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Ice Nova of Frostbolts Hierophant Build

Ice Nova of Frostbolts Hierophant Build

A Mana-stacking Ice Nova of Frostbolts build for a Hierophant

Ice Nova of Frostbolts
Hierophant Build

Updated for Patch 3.24

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Guide notes
April 18, 2024
- Build created
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Ice Nova of Frostbolts triggers at the location of Frostbolt, which is a separate Spell that has to be cast too, but in this case, it's triggered with Kitava's Thirst Helmet half the times you spend 100 Mana. It cannot be Life or Energy Shield with Eldritch Battery, it has to be Mana. Usually, Spells don't cost that much and you want to cast them at a discount, but with Archmage Support it almost definitely will cost over 100 Mana. This Support Gem increases the Mana Cost of the Skill based on the total Unreserved Mana but also adds Lightning Damage from the same source. The Mana Cost will grow so high that seeking Mana Cost Reduction is crucial to not run dry. The Ice Nova deals now mainly Lightning Damage. This version of Ice Nova also casts four times per cast given you have enough Frostbolts to accommodate them, which you will. This number grows to 8 with Spell Echo Support, so the actual damage is much higher than you may have initially think. With an increased Area of Effect from Sanctuary of Thought, these Novas will overlap on a single enemy.

The most obvious archetype for a Mana-stacking character is Hierophant with its Sanctuary of Thought and Divine Guidance. It increases Maximum Mana, grants Transfiguration of Mind for more damage sourced from Mana, enhances your Mind over Matter, which you will also have, to make your Mana pool take half of all damage you receive, provides you with tons of Energy Shield, halves Mana Cost of Skills, and doubles your Area o Effect. Arcane Blessing grants you 20% more Damage, and Conviction of Power - Power and Endurance Charges.

The build is very durable with its Corrupted Soul that redistributes damage to be taken from Energy Shield and Life at the same rate. You can Leech both at the same time the recovery is great. Half of the incoming damage will be absorbed by Mana, which you have a lot of too. Hits are also absorbed by Arcane Cloak linked up with Automation. To reduce Physical Damage you use Endurance Charges, Armour, and shift damage to be taken as Elemental Damage, which the character is durable against on account of its Loreweave and Eternal Damnation combo.

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1. Gameplay

Use the Ice Nova, the Spell will trigger Frostbolts and two Curses. Your other Curses are applied on Hit, but the Assassin's Mark has to be cast manually. Deploy Sigil of Power during boss fights. Arcane Cloak and Warcy are all automated. Your Auras are Clarity and Determination. For your movement Skill, use Frostblink of WIntry Blast.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • very good damage against bosses after getting a high crit chance
  • durable against all types of damage including damage over time
  • few buttons to press
  • moderately expensive
  • vulnerable to big physical hits if its Arance Cloak is on cooldown


3. Leveling tips

Follow our Templar Leveling Guide using Lightning Spells. The Mana-stacking archetype is viable only at the high levels, but fortunately, all the Mana Passives are nearby nodes that you pick up anyway, so the transition is rather smooth. Switch to this version after acquiring all the unique gear pieces and capping all of your Resistances. You may struggle with Mana drain initially so use a Mana Flask if that's the case.


When dealing with the bandits, kill all of them for two extra Passive Skill Points.


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

116 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Unique nor Cluster Jewels)
123 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Arcane Blessing
  2. Divine Guidance
  3. Sanctuary of Thought
  4. Conviction of Power


Major God: Soul of Solaris: 6% additional Physical Damage Reduction while there is only one nearby Enemy; 20% chance to take 50% less Area Damage from Hits

Minor God: Soul of Abberath: 60% less Duration of Ignite on You

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Ice Nova of Frostbolts setup
Ice Nova of Frostbolts Ice Nova of Frostbolts - Allows you to cast up to four Ice Novas at the location of four Frostbolts. If there are no Frostbolts nearby it works like a regular Ice Nova. It should cost at least 100 Mana.
Archmage Archmage Support - Adds Lightning Damage sourced from your Unreserved Mana, but the Skills' Mana Cost grows alongside it.
Spell Echo Spell Echo Support - Ice Nova repeats with higher Cast Speed, but lower damage.
Inspiration Inspiration Support - Lowers Mana Cost, increases Elemental Damage, and Critical Strike Chance.
Lightning Penetration Lightning Penetration Support - Damage penetrates Lightning Resistance. Use the Awakened version to inflict Exposure on Hit.
Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support - Increases Critical Damage which is good if your Critical Strike Chance is high. If it isn't, use Intensify Support Intensify Support with Caster Mastery for a better Instensify.
[UTILITY] Kitava's Thirst setup
socketed in Kitava's Thirst
Frostbolt Frostbolt - Its only role is to be a proxy from which Ice Nova is being cast.
Greater Volley Greater Volley Support - Fires 4 additional Frostbolts in a tight formation allowing their damage to overlap.
Conductivity Conductivity - You deal mostly Lightning Damage thanks to Archmage Support. This Curse lowers Lightning Resistance.
Punishment Punishment - You should put another Curse here. It can be Punighemnt, Elemental Weakness, or Enfeeble, depending on your Gloves. Punishment increases damage taken if the target is on Low Life.
[UTILITY] Arcane Cloas setup
Arcane Cloak Arcane Cloak - Consumes most of your Mana to form a protective shield. It prevents 75% of incoming Hit damage.
Automation Automation Support - Arcane Cloak is triggered whenever it's off-cooldown.
Increased Duration Increased Duration Support - Arcane Cloak lasts longer.
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - Grants increased Mana Recovery Rate and Cast Speed.
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Eternal Blessing Eternal Blessing Support - Allows you to have only one Mana-Reserrving Aura, but makes it completely free.
Determination Determination - Adds and increases Armour to take less Physical Damage.
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Arrogance Arrogance Support - You need Clarity, reserve some of your Life to have it.
Clarity Clarity - Regenerates your Mana over time.
[UTILITY] Assassin's Mark
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - Increases your Critical Strike Chance and Damage against the marked enemy.
[MOBILITY] Frostblink of Wintry Blast setup
Frostblink of Wintry Blast Frostblink of Wintry Blast - Your Cast Speed is very high, that's why this version of Frostblink may be a better choice.
Faster Casting Faster Casting Support - Increases Cast Speed for linked Spell.
[UTILITY] Sigil of Power
Sigil of Power Sigil of Power - Adds Lightning Damage and causes enemies to deal less damage while inside of the Sigil. It grows in power after spending Mana.
[UTILITY] Warcry setup
Ancestral Cry Ancestral Cry - Adds extra Armour. This setup should be omitted if you don't have Hands of the High Templar Gloves with two Curses on Hit.
Call to Arms Call to Arms Support - Casts Ancestral Cry automatically whenever it's off-cooldown.
[UTILITY] Curse setup
can be found as Corrupted Implicits on Hands of the High Templar
Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness - You're already using 3 Curses - two are in a Helemt and one is Assassin's Mark. With 5 Maximum Power Charges and Anathema, you can have two more. Elemental Weakness lowers all Resistances.
Enfeeble Enfeeble - The Cursed enemy deals less damage.
Punishment Punishment - It also can be found on the Hands of the High Templar as a Corrupted Implicit.

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6. Gear Setup

Almost all of your flat damage is gained from Mana via Archamge Support so you don't need any sources of added damage. Your Mana also absorbs half of all incoming damage before it reaches your Life or Energy Shield making it that much more crucial. Maximum Mana can be found on all of your gear pieces. On your weapons seek basic Critical Strike mods with Maximum Mana, Cast Speed, and Spell Damage. You will dual-wield Wands. With enough Maximum Mana, you can set the cost of your Ice Nova to be 100, as Archamge increases Mana Cost depending on how much Mana you have in total. Maximum Life is the second most important stat to keep you alive. Energy Shield is gained from Life with a Corrupted Soul Keystone and from Mana with Sanctuary of Thought passive. To recover Life and ES, get Leech from the Skill Tree. To recover Mana you can seek increased Mana Regeneration mods, but the Skill Tree and Clarity should provide you with enough Mana Recovery. Your main defensive stat is Armour, so shifting incoming Physical Damage to be taken as Elemental Damage is very useful, especially as you're using Eternal Damnation.

Our recommended items will:

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

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Maximum Mana
  3. Elemental Resistances
  4. Chaos Resistance
  5. Critical Strike Chance
  6. Cast Speed
  7. Critical Strike Multiplier
  8. Dexterity
  9. Lightning Penetration
  10. Mana Recoup
  11. increased Elemental/Lightning Spell Damage
  12. Armour
  13. Intelligence
  14. Ailments Avoidance
Kitava's Thirst(Helmet) Kitava's Thirst - Has a 50% to cast Frostbolts and two Curses each time you spend 100 Mana. That's why you need a lot of Cast Speed and your Ice Nova has to cost at least 100 Mana.
50% chance to Trigger Socketed Spells when you Spend at least 100 Mana on an
Upfront Cost to Use or Trigger a Skill, with a 0.1 second Cooldown
15% reduced Cast Speed
(70-80)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(30-50) to maximum Mana
Wand(Weapon) Rare Wands - Look for increased Cast Speed and damage - Elemental or Lightning. Maximum Mana is very important too, alongside global Critical Strike modifiers. You don't need added Damage or increased Skill Gem Level.
Min. requirements:
50% increased Spell/Elemental/Lightning Damage
+70 to Maximum Mana
20% increased Cast Speed
80% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Gain #% of Lightning Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
Loreweave(Body Armour) Loreweave - Here we went for the Eternal Damnation and Loreweave combo. Your Resistances are fixed, your Crit Chance is increased, and it has some Life, Mana, ES, Elemental Damage, and Attributes.
Has 6 Sockets
+(8-24) to all Attributes
Adds (4-10) to (14-36) Physical Damage to Attacks
(20-60)% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+(15-50) to maximum Energy Shield
+(20-60) to maximum Life
+(20-50) to maximum Mana
(6-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
(15-50)% increased Elemental Damage
Your Maximum Resistances are (76-78)%
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Maximum Life and Mana with Movement Speed are of utmost importance. For Suffixes get as much Resistances as you can afford, especially Chaos Resistance - it has to be capped. For Eldritch mods get Action Speed and Life Regeneration or Ailment Avoidance.
Min. requirements:
+40% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
+60 to Maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
100% chance to Avoid being Frozen (crafted)
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Rare Gloves may get you more Mana, Life, and Resistances. Be aware of some extremely useful Incursion Suffixes. For Eldritch mods get Life Leech and Chance to Unnerve on Hit.
Min. requirements:
+40% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
+60 to Maximum Life
Chaos Resistance
Optional affixes:
+(46–48)% to Cold Resistance; (30–50)% increased Damage with Hits against Chilled Enemies (Incursion)
+(46–48)% to Lightning Resistance; (40–60)% increased Critical Strike Chance against Shocked Enemies (Incursion)
Hands of the High Templar(Gloves) Hands of the High Templar - We recommend Hands of the High Templar with two Curses on Hit. These can be Punishemnt, Enfeeble, or Elemental Weakness. It saves you sockets and buttons to press. You can also gain base Crit Chance, increased Cast Speed, more Life, or ES as other Implicits, which you can have up to 5 of. The base version has good stats, but no Maximum Mana.
Can be modified while Corrupted
Can have up to 5 Implicit Modifiers while Item has this Modifier
(150-200)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
(7-12)% increased maximum Life
+(20-30)% to Fire and Lightning Resistances
Rare Belt (Belt) Rare Belt - As much Mana, Life, and Resistances as you can afford, including Chaos Resistance.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life
+60 to Maximum Mana
+100% Total Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Maximum Life
Flask modifiers
Eternal Damnation(Amulet) Eternal Damnation - With your Chaos Resistance at 78%, it reduces Elemental Damage taken by 38%, which is a stupidly high number. It also has Mana. Wear Loreweave so the downside will not apply.
+(16-24) to Strength and Intelligence
+(40-70) to maximum Mana
+(-13-13)% to Chaos Resistance
-5% to all maximum Resistances
Gain additional Elemental Damage Reduction equal to half your Chaos Resistance
Recommended Anointments:
Arcane Will
Cleansed Thoughts
Battle Rouse
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - It should have a lot of Chaos Resistance and Dexterity, which you need for Greater Volley. Maximum Life, Mana, Cast Speed, global Critical Strike mods, and Mana Regeneration Rate can be found here as well.
Min. requirements:
+50 to Maximum Life
+60 to Maximum Mana
+70% Total Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
Mana Recoup
increased Mana Regeneration Rate
Anathema(Ring) Anathema - Use it to be able to apply more than one Curse. We recommend allocating one additional Maximum Power Charge from the Skill Tree that combined with Conviction of Power will extend this limit to 5. These are Conductivity, Elemental Weakness, Assassin's Mark, Punishment, and Enfeeble.
+(15-25) to maximum Energy Shield
+(30-40) to Intelligence
(10-15)% increased Cast Speed
(10-20)% chance to gain a Power Charge when you Cast a Curse Spell
Your Curse Limit is equal to your maximum Power Charges
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - Maximum Life, Mana, Dexterity, Chaos Resistance, and Crit mods are the most valuable ones on a Jewel. You could use it with The Adorned as we plan to host 5 of these.
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Maximum Mana
increased Critical Strike Chance with Cold Skills
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - The Scintillating Idea is the most important notable. Stormdrinker grants ES Leech, Doryani's Lesson - Life Leech. Widespread Destruction can be used for more AoE. Other notables provide you mostly with damage.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Scintillating Idea
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Doryani's Lesson
1 Added Passive Skill is Overshock
1 Added Passive Skill is Stormdrinker
1 Added Passive Skill is Paralysis
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
The Perandus Pact(Jewel) The Perandus Pact - We recommend using it for more Chaos Resistance or Maximum Mana. Socket it near Overcharge.
Passive Skills in Radius also grant <random stat>
Glorious Vanity(Jewel) Glorious Vanity - You will need to change Eternal Youth into Corrupted Soul with the Doryani's Variant of this Jewel. Your Maximum Life and ES are more or less equal and you should Leech both at the same time.
Bathed in the blood of (100-8000) sacrificed in the name of Xibaqua
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Vaal
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Determination has some defensive modifiers, but Clarity has Mana Recoup, chance to Recover 10% of Mana when you use a Skill, a portion of Damage taken from Mana before Life, and Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield which are excellent mods in this build.
(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 - You take a lot less Cold than Physical Damage, especially from large Hits. Shifting a portion of Physical Damage to be taken as Cold will drastically reduce damage taken and make your Armour more effective.
+40% to Cold Resistance
+5% to maximum Cold Resistance
(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

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Bubbling Life Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Granite Flask with increased Armour
  3. Silver Flask with increased Cast Speed
  4. Diamond Flask with increased Crit Chance
  5. Sulphur Flask with reduced Effect of Curses on you
Taste of HateGranite FlaskSilver FlaskDiamond FlaskLife Flask

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