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Kinetic Bolt Ballista Totem Hierophant Build

Kinetic Bolt Ballista Totem Hierophant Build

A Hierophant build that uses Arcane Cloak with Indigon to increase the Attack Damage of Ballista Totems that fires Kinetic Bolts

Kinetic Bolt Ballista Totem
Hierophant build

Updated for Patch 3.14

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Guide notes
June 29, 2021
-Build created
July 5, 2021
-Added gameplay video


This is one of the most interesting builds we've been working on so far. You play as Hierophant placing Ballista Totems shooting Kinetic Bolts supported by Barrage. To increase the damage of Kinetic Bolt - an Attack Skill that increases its damage as you increase your Spell Damage with twice as much potency - you use Indigon Unique Helmet - it increases your Spell Damage as you spend more and more Mana, and this is why a Hierophant is such a fitting ascendancy for this build. The Skill this build uses doesn't cost much mana compared to your giant Mana pool, so to actually spend the highest amount of Mana in the Shortest amount of time this build uses Arcane Cloak Spell, it spends about 64% of the current Mana - around 4000 in the later stages of the game with one click of a button. that's a 500% increase in Spell Damage thus a 1000% increase in Attack Damage of the Kinetic Bolt.

The Ballista Totems that do all the Damage in this build don't cost that much Mana, so to make them of any use you need to use Arcane Cloak whenever you can. Your damage will be increased by Indigon for the next four seconds after casting Arcane Cloak, which you can cast 3 seconds after it wears off, with the base duration of 3 seconds. The Arcane Cloak itself grants you another 700 or something added Lightning Damage if cast at full Mana. You can also place a lot of Ballista Totems to have Indigon's increase in damage, but it takes some time. What it all means is that the damage will be extremely inconsistent, but devastating at its full potential. Note that after casting Arcane Cloak you won't be able to place Ballista Totems so that's an inconvenience.

Your offenses will consist of Indigon, Arcane Cloak synergy, and increased value of Spell Damage for Kinetic Bolt. Your skill tree is set up in such a way to accumulate a lot of Mana which play a role of both - offensive and defensive statistic. You don't take Agnostic Keystone - this way you can have Energy Shield which a lot of you can get for free from your gear and it's close to Mana and Lightning nodes on the Skill Tree. Your Life should be around 2k and ES around 5 to even 8k. Much of the Damage will be nullified by your Guard Spell - Arcane Cloak. Hierophant ascendancy will grant you a lot of Mana, portion of damage taken from Mana before Life, Transfiguration of mind (increases in Mana will increase the damage as well at 30% of the value), insane Totem buffs, and permanent four Endurance and Power Charges

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1. Gameplay

The build requires some time to get used to. You kill enemies with stationary Totems which you can only place after Indigon's Mana penalty wears off. That's why it is important to place Ballista Totems first and then Use Arcan Cloak. Another utility Spell is Sigil of Power, you can create a zone to stand in that will increase the Area of Effect and adds some Lighning Damage, during longer boss fights you might activate all four stages for additional defense benefits. You manually cast Wave of Conviction to increase the effectiveness of your Lighting Damage by decreasing enemies' resistance to it. Use Flame Dash to move around and dodge Hits.

This video was recorded on a level 92 Hierophant on Standard League with nearly 8000 Maximum Mana. Overall, this build offered insane AoE and decent single-target DPS, though the build itself requires a bit of practice so that you don't fall into Mana-related issues (for example, when losing a lot of it via Mind over Matter when getting hit too much)

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • good single target and AoE after scaling your Spell DPS via Indigon
  • visually appealing
  • great defenses based on Mind over Matter and Arcane Cloak
  • can do Maps with all modifiers
  • inconsistent damage if you fail to manage your Mana
  • you can get killed easily if you run out of Mana/Arcane Cloak buff
  • low Choas Resistance


3. Leveling tips

You can start by using Totems, Holy Flame Totem seeps to be the best option since you can get it early on. At some point, you'll have to switch to the Kinetic Bolt with Ballista Totems, we recommend doing so after you acquire 6-linked Ivory Tower and Prism Guardian Unique Shield, after that, you'll be in a much better position to invest more into Energy Shield and Damage with Wands. Take MoM after you can afford to lose Mana when you take damage.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Holy Flame Totem setup
Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem - One of the best Totems for leveling with. It's easy to find Support Gems that will work well with it early on.
Infused Channeling Support Elemental Focus Support - more Spell Damage at the cost of the inability to cause Burning
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - you'll be able to place more Totems
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - Physical Damage gained as extra Fire Damage, which is good because Holy Flame Totem deals Physical Damage
Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - Flame Dash allows you to instantly dash, it's a good mobility Skill
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - it will grant an extra charge to use with Flame Dash
Utility Gems
Flammability Flammability - a curse that reduces enemies Fire Resistance
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - a buff that grants spell damage, cast speed, and mana regeneration after you spend a certain amount of mana on linked Skills


You can kill all the Bandits if you want two Passive Skill Points, or Help Alira - for Mana Regeneration, Critical Strike Multiplier, and Elemental Resistances.

Leveling Skill Trees:

31 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Ancestral Bond 2) Shaman's Dominion

65 Points Skill Tree
Go for more Maximum Life, Mana, and Totem/Fire Damage

Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - a cheap and common Unique ring with useful stats
(10-30)% increased Damage
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - due to Elemental Resistances, it is considered the best Unique leveling Helmet
+(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 - really cheap Body Armour that grants nothing but six white sockets, all linked
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)

Trolltimber SpireTrolltimber Spire - Affordable, defensive shield. Increases your survivability. One of the Best gear pieces for leveling Totem builds

(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
Torchoak StepTorchoak Step - a cheap pair of boots that can be somewhat useful for Totem Builds like this one
(80-120)% increased Armour
(30-50)% increased Totem Life
25% increased Movement Speed
(30-50)% increased Totem Placement speed
Totems Reflect 25% of their maximum Life as Fire Damage to nearby Enemies when Hit

4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

122 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels)
122 Points Path of Building(PoB) link 

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


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 Shakari 5% reduced Chaos Damage taken; 25% reduced Chaos Damage over Time taken while on Caustic Ground


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Kinetic Bolt Ballista Totem setup
Kinetic Bolt Kinetic Bolt - using this instead of Kinetic Blast grants the character Attack Damage based on Spell Damage, which will be increased a lot thanks to Indigon
Balista Totem Support Ballista Totem Support - casting it by yourself would be incredibly hard since Totems can stay firing while you'd be unable to due to ramped-up Mana Cost
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - more Elemental Damage at the cost of forfeiting Elemental Ailments, which is not a problem as long as Skitterbots are active
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - more Critical Strike Chance and Elemental Damage for Supported Skills
Lightning Penetration Support Lightning Penetration Support - due to many factors, the main damage dealing by this build is Lightning, use Lightning Penetration Support for more damage
Barrage Support Barrage Support - Projectiles will be fired one after the other in a sequence, that will increase the damage output
[UTILITY] Curse setup
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - it will apply Exposure, lowering Lightning Resistance of opponents it hits
Awakened Hextouch Support Awakened Hextouch Support - Awakened version of Hextouch allows you to apply two Curses instead of just one, if you don't have it Culling Strike or Increased Area of Effect will do just fine
Conductivity Conductivity - A curse that lower the Lightning Resistance, it will be applied to enemies hit with Wave of Conviction
Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness - A curse that lower the Elemental Resistance, it will be applied to enemies hit with Wave of Conviction
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash and Arcane Cloak setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - this build uses Flame Dash as the main mobility Skill, it's instant and allows you to traverse precipices and cliffs
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - Flame Dash will store an additional charge, increasing your mobility
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - More Spell Damage, more Mana Regeneration, and more Cast Speed after you spend a certain amount of Mana. Link it with Arcan Cloak for it consumes a lot of Mana.
Arcane Cloak Arcane Cloak - Spent a majority of your current Mana to create a defensive layer blocking 75% of incoming damage from hits. Very important Guard Spell that his build can't work without.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Clarity Clarity - an Aura that regenerates your Mana, it doesn't reserve much mana since the amount is not based on your Maximum Mana but it's a fixed number - around 300
Precision Precision - an Aura that increases Critical Strike Chance and gives additional Accuracy Rating. It reserves a flat amount of Mana as well as Clarity.
Empower Support Empower - this Support Gem increases Gem Level of Clarity and Precision by one, two, or three
Enlighten Support Enlighten - it lowers the reservation cost of Linked Skills, in this case, Clarity and Precision
[UTILITY] CwDT setup
Tempest Shield Tempest Shield - increases the chance to Block Attack and Spell Hits, it deals Lightning Damage on Block and refreshes its duration
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - Tempest Shield will be activated automatically after taking damage. Both Gems in this setup can be level 20.
[UTILITY] Sigil of Power setup
Sigil of Power Sigil of Power - Sigil of Power is rarely useful, it requires you to stay for a long time in an area and spend Mana while there. It increases Area of Effect and adds Lightning Damage. At four stages, the enemies standing there will deal less damage.
[UTILITY] Auras and Minion setup
(to be placed in Prism Guardian Unique Shield)
Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots - Skitterbots Chills and Shock nearby enemies which is useful since your main DPS Skill can not do any of those
Wrath Wrath - an Aura that adds Lightning Damage to Attacks and increases Spell Lightning Damage
Discipline Vaal Discipline - Discipline grants more ES and ES recharge rate. use Vaal version that can be activated to prevent delays in recharge caused by receiving damage.

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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 such as Indigon and a few are heavily recommended, like Skyforth for example. Your main objective is to gain a lot of Mana, Energy Shield, and Critical Strike Chance/Multiplier. Capping your Elemental Resistance at 75% is important to start mapping beyond white maps.

Our recommended items will:

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

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Mana
  2. Energy Shield
  3. Elemental Resistances
  4. Intelligence
  5. Spell Damage
  6. Critical Strike Multiplier
  7. Critical Strike Chance
  8. Maximum Mana
Indigon(Helmet) Indigon - Indingon increases your Damage after you spent Mana, it's an obligatory item for this build 
(150-180)% increased Energy Shield
(6-10)% increased maximum Mana
Recover (8-10)% of Life when you use a Mana Flask
Non-instant Mana Recovery from Flasks is also Recovered as Life
(50-60)% increased Mana Cost of Skills for each 200 total Mana you have Spent Recently
(20-25)% increased Spell Damage for each 200 total Mana you have Spent Recently, up to 2000%
Helmet enchantments:
Kinetic Bolt has 15% increased Attack Speed
Kinetic Bolt changes direction 2 additional times
Kinetic Bolt has 30% increased Projectile Speed
Wand(Weapon) Rare Wand - Look for Spell Damage and stats scaling with Intelligence. Attack Speed, Critical Strike, and Projectile Damage are popular choices as well

Min. requirements:
30% Increased Spell Damage
1% increased Spell Damage per 16 Intelligence
Adds 1 to 5 Lightning Damage to Attacks with this Weapon per 10 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Increased Attack Speed
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Increased Projectile Damage

Prism Guardian(Shield) Prism Guardian - by reserving your Life you're capable of having more Auras, and by equipping The Ivory Tower, the reserved Life does not go to waste
+12% to all Elemental Resistances
+2 to Level of Socketed Aura Gems
Socketed Gems Cost and Reserve Life instead of Mana
Socketed Gems have 25% reduced Reservation
+(20-30) to Dexterity
+25% to all Elemental Resistances
The Ivory Tower(Body Armour) The Ivory Tower - mandatory Body Armour. Each mod gives you an enormous benefit, especially when combined with Prism Guardian
+(40-70) to Intelligence
+30 to maximum Energy Shield per 100 Reserved Life
+(80-100) to maximum Mana
Regenerate 2% of Energy Shield per second
Chaos Damage is taken from Mana before Life
Skyforth(Boots) Skyforth - use Skyforth for more Mana, less Reserved Mana, and significantly increased Stun Threshold
+(60-120) to maximum Mana
30% increased Movement Speed
25% chance to gain a Power Charge on Critical Strike
6% reduced Mana Reserved
You have no Life Regeneration
Stun Threshold is based on 500% of your Mana instead of Life
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 - Use Fingerless Silk Gloves as a base for more damage. Try to get as much Mana, Elemental Resistances, and Energy Shield
Min. requirements:
40 Maximum Energy Shield
70 Maximum Mana
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Critical Strike Chance
#% of Physical Damage Converted to Lightning Damage
Spell Damage
Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - Stygian Vise or Crystal Belt are two equally good options to choose from here. Use Crystal Belt if you need more ES than anything else
Min. requirements:
40 Maximum Energy Shield
60 Maximum Mana
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
#% increased Mana Recovery rate
Energy Shield %
#% increased Energy Shield from Body Armour
#% increased Spell Damage during any Flask Effect
Atziri's Foible(Amulet) Atziri's Foible - This Amulet provides you with a lot of Mana, which is a statistic you should seek. It's cheap and available at low levels
(20-30)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+100 to maximum Mana
(16-24)% increased maximum Mana
(80-100)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
Items and Gems have 25% reduced Attribute Requirements
Recommended Anointments:
Mind Drinker
Arcane Swiftness
Opal Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Rings are supposed to increase your Mana, Intelligence, and Elemental Resistances. There are many offensive mods such as Accuracy Rating, or Critical Strike Chance you can get as well
Min. requirements:
60 Intelligence
80% Total Elemental Resistances
50 Maximum Mana
Optional affixes:
Maximum Energy Shield
Increased Damage
Increased Mana Regeneration Rate
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - look for Spell Damage and Critical Strike related mods, eventually try to get one of these with Corrupted Blood Immunity
Recommended affixes:
increased Spell Damage
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
increased Intelligence
increased Maximum Energy Shield
increased Maximum Mana
Unnatural Instinct(Jewel) Unnatural Instinct - an expensive optional jewel you can use for extra Mana, Elemental Damage, Minion Damage, and Energy Shield by placing it in the socket on the right to Witch's starting location
Allocated Small Passive Skills in Radius grant nothing
Grants all bonuses of Unallocated Small Passive Skills in Radius
watcher's eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - "Gain #% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity" is probably the best mod you can get
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - just one of these is enough, look for Lightning Damage or Totems as a base and try to get recommended Notables
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Ancestral Inspiration 
1 Added Passive Skill is Practiced Caster
1 Added Passive Skill is Scintillating Idea
1 Added Passive Skill is Storm Drinker
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
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 First Among Equals
1 Added Passive Skill is Precise Commander
1 Added Passive Skill is Astonishing Allfilction
Small Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewel - Small Cluster Jewels are a good opportunity to gain some Mana and Energy Shield
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Scintillating Idea
1 Added Passive Skill is Will Shaper
Dying Sun(Flask) Dying Sun - use it for more Projectiles, more AoE, and an extra defense against Fire Damage
+50% to Fire Resistance
20% less Fire Damage taken
(-10-10)% increased Charges used
Skills fire 2 additional Projectiles during Flask Effect
(15-25)% increased Area of Effect during Flask Effect
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - an expensive Flask that grants a lot of beneficial effects, such as Critical Strike Chance and 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
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - great flask for when you need your Armour and Chance to Block Spell and Attack Hits increased
+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. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Movement Speed)
Rumi's ConcoctionBottled FaithDying SunDiamond 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.

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

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