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Exsanguinate Scion Ascendant Build

Exsanguinate Scion Ascendant Build

A very interesting Physical Spell Caster build which combines on-hit damage with strong stacking DoT

Scion Ascendant build

Updated for Patch 3.14

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Guide notes
April 29, 2021
-Build created
June 3, 2021
-Added gameplay video


The Ultimatum League introduced a lot of new blood-related Skill Gems to the game - few of which will be used in this build, for example, Exsanguinate - a Spell that deals Physical Damage on Hit and Over Time, Petrified Blood - a Spell that reserves half of your Maximum Life, or Corrupting Fever - a Duration Spell that allows you to inflict Corrupting Blood on enemies while dealing damage to your character. This guide will explain these new, complex Skills Gems and how to take an advantage of being Low Life while still having decent survivability. It’s a build based on brand new skills, consequently, you can put it in the experimental category. Players are still figuring out the best ways to play it and there are a lot of variations of it you can find. 

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1. Gameplay

It is a powerful build, although its possibilities are being explored as of now, it is evident that with Exsanguinate your character will be able to clear most of the content in the game. While this spell is cast in a usual fashion - by targeting enemies in front of you - it shoots “projectiles” called Tendrils, which do not counts as Projectiles and will not benefit from Projectile bonuses, however, linking it with Chain Support allows them to Chain. Another annotation worth mentioning is that it is not an Attack but a Spell dealing with Physical Damage, much like Ethereal Knives. The main source of damage will be Physical Damage and Physical Damage Over Time, bury that in mind as this build deals no damage other than Physical. Your defense will mainly consist of having around 6k of Maximum Life and Recovering Life on Block. 

This video was recorded on a level 94 Scion on Standard. We had a couple of Items that increased the level of All Physical Spell Gems so the "final" level of our Exsanguinate was 25 with Cold Iron Point, and we had a bunch of "Life" Rares including Vermillion Rings with Tier 1 rolls and LIfe Catalysts used. Overall, both the DPS and effective Life was at a quite satisfactory level and we managed to push this build a bit further than just a Starter build

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • Great AoE Damage thanks to the extra Chain mechanic
  • new unique playstyle
  • quite tanky
  • great as a League Starter build
  • multiple stacking sources of damage
  • can be played on a budget
  • mediocre single-target DPS
  • can't do no Leech/no Regen Maps


3. Leveling tips

You can start using Exsanguinate as soon as level 12. The Gems listed below are obtainable in the first 2 or 3 Acts of the game. Swap these temporary Support Gems progressively to the core Gem Links as presented in section 5 as soon as you find them. You can use any weapon and any Physical skill, I recommend you to use the one you’re most familiar with, like slam or sweep and swap to Exsanguinate later on.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Exsanguinate setup
Exsanguinate Exsanguinate - the core Spell used in this build. It deals high base Physical damage and applies a stacking DoT which works great on lower levels
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support - adds flat Cold Damage to your Exsanguinate hits
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds a ton of extra Fire Damage based on Exsanguinate base damage. It doesn't affect the DoT though
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support - increases both Spell Damage and DoT of linked Spells making it a perfect Support Gem for Exsanguinate
Spellslinger Support Spellslinger Support - a great way to trigger Exsanguinate during leveling to avoid paying its' cost. You can just level up using any Wand and attack to cast it automatically
Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - recommended mobility Spell for this build
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - Flame Dash casts will grant you Arcane Surge buff which boosts your Spell Damage, Cast Speed, and Mana Regeneration Rate
Utility Gems
Pride Pride - the most powerful Aura for this build which greatly boosts your damage. If you are using Spellslinger, you will be unable to use it though during the campaign
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - increases your Physical DPS 
Vulnerability Vulnerability - the best Curse for this build which increases your damage significantly


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points is an okay option

Leveling Skill Trees:

30 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: take Veteran Soldier and Relentless first, then head for the Vanquisher and Heart of the Warrior

48 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: take Spiritual Aid, Sovereignty, and Purity of Flesh, pick the Necromancer Ascendancy so you can start using Bone Offering

58 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: the next step is to allocate Pain Attunement, going from the Witch starting location take Arcanist Doom, then Heart and Soul and Deep Wisdom

94 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: the next step is to allocate Pain Attunement, going from the Witch starting location take Arcanist Doom, then Heart and Soul and Deep Wisdom

Recommended leveling items:

Reverberation WandReverberation Rod - a great leveling Wand if you want to manually cast your Exsanguinate. It adds an extra link to your setup with a low-level Spell Echo Support
(15-19)% increased Spell Damage
+2 to Level of Socketed Gems
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 10 Spell Echo
+(10-30) to Intelligence
WanderlustWanderlust - another Unique Item that is very common during leveling phase. It's cheap and grants Movement Speed, Mana Regen and immunity to Freeze
(10-30)% increased Damage
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - one of the best leveling Helmets in PoE which solves all your Resistances issues on lower levels
+(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 - key item for leveling characters, provides 6 linked Sockets allowing you to greatly scale your damage via additional Support Gems
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)


Useful Vendor Recipes:

  1. White Boots + Quicksilver Flask + Orb of Augmentation = Magic Boots with 10% increased Movement Speed. To get past leveling phase quickly it is vital to have high Movement Speed
  2. Weapon (Wand for example) + Magic or Rare Rustic Sash + Blacksmith's Whetstone = Magic Weapon with (40 to 64%) Increased Physical Damage
    A Magic Weapon like this will be very useful because of the very high DPS increase on lower levels. Moreover, all the components needed can be bought in Act 1


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

122 Points Final Skill Tree
122 Points PoB Pastebin link

If you have Unnatural Instinct - alter the starting location path - take Mana Regeneration and Intelligence, then go for the Shaper by picking up small Mana nodes and the Jewel Socket, this is where you put the Unique Jewel.

If you have Thread of Hope you can put it in between of Devotion and Faith and Steel, and with the big enough radius to reach Vanquisher, Sanctuary, Discipline and Training, and Sovereignty - do it.

The best large Cluster Jewels will have: Mage Hunter, Burden Projection, Conjured Wall and Thaumophage
In the medium Cluster Jewels look for: Blood Artist, Student of Decay, Rend, Brush With Death, Exposure Therapy, Whispers of Death, Whish of Death

Small Cluster Jewels should have Fettle Passive

The Skill Tree allows you to have up to 2 Large 4 Medium and 4 Small Cluster Jewels

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Necromancer Ascendancy
  2. Path of the Witch
  3. Gladiator Ascendancy


Major God: Soul of Lunaris for 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 Gruthkul (+5% chance to Evade Attack Hits if you've taken a Savage Hit Recently) or Shakari for 5% reduced Chaos Damage taken 25% reduced Chaos Damage over Time taken while on Caustic Ground


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Exsanguinate
Exsanguinate Exsanguinate - the skill this build is centered around. It deals high base Physical Damage with extra stacking DoT effect
Brutality Support Brutality Support - an absolute necessity, boosts the Physical Damage On Hit and  Physical Damage Over Time by a significant amount
Controlled Destruction Controlled Destruction Support - grants More Spell Damage multiplier making it one of the best Gems here
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support - again a core Gem which grants More Spell Damage, which increases Damage Over Time for Exsanguinate, also more Damage Over Time on its own and Skill Effect Duration
Chain Support Chain Support - grants extra Chain to Exsanguinate "Tendrils", greatly increasing your clear speed. You can swap it to Swift Affliction Support against Bosses
Empower Support Empower Support - one of the best ways to scale this setup's DPS. If you don't have a level 3 Empower (or higher) you can just use Cruelty Support instead
[UTILITY] Corrupting Fever
Corrupting Fever Corrupting Fever - another new Physical DoT Spell introduced in patch 3.14. It allows you to stack up to 10 Corrupted Blood debuffs on enemies, making them take Physical Damage over Time. You spend your Life instead of Mana to cast it
Brutality Support Brutality Support
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support
Swift Affliciton Swift Affliction Support - increases the DoT Damage you deal with Corrupting Fever
[UTILITY] Utility Gems/Auras
Pride Pride - Aura that grants more Physical Damage
Vitality Vitality - Aura which increases your Life Regeneration. It's a must-have for this build as you are going to play on permanent Low-Life
Petrified Blood Petrified Blood - As a Low Life build, you want to remain below 50% of your Maximum Life at all times, it allows you to deal 30% more Spell Damage by allocating Pain Attunement Keystone. You can also benefit from other Low Life conditional perks such as granted by Lori's Lantern Unique Ring Movement Speed and enemies being Unlucky while hitting you. A common practice to keep your Life low at all times is to have it reserved, a Petrified Blood is the best way to do it in the context of this build. Petrified Blood provides a gradual loss of Life instead of Instantly removing the Life from your Life Pool when you take a Hit. A part of the damage from Hit is still applied Instantly but part of it is taken over the next 4 seconds (it still count as damage taken from hits), so by having really high Life Recovery you can consider the constant, gradual Life loss as non-threatening disruption. It applies only to the bottom half of your Life pool, for you can actually ignore the restriction of having your Life Reserved by Petrified Blood by using a Flask
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - decreases the amount of Reserved Mana
[UTILITY] Flame Dash
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - use a level 7 Arcane Support so that each cast of Flame Dash grants you increased Spell Damage, Cast Speed, and Mana Regen
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - increases the number of Flame Dash charges and reduces its cooldown
Flame Dash Flame Dash - one of the best and fastest Movement Spells you can use in this build
[UTILITY] Steelskin
Steelskin Steelskin - the best Guard Spell for this build which grants a protective shield that absorbs some of the incoming damage. Use whenever off cooldown
[UTILITY] Bone Offering/Desecrate
Bone Offering Bone Offering - the reason for picking Necromancer Ascendency - it grants Cast Speed, Block Chance, and instant Life Recovery on Block. If you are using Cast when Damage Taken use a level 15 Bone Offering which should be enough to cap your Attack Block Chance
Desecrate Desecrate - creates Corpses for Bone Offering. Same as above, if it's triggered, use a level 15 Gem here
Cast when Damage Taken Gem Cast when Damage Taken Support - if you don't have a "Trigger Wand" you can use a level 12 Cast when Damage Taken Gem to trigger Bone Offering and Desecreate automatically
[UTILITY] Herald of Purity
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - grants the highest bonus DPS out of all Herald Spells, and doesn't Reserve too much Mana so linking it Arrogance puts just slightly below the "Low Life" Threshold
Maim Support Maim Support - Minions created by Herald of Purity will be able to Maim enemies on hit
Arrogance Support Arrogance Support - makes Herald of Purity Reserve Life instead of Mana, putting you right into the "Low Life" state which is desired in this build

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5. Gear Setup

In this section, you will find the recommended Items for our Exsanguinate Scion Ascendant Build. There are no Uniques required for this build to word, but there are some worth mentioning.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your Elemental Resistances and grant necessary attributes
  2. Give you enough DPS and Life to start mapping successfully
  3. Saves you at least a couple of hours on planning your build!

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Elemental Resistances
  2. Maximum Life
  3. Chance to Block Spells and Attacks
  4. Spell/Physical Damage
  5. Increased Damage over Time
  6. Cast Speed
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - a great pick. A Rare Bone Helmet - thanks to Spiritual Aid notable if allocated via Thread of Hope, can increase your DPS further. Try to get as much Life and Resistances as possible
Min. requirements:
80 Maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Nearby enemies take #% Increased Physical Damage
Helmet enchantments:
Exsanguinate deals 40% increased Damage
Pride has 15% reduced Reservation 
Wand(Weapon) Rare Wand - a great and good all-around Weapon Choice. You can also find one with "Trigger Socketed Spells when you use a skill" affix to cast Bone Offering, Desecrate, and possibly a Cruse for you
Min. requirements:
90% Spell Damage
15% Cast Speed
Optional affixes:
Trigger Socketed Spell when you use a Skill
+1 to Level of All Physical Spell Skill Gems
Added Physical Damage to Spells
Damage over Time or DoT Multiplier
Cold Iron Point(Weapon) Cold Iron Point - a great option if you can get a corrupted version of it with increased Damage over Time or a chance to gain Frenzy Charges. In some variations of this build, you can also dual-wield those Weapons
30% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+3 to Level of all Physical Spell Skill Gems
Deal no Elemental Damage
Rare Shield(Shield) Rare Shield - allows you to get extra Spell Damage, Block Chance, and tons of defensive stats
Min. requirements:
90 Maximum Life
80% Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
+1 to Level of All Physical Spell Skill Gems
Cast Speed
Elemental Resistances
Astral Plate(Body Armour) Rare Armor - any Body Armour is good really, besides Life and Elemental Resistances look for additional Physical Damage Reduction and Increased Effects of Offerings
Min. requirements:
100 Maximum Life
10% Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Physical Damage Reduction
You can apply an additional Curse
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - The exact same case as with Helmet, additionally aim for Movement Speed - up to 30%. Tailwind is one of the most valuable and rare mods in this slot, plan for it at the late stages of the game.
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
30% Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - besides Life and Elementa Resistances, Increased Spell Damage is a useful mod
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Spell Damage
Asenath's Gentle Touch(Gloves) Asenath's Gentle Touch - enemies killed near Cursed corpses will explode, extremely useful with Additional Curse mod on Chest, and Vulnerability Curse on Hit on a Ring. These Gloves provides also Life, Mana, and Intelligence but lack any Resistances
+(20-30) to Intelligence
+(60-80) to maximum Life
+(60-80) to maximum Mana
Curse Enemies with Temporal Chains on Hit, with 40% increased Effect
Non-Aura Curses you inflict are not removed from Dying Enemies
Enemies near corpses affected by your Curses are Blinded
Enemies Killed near corpses affected by your Curses explode, dealing
3% of their Life as Physical Damage
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - the best option for this build. Aim to the highest possible Life bonus and some extra Resistances
Min. requirements:
100 Maximum Life
10% Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Global Physical Damage
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - aim for Resistances, and Life, +1 to Level of all Physical Skill Gems, + Level of all Strength Skill Gems
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
Optional affixes:
+1 to Level of all Physical Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Strength Skill Gems
Cast Speed
Elemental Resistances
Chaos Resistance
Recommended Anointments:
Command of Steel
Two-Stone Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - basically look for high bonus Life and Resistances. Vulnerability Curse on Hit with Increased Effect is an expensive mod you should try to get
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Curse Enemies with Vulnerability on Hit, with 20% increased Effect
Lori's Lantern(Ring) Lori's Lantern - this inexpensive Ring provides very high defensive bonuses when you are Low Life which is basically all the time with this build
+(8-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
+10% to all Elemental Resistances
(6-8)% increased Movement Speed when on Low Life
31% increased Light Radius
+(20-25)% to Chaos Resistance when on Low Life
Damage from Enemies Hitting you is Unlucky while you are on Low Life
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - it is always good to have one as long as you’re using an Aura. The best mods for this build are related to Pride Aura, mainly the chance to deal double damage, or you can get extra Life Leech/Regeneration from Vitality
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Recommended Aura Modifiers:
(8-12)% chance to deal Double Damage while using Pride
(0.8-1.2)% of Damage leeched as Life while affected by Vitality
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - they should provide extra Life and Damage bonuses
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
Spell Damage/Global Physical Damage
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Cast Speed
Abyss jewel(Jewel) Abyss Jewel - try to get affixes that grant you stats listed on the stat priority list
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
Added Physical Damage to Spells
Optional affixes:
Increased Damage if you've killed recently
Chance to Hinder enemies on Spell Hits
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - we recommend using two Large Cluster Jewels with either Physical Damage bonuses or Spell Damage ones
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Furious Assault
1 Added Passive Skill is Exploit Weakness
1 Added Passive Skill is Iron Breaker

1 Added Passive Skill is Burden Projection
1 Added Passive Skill is Mage Hunter
1 Added Passive Skill is Practiced Caster
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - the best Medium Cluster Jewels should have bonuses related to Curses, and you can use up to four of these. If you use two Curses, they are even better
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Whispers of Death
1 Added Passive Skill is Wish for Death
1 Added Passive Skill is Exploit Weakness
1 Added Passive Skill is Master of Fear
Small Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewel - if you get extra Passive Points to spend, get small ones as well with Fettle Passive
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Fettle
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - the best Utility Flask in Path of Exile that grants a ton of extra DPS and Life Regen from Consecrated Grounds. It's very expensive and benefits mainly Crit. builds so there is no reason to get this Flask ASAP
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-50)% increased Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
+(1-2)% to Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Effect
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - if you don't have your Block Chance capped you may as well use Rumi's Flask for massive defensive bonuses
+3000 to Armour
+(14-20)% Chance to Block Attack Damage during Flask effect
+(6-10)% Chance to Block Spell Damage during Flask effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Experimenter's Quicksilver Flask of Warding (Curse Immunity) or
    Enduring Eternal Mana Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
  3. Ample Silver Flask of Heat (Freeze Immunity)

It is important to have mods to remove Bleeding, Freeze, and Curses on your non-unique flasks. The best way to get it is through Einhar’s Beastcrafting

Rumi's ConcoctionBottled FaithDivine Life FlaskQuicksilver FlaskSilver Flask

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If you have any feedback about this build or suggestions for the next one, please let us know in the comments below! We are always glad to make all kinds of build guides, from end-game monsters to beginner-friendly and budget builds just as this Exsanguinate Scion Ascendant Build!

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

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