
Min. requirements:
+80 to maximum Life
+80% to Elemental Resistances
Minions have 25% increased maximum Life
Optional affixes:
increased Fire Damage
increased Damage
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - you can spend a lot on a good Amulet since there are a lot of useful Affixes, remember to prioritize your Stone Golem Gem Level, then get more Damage, Resistances, and Attributes
Min. requirements:
+20% to Damage over Time Multiplier
+1 to Level of all Strength or Physical Skill Gems
+60 to maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
+1 to Level of all Strength or Physical Skill Gems
increased Fire Damage
Dexterity and Strength
Ashes of the Stars(Amulet) Ashes of the Stars - this Amulet is very versatile, it suits most builds that heavily rely on Gem Level, such as this one
+(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:
Dirty Techniques
Berek's Respite(Ring) Berek's Respite - it's a massive improvement for clear speed and an obligatory Unique Ring
+(12-16)% to Fire and Lightning Resistances
Adds (20-25) to (30-50) Fire Damage to Spells and Attacks
(25-30)% increased Lightning Damage
+(30-40) to maximum Mana
When you Kill a Shocked Enemy, inflict an equivalent Shock on each nearby Enemy
When you Kill an Ignited Enemy, inflict an equivalent Ignite on each nearby Enemy
Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - a Ring with Flammability on Hit and one that fixes your Attributes requirements and Resistances is good enough
Min. requirements:
Curse Enemies with Flammability on Hit
+60% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to maximum Life
Optional affixes:
increased Fire Damage
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - increase your Maximum Life and get some missing stats, you can also increase your Fire DoT and Fire Penetration

Recommended affixes:
7% increased maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Fire Damage over Time
Damage Penetrates 1% Fire Resistance

Primordial Might(Jewel) Primordial Might - there is no limit on how many of these you can socket, three or so should be sufficient
(25-30)% increased Damage if you Summoned a Golem in the past 8 seconds
Golems Summoned in the past 8 seconds deal (35-45)% increased Damage
Golems have (18-22)% increased Maximum Life
Summoned Golems are Aggressive
Glorious Vanity(Jewel) Glorious Vanity - a Doryani variant can transform one of your Keystones into Corrupted Soul for extra ES, socket in near Mind Over Matter
Bathed in the blood of (100-8000) sacrificed in the name of Doryani
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Vaal
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Malevolence mod that increases your Damage over Time is the best option
(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 - Aim for Fire Damage over Time, and if need an additional and constant source of Fire Exposure - Master of Fire Notable
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Burning Bright
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Master of Fire
Medium Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - there are two types of Medium Cluster Jewels, one that increases your Minion's Maximum Life, or one that grants you increased Fire Damage, Blowback is especially great here
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Hulking Corpses
1 Added Passive Skill is Life from Death
1 Added Passive Skill is Burning Bright
1 Added Passive Skill is Blowback
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - a very powerful defensive Flask that boots your chance to Block and Armour Rating
+1500 to Armour
+(8-12)% Chance to Block Attack Damage during Flask effect
+(4-6)% Chance to Block Spell Damage during Flask effect

Suggested Flasks:

  1. Silver Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Quicksilver Flask with random ailment removal
  3. Life Flask with random ailment removal
  4. Basalt Flask with random ailment removal
Silver Flask Rumi's ConcoctionQuicksilver FlaskLife FlaskBasalt Flask

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