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Lightning Bladefall Totem Hierophant - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Lightning Bladefall Totem Hierophant - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Hierophant is the number one Ascendancy class for any Totem Build. Try out this Lightning damage conversion build with insane AoE

Lightning Bladefall
Quad Totem Hierophant
Patch 3.2 Build

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Estimated budget: medium (5-20 Exalted Orbs)
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Guide notes
March 3, 2018
-Updated Skill Trees to Patch 3.2
March 5, 2018
-Added the missing Fluid Motion unique jewel
-Optimized the Final Skill Tree
March 12, 2018
-Replaced Ball Lightning with Orb of Storms for Power Charge generation mechanics
May 24, 2018
-Added gameplay video

Hierophant is the class that was severely buffed in Patch 3.2 and will be now number 1 pick for pretty much any Totem Build. This build revolves around the Bladefall skill, which is a powerful area spell. It is one of the few spells that deal physical damage, and in this build, we are aiming for nearly 100% Lighting Damage conversion. With certain uniques listed below the damage output of this build simply skyrockets, while Bladefall itself provides amazing AoE.

You can also check our other Path of Exile builds over here: Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List

1. Gameplay

Bladefall is an area spell that makes ethereal blades fall from the sky. They deal physical damage in 5 consecutive waves, each wider than the previous one. This spell provides amazing AoE and damage since damage dealt with Bladefall by each of your Totems can stack. The new Hierophant Class allows you to summon up to 4 Totems each dealing its' full damage which makes it the most suitable class for all the Totem builds. This build DPS is based on nearly 100% Lightning Damage conversion and high Lightning penetration. It also provides very good defenses, thanks to high Life, MoM passive, and good Endurance Charge generation.

0:06 Tier 6 Underground Sea Map
0:35 Tier 9 Arachnid Tomb Map
0:53 Tier 11 Spider Forest Map

This video was recorded on a level 85 Hierophant, with only 5-linked Inpulsa's Broken Heart and 3 Labyrinths completed

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • good DPS with amazing AoE  
  • budget friendly being fully viable with as little as 5 links
  • easy to level up
  • immunity to elemental and physical reflect map mods
  • decent defenses with high life and MoM passive 
  • great power charge generation mechanics
  • squishy vs endgame bosses
  • Totem builds may be boring for some players

3. Leveling tips

Leveling with this Totem build is very easy. All you need is a decent spell damage wand, few links in your main setup, and a habit of upgrading your magic/rare equipment to improve your defenses. Your Tree focuses on Life and Elemental/Spell Damage nodes which are perfect for the leveling phase. You can use Flame Totem until you can start using Bladefall Spell Totem, and level up your end-game Gems at the same time.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Flame Totem setup
Searing Bond Flame Totem - spawns a Totem, that shoots a beam of fire towards you and your other Totems. It deals very high damage per second to monsters that stay in the beam
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - makes your Flame Totem cast spells at a faster rate
Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support - grants you increased AoE. It is very helpful during leveling
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - adds extra Lightning Damage to your Flame Totem's projectiles
Bladefall Spell Totem setup
Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support -  will allow you to summon a Totem that will cast the supported spell
Bladefall Bladefall- your main DPS spell. It makes ethereal blades fall from the sky and deal physical damage in the targeted area
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - adds extra Lightning Damage to your Flame Totem's projectiles
Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support - converts 50% of the supported skills to Lightning Damage, and also adds additional Lightning Damage
Utility Gems
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - adds flat Lighting Damage to your spells
Clarity Clarity - increases your Mana Regeneration rate
Shield Charge Shield Charge - one of the best mobility skills in PoE


Kill all bandits for additional 2 passive points.

Leveling Skill Trees:

36 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Elementalist 2) Ancestral Bond 3) Quick Recovery 4) Mind over Matter 5) Occultist's Dominion

63 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Amplify 2) Deep Wisdom 3) Blast Radius 4) Devotion 5) Totemic Mastery

Recommended leveling items:

LifesprigLifesprig - great leveling wand available from level 1
(8-12)% increased Spell Damage
+1 to Level of Socketed Spell Gems
(20-28)% increased Spell Damage
(5-8)% increased Cast Speed
+(15-20) to maximum Life
+(15-20) to maximum Mana
Regenerate (6-8) Life over 1 second when you Cast a Spell
PraxisPraxis - provide amazing mana regeneration. It shines as soon as you get the Mind over Matter passive
+(20-25) to maximum Mana
+(30-60) to maximum Mana
(3-6) Mana Regenerated per second
-(8-4) to Total Mana Cost of Skills
8% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
GoldrimGoldrim - pretty much the best leveling helmet in Path of Exile. It will provide enough resistance to around level 50+
+(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)
WanderlustWanderlust - a nice pair of leveling boots that provide increased movement speed and mana regeneration rate
+5 to Dexterity
(20-40)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+(10-20) to maximum Energy Shield
20% increased Movement Speed
Cannot be Frozen
Lavianga's WisdomLavianga's Wisdom - a fine leveling mace. It's useful after you switch to using Bladefall Spell Totems
10% reduced Enemy Stun Threshold
+(10-20) to maximum Life
+(10-20) to maximum Mana
(130-160)% increased Physical Damage
5% reduced Movement Speed
10% increased Area of Effect
(10-15)% increased Area Damage

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

115 Points Final Skill Tree
115 Points Path of Building link

Ascendancy points:

  1. Pursuit of Faith
  2. Conviction of Power
  3. Illuminated Devotion
  4. Ritual of Awakening


Major God: Soul of Brine King - You cannot be Stunned if you've been Stunned or Blocked a Stunning Hit in the past 2 seconds
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] Bladefall Spell Totem
Bladefall Bladefall - your main DPS spell. It is an area spell which causes ethereal knives to fall from the skies dealing Physical Damage. In this build, the damage is nearly entirely converted to physical and amplified to a very high extent by Passive Skills and items
Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support - will spawn up to 4 Totem that cast the Bladefall spell
Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support - a mandatory Gem for this build. It converts Bladefall's Physical Damage to Lightning
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases the Bladefall's casting speed by your Totems
Lightning Penetration Lightning Penetration - makes your Lightning Damage penetrate enemy resistance to Lightning
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - adds extra lightning damage to your Flame Totem's projectiles
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash/Arcane Surge setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - your main mobility skill
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases the "movement" speed with your FD skill
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - mandatory support Gem for this build(arcane surge provides insane spell damage and increases the area of effect bonuses with Hierophant's Ascendancy passive) It is crucial that Arcane Surge procs with every cast of Flame Dash and you need to adjust its' level accordingly
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of AS buffs
[AURAS] Herald of Thunder + Wrath
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - adds flat Lightning Damage to your Spells
Wrath Wrath - same as above, but grants a higher bonus for a higher cost
Flammability Enlighten - reduces mana reservation
[UTILITY/DEF] Clarity and Immortal Call
Clarity [1L]Clarity - grants increased mana regen.
CwDT [2L]Cast when Damage Taken Support - auto-casts your supported spells after you take a certain amount of damage. Best to be kept at level 1
Immortal Call [2L]Immortal Call - grants brief immortality. This Gem's level should not exceed this of CwDT Support Gem
[CURSE] Orb of Storms CoH setup
Orb of Storms Orb of Storms - this spell will apply your curse and generate Power Charges (it is extremely important to gain the Shimmeron's powers)
Curse on Hit Support Curse on Hit Support - will make Ball Lightning apply your supported curse
Power Charge on Critical Support Power Charge on Critical Support - generated Power Charges which greatly increases your Spell Damage and Critical Strike Chance with Shimmeron equipped
Temporal Chains Temporal Chains - the recommended defensive curse option
Conductivity (optional)Conductivity - the DPS-oriented curse which lowers further enemy resistance to Lightning Damage
[DEFENSIVE] CwDT Tempest Shield setup
Cast when Damage Taken Support [3L]Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast the Tempest Shield. It's best to be kept at level 1
Tempest Shield [3L]Tempest Shield - grants increased Block Chance and has a chance to blind enemies on hit
Blind Support [3L]Blind Support - will grant your Tempest Shield a chance to Blind nearby enemies
Stone Golem Stone Golem - recommended pick for this build. Will increase your Life Regeneration per second

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find all the recommended gear for the Bladefall Lighting Conversion Totem Hierophant. This is a rather budget-friendly, and a good League starter build because of very high damage. We have included the cheaper rare alternative gear. It should be more than enough for you to start mapping and collect currency for the end-game uniques. 

If you would like to get the gear right away but lack currency, we would like to invite you to visit our PoE marketplace where you can buy cheap PoE Currency and Items.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances
  2. Grant sufficient Life for mapping
  3. Give you more than enough damage to enjoy the game
  4. Save you at least a couple of hours on planning your build

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Added flat Lightning Damage to Spells
  4. Area/Lightning/Elemental Damage/Totem damage
  5. Increased Critical Strikes Chance &Multiplier
  6. Mana

Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Life/Res. helmet - simply go for the highest life/res combination you can afford

Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
increased Bladefall Damage
increased Bladefall Critical Strike Chance
Rare Wand(Weapon) Rare Wand - simply aim for high Spell Damage, Crit. Chance and added Lightning Damage to Spells
Min. requirements:
60% increased Spell Damage
50% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Added min. 50 Lightning Damage to Spells
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
Shimmeron(Weapon) Shimmeron - the best in slot weapon for this build. Also, several unique items have been chosen to mitigate the Lightning Damage dealt by this weapon
(35-39)% increased Spell Damage
(30-40)% increased Spell Damage
Adds (26-35) to (95-105) Lightning Damage to Spells
+(6-10)% to Critical Strike Multiplier per Power Charge
+0.3% Critical Strike Chance per Power Charge
2% additional Chance to Block Spells per Power Charge
Adds 3 to 9 Lightning Damage to Spells per Power Charge
400 Lightning Damage taken per second per Power Charge if
you've dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Void Battery(Weapon) Void Battery - another decent option. It can be dual-wielded, put in the off-hand slot with Shimmeron or just used as your main hand weapon
(36-40)% increased Spell Damage
80% reduced Spell Damage
(10-20)% increased Cast Speed
(50-65)% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+(40-50) to maximum Mana
+1 to Maximum Power Charges
25% increased Spell Damage per Power Charge
Saffel's Frame(Shield) Saffel's Frame - this shield provides a good balance between offence and defence. It is best played in combination with Shimmeron to lower its' self-damage and provide increased chance to block spells
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
+4% to all Elemental Resistances
(70-80)% of Block Chance applied to Spells
(20-30)% increased Spell Damage
+10% to all Elemental Resistances
+4% to all maximum Resistances
Cannot Block Attacks
Rare Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Life/Res. body armour - the budget friendly option until you can afford Soul Mantle. You should have at least 5 sockets there to farm maps effectively
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
15% Fire Resistance
15% Lightning Resistance
15% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
Inpulsa's Broken Heart(Body Armour) Inpulsa's Broken Heart - the best in slot armour for this build. It provides amazing damage buffs and increases the effect of shock
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
+(60-80) to maximum Life
(20-50)% increased Damage if you have Shocked an Enemy Recently
(25-40)% increased Effect of Shock
Unaffected by Shock
Shocked Enemies you Kill Explode, dealing (5-10)% of
their Maximum Life as Lightning Damage which cannot Shock
Carcass Jack(Body Armour) Carcass Jack - another decent option that provides good defence bonuses and greatly increases Area Damage and Area of Effect of Area Skills
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
(120-150)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(9-12)% to all Elemental Resistances
20% increased Area of Effect of Area Skills
(40-50)% increased Area Damage
Extra gore
Leather Belt(Belt) Rare Life/Res. belt - high defensive stats should be your priority
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
Stormcharger(Boots) Stormcharger - mandatory item for this build. It allows additional 30% damage conversion. Since this is a low level and cheap unique it shouldn't be replaced with anything else
+(1-50)% to Lightning Resistance
20% increased Movement Speed
50% increased Shock Duration on Enemies
30% of Physical Damage Converted to Lightning Damage
(15-25)% increased Effect of Shock
Rare gloves(Gloves) Rare Life/Res. gloves -  again, high Life/res combination (and low price) is what we are looking for
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Life/Crit./Res. amulet 
Min. requirements:
75 maximum Life
30% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
10% increased Lightning Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Choir of the Storm(Amulet) Choir of the Storm - the best in slot amulet for this build. Provides insane additional damage, increased Crit Chance and casts Lightning Bolts 
+(20-30) to Intelligence
(10-20)% increased maximum Mana
Critical Strike Chance is increased by Lightning Resistance
50% increased Lightning Damage
Trigger Level 20 Lightning Bolt when you deal a Critical Strike
CoralCoral(Rings) 2x Rare Life/Res. Rings - just aim for high defensive stats. Opal Rings with increased Elemental Damage will be the best in slot options
Min. requirements:
65 maximum Life
15% Fire Resistance
15% Cold Resistance
15% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
increased Elemental/Lightning Damage
increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Fluid Motion(Jewels) Fluid Motion - mandatory unique jewel for this build. Has to be socketed right above Totemic Mastery in order to match the Dexterity requirement of Bladefall. Rest of the Dex can come from gear (rings, belt) or you can use a second Fluid Motion jewel and socket it right above Devotion node
+(16-24) to Dexterity
Strength from Passives in Radius is Transformed to Dexterity
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Life/Damage jewels - aim for high defensive stats. Increases to damage should be adjusted to your current budget
Recommended affixes:
% increased maximum Life
% increased Totem/Elemental/Lightning/Area Damage
Optional affixes:
% increased Maximum Mana
Vessel of Vinktar(Flask) Vessel of Vinktar - provides the highest DPS bonus out of all available Flasks in Path of Exile. You need to use a shock Immunity Flask if you are not wearing Inpulsa's Broken Heart 
0% to Lightning Resistance
+6% to maximum Lightning Resistance
(80-100)% increased Charges used
Shocks nearby Enemies during Flask effect, causing 10% increased Damage taken
You are Shocked during Flask effect, causing 50% increased Damage taken
Adds (15-25) to (70-90) Lightning Damage to Spells during Flask effect
20% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - another great Flask that provides both defensive and offensive utility
+35% to Chaos Resistance
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (15-20)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (10-15)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Cautious Divine Life Flask of Heat (immunity to freeze and chill effects)
  2. Cautious Divine Life Flask of Staunching (immunity to bleeding)
  3. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Warding (increased Crit Chance and curse immunity)
Vessel of VinktarAtziri's PromiseDivine Life FlaskDivine Life FlaskDiamond Flask

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We are looking forward to your feedback and suggestions for our next build.

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

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