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Scorching Ray Max Block Guardian Templar - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Scorching Ray Max Block Guardian Templar - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Extremely tanky Scorching Ray Guardian Templar build with max block and insane Life and Energy Shield regeneration

Scorching Ray
Max Block
Build updated for Patch 3.2

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Estimated budget: low (few Exalted Orbs)
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Guide notes
March 15, 2018
-Updated Skill Trees to Patch 3.2

Guardian is one the best tank and support oriented Ascendancy class in Path of Exile. It provides amazing bonuses to Armour, Block Chance, Energy Shield and damage reduction. We have decided to make a build that will be extremely tanky, and at the same time you may enjoy playing it solo, with high spell damage. Thanks to amazing defensive bonuses of the Guardian class and defensive passive nodes from the Templar and Marauder part of the skill tree, you can wear a variety of powerful dps unique items that will boost the Scorching Ray's burning damage, including the Pyre rings and Hrimnor's Resolve helmet. 

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1. Basic gameplay

Scorching Ray Max Block Guardian build is extremely tanky and durable. With high Life pool, MoM (Mind over Matter) passive, very high Armour, max block chance and extreme regeneration from blockeds spell and attacks (thanks to uniques: The Anvil  and Aegis Aurora), this build allow you to facetank nearly all the Path of Exile's end-game content. This build's main dps comes from Scorching Ray burning effect. SR is a channelled spell, that is more powerful the longer enemies remain in the beam. In order to maximize the potential of Scorching Ray, the player has to remain stationary and keep channelling the spell - which makes the Guardian class extremely fit for the job.  

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • extremely durable with high Life, high Armour, and amazing Life/Mana/ES regeneration
  • very good dps that increases every second while you channel the Scorching Ray spell
  • good for teamplay as a tank or support character
  • vulnerable to elemental reflect maps
  • moderate clearspeed

3. Leveling tips

Leveling with SR Guardian is quite easy. Only the first couple levels can seem slow if you can't afford unique gear early on, but as soon as you get Holy Fire node and Pyre rings, your Searing Bond/RF Totem becomes extremely powerful, and melts everything on your way. As a Guardian character, you should have no problem with your defenses, which helps with smooth leveling.

Suggested leveling gem setups:

Searing Bond Totem setup
Searing Bond Searing Bond - a totem spell, that connects your other totems and yourself with a beam of fire, dealing damage every second
Burning Damage Support Burning Damage Support - Searing Bond's damage is considered burning damage, so this is the gem to go
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - another good option
Righteous Fire setup
Righteous Fire Righteous Fire - powerful spell that deals insane damage at the cost of its' casters Life. In order to remove the downside of this spell you have to link it with the Spell Totem Support Gem, which will cause the Totem loose life instead
Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support - will be used to cast the RF spell and deal damage
Burning Damage Support Burning Damage Support
Minion and Totem Elemental Resistances Minion and Totem Elemental Resistances Support - will lower the damage your Spell Totem deals to itself, increasing its' duration at the same time
Utility gems
Stone Golem Stone Golem - provides great Life regeneration bonuses
Flammability Flammability - best curse for leveling with this build
Haste Haste - will increase your casting and movement speed. Guardian may not feel like the faster character out there, so this can come in handy


Help Oak for increased Life regeneration and physical damage mitigation. If you feel like your defenses are more than enough, you can also kill all the Bandits for 2 additional passive points

Leveling skill trees:

34 Points skill tree
Priorities: 1) Discipline and Training 2) Elementalist 3) Light of Divinity 4) Ancestral Bond

62 Points skill tree
Priorities: 1) Holy Fire 2) Devotion 3) Barbarism 4) Juggernaut 5) Warrior's Blood

Recommended leveling items:

AshcallerAshcaller - is an extremely powerful leveling wand. Grands amazing damage bonuses to both your Searing Bond and RF Spell Totems, and may work fairly well till late game
(18-22)% increased Spell Damage
Adds (10-14) to (18-22) Fire Damage
Adds (4-6) to (7-9) Fire Damage to Spells
(40-50)% increased Burning Damage
(16-22)% chance to Ignite
10% chance to Trigger Level 8 Summon Raging Spirit on Kill
PyrePyre - this are the recommended rings for this build and can be used very early in the game. They provide one the highest burning damage bonuses
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
+(25-35)% to Fire Resistance
(60-80)% increased Burning Damage
40% of Cold Damage Converted to Fire Damage
10% increased Light Radius
Ignited Enemies you hit are destroyed on Kill
Trolltimber SpireTrolltimber Spire - quite fine leveling shield. Provides good defenses, and decent offensive bonuses to your Totem skills
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
+(20-30) to maximum Life
(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
Lavianga's WisdomLavianga's Wisdom - decent weapon for leveling with SB/RF Totems. It is inferior to Ashcaller in terms of raw dps bonuses though
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 of Area Skills
(10-15)% increased Area Damage

Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - one of the best, and certainly the most popular leveling item in Path of Exile. Can be used to build extremely powerful Totem setups

3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)

4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points and Pantheon

Final skill tree:

116 Points Final Skill Tree
116 Points Path of Building link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Time of Need
  2. Prayer of Glory
  3. Bastion of Hope
  4. Harmony of Purpose


Major God : Soul of Arakaali - 5% reduced Damage taken from Damage Over Time 10% chance to Avoid Lightning Damage when Hit

Minor God : Soul of Shakari - 5% reduced chaos damage taken 25% reduced chaos damage over time taken while in a caustic cloud

5. Final gems links

[DPS] Scorching Ray setup
Scorching Ray Scorching Ray - your main dps spell. It is a channelled ability that creates a fire beam which damages enemies and reduces their fire resistance. SR's damage increases as enemies stay longer in the beam, up to a total of 8 stages. Because of this spell's mechanics, you maximize your dps by remaining stationary and continously channelling it - which makes Guardian class perfectly fit for this build.
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support - increases spell damage, damage over time, and the SR's burning debuff duration
Burning Damage Support Burning Damage Support - one of the most important dps support gems in this setup
Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support - increases damage over time
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support - increases spell damage at the cost of Critical Strike Chance. Since this is a non-crit build, and the "remaining" crit. chance will be enough to proc the Elemental Overload buff, you should not feel the downside of this gem at all
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - increases elemental damage, but your Fire damage will not apply Ignite aliament. Please remember, Scorching Ray's burning effect is not considered Ignite
[AURAS] HoT and HoI setup
Determination Determination - increases your Armour and at the same time, the amount of ES recovered by each block (thanks to Aegis Aurora shield)
Clarity Clarity - grants increases Mana regeneration, which is quite important in a MoM build
Enlighten Enlighten - reduces the amount of mana reserved  by your auras. And the higher the mana the more effective your MoM damage mitigation
[CURSE] Orb of Storms CoH setup
Orb of Storms Orb of Storms - will apply your curses and proc the Elemental Equilibrium buff
Curse on Hit Support Curse on Hit Support - will make Orb of Storms apply supported curses
Flammability Flammability - greatly lowers enemies resistance to fire
Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness - has similar effect to Flammability in this build, lowers enemy elemental resistances
[UTILITY] Rallying Cry / Immortal Call setup
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will cast supported skills (except for Rallying Cry) automatically after certain amount of damage is taken. It is recommended to keep this gem at level 1
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants brief immortallity. Keep it on lower or equal level to CwDT Support gem in order to have it cast automatically
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of all the buffs
Rallying Cry Rallying Cry - grants increased damage. It also increases your cast speed thanks to Guardian Ascendancy
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash/Arcane Surge
Flame Dash Flame Dash - your main mobility skill. It should be socketed in shaped gloves that supports socketed gems with level 18 Faster Casting to increase mana cost (and allow higher level of Arcane Surge to be granted with each cast)
Efficacy Support Efficacy - used for Mana tresshold and slightly increased supported skill's effect duration
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of the Arcane Surge buff
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - grants increased spell damage and mana regeneration after certain amount of mana is spent on supported spells (Flame Dash in this case). If you can have this setup with lvl 18 FC you should be able to level up AS to level 10. If you are using it in a regular rare pair of gloves, swap Efficacy with Faster Casting, and keep Arcane Surge on level 9 (assuming all the other gems are level 20 and you want AS after each Flame Dash cast) 
[UTILITY] Golem setup
Stone Golem Stone Golem - grants increased Life regeneration
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - will make your Golem finish off low life enemies
Minion and Totem Elemental Resistances Support Minion and Totem Elemental Resistances Support - provides extra defenses for your Golem

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5. Gear Setup

Scorching Ray Max Block Guardian can be fairly cheap, and considered a budget-friendly build. Guardian class makes it easy to build up max block, cap resistances, and grant sufficient Life/ES pool for early mapping. At the same time 4 links on the chest should also allow you to deal enough damage to get you going, however 6-linked socket is advised for higher tier farming.

If you would like to try this build, but you are unable to afford some of the required items, we are delighted to invite you to visit our POE Currency marketplace. This is the easiest and fastest way to get the missing currency.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to start mapping successfully
  3. Save you at least a couple of hours,as it's already all planned out for you!

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Fire/Elemental/Burning Damage
  4. Cast Speed
  5. Armour
  6. Energy Shield
Hrimnor's Resolve(Helmet) Hrimnor's Resolve  one of the best helmets for this build. Provides amazing defensive bonuses, at the same time increasing your Fire Damage by up to 40%
(30-40)% increased Fire Damage
(100-120)% increased Armour
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+30% to Cold Resistance
Cannot be Chilled or Frozen if you have used a Fire Skill Recently
Doryani's Catalyst(Weapon) Doryani's Catalyst  best in slot weapon for this build. It is rather inexpensive and provides amazing dps boost
32% increased Elemental Damage
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 20 Elemental Proliferation
Adds (65-85) to (100-160) Physical Damage
(11-15)% increased Attack Speed
(6-10)% increased Cast Speed
(30-40)% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
0.2% of Elemental Damage Leeched as Life
(80-100)% increased Elemental Damage
Sceptre(Weapon) Rare Sceptre – can be used on earlier levels, when you are still building up currency for the end-game items
Min. requirements:
60% increased Burning Damage
15% increased Cast Speed
Optional affixes:
Geofri's Sanctuary(Body Armour) Goefri's Sanctuary - quite well balanced armour for this build. Provides all the required defensive attributes. It is not advised to force 6links on this piece, but will work fairly well as a budget-friendly body armour variation
5% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
(50-75)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(30-40) to maximum Energy Shield
+(14-18)% to all Elemental Resistances
+2 maximum Energy Shield per 5 Strength
Zealot's Oath
Infernal Mantle(Body Armour) Infernal Mantle - is a decent choice to maximize your Scorching Ray dps. It will lack the Armour bonus, but for lower tier mapping and faster clearspeed it is a fine choice
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
+1 to Level of Socketed Fire Gems
(25-35)% increased Fire Damage
100% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
(120-160)% increased Energy Shield
15% of Fire Damage Converted to Chaos Damage
25% increased Spell Damage taken when on Low Mana
Brass Dome(Body Armour) Brass Dome - this is the extremely tanky version. With this piece you reach over 30,000 Armour, and each block replenishes 1200(!!) Energy Shield. It makes you slower, but allows using 4-5 Reckless Defence jewels without getting extra damage from all the crits. Even with the 30% reduced chance to block, you should be still able to get over 60% block chance for both physical attacks and spells
5% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
30% reduced Chance to Block Attacks and Spells
(600-650)% increased Armour
10% reduced Movement Speed
50% increased Shock Duration on You
Take no Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Life/res/MS boots - preferably ES based 
Min. requirements:
85 maximum Life
35% Lightning Resistance
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
high Energy Shield
Gloves(Gloves) Shaped lvl.18 Faster Casting Gloves - will increase the mana cost of Flame Dash which allows to proc higher level of Arcane Surge buff with its' every cast
Min. requirements:
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 18 Faster Casting
100 Energy Shield
75 Life
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Kalisa's Grace(Gloves) Kalisa's Grace - much cheaper alternative to rare shaped gloves.  They will not carry any additional attributes though
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 18 Faster Casting
+(20-30) to Intelligence
+(50-80) to maximum Energy Shield
+(60-80) to maximum Life
Gain +2% to Critical Strike Chance for 2 seconds when you Spend a total of 800 Mana
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Life/ES/res belt 
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
50 Energy Shield
300 Armour
35% Lightning Resistance
The Anvil(Amulet) The Anvil - the best in slot item for this build. Grants additional block chance, armour and amazing Life/Mana regeneration 
+(20-30) to Strength
10% reduced Attack Speed
10% reduced Cast Speed
+(400-500) to Armour
+(34-48) Life gained when you Block
+(18-24) Mana gained when you Block
+3% to maximum Block Chance
8% Chance to Block
Reflects 240 to 300 Physical Damage to Attackers on Block
PyrePyre(Ring) Pyre Rings - since you are extremely tanky as it is, it is possible to simply maximize your dps using 2 of those rings
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
+(25-35)% to Fire Resistance
(60-80)% increased Burning Damage
40% of Cold Damage Converted to Fire Damage
10% increased Light Radius
Ignited Enemies you hit are destroyed on Kill
Reckless Defence(Jewel) Reckless Defence - mandatory jewel for any block based builds. Use about 2 of them, and possibly 4 or 5 if using Brass Dome for insane defense stats
20% of Block Chance applied to Spells
(2-4)% additional Block Chance
(7-10)% additional Chance to
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare jewels - they should provide extra Life and damage bonuses
Recommended affixes:
% increased maximum Life
% increased Fire/Elemental/Spell/Burning Damage
Optional affixes:
% increased Cast Speed
% increased Cast Speed while holding a Shield
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - one of the best Flasks in Path of Exile. It's cheap and extremely useful
+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
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - provides additional block chance and additional Armour
+3000 to Armour
(14-20)% Chance to Block during Flask effect
(6-10)% Chance to Block Spells
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (immunity to bleeding)
  2. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (immunity to chill and freeze effects)
  3. Experimenter's Sulphur Flask of Iron Skin (for increased damage and armour)
Atziri's PromiseRumi's ConcoctionDivine Life FlaskDivine Life FlaskSulphur Flask

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