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Elemental Spectral Shield Throw Raider

Elemental Spectral Shield Throw Raider

A build that utilizes unusual way of fighting with your Shield as your weapon dealing Cold Damage and stacking Frenzy Charges

Spectral Shield Throw
Raider build

Updated for Patch 3.19

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Guide notes
August 19, 2022
-Build updated to 3.19
Build Overview



Boss DPS:



Since the last changes were made to this skill Spectral Shield Throw is not as popular as it used to be, but still remains as one of the favourite Skills by many players who played it for its unique style. Using newly buffed in 3.19 Patch Unique Shield you can reach very high amounts of Damage without worrying about crafting your own Rare Shield, which was usually the hardest part to get on any Shield Skill build. Raider has a Unique Avatar of the Veil Keystone that applies Exposure of all Elements to the enemies nearby, it will help immensely since you'll be dealing only Elemental Damage. After such adjustments, you're specialized in dealing tons of Elemental Damage of all kinds while Chill and Blind from The Pandemonius Unique Amulet keep you safe from enemy Hits. The build is Life-based with a high Chance to Evade Attack Hits, 100% Suppress Spell Hits and permanent Phasing, which allows passing through mobs without being constantly blocked. Additionally, after some investments, you will be Elusive and have Tailwind active, making you even faster and stronger. Your Damage will scale well with Frenzy Charges thanks to Avatar of the Slaughter. You could play this build as a Deadeye for a different set of Ascendancy Keystones; it would grant a strong Tailwind Effect, better Effect of Sniper Mark, and a different approach via having Far Shot instead of Point Blank, but we recommend staying as Raider for overall better Defenses and Damage. 

Spectral Shield Throw is a skill that adds more flat Physical Damage per Evasion or Armour on a Shield. The Potential is really high - the build can reach Millions of DPS with the right Shield. Thankfully one of the less used Unique Shields, The Emperor's Vigilance got a massive buff of 600% increased Armour, making it the best choice for this Skill. Seething Fury is a Unique Jewel that's singlehandedly responsible for a half or so of your damage, for it increases Crit Chance and Multiplier per Maximum Energy Shield on a Shield. Additionally one of the Alternative Quality variants, Phantasmal, also grants Critical Strike Multiplier per Maximum Energy Shield, making that stat even more useful. So not only Evasion or Armour Rating, but Energy Shield is yet another important stat to look for on your Shield. Although mentioned Unique Shield is very strong, you can start playing with this Build with just a Rare Shield. 

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1. Gameplay

Elemental Spectral Shield throw is a very unique Ranged Attack that instead of firing Projectiles with a Bow, shoots a spectral copy of your Shield that deals greatly increased damage based on its defences. The attack fires projectiles that on impact shatter into additional chaining projectiles, offering massive DPS and amazing clear speed, making it the most popular Shield Ability. This build utilizes the Raider class that offers amazing Elemental/Attack DPS bonuses, great mobility, and increased Evasion/Suppress. You are also going to use Hydrosphere, which is one of the most important abilities in this build. It will allow your Spectral Shield Throw Projectiles to chain between enemies and the Hydrosphere, greatly boosting the effectiveness of the Chain mechanic. Most of the other abilities are triggered in this build, and Molten Shell can be used manually by binding it to your Left Mouse Button to cast it every time it goes off cooldown. You are also going to use Blood Rage and Ancestral Protector, that for the most part, should be used against Bosses to boost your DPS. 

This video was recorded on a level 93 Raider on Standard. We had a 1300 Evasion/350 ES Shield, which can be quite expensive but does not offer the highest possible values for this build, leaving plenty of space for improvement. Overall, it allows us to comfortably farm all of the content, and as you should be able to see in the video, it was quite fast at the same time. This is an outdated video that will be updated shortly after the Patch goes live

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • very high DPS potential with the right gear
  • insane clear speed
  • insane mobility
  • very high chance do Evade and Suppress Spell Hits
  • mediocre Life pool
  • can get expensive


3. Leveling tips

There are many ways to start with the build, it is recommended to use a Projectile Attack while holding a Shield, for example, Spectral Helix or Lightning Strike, and deal some kind of Elemental Damage, Cold Damage seems to be the most suitable for this part of the Passive Skill Tree. Focus on your Elemental Damage while maintaining high Elemental Resistances and Maximum Life. Use Essences of Hatred to craft a weapon or use a vendor recipe for added Cold Damage. Switch to Spectral Shield Throw after you manage to get a decent Shield with 800 Evasion Rating and 200 ES - that's a good start.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Frost Blades setup
Spectral helix Spectral Helix - fires a copy of your Weapon in form of a Projectile that spins in the place where you attack
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - increases the Elemental Damage you deal with your skill
Slower Projectiles Support Slower Projectiles Support - this Support Gem makes Projectile Deal more Damage at the cost of being slower
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support - adds flat Cold Damage to your Projectile Attacks
Whirling Blades setup
Whirling Blades Whirling Blades - Claw-wielding characters with high Attack Speed should use this Movement Skill, but if you're using a Sword, use Leap SlamLeap Slam or DashDash instead
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - spend Life instead of Mana on linked Skill
Utility Gems
Frost Bomb Frost Bomb - applies Cold Exposure lowering enemies' Cold Resistance, but it's useless after you allocate Avatar of the Veil Ascendancy Point
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - deal more Cold Damage with Attack and Spells and creates Cold Explosions
Precision Precision - increases your Accuracy Rating and Critical Strike Chance
Frostbite Frostbite - a curse that lowers the Cold Resistance of the enemy, cast it manually for now


You should kill all the Bandits and take two more Passive Skill Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

31 Points Skill Tree
go for One with Nature and Assassination, taking the useful Life nodes on the way, then go for Forces of Nature.

72 Points Skill Tree
go for the Point Blank, allocating Crit and Life nodes on the way depending on your current needs, then go for Frenzy nodes


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - a huge bonus to your Damage and Elemental Resistances
(10-30)% increased Damage
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - this Helmet gives a lot of all Elemental 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 - offers a possibility to Link any Six Gems right from the start
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
PrismweavePrismweave - Increases your Elemental Damage with Attacks and provides some Elemental Resistances
(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
Fairgraves' TricorneWanderlust - can be equipped at level 1, provide very useful Immunity to Freeze and 20% movement speed
+5 to Dexterity
+(10-20) to maximum Energy Shield
(20-40)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
20% increased Movement Speed
Cannot be Frozen
HrimburnHrimsorrow- those are our endgame Gloves that can be used from the very beginning at level 9 
+(20-30) to Strength
+(40-50) to Evasion Rating
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
100% of Physical Damage Converted to Cold Damage
Reflects 100 Cold Damage to Melee Attackers


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

115 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Intuitive Leap Jewel)
116 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 the Brine King You cannot be Stunned if you've been Stunned or Blocked a Stunning Hit in the past 2 seconds

Minor God: Soul of Garukhan +5% chance to Evade Attack Hits if you've taken a Savage Hit Recently


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Spectral Shield Throw setup
Spectral Shield Throw Spectral Shield Throw - It's the main DPS Skill for this build, a projectile attack that deals base Physical Damage based on the Evasion or Armour Rating of your Shield, upon impact, it releases a number of Shards based on your number of Projectiles
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support - greatly increases the Physical Attack Damage of your Projectiles 
Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support - your Critical Strikes deal much more damage thanks to increased Critical Strike Multiplier
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - The Elemental Damage of your Attacks is improved significantly
Cold Penetration Support Cold Penetration Support - increases your Damage by ignoring part of enemy Cold Resistances with your Hits
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - reduces the Mana Cost of the Linked Skill while increasing the Elemental Damage and Critical Strike Chance of it
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Grace Grace - massively increases your Evasion Rating, you can use the Vaal version for an additional survivability tool
Precision Precision - adds more Accuracy Rating and Critical Strike Chance for your Character. Depending on your Mana pool, you can use a lower level Precision too
Hatred Hatred - More Cold Damage and Extra Cold Damage equal to a quarter of your Physical Damage, the most important DPS Aura for the build
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces the Reservation Mana Costs of linked Skills
Defiance banner Defiance Banner - grants increased Armour and Evasion Rating for the low Mana Reservation cost. Don't need to link it to enlighten due to low socket availability
[UTILITY] Additional utility spells
flame Dash Flame Dash - mobility skill that allows you to move through terrain where Whirling Blades can not be used
Frost Bomb Support Frost Bomb - this will apply a Debuff on enemy highly reducing their Life recovery, useful versus particular Archnemesis modifiers
Portal  Support Portal - this gem saves you a lot of Portal Scrolls over your playtime duration
[UTILITY] Blood Rage, Steelskin, and Ancestral Protector setup
Blood Rage Blood Rage - Blood Rage is used here primarily to provide Attack Speed and grant some Life Leech
Molten Shell Molten Shell- it's a Guard Spell that absorbs a huge percentage of incoming damage based on your Armour Rating
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - 20% additional Attack Speed while this Totem is active, use Phantasmal Quality for the best effect
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken - it will automatically trigger Molten Shell when in danger 
[MOBILITY] Whirling Blades setup
Whirling Blades Whirling Blades - The Skill used to traverse through the terrain, it's useful for builds with a lot of Attack Speed that uses Claws, Swords, or Daggers
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support - increases the Attack Speed for Whirling Blades resulting in a faster movement
Fortify Support Fortify Support - As you hit someone with the Linked Skill, a Fortification Buff will be granted for your character, making you take less damage from Hits 
[UTILITY] Sniper's Mark  setup
(automatically triggered via crafted mods on your weapon)
Sniper's Mark Sniper's Mark - usually it's the best Curse for Projectile builds, Cursed enemies take more Damage from Projectiles and make your Projectiles Split on Hit for extra Area coverage
Mark on hit support Mark on hit- this Support will cause linked Mark to be cast on an enemy you hit with any Attack
Lifetap Lifetap - enables the use of Mark with limited Unreserved Mana availability

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5. Gear Setup

The Shield, as mentioned already, is the most important part of the build. Seething Fury is a mandatory Jewel and Hrimsorrow enables your Physical to Cold Damage conversion but other than that your build can be just Rare items. Of course, there are some Uniques you can aim for that are outclassed only by very good and expensive Rares. Despite the high amount of ES from your Shield, it's still a Life build, so seek Maximum Life wherever you can. Your Damage will come in the form of Elemental Damage - mostly Cold, Critical Strike, Attack, and Projectile Damage modifiers are useful for this build. Surprisingly one of the best Weapons for this build is The Princess since you don't actually use Weapon to Attack at all, but its global extra damage modifiers apply to Spectral Shield Throw. On top of that build is very flexible, both Iron Reflexes and Ghost Dance Keystones are in the range of 1 passive point depending on your preferences of Armour versus Evasion-based character. 

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to start mapping successfully

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Evasion/Armour Rating and Energy Shield on your Shield
  2. Life
  3. Elemental Resistances
  4. Attack, Projectile, Elemental Damage
  5. Attribute requirements
  6. Critical Strike Multiplier
  7. Attack Speed
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Seek Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances. Helmets can also offer a variety of mods, usually influenced, that increases your Elemental Damage or Critical Strike Damage
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
+20% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
Nearby Enemies have -#% to Lightning Resistance
Nearby Enemies take #% increased Elemental Damage
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
+#% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Helmet enchantments:
Spectral Shield Throw enchantment
Dagger(Weapon) Rare One-handed weapon- since your Spectral Shield Throw deals only Physical Damage by default, look for Extra Elemental Damage based on Physical Damage - it's the best way to increase your DPS since you won't use the weapon to deal damage anyway, you'll use the Shield
Min. requirements:
Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage
Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Lightning Damage
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike Chance
Attack Speed
Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
Shield(Weapon) Rare Spiked Shield - Spiked Shield is the best base - it grants the mos Evasion and ES, so by increasing Quality you increase these stats. You can Craft additional Quality on your Crafting Bench. You can find a few mods that will increase these stats, and if you're abnormally rich you can look for Synthesised Implicit Modifiers that will help you with your goal.
Min. requirements:
1300 Evasion Rating
250 Energy Shield
Shield(Weapon)Emperor's Vigilance - the best Shield you can get for a reasonable price. Provides massive Armour and Energy Shield for our DMG and on top of that gives Spell Block Chance and glancing Blows Keystone
(16-22)% Chance to Block Spell Damage
1000% increased Armour and Energy Shield
Damage taken from Blocked Hits cannot bypass Energy Shield
Damage taken from Unblocked hits always bypasses Energy Shield
Glancing Blows
Lioneye's Vision(Body Armour) Lioneye's Vision - a Body Armour that requires a lot of Strength which may be a problem, but it's generally a good Armour. It provides a decent amount of Life, Armour and most importantly, an additional Link for your main setup - level 15 Pierce.
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 15 Pierce
(200-250)% increased Armour
+(60-100) to maximum Life
0.4% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
+160 Dexterity Requirement
Enemy Projectiles Pierce you
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - Rare Body Armour outshines any Unique once it's properly crafted. There are a lot of offensive mods like  Base Crit Chance,  Additional Curses etc.
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Attacks have +1% to Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
Chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Additional Curse
Mana Cost of socketed Skills
Darkray Vectors(Boots) Darkray Vectors - interesting scaling with Frenzy Charges that you will have 8 after you put these boots on. 
(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
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - generally better than Darkray Vectors in most cases. After some investment, you can also get great mods of Elusiveness and Tailwind.
Min. requirements:
25% Movement Speed
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
you have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Three-step Assault(Boots) Three-step Assault - If you lack an Evasion Rating try these boots - they provide a lot of Life and some Elemental Ailments Avoidance. The downside is the lack of any Elemental Resistances.
+(25-35) to Dexterity
(20-40)% increased Evasion Rating
100% increased Evasion Rating during Onslaught
+(50-70) to maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
30% chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments while Phasing
Rare Gloves(Gloves)Hrimsorrow - best gloves until you reach very high investments. They provide 100% Physical to Cold conversion, which is the foundation of this build 
+(20-30) to Strength
+(40-50) to Evasion Rating
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
100% of Physical Damage Converted to Cold Damage
Reflects 100 Cold Damage to Melee Attackers

sinistral gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - to replace Hrimmsorrows you need to acquire Elemental Conversion elsewhere. The minimum requirement for such Gloves is 25% Physical Damage Converted to Cold Damage

Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
Physical Damage Converted to Cold Damage 
Critical Strike Chance
Evasion Rating
Rare Belt (Belt) Rare Belt - Stygian Vise is one of the best bases for a Belt - it allows you to store an Abyss Jewel in there. Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, and Elemental Damage with Attacks are the most valuable mods in this slot.

Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
40% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
maximum Life %
increased Damage

belt of the deceiver(Belt)Belt of the Deceiver -  this Unique Belt provides very strong defensive bonus in form of reducing Extra Damage you take from Critical Strikes, while also Intimidating enemies to boost our DPS
(15-25)% increased Global Physical Damage
You take 30% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
+(30-40) to maximum Life
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
Nearby Enemies are Intimidated
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Amulet is one of the most important parts of the build in terms of scaling your DPS. Look for some Life and as many offensive mods as you can afford.
Min. requirements:
60 to Maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
30% increased elemental Damage with Attacks
Optional affixes:
Adds Fire/Cold/Lightning Damage to Attacks
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Damage penetrates Cold Resistance
increased Damage per Frenzy Charge
Recommended Anointments:
Heart of Ice
Divine Judgement
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - You won't need any Curse on Hit unless you can apply an additional one via Annoinment or Body Armour mod. Look for Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances and some offensive mods such as Global Critical Strike Multiplier or Elemental Damage with Attack skills
Min. requirements:
60 to Maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Non-Channelling Skills have (-8–-6) to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Chaos Resistance
Accuracy Rating
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - Jewels can store up to 4 different mods and their variety is huge. Increased Maximum Life is one of the most important affixes but it needs to be combined with other offence-oriented mods to make it worth equipping.
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Critical Strike Multiplier
increased Attack Speed
Elemental Resistances
increased Cold Damage
increased Attack/Elemental/Projectile Damage
Seething Fury(Jewel) Seething Fury - The most important part of the build is this Jewel that increases your Damage based on ES of your Shield
(10-15)% increased Attack Damage while holding a Shield
+0.15% to Off Hand Critical Strike Chance per 10 Maximum Energy Shield on Shield
+4% to Off Hand Critical Strike Multiplier per 10 Maximum Energy Shield on Shield
watcher's eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Hatred or Precision mods are usually the best for this type of build - it can be a huge bonus for your DPS. It's an expensive Jewel so don't bother with it unless the other parts of your gear are in place. It also provides a way to convert damage, if you change your Gloves
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Taste of Hate(Flask) Taste of Hate - Extra Cold Damage based on your Physical Damage is extremely beneficial. Use this Flask to increase your DPS and reduce Cold Damage Taken
+50% to Cold Resistance
20% less Cold Damage taken
(10-15)% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Cold Damage during Flask effect
Gain (10-15)% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage during effect
30% chance to Avoid being Chilled during Flask effect
30% chance to Avoid being Frozen during Flask effect
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - the best Sulphur Flask in the game due to its Critical Strike mods and huge radius
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(20-40)% increased 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
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - This Flask grats some other type of Damage based on your Physical Damage - Chaos Damage. You won't have many increases in Chaos Damage but it's still useful.
+35% to Chaos Resistance
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (5-8)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (5-8)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Jade Flask with additional Evasion Rating increase
  2. Granite Flask with additional Armour Rating increase
  3. Divine Life Flask with Bleeding immunity
  4.  Diamond Flask with Attack Speed or Movement Speed bonus
Quicksilver FlaskBottled FaithAtziri's PromiseTaste of HateLife 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.

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Grinding Gear Games.