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Herald of Thunder Poison Auto-Bomber Pathfinder Build

Herald of Thunder Poison Auto-Bomber Pathfinder Build

Poisonous Herald of Thunder Build for a Pathfinder.

Herald of Thunder
Poison Auto-Bomber
Pathfinder Build

Updated for Patch 3.22

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Guide notes
September 19, 2023
-Build created
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Herald of Thunder is one of the most popular Skills for Autobomber builds - it's a type of build in which your Skills have no Cast time so you don't even have to use them. Such builds are fast, as you don't need to stop, and are great against bosses with their perfect damage uptime. Herald of Thunder creates Storms that Hit nearby enemies with Lightning Damage. Equip two Storm Secret Rings to double Storm's Hit Frequency, thus damage. These Rings will also proc Storms on Shock, not on Kill, making it viable for bossing. You shall also allocate Lone Messenger from Calamitious Visions to deal 100% more Damage with Herald of Thunder. There are limited opportunities to increase Herald of Thunder's Storm's Damage as its damage won't scale with Spell Damage, only with generic Elemental/Lightning Damage.

To Poison with Hits from this Skill, you will Convert all your Lightning Damage to Chaos with Voltaxic Rift. This Bow also allows you to Shock with Chaos Damage which is nice. We can also accommodate an additional 6-link setup and it would be foolish not to do so, as the primary damage source is fully-automated. We've picked Lightning Arrow socketed in Voltaxic Rift -  the Lightning Arrow Shocks as if dealing 300% more Damage, and any Attack fired with this Unique Bow has the same effect, making it 600%. It will also be linked to the Overcharge Support adding another 690% for a 1290% more Effect of Shock in total. Now all you need is a 100% chance to Poison, which in this case is sourced from Dendrobate Body Armou, a few passives, and modifiers. Pathfinder is one of the best classes for a Poison build due to the Nature's Reprisal and Master Toxicist passives. It's also great with Flasks so we will use them with 100% uptime and vastly improved Flask Effect to get more Elemental Resistances, Evasion, and to Reduce Lightning Damage taken from Unique Rings with a Topaz Flask. It's a very tanky build, mostly due to Flasks, Evasion, and Spell Suppression Chance.

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1. Gameplay

It's fully automated for the most part, but you will still use Lightning Arrow to defeat Rare and Unique enemies. For Mana-Reserving Skill use Arctic Armour and Petrified Blood. You can't use much else due to Lone Messenger which disables Auras, and you will probably need Enlighten Support. Use Flame Dash or Dash for enhanced mobility. For Curses use Despair and Temporal Chains and find a way to apply them quickly - you can use Hextouch and Vortex, or a simple Cast when Damage Taken setup will also work. Link Withering Step and a Guard Spell such as Immortal Call to a CwDT or Cast when Stunned (if using Bloodnotch and Immutable Force combo). You can also use another low-level cast when Damage Taken setup to trigger Spells like Firestorm and Storm Brand to shock more frequently, and thus trigger Herald of Thunder's Storms more often, or an expensive Divergent Purifying Flame for a solid damage multiplier to enemies affected by its Consecrated Ground.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • simple to play and assemble
  • damage is enough for most content in the game
  • almost fully-automated
  • Flasks are permanently on
  • it's cheap to start with, only a few items are expensive
  • single target damage is not very good
  • poor survivability against Physical Damage


3. Leveling tips

Start with any Poison Skill. We recommend Cobra Lash with extra Projectile Speed and at least 3 Projectiles in total. Use it to quickly level up until you can equip core Unique Items, and sustain the self-inflicted damage, which may be around level 80 to 90. Most of the Skill Tree will remain the same so you won't have to spend many Regret Orbs.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Cobra Lash setup
Cobra Lash Cobra Lash - A Chaining Attack that's very enjoyable to level up with. It has a built-in 40% chance to Poison on Hit.
Void Manipulation Void Manipulation Support - More Chaos Damage.
Unbound Ailments Unbound Ailments Support - More Poison Damage and Increased Poison Duration.
Deadly Ailments Deadly Ailments Support - More Damage over Time, less Hit Damage.
Vicious Projectiles Vicious Projectiles Support - More Projectile Chaos Damage over Time, less Projectile Attack Speed.
Projectile Speed Faster Projectiles Support - It speeds up Projectiles making Cobra Lash much better.
Despair Despair - Lowers Chaos Resistance.
Temporal Chains Temporal Chains - Lowers Action Speed and increases Poison Duration on enemies.
Auras setup
Herald of Agony Herald of Agony - Grants More Poison Damage and Chance to Poison.
Grace Grace - Adds and increases Evasion Rating.
Vaal Haste Vaal Haste - Use Vaal Version for a brief bonus to Attack and Movement Speed.
Various Gems
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - Grants more Attack Speed as it stays up.
Withering Step Withering Step - Applies Wither, grants Phasing, and Elusive bonuses.


Killing all three Bandits for two Passive Skill Points is the best option.

Leveling Skill Trees:

30 Points Skill Tree
Get some Poison Chance, Accuracy, and Maximum Life first.

74 Points Skill Tree
Get even more Poison Damage, Maximum Life, Claw nodes, and Projectile nodes.


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - It provides you with Damage and Elemental Resistances, an excellent Ring for leveling.
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
Mark of SubmissionMark of Submission - You can put Despair or Temporal Chains here to apply these Curses on Hit.
Has 1 Socket
Curse Enemies with Socketed Hex Curse Gem on Hit
GoldrimGoldrim - A popular choice for a Helmet, it has very high 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 - A Body Armour that has a huge potential for it has six, linked, white sockets.
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
The Wasp NestThe Wasp Nest - It's the best leveling weapon for a Poison Build that uses Claws.
Grants 40 Life per Enemy Hit
(150-170)% increased Physical Damage
(20-25)% increased Attack Speed
(20-25)% increased Critical Strike Chance
+(330-350) to Accuracy Rating
20% chance to Poison on Hit
Attacks with this Weapon deal 80 to 120 added Chaos Damage against
Enemies affected by at least 5 Poisons
DawnstriderDawnstrider - It will grant you more Attack Speed from Ancestral Protector.
+(80-100) to maximum Life
30% increased Movement Speed
100% increased Effect of Buffs your Ancestor Totems grant while Active
Buffs from Active Ancestor Totems Linger for 4 seconds
Maximum 1 Buff from an Active Ancestor Totem at a time

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

90 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels nor Glorious Vanity)
121 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Nature's Reprisal
  2. Master Toxicist
  3. Nature's Adrenaline
  4. Nature's Boon


Major God: Soul of Lunaris: 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: 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each Hit you've taken Recently up to a maximum of 5%


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Herald of Thunder setup
socketed in Dendrobate
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - It creates Storms that rapidly Hit enemies nearby. It cannot Shock, but you will use Lightning Arrow for that. This Skill also adds Lightning Damage to all your Spells.
Elemental Focus Elemental Focus Support - You can not Shock with Herald of Thunder anyway, so this Gem is a sound option. It grants more Elemental Damage.
Deadly Ailments Deadly Ailments Support - Grants much more Damage over Time, but less Damage with Hits.
Void Manipulation Void Manipulation Support - The inability to deal non-Chaos Damage is not an issue since you Convert all of it with Voltaxic Rift. It grants more Chaos Damage. Use the Awakened version for +1 to the Gem Level of Herald of Thunder.
Unbound Ailments Unbound Ailments Support - It increases Poison Duration and grants more Poison Damage.
Added Lightning Damage Added Lightning Damage Support - Adds Lightning Damage to Attacks. Use the Awakened version for +1 to the Gem Level of Herald of Thunder. Alternatively, use Cruelty Cruelty.
Chance to Poison Chance to Poison Support - This one is from Dendrobate Armour. It adds Chaos Damage and a 40% Chance to Poison.
[UTILITY] Lightning Arrow setup
socketed in Voltaxic Rift
Lightning Arrow Lightning Arrow - It's used to apply a powerful Shock, use it against bosses and rare enemies.
Overcharge Overcharge Support - Lightning Arrow applies much more powerful Shock but deals less damage.
Additional Accuracy Additional Accuracy Support - You have no Accuracy, but you still need to Hit at least some enemies.
Unbound Ailments Unbound Ailments Support - The Effect of Shock is increased.
Volatility Volatility Support - Use it for a chance of dealing more damage and applying more powerful Shock. It can be replaced with Multiple Projectiles Support Multiple Projectiles Support.
Innervate Innervate Support - Use it to gain the Innervate buff. We recommend the Divergent version which can grant it on Hit. It adds Lightning Damage to Attacks and Spells.
[UTILITY] Curse setup
Temporal Chains Temporal Chains - Increases Poison Duration and slows down the enemy.
Despair Despair - Lowers Chaos Resistance so that you deal more Poison Damage.
Vortex Vortex - We found it very efficient to apply these Curses on Hit with Vortex as your movement key.
Hextouch Hextouch Support - Curses are applied on-hit with Vortex. Get the Awakened version, it's often cheap.
[UTILITY] Mana-reserving setup
Petrified Blood Petrified Blood - It prevents you from Recovering Life above half of your Life Pool, but you can still do so with Life Flasks, which you will constantly have Charges for as a Pathfinder. It takes a portion of incoming Hit Damage and makes part of it Damage over Time giving you time to recover it back. It applies only to the lower half of your Life Pool.
Arctic Armour Arctic Armour - It makes you take less Fire and Physical Damage while stationary, and granst Freeze immunity. It requires a lot of Mana Reservation Efficiency to fit it, so you may want not to take it at all.
Enlighten Enlighten Support - Lowers Reservation Cost of Linked Skills.
[UTILITY] CwDT setup
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - It activates Linked Skill after taking damage, which you often do take due to Storm Secret. Depending on the Spells selected here you may need to adjust its level, but in this particular case it's best to select a level 1 Gem for more frequent casts
Firestorm Firestorm - this Spell can Shock several times with each cast with overlapping explosions, greatly increasing the Trigger Rate of your Herald of Thunder Shocks. if you find the self-damage taken from Storm Secret to be too much, you can replace it with a Guard Skill like Immortal CallImmortal Call instead.
Storm Brand Storm Brand - another very efficient Spell when it comes to Shocking enemies quickly. Just like other Gems in this setup it can be used at level 1
Purifying Flame Divergent Purifying Flame - level 1 is enough, just increase its Divergent Quality to 20%. Enemies on its Consecrated Ground will take increased damage. If you can't afford this one, just use a Plague BearerPlague Bearer instead for some extra AoE and clear speed
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash
Flame Dash Flame Dash - A simple mobility Skill to dash.
[UTILITY] Withering Step
Withering Step Withering Step - grants you Elusive buff on use, and applies multiple Withered stacks quickly. Depending on the number of Spells you have selected in the previous CwDT setup, you may need to use Ornate Quiver to socket it


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5. Gear Setup

We're using Unique Body Armour, a Weapon, Rings, and preferably an Amulet too. Voltaxic Rift, Dendrobate, Storm Secret (2x), and Replica Dragonfang's Flight are the best-in-slot or irreplaceable items. That's great news since items in these slots are usually the most expensive ones. You will also need unique Jewels - Calamitous Visions, and the optional combination of Bloodnotch with Immutable Force. On your Rare gear, get Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, Spell Suppression, Chaos Resistance, and that's it. Reservation Efficiency on a Helmet is highly optional, Accuracy is not needed at all. You will get a lot of Dexterity and Intelligence from the Skill Tree, but 155 Strength will be needed for Petrified Blood and Immortal Call. We're also using Eldritch Battery so you don't need Mana Regeneration or anything like that. 100% Poison Chance is achieved with Dendrobate (40%), and small nodes in the Toxic Strikes cluster (15%) and Fatal Toxins cluster (25%) on your Skill Tree. You can also get a 5% Chance (up to 30% with the best Orbs) from a Blue Eldritch Implicit on Rare Gloves, and you can find a mod for a 20% Chance to Poison on a Hunter/Elder Quiver.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances at 75%
  2. Provide you with enough DPS, Life, and ES to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. 20% Chance to Poison
  4. Spell Suppression Chance
  5. Chaos Resistance
  6. Strength
  7. increased Elemental Damage
  8. Chaos or Poison DoT
  9. Mana Reservation Efficiency
  10. Evasion
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Aim for Maximum Life, Resistances, and Spell Suppression Chance. Mana Reservation Efficiency and Attributes can be found here too if needed.
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
+10% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Chaos Resistance
Helmet enchantments:
40% Increased Herald of Thunder Damage
Voltaxic Rift(Weapon) Voltaxic Rift - It converts all the Lightning Damage to Chaos, thus allowing you to Poison. It extends the Maximum Effect of Shock and allows your freshly Converted Damage to Shock. The Attack Speed roll is not important.
Adds 1 to (600-750) Lightning Damage
(10-15)% increased Attack Speed
100% of Lightning Damage Converted to Chaos Damage
Your Chaos Damage can Shock
Hits with this Weapon Shock Enemies as though dealing 300% more Damage
+40% to Maximum Effect of Shock
Quiver(Off-hand) Rare Quiver - Quiver, if influenced by Elder or Hunter, may grant you the extra 20% Chance to Poison on Hit. If you don't need that, just get the Maximum Life, Resistances, Attributes, Additional Arrow, or Extra Pierce. If you need extra free Sockets, you can look for Ornate Quiver
Min. requirements:
+80 to maximum Life
Optional affixes:
+#% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier with Attack Skills
Elemental Resistances
increased Elemental Damage with Attacks
Chance to Poison on Hit
increased Damage with Poison
Chaos Resistance
Dendrobate(Body Armour) Dendrobate - It's quite important as the built-in Chance to Poison is needed, you can't use Herald of Agony after all. You should also activate its bonuses by gathering at least 300 Dexterity and 150 Intelligence.
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 10 Chance to Poison
(130-150)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+40 to maximum Energy Shield
+(15-25)% to all Elemental Resistances
(75-100)% increased Damage with Poison if you have at least 300 Dexterity
(15-25)% increased Poison Duration if you have at least 150 Intelligence
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Boots should get you Maximum Life, Resistances, Movement Speed, and Suppression Chance - as much as you can afford.
Min. requirements:
40% Total Elemental Resistances
60 Maximum Life
25% Increased Movement Speed
+10% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Gloves, similarly to Boots, should provide you with Life, Resistances, Attributes, and Suppression. Don't seek any influenced mods, the Implicits from Eldritch Orbs can be quite good here.
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
+10% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
Chance to Poison on Hit
Chaos Resistance
Evasion Rating
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - On the Belt, get Maximum Life, Resistances, and Strength. Chaos Resistance and Flask Modifiers will be useful here too if you can afford them.
Min. requirements:
80 Maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
40 Strength
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Flask modifiers
Replica Dragonfang's Flight(Amulet) Replica Dragonfang's Flight - This new Amulet is the best one for a lot of builds that rely on a single Spell for most of the damage, including this one. Get one that increases the level of your Herald of Thunder. If it's too expensive, get a regular Rare Amulet with only one extra level to all Lightning Gems.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+3 to Level of <Random Gem>
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
(10-15)% increased Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Items and Gems have (15-10)% reduced Attribute Requirements
Recommended Anointments:
Whispers of Doom
Storm Secret(Ring) Storm Secret - Two of these Rings will be necessary. It activates Herald of Thunder's Storm on Shock so that you can rely on it in boss areas. It increases the frequency of Storm's hits by up to 50% each and damages your character, so you will need a good recovery and high Lightning Resistance.
+(20-30)% to Lightning Resistance
+(20-30) to Intelligence
(20-30)% increased Lightning Damage
(10-15)% chance to Shock
Herald of Thunder also creates a storm when you Shock an Enemy
Herald of Thunder's Storms Hit Enemies with (30-50)% increased Frequency
Take 250 Lightning Damage when Herald of Thunder Hits an Enemy
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - It's the best place to look for Attributes, Resistance, Maximum Life, and some of the offensively oriented modifiers.
Recommended affixes:
increased Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
increased Lightning Damage
Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Damaging Ailments deal damage faster
Calamitous Visions(Jewel) Calamitous Visions - Lone Messenger grants 100% more Damage and 50% more Effect of Herald Buffs for your Herald of Thunder. You're not allowed to have any Aura and only one Herald on.
Adds Lone Messenger
Bloodnotch(Jewel) Bloodnotch - You can use it in combination with Immutable Force and Energy Shield Mastery to shift your Stun Threshold to ES. It will make you Recoup a lot of Life from Stunning Hits, which includes the self-damage from Storm Secret Rings.
(40-60)% of Damage taken from Stunning Hits is Recovered as Life
Immutable Force(Jewel) Immutable Force -  You can use it in combination with Bloodnotch and Energy Shield Mastery to shift your Stun Threshold to ES. It will make you unaffected by Stuns. You don't need the highest roll here, 961% should be enough to make the Stun Duration 0 due to it being shorter than a server tick.
(500-1000)% increased Stun and Block Recovery
Ancestral Vision(Jewel) Ancestral Vision -  It's easy to gain 100% Spell Suppression in this build. Go for this Jewel for a chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments. the remaining 50% can be gathered from Passives like Tolerance notable.
+(5-10) to Dexterity
Modifiers to Chance to Suppress Spell Damage also apply to Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments at 50% of their Value
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - We've used two of such Jewels. Go for two or three Chaos-related Notables on a Jewel with 8 Passives.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Dark Ideation
1 Added Passive Skill is Unspeakable Gifts
1 Added Passive Skill is Wicked Pall
1 Added Passive Skill is Unwaveringly Evil
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - Three or four Medium Cluster Jewels with Herald-related Notables, notably Lasting Impressions and Empowered Envoy, are a great way to upgrade the build. If you have taken the route to Elemental Overload, you should get at least two Medium Cluster Jewels with Self-Fulfiling Prophecy Passive to give your Herald of Thunder increased base Critical Strike Chance to Trigger it
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Lasting Impressions
1 Added Passive Skill is Empowered Envoy
Optional affixes (only with Elemental Overload):
1 Added Passive Skill is Self-Fulfiling Prophecy
Taste of Hate(Flask) Taste of Hate - Use it to take less Cold Damage, shift a portion of Physical Damage to be taken as Cold, and a chance to Avoid Chill and Freeze that grants you immunity to these Ailments when combined with Ancestral Vision.
+50% to Cold Resistance
20% less Cold Damage taken
(10-15)% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Cold Damage during Effect
Gain (10-15)% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage during effect
30% chance to Avoid being Chilled during Effect
30% chance to Avoid being Frozen during Effect
Progenesis(Flask) Progenesis - It is very expensive but extremely good for a build like this. You take a lot of Damage constantly so the Recoup is crucial. The Chaos Resistance is also useful. The effect of this Flask will be increased due to Pathfinder's passives.
+35% to Chaos Resistance
(20-10)% reduced Charges per use
(-35-35)% increased Duration
When Hit during effect, 25% of Life loss from Damage taken occurs over 4 seconds instead

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Divine Life Flask with Bleed Immunity
  2. Topaz Flask with additional Elemental Resistances or reduced Effect of Curses
  3. Ruby Flask with increased Evasion
  4. Quicksilver Flask with increased Movement Speed
Life FlaskTaste of HateTopaz FlaskRuby FlaskQuicksilver 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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