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Freezing Pulse Totem "Low Life" Hierophant Build

Freezing Pulse Totem "Low Life" Hierophant Build

One of the best end-game viable Totem builds for Ultimatum League for Hierophant class

Freezing Pulse Totem
"Low Life" Hierophant build

Updated for Patch 3.17

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Guide notes
March 31, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.17
Build overview



Boss DPS:



This build takes advantage of an item introduced to the game during Ritual League - Viridi's Veil, and its synergy with Coward's Legacy Belt. You are permanently Cursed with Vulnerability, but with the magic ring in the right ring slot, this curse will have no effect upon you. The belt additionally makes your character count as "Low Life" while being Cursed with Vulnerability, so that justifies taking Pain Attunement Keystone - an easy choice for free additional damage at all times. Soul Mantle provides the 7th link - level 20 spell totem, while the Helmet again makes you take no penalties for being cursed by this Body Armour. Hierophant Ascendancy is an obvious choice for most Totem builds. In Patch 3.17 the build has been slightly nerfed - Soul Mantle no longer grants +1 to Maximum Totems.

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1. Gameplay

Freezing Pulse with its fast Projectiles is the best choice as a spell for our Totems. This skill is more effective the closer enemies are to the source of the projectiles - totems in this case. It makes playing Freezing Pulse much safer than self-casting it. Ancestral Bond and Pursuit of Faith provided us with more Totems - up to four. Additional Mana will be required to smoothly run through the maps - with Mind Over Matter and the high cost of totem skill it's easy to run out of it in no time. Hierophant ascendancy is once more very useful here. With MoM, Maximum Life around 3k, additional ES, and freezing enemies from distance this build has a solid defensive capability.


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • good single target and AoE
  • decent clear speed thanks to totems shooting very fast projectiles
  • excellent defenses due to many defensive layers
  • fantastic survivability - your Totems are going to take the hits while enemies will stay frozen
  • can do all maps modifiers including Elemental Reflect
  • Some players don't like Totem builds
  • Requires a sacrifice - one of the Rings must be magic - with only 2 mods


3. Leveling tips

Holy Flame is an excellent leveling skill for this and many other Totem builds, it's available right from the start and doesn't require alternating your Passive Skill Tree in a significant way. It can carry you up to level 49 with just four links with no problem. Use it until you get yourself a Soul Mantle. Shortly after that, you'll be able to wear Coward's Legacy Belt. Wear Kikazaru - one or two of them so the Curses won't have a detrimental effect on you. While switching from Holy Flame Totem to Freezing Pulse it is important to look back at the Skills you're using. Adjust Gem links and Resistances. Use vendor recipes to obtain a decent leveling weapon. If you're using Holy Flame Totem by selling to a vendor one Blacksmith's Whetstone, a Chain Belt (preferably Rare or Unique) and a Dagger/Sceptre/Staff or Wand will result in a weapon with increased Spell Damage.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Holy Flame Totem setup
Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem - decent spell for leveling Totem builds. The Support Gems that well synergize with it are available right at the start of the game. Use it until you'll be able to wear Soul Mantle.
Combustion Support Combustion Support - use it to deal more Fire Damage and increase the Chance to Ignite
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds more fire damage to your totems
Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - your main Mobility Skill, one of the best in the game. It offers instant relocation and holds up to three charges
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases Flame Dash mobility effects
Portal Portal - saves Portal Scrolls and the time to obtain them
Utility Gems
Flammability Flammability - reduces cursed enemies Fire Resistance, the type of damage you're dealing
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - a buff that grants spell damage, cast speed, and mana regeneration.


Help Alira - you'll be rewarded with Mana Regeneration, Critical Strike Multiplier, and Elemental Resistances.

Leveling Skill Trees:

31 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Divine Fury 2) Ancestral Bond

68 Points Skill Tree
Important: Do not take MoM until you're able to sustain Mana and do not take Pain Attunement until you have your Unique Belt.

Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - great leveling Ring, the stats it provides are much needed during leveling
(10-30)% increased Damage
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - the best unique leveling Helmet you can get, mainly due to the Elemental Resistances in it
+(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 - 6-linked Body Armour you can use as soon as level 1. It cost around 1 divine orb which is really affordable.
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)

Trolltimber SpireTrolltimber Spire - cheap, defensive shield for totem builds. Greatly Increases your survivability.

(130-150)% increased Armour
+(40-60) to maximum Life
0.5% of Life Regenerated per second
15% increased Area of Effect for Skills used by Totems
0.5% of Damage dealt by your Totems is Leeched to you as Life

4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

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

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Pursuit of Faith
  2. Ritual of Awakening
  3. Conviction of Power
  4. Divine Guidance


Major God: Soul of the Brine King 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 Ryslatha Life Flasks gain 3 Charges every 3 seconds if you haven't used a Life Flask Recently


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Freezing Pulse Totem setup
Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse - the Spell most suitable for this type of build. It shoots projectiles at very high speed, Pierce all targets, has high base damage and it's safe.
Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support - synergizes well with Cold Spells
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support - adds additional Cold Damage based on Physical Damage
increased Critical Damage Support increased Critical Damage Support - a massive boost to your Critical Strike Multiplier
Cold Penetration Support Cold Penetration Support - a great boost to Cold Damage by Penetrating enemies Cold Resistance 
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - enables you to place one more Totem at one cast, and have more Totems placed at the same time
Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support - 7th link provided by Unique Body Armour Soul Mantle, makes Freezing Pulse a Totem Spell.
[UTILITY] Frost Bomb setup
Frost Bomb Frost Bomb - reduces Life Regeneration and Energy Shield Regeneration for enemies and also apply Cold Exposure which reduces Cold Resistance. Useful for long fights with tough enemies.
Spell Cascade Support Spell Cascade Support - Frost Bombs cover more area
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - Frost Bombs last longer
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - allows you to store an additional charge 
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - main mobility skill for faster movement through Maps. It's instant and can be used up to three times in rapid succession.
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of Arcane Surge
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - after casting Flame Dash you will gain the Arcane Surge buff, which increases Spell Damage and Cast Speed. Keep this Gem at a low enough level so that mana requirements won't be too high.
[UTILITY] Immortal Call
Immortal Call Immortal Call - Guard Spell that grants a brief bonus that reduces Physical and Elemental damage taken. Keep it at level 12
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will cast Immortal Call for you. Keep it at level 10
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of the Immortal Call effect
[UTILITY] Hatred
Hatred Hatred - an Aura that increases your Cold damage and converts part of your Physical damage to Cold damage. Keep in on your Essence Worm Unique Ring for extra potency and no cost.
[UTILITY] Cold Snap setup
Cold Snap Cold Snap - creates a Chilled Ground effect that enhances the effect of chill and provides a chance to gain a Frenzy Charge while killing enemies standing on it. Really powerful when combined with Bonechill Support.
Bonechill Support Bonechill Support - provides damage bonuses, mainly for cold damage over time against enemies that are standing on chilled ground
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - This allows you to cast more the skill more often
Spell Cascade Support Spell Cascade Support - Increases the area covered by Cold Snap
[UTILITY] Golem setup
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - this type of Golem is the most beneficial for this build. It grants more Cast Speed and adds some Lightning Damage to Spells.
Culling Strike Culling Strike Support - your Golem will be able to kill bosses with less than 10% Life
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - Golem will be summoned automatically after you take damage
Innervate Support Innervate Support - Golem will have a higher chance to Shock enemies and grant the Innervation buff. Use the Divergent version if you can afford one.

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find all the recommended and required gear for this build. Some of these items are absolutely mandatory and a few are heavily recommended. It leaves us with not so many items to cap Elemental Resistances and to gather as much Maximum Life as possible.

Our recommended items will:

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

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Attributes - Dexterity
  3. Elemental Resistances
  4. Cold/Spell Damage
  5. Critical Strike Multiplier
  6. Critical Strike Chance
  7. Maximum Mana
Viridi's Veil(Helmet) Viridi's Veil mandatory item - "You are Hexproof if you have a Magic Ring in right slot" mod makes you Hexproof, and you will have Curses with increased effect on you at all times. Do not use Atziri's Reflection instead, you still have to be affected by Curses.  Other mods are also good.
+(1–2) to Level of Socketed Gems
(120–160)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(15–25)% to all Elemental Resistances
Damage of Enemies Hitting you is Unlucky while you have a Magic Ring Equipped
You are Hexproof if you have a Magic Ring in right slot
Take no Extra Damage from Critical Strikes if you have a Magic Ring in left slot
Helmet enchantments:
#% Increased Freezing Pulse Damage
Wand(Weapon) Two Rare Wands - there are no good Unique weapons. Look for offensive mods here

Min. requirements:
60% Increased Spell Damage
Adds 30 to 60 Cold Damage to Spells
+1 to Level of all Cold/Spell Skill Gems 
Optional affixes:
Increased Cast Speed
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Increased Projectile Damage

Soul Mantle(Body Armour) Soul Mantle - mandatory Body Armour. Gives you more Spell Damage, Totem Life, Energy Shield, and most importantly - Level 20 Spell Totem Support Gem. Thanks to the Helmet you will suffer no penalties.
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 20 Spell Totem
(20-25)% increased Spell Damage
(100-120)% increased Energy Shield
(20-30)% increased Totem Life
Inflicts a random Hex on you when your Totems die, with 80% more Effect
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Look for Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances. It's also good to have Increased Movement Speed. 
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
25% Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Cannot be Frozen
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
70% increased Mana Regeneration Rate if you've cast a Spell Recently
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Gloves and Boots should provide the most Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances in this build, focus on these stats
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Maximum Mana
Spell Damage
Coward's Legacy(Belt) Coward's Legacy - belt required to run this build, it makes you "Low on Life", no matter how much Life you have.
+(9-20) to maximum Energy Shield
+(15-20) to all Attributes
(5-10)% increased Movement Speed
50% increased Effect of Curses on you
You count as on Low Life while you are Cursed with Vulnerability
You are Cursed with Vulnerability, with 80% increased Effect
pandemonius(Amulet) The Pandemonius - gives you much-needed Dexterity, Cold Damage, Cold Resistance, it Blinds Chilled enemies, Chills them on hit, and provides Penetration of Cold Resistance. Finding a better Rare Amulet at a reasonable price is nearly impossible.
+(20-30) to Dexterity
(20-30)% increased Cold Damage
+(35-40)% to Cold Resistance
Chill Enemy for 1 second when Hit, reducing their Action Speed by 30%
Blind Chilled Enemies on Hit
Damage Penetrates 20% Cold Resistance against Chilled Enemies
Recommended Anointments:
Heart of Ice
Essence Worm(Ring) Essence Worm - this is where you put your hatred aura to make it more powerful. If you have Wand With +1 Level of Cold Skills Gems the effect of the Aura will be even more devastating.
Has 1 Socket
+2 to Level of Socketed Aura Gems
Socketed Gems Reserve No Mana
40% increased Mana Reserved
Opal Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - This is the Magic Ring you keep in your right Ring Slot. You can have only two mods on in so try to find the best ones. The most desirable Suffix is Frostbite Curse on Hit, only to be found on Redeemer's bases with an Item Level of at least 75.  Look for synthesized bases. If Ring with Frostbite on Hit is too expensive, try crafting one with Alteration orbs.
Min. requirements:
Curse Enemies with Frostbite on Hit, with #% increased Effect
Optional affixes:
# to Maximum Life
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - look for Cold Damage and Critical Strike related mods
Recommended affixes:
increased Cold Damage
increased Spell Damage
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
increased Maximum Life
increased Maximum Mana
First Snow(Jewel) First Snow -It is required to obtain two of them and to put them in the right spot on a skill tree so that additional bonuses will be activated
(7-10)% increased Projectile Damage
With at least 40 Intelligence in Radius, Freezing Pulse fires 2 additional Projectiles
With at least 40 Intelligence in Radius, 25% increased Freezing Pulse Damage if
you've Shattered an Enemy Recently
Self-Flagellation(Jewel) Self-Flagellation - free damage boost at all times, thanks to the Unique Belt and Unique Body Armour of yours
(10-20)% increased Damage per Curse on you
An additional Curse can be applied to you
Thread of Hope(Jewel) Thread of Hope - it's completely optional, but you can use socket it near Instability and get some of the best Passives such as Heart of Ice
Only affects Passives in Very Large Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Rain of Splinters(Jewel) Rain of Splinters - the damage of your Totems is reduced, but with the additional projectiles it's actually higher
(50-30)% reduced Totem Damage
Totems fire 2 additional Projectiles
watcher's eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Look for Hatred bonuses on it. It's potentially the best possible Jewel you can get for this build, depending on your available budget
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - we recommend getting one Large Cluster Jewel with either Spell or Elemental Damage bonuses.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Ancestral Inspiration 
1 Added Passive Skill is Practiced Cater
1 Added Passive Skill is Blanketed Snow
1 Added Passive Skill is Blizzard Caller
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - you can use two Medium Cluster Jewels and we recommend getting the Totem-related Passives that give you utility bonuses like Totem Cast Speed, Onslaught, Totem Placement Speed, and Elemental or Cold Damage.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Ancestral Inspiration
1 Added Passive Skill is Ancestral Echo
1 Added Passive Skill is Ancestral Reach
1 Added Passive Skill is Sleepless Sentries
1 Added Passive Skill is Cold Conduction
1 Added Passive Skill is Astonishing Allfilction
Dying Sun(Flask) Dying Sun - use it for additional Projectiles for your Freezing Pulse
+50% to Fire Resistance
20% less Fire Damage taken
(125-150)% increased Charges per use
(60-40)% less Duration
(10-20)% increased Area of Effect during Flask Effect
Skills fire 2 additional Projectiles during Flask Effect
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - One of the best and most expensive flasks. Increases Damage and Critical Strike Chance against enemies on Consecrated Ground
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
The Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - great offensive and defensive flask, grants extra Cold Penetration with the right setup
+35% to all Elemental Resistances
During Flask Effect, 10% reduced Damage taken of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is lowest
During Flask Effect, Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Resistance of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is highest

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Seething Divine Life Flask of Heat (immunity to Chill and Freeze effects)
  2. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  3. Experimenter's Silver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Movement Speed)
  4. Quicksilver Flask
  5. Hallowed Hybrid Flask
Dying SunBottled FaithDivine Life FlaskDiamond FlaskQuickliver 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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