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Holy Flame Totem Hierophant Templar build

Holy Flame Totem Hierophant Templar build

End-game viable Totem build based on the most popular Templar's Ascendancy class - Hierophant

Holy Flame Totem
Hierophant build

Updated for Patch 3.22

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Guide notes
November 01, 2023
-Updated for Patch 3.22
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Holy Flame Totem is a reworked version of the old school Flame Totem skill gem, with plenty of changes made to it. The new version fires 3 projectiles instead of one, creates Consecrated Ground around the Totem, which makes you immune to Curses, and converts Physical Damage to Fire. Combined with Avatar of Fire it provides full Physical and half of other Elements Conversion to Fire, which scales insanely well with all additional Damage to Spells sources. This build has decent clear speed as well as single-target damage and great survivability, thanks to Totems taking most of the incoming damage. If you plan to create a Totem build it's a good start - Holy Flame Totem builds are the cheapest ones in the game, requiring almost no specific or expensive Items.

Thanks to the buff to Mind Over Matter keystone that increased the amount of damage transferred to mana instead of life this build gained a lot of survivability completely for free. Paired with the Totem playstyle, this makes playing this build very safe and satisfying. Not having to stand still to cast your skills allows you to focus on dodging incoming attacks making it much easier to learn new mechanics, which is great for any new league. 

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1. Gameplay

Hierophant Ascendancy is the best choice for this build - it not only provides a lot of Mana that works really well with Mind over Matter but also grants permanent Power and Endurance Charges generation. Pursuit of Faith and Ritual Awakening grants insane damage for Totems and allows us to summon an additional Totem. This build has great survivability thanks to High Life and additional Energy Shield and uses Mind over Matter, which converts Damage to be taken from Mana instead of Life. As for the gameplay, you place your totems and watch them burn all enemies with holy fire. This build is also recommended as a League Starter because it requires no unique items to farm even Red Maps with ease. With few investments, it's possible to kill all the Guardians and the Shaper himself.

This video was recorded on a level 92 Hierophant on Standard mode in Patch 3.14. The build overall felt really smooth, though the single-target DPS against higher Tier Bosses might have been lacking.

This is a somewhat outdated video which should be updated shortly

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • good single target and AoE
  • amazing clear speed thanks to totems shooting 3 projectiles each
  • high defenses due to High Life and Mind Over Matter
  • great survivability because your Totems are going to tank a lot of hits
  • can do all maps modifiers including Elemental Reflect
  • Totem playstyle is less likely to be found attractive


3. Leveling tips

You are leveling with Holy Flame Totem since level 4, with all supporting skills that you will also use in the endgame. Three Totems with the first Ascendancy point in Pursuit of Faith are more than enough to carry you to the mapping phase. Below you will find some basic Gem setups for the early stages of the game, and several extremely useful Unique Items. You may also visit our Templar Leveling Guide using Totems for more details.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Holy Flame Totem setup
Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem - your primary Spell that will be used in the endgame build as well
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus  Support - grants more Elemental Damage but your Totems will not inflict ailments
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds additional Fire Damage based on Physical Damage
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases Flame Totem's rate of fire significantly
Flamethrower Trap setup
Flamethrower Trap Flamethrower Trap - a supplementary source of damage, which can be used if you lack DPS against Bosses. It can also apply Combustion debuff
Combustion Support Combustion  Support - grants more Fire Damage and lowers enemies' Resistances, causing them to take even more damage
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - adds additional Fire Damage based on Physical Damage
Charged Traps Support Charged Traps Support - slightly increases the damage of linked Trap, but also allows you to easily generate Power and Frenzy Charges with it
Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - your main Mobility Skill
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases your Flame Dash casting speed and movement
Portal Portal - it can save you tons of Portal Scrolls
Utility Gems
Flammability Flammability - a great curse for Fire builds. Reduces cursed enemies Fire Resistance
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants more Fire and Burning Damage. If you kill the enemy, it will also burn all nearby enemies


We recommend helping Alira for Mana Regeneration, Critical Strike Multiplier, and Elemental Resistances or killing all the Bandits for two extra Passives

Leveling Skill Trees:

33 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Discipline and Training 2) Light of Divinity 3) Ancestral Bond 4) Divine Judgement, Fury 5)Primal Manifestation

65 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Purity of Flesh 2) Shaman's Dominion 3) Cruel Preparation 4) Heart and Soul 5) Heart of Flame

Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - they provide everything - Attributes, Damage, and Resistances. Perfect choices for the whole leveling process
(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 Path of Exile, will fix your Elemental Resistances during leveling
+(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 - insane leveling item, Tabula Rasa with its 6-link by itself will carry you through the leveling process
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
Axiom PerpetuumAxiom Perpetuum - best leveling weapon in the game for spellcasters. A lot of Additional Damage to Spells and an insane amount of Critical Strike Chance. Recommended to dual-wield them
(4-6)% increased Cast Speed
(100-140)% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Adds (2-3) to (5-6) Fire Damage to Spells
Adds (2-3) to (5-6) Cold Damage to Spells
Adds 1 to (10-12) Lightning Damage to Spells

Trolltimber SpireTrolltimber Spire - a very cheap shield, that will provide a lot of Life Regeneration, and damage dealt by your Totems will be leeched to you

(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:

117 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Cluster or Unique Jewels)
122 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 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] Holy Flame Totem
Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem - your primary Spell in this build. All Support Gems listed below with the exception of Inspiration and Increased Critical Damage have an Awakened version, so it's worth considering picking those up for even higher DPS
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - increases the damage, Critical Strike Chance and reduces mana costs of your Holy Flame Totem 
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds additional Fire Damage based on Physical Damage. This Gem has an Awakened version that can grant +1 to the level of your Holy Flame Totem
Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support - grants tons of Critical Strike Multiplier to Critical Strikes, which are you going to deal most of the times
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - a great boost to Elemental Damage which also makes your Totems unable to inflict Ailments, so you can apply Combustion debuff by another Spell
Fire Penetration Support Fire Penetration Support - penetrates the enemy's Fire Resistances 
[UTILITY] Wave of Conviction
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - you are going to use this skill with Spell Totems so that it allows you to summon an extra Totems via Multiple Totem Support, but also it will be able to Inflict ignite and apply Combustion debuff
Spell Totem Spell Totem Support - will allow you to create Totems that will cast your Wave of Conviction for extra Damage and debuffs
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - allows you to cast two additional Wave of Conviction Totems on top of the base 4 Holy Flame Totems that you should always have active
Combustion Support Combustion Support - enemies hit with Wave of Conviction will have their Fire Resistance reduced even further
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - main Mobility Skill for faster movement through Maps. It also allows you to avoid big damage spikes
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases the Cast Time for non-Instant Flame Dash uses 
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 level 9 so it procs with each cast
[UTILITY] Flame Wall
Flame Wall Flame Wall - projectiles that travel through Flame Wall deal additional Fire Damage. Cast it between totems and powerful enemies to take them down more quickly. Optional Phantasmal Alternate Quality provides easier application of Fire Exposure
Aincreased Area Of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect - Helps Flame Wall with covering greater areas and applying its bonus to more totems
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the uptime duration on Flame Wall so you don't have to cast it as often
[UTILITY] Steelskin/Vaal RF
Steelskin Steelskin - a great instant-cast Guard Spell that grants a protective shield that absorbs some incoming damage. Use when off-cooldown
Vaal RF Vaal Righteous Fire - use the Vaal part of this Spell for a short burst of Spell Damage
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of buff granted by Vaal Righteous Fire, which typically can be used only once per fight
[UTILITY] Herald of Ash setup
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants more Fire Spell Damage. We are using Calamitous Visions so it's mandatory to use this Herald
[UTILITY] Golem/Curse setup
Summon Chaos Golem Summon Chaos Golem - Physical Damage is the type of damage that can hurt you the most so it's good to have the Chaos Golem for some extra Physical Damage mitigation
Sniper's Mark Sniper's Mark - grants the highest DPS possible. Depending on your gear Assassin's MarkAssassin's Mark can be better, but that depends on your actual Critl. Multiplier. Just do the calculations in PoB and use the Mark that ends up giving you more DPS
Arcanist Brand Arcanist Brand - will automatically cast linked Curse and Golem, making the build much smoother to play
Faster Casting Faster Casting Support - makes casting brand faster, and thus smoother

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find all the recommended and required gear for this build. Most of the items should be easily obtained, and everything can be temporarily replaced with cheaper rare items.

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. Elemental Resistances
  3. Fire/Spell Damage
  4. Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. Maximum Mana
  6. Critical Strike Chance
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet this is a very solid option for this build. Picking up a rare helmet will make it much easier to cap Elemental Resistances and wear the other required unique gear 
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Maximum Mana
Crown of the Inward Eye(Helmet) Crown of the Inward Eye one of the best Helmets for this build which grants tons of Life, Energy Shield, and Mana. It also increases your DPS based on all those three stats
333% increased Armour and Energy Shield
(9-21)% increased maximum Life, Mana and Global Energy Shield
Transfiguration of Soul
Transfiguration of Body
Transfiguration of Mind
Helmet enchantments:
Flame Totem fires 2 additional projectiles
Sceptre(Weapon) Rare Shaper Sceptre - it's definitely the best in slot weapon for this build

Min. requirements:
Gain 20% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage
60% Increased Spell Damage
Adds 40 Fire Damage to Spells
70% Increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Optional affixes:
Increased Cast Speed
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Level of all Fire Spell Skill Gems

Rare Shield(Shield) Rare Shield - since patch 3.5 we can craft +1 to the number of summoned Totems to shield, so it's our best offhand shield for this build
Min. requirements:
30% increased Spell Damage
80% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
80 to maximum Life
Crafted: +1 to the maximum number of Summoned Totems
Optional affixes:
Increased Cast Speed
ES Armor(Body Armour) Rare Armour - definitely our go-to armor. Aim for the highest Life bonuses and craft increased life and mana by up to 8% 

Min. requirements:
110 maximum Life
8% increased maximum Life
8% increased maximum Mana
Optional affixes:
increased Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances

Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - They are the best choice if you need to fix your Resistances. Get with the highest Life, Resistances, and Movement Speed
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - if you need to fix your Resistances and increase Maximum Life they are the go-to choice
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Maximum Mana
Spell Damage
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - preferably a Stygian Vise for extra Abyss Socket
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Maximum Life
Increased Damage/Global Physical Damage
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - A very solid option, which with proper affixes will provide a big DPS boost with Global Critical Strike Multiplier and more Life. If you are using a Rare Amulet you need to pick Avatar of Fire Passive from your Tree.
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
30% Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
+1 to Level of All Strength Skill Gems
Spell Damage
Xoph's Blood(Amulet) Xoph's Blood - It's the best option. It boosts your DPS significantly and gives you an extra Passive Skill. Covering Enemies in Ash also means they will take greatly increased Damage
+(20-30) to Strength
10% increased maximum Life
+(20-40)% to Fire Resistance
10% increased Strength
Damage Penetrates 10% Fire Resistance
Cover Enemies in Ash when they Hit you
Avatar of Fire
Replica Dragonfang's Flight(Amulet) Replica Dragonfang's Flight - You can use this one for much more damage and Reservation Efficiency. Both are usually in high demand.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+3 to Level of all <Random Skill> Gems
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
(10-15)% increased Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Items and Gems have (15-10)% reduced Attribute Requirements
Recommended Anointments:
Heart of Flame
Opal Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - just aim for high defensive stats. You can also get an Elder Ring to use it with Mark of the Shaper for some massive Spell Damage boost.
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Minimum Frenzy Charges
Mark of the Shaper(Ring) Mark of the Shaper - grant very high bonus Spell Damage if your other Ring is an Elder item making it one of the best budget choices for this slot
(15-25)% increased Elemental Damage
20% chance to Trigger Level 20 Summon Volatile Anomaly on Kill
Adds (13-18) to (50-56) Lightning Damage to Spells
(6-10)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(6-10)% increased maximum Life
(60-80)% increased Spell Damage if your other Ring is an Elder Item
Cannot be Stunned by Spells if your other Ring is a Shaper Item
Circle of Anguish(Ring) Circle of Anguish - Herlad of Ash is very important in this build, use these Rings to increase its effect, Reservation efficiency, or your damage.
<One to three random Synthesis implicit modifiers>
+(20-30) to Strength
Adds (20-25) to (26-35) Fire Damage
+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
<Two Random Herald of Ash modifier>
Abyss Jewel(Jewel) Abyss Jewels - with added flat Fire Damage to Spells
Recommended affixes:
Added Fire Damage to Spells
Increased Critical Strike Multiplier
maximum Life
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - they should provide extra Life and damage
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Spell Damage
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
increased Fire Damage
increased Cast Speed
Rain of Splinters(Jewel) Rain of Splinters - if you don't have the Helmet enchantment and/or Dying Sun, this Jewel will greatly increase your clear speed. Also, aim for the lowest damage reduction possible
(50-30)% reduced Totem Damage
Totems fire 2 additional Projectiles
Unnatural Instinct(Jewel) Unnatural Instinct - if you have some extra Currency to invest into this build, Unnatural Instinct offers tons of extra stats when socketed right above Witch's Starting Point
Allocated Small Passive Skills in Radius grant nothing
Grants all bonuses of Unallocated Small Passive Skills in Radius
Calamitous Visions(Jewel) Calamitous Visions - this Jewel grants the Lone Messenger Passive which allows you to use Herald of Ash with greatly increases the effect, but no other Auras can be used
Adds Lone Messenger

You can only have one Herald
50% more Effect of Herald Buffs on you
100% more Damage with Hits from Herald Skills
50% more Damage Over Time with Herald Skills
Minions from Herald Skills deal 25% more Damage
Your Aura Skills are Disabled
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - we recommend getting one Large Cluster Jewel with either Spell or Elemental Damage bonuses. There is a bunch of useful Passives here, just don't bother getting extra Life/ES Leech as it won't affect you in any way
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Conjured Wall
1 Added Passive Skill is Mage Hunter
1 Added Passive Skill is Sap Psyche
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 Onslaught, Totem Placement Speed, Totem Cast Speed, and obviously damage works too
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Ancestral Echo
1 Added Passive Skill is Sleepless Sentries
Dying Sun(Flask) Dying Sun - great Utility Flask, that provides additional projectiles for our Totems. Don't use it if you are going for Rain of Splinters as its effect is diminished then
(-10-10)% increased Charges used
(15-25)% increased Area of Effect during Flask Effect
Skills fire 2 additional Projectiles during Flask Effect
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - provides increased Damage and Critical Strike Chance against enemies on Consecrated Ground
(30-15)% reduced 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

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Divine Life Flask with Immune to Bleeding mod
  2. Quicksilver Flask with Immunity to Freeze or other Elemental Ailmet
  3. Silver Flask with increased Movement Speed 
Dying SunBottled FaithDivine Life FlaskDiamond FlaskSilver 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.

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