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Scourge Arrow/Toxic Rain Pathfinder build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Scourge Arrow/Toxic Rain Pathfinder build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Mighty Bow build that uses Poison to melt hordes of monsters. A very well-rounded character for any kind of content

 Scourge Arrow/Shrapnel Ballista
Pathfinder build

Updated for Patch 3.19

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Guide notes
September 19, 2021
-Updated for Patch 3.19
Build Overview
Tags: [BOW] [CHAOS] [LIFE] 



Boss DPS:



Scourge Arrow is currently one of the best Bow Skills for any Bow build that uses Ailments to deal Damage. It is especially good with Poisons. At the same time, the Pathfinder class grants very high Poison and Chaos Damage bonuses from Attack skills, making it one of the most powerful DoT classes in Path of Exile. Pathfinders are also known for very good Flask sustainability which makes them more efficient in Boss fights.

The following build revolves around the Scourge Arrow Attack, a channeled skill that fires a single projectile when released. While the projectile passes over the ground, it creates Pods that burst into tons of secondary projectiles. All those projectiles have increased Damage based on the number of stacks accumulated while Channeling. With each release, you will be applying multiple Poison stacks on enemies all around your screen, with the extra Poison "proliferation" from Pathfinder's Ascendancy, you will see enemies melt all over your screen after each Hit, and with high Attack Speed, this build will feel swift and mobile, even though you need to be stationary while charging your Scourge Arrow skill. On the other hand, this build offers quite solid Defenses which are based on Life, Spell Suppression, and Evasion, but can be further enhanced by Divine Flesh Passive. With high Chaos Resistance from Cluster Jewels, you can effectively reduce incoming Elemental Damage by approximately 30%, and a bit less when it comes to Physical Damage.  With a high chance to evade damage from Attack Hits, you end up with quite a tanky character with deadly DOT at its disposal. 
Spawn behavior of Pods created by released Scourge Arrow depends on your mouse cursor. Adding more projectiles to this skill will not make more Pods, they will distribute evenly between the projectiles. Be aware, sometimes Pods will fail to spawn at all if you aim at walls or big terrain level differences. It doesn't matter much for general mapping, but if you want to maximalize your single target damage, this is something you have to master when using this ability. 

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


1. Gameplay

This Scourge Arrow Pathfinder is a ranged build where your main activity is Dashing into a relatively safe spot, putting down your Siege Ballistas for extra DPS and Withered debuff, and then spamming Scourge Arrow to deal massive Poison Damage with it. This build is quite tanky, so you can charge your Scourge Arrow pretty safely. You can also load your Plague Bearer, which when activated will nearly instantly kill trash enemies all around you, allowing you to progress faster without having to stop and channel Scourge Arrow. In the optimal setup, most other Skills should be triggered automatically or applied automatically like your Curses via Ring modifier or corrupted Implicit on Gloves.


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • high AoE and single-target DPS
  • One of the most powerful Poison builds in the game
  • great clear speed
  • solid defenses
  • smooth gameplay
  • can do almost any Map mod
  • requires two 6 Linked items
  • scaling DPS can get expensive after reaching a certain point


3. Leveling tips

Leveling this character is very easy. Quill Rain provides the highest bonus Attack Speed in the entire game and initially, the Less Damage Multiplier is not that noticeable, but you might run into Mana problems very quickly. You can level up with several different Bow Attacks, but the best ones are Caustic Arrow and Toxic Rain. One of the Skills should be linked to Mirage Archer (preferably Toxic Rain) while you occasionally also cast Caustic Arrow beneath your enemies to add a secondary Source of Chaos DOT effect. You can get Tabula Rasa with corrupted Implicit for +2 levels for Socketed Duration, Projectile, or AoE Skill Gems. all of them will apply to mentioned Skills.

Skills that are supposed to inflict Poison, like for example Scourge Arrow, will not deal enough damage initially, so it's better to stick to Toxic Rain/Caustic Arrow for the leveling part. All the Passives corresponding to those two Skill types are near to each other, so there won't be much respeccing required.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Caustic Arrow setup
Caustic Arrow Caustic Arrow - one of the best skills for leveling which has high base Damage over Time. It should be used on the first levels as your primary damaging ability, and when you get Toxic Rain, it plays more of a secondary role (so make sure to have more Support Gems linked to Toxic Rain at that point)
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support - increases Chaos Damage dealt by supported skills
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support - increases Caustic Arrow's Damage over Time
Efficacy Support Efficacy - this will give you more Damage and Duration for your DoT skill
Toxic Rain setup
Toxic Rain Toxic Rain -  is used to slow down enemies and deal heavy Damage over Time
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support - again for straight-up DPS increase
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support - same as above, one of the best Gems for this type of build so you definitely want to have them linked to both Skills
Mirage Archer Mirage Archer Support - spawns a Spectral Archer on your back that will use Toxic Rain even if you aren't fighting yourself. Allows you to progress faster and gain extra experience on the way
Utility Gems
Malevolence Malevolence - during leveling there aren't many Mana reserving skills that can be used, so it's just best to use Malevolence Aura for direct DoT increase
Clarity Clarity - increases your Mana Regeneration Rate. It's very useful on lower levels when you don't get much from gear and Passives
Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - grants increased Attack and Cast Speed
Dash Dash - the best Movement Skill used in this build


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

36 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Finesse 2) Aspect of the Eagle 3) Farsight 4) Hunter's Gambit 5) Inventerate

60 Points Skill Tree

Priorities: 1) Blood Drinker 2) Trickery 3) Careful Conservationist 4) Thick Skin 5) Entrench

When leveling up, you are initially going to take nodes that grant Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier with Bows and Damage over Time with Bow, but those have to be later replaced with nodes that grant Chance to Poison and Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier from Poison. The Tree has been designed so that the lowest amount of Passives has to be refunded. It's simply faster to level up with Toxic Rain, so we have decided to set the build this way, but of course, that's entirely up to your personal preference. 

Recommended leveling items:

PraxisPraxis - an amazing Ring that will solve all your low-level Mana issues. It grants a high reduction to the Total Mana Cost of Skills which has a similar value to that of end-game crafted Rings
+(20-30) to maximum Mana
+(30-60) to maximum Mana
Regenerate (3-6) Mana per second
-(8-4) to Total Mana Cost of Skills
8% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
PraxisLe Heup of All - very strong and versatile Unique Ring for any character during leveling. 
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Damage
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
PraxisDeath Rush - a reworked version of this Ring is very powerful for leveling. Adrenaline grants a massive bonus to Damage and Movement Speed.
+(17-23)% to Chaos Resistance
Recover (3-5)% of Life on Kill
Gain Adrenaline for (1-3) seconds on kill
Quill RainQuill Rain - the best leveling weapon for this build. It grants an insane Attack Speed bonus and Mana Recovery, which will allow you to endless spam Toxic Rain for insane DPS
+(10-20) to Dexterity
100% increased Physical Damage
100% increased Attack Speed
Gain 2 Mana per Enemy Hit with Attacks
(50-100)% increased Projectile Speed
+(25-50) to Accuracy Rating
30% less Damage
Quill RainStorm Cloud - if you find yourself lacking in Damage you can use this Bow instead. It has slightly less Attack Speed but doesn't have the Damage penalty
No Physical Damage
Adds 1 to 85 Lightning Damage
(36–50)% increased Attack Speed

GoldrimGoldrim - the best leveling Helmet in Path of Exile. It has no level requirement and offers tons of Elemental Resistances

+(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)

Karui WardKarui Ward - great leveling Amulet for Bow/Ranged characters

+(20-30) to Dexterity
+(20-30) to Strength
+100 to Accuracy Rating
30% increased Projectile Speed
10% increased Movement Speed
30% increased Projectile Damage
tabula rasaTabula Rasa - ultimate leveling item. Gives you a white six-link for an early power spike
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
string of serviduteString of Servitude - with a correct modifier, this belt can give you 45% of each Elemental Resistance at level 1 
<(1-2) Random corrupted implicit modifiers>
Implicit Modifier magnitudes are tripled
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
wanderlustWanderlust - a very useful pair of Boots, they grant a good Movement Speed bonus and make you Immune to Freeze
+5 to Dexterity
+(10-20) to maximum Energy Shield
(20-40)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
20% increased Movement Speed
Cannot be Frozen


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

84 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Passives from Cluster Jewels)
116 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Nature's Reprisal
  2. Nature's Adrenaline
  3. Master Toxicist
  4. Nature's Boon


Major God: Soul of the 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 Garukhan 60% reduced Effect of Shock on you


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Scourge Arrow
Toxic Rain Scourge Arrow - it's a channeled Bow skill that should be released at 5 stacks for maximum Damage. It deals moderate "on Hit" damage and insane Poison Damage from all the smaller arrows that are shot from the Spore Pods
vicious projectiles  Support Vicious Projectile Support - increases Chaos Damage over Time massively, at the cost of the Attack Speed
Void Manipulation Void Manipulation Support - grants a high bonus for any form of Chaos Damage 
Mirage Archer Support Deadly Ailments Support - with this Support Gem you will deal increased Damage over Time but less Damage with initial Hits
Unbound Ailments Support Unbound Ailments Support - increases the Damage from Ailments inflicted by supported Skills
Infused Channelling Infused Channelling Support - increases the damage of channeling Skills and grants Infused buff which increases your DPS and reduces damage taken from Skills with matching Tags to Scourge Arrow
[DPS/UTILITY] Shrapnel Ballista
siege balista Siege Ballista - summons ranged Totems that will deal extra damage and apply Withered debuff on enemies, increasing the Chaos Damage they take
Withering Touch Support Withering Touch Support - grants a chance to apply the Withered debuff on Hit, increases Chaos Damage taken by affected enemies
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - increases the maximum number of Ballista Totems you can create and the speed at which they are summoned
barage support Barrage Support - increases the number of Projectiles fired by your Ballista Totems and makes them shot in the straight lane
Unbound Ailments Support Unbound Ailments Support - increases the Damage from Ailments inflicted by supported skills
Chaos Damage Support Added Chaos Damage Support - adds flat Chaos Damage to supported skills
[UTILITY] Immortal Call/Plague Bearer
Immortal Call Immortal Call - the best Guard Skill for this build which grants a brief but very powerful damage reduction buff. It should be triggered automatically. Keep it on low level 
Plague Bearer Plague Bearer - a powerful duration Spell that accumulates some of your Poison DPS and when released will deal it to nearby enemies. It's an amazing way for a single socket cost to deal with trash enemies. Divergent Alternate Quality provides a hefty bonus to Damage over Time Multiplier
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - is used to trigger Immortal Call. You can try getting the Anomalous version for an increase to Skill Effect Duration. Preferably, keep this Gem at level 10 for more frequent casts
Enhance Support Enhance Support - increases the Quality of linked Gems 
[UTILITY] Mana Reservation Skills
(Socketed in crafted Item with Aspect of the Spider)
Arctic Armour Grace - mandatory Aura to get decent levels of Evasion Rating. Vaal version of this Skill can be really helpful in dangerous situations
Herald of Agony Herald of Agony - increases your Chance to Poison and the Damage you deal with it
Aspect of the Spider Aspect of the Spider - increases your Chaos DPS. It has to be beast crafted on a Rare Item, so make sure you socket the other Skills in that item so that the Aspect also benefits from Enlighten Support Gem
flesh and stone Support Flesh and Stone - if you prefer a more defensive option over Aspect of the Spider, you can run this skill. It will blind nearby enemies and reduce the Damage you take from non-blinded enemies
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces Mana Reservation Cost of Supported Spells
clarity Clarity - it will give you some Mana Regeneration. You can keep it at a very low level, and you do not need Enlighten Support for that one. 
[UTILITY] Dash and Blood Rage
Dash Dash - recommended mobility Skill used in this build. It not only allows you to progress faster but instantly teleport away from big damage spikes
Blood Rage Blood Rage - increases your Attack Speed and allows you to generate Frenzy Charges for more damage
blink arrow  Support Blink Arrow - this Skill doesn't share a cooldown with Dash, so you can use both of them for extra Mobility. After firing the Arrow, you can start channeling Scourge Arrow to instantly release it fully charged upon teleporting to a new position
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - allows you to store additional charges on Dash
[UTILITY] Vaal Blight/Grace
Vaal Blight Vaal Blight - if you have an extra Socket, you can use it for Vaal Blight which increases Chaos Damage Taken by Enemies and offers a very powerful slow

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find all the recommended gear for this build. This build is relatively cheap and shouldn't include any expensive Items. The only mandatory Uniques are Darkscorn and Covenant, which are quite easy to obtain. It will work just fine with random Rares, but obviously, Items with proper Damage scaling will make this build smoother to play. Luckily, you can gradually upgrade the equipment as you progress without any pressure. For your Defense, on top of maximum Life and Elemental Resistances, you will also need a lot of Chaos Resistance. It puts a heavy strain on our gear, but it's definitely worth it. 

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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. Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
  4. Chaos Resistances
  5. Chaos Damage/Area Damage
  6. Attack Speed
  7. Evasion Rating
Devoto's Devotion(Helmet) Devoto's Devotion - a budget-friendly option that grants high bonus Attack and Movement Speed and Chaos Resistance (useful if using Divine Flesh). Overall it's a good pick for low and mid-tier content
+(50-65) to Dexterity
10% reduced Global Physical Damage
16% increased Attack Speed
(150-200)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(15-25)% to Chaos Resistance
20% increased Movement Speed
Mercury Footprints
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - possibly the best in the slot option here. It can have powerful Mods that increase your DPS significantly. Eldritch Implicits are very important here for your Mana management
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
% increased Duration of Ailments you inflict while Focused
Optional affixes:
Spell Suppression
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Chaos Resistance
Elemental Resistances
Eldritch Implicits:
10% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
(23-24)% reduced Mana Cost of Attacks
Helmet enchantment:
Scourge Arrow creates an additional spore pod at Maximum Stages
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - aim for high Life and Extra Curse. Obviously, you can also get additional Resistances here, or a flat Reduction to Mana Cost of Socketed Skills, but such a combination with the extra Curse can be very expensive
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
You can apply an additional Curse
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Socketed Attacks have -15 to Total Mana Cost
covenantThe Covenant - a Best-In-Slot item for this build. Level 29 Added Chaos Damage is equal to 471 flat Chaos Damage making it insanely good for our Poisons.
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 29 Added Chaos Damage
Skills gain a Base Life Cost equal to 100% of Base Mana Cost
+(20-30) to Intelligence
(210-250)% increased Energy Shield
10% increased maximum Life
Darkscorn(Weapon) Darkscorn - another BiS Item for this build. It offers insane damage to Poison and high base DPS. It also makes you take 1/4 of Physical Damage as Chaos Damage for extra synergy with Divine Flesh. 
+(15-25)% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
(60-80)% increased Physical Damage
Adds (15-20) to (25-30) Physical Damage
20% increased Attack Speed
(15-30)% increased Global Accuracy Rating
25% of Physical Damage Converted to Chaos Damage
25% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Chaos Damage
20% chance for Poisons inflicted with this Weapon to deal 300% more Damage
Quiver(Weapon) Rare Quiver - aim for a high Chaos DoT multiplier and maximum Life, and as many remaining Damaging mods as you can afford to get. 
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
20% Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
increased Damage with Bow Skills
Gain (10-15)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
Added Chaos damage to Attacks
Attack Speed
#% Chance to Gain Onslaught on Kill
Elemental Resistances
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - with high defensive stats, Life, and Movement Speed bonus. Eldritch modifiers here are nice to have, but not necessary. 
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
40% Chaos Resistance
40 Intelligence
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Eldritch Implicits:
Poisons you inflict deal Damage 9% faster
5% increased Action Speed
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Adds 120 to 180 Chaos Damage if you've taken a Critical Strike Recently
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - aim for high defensive stats here and possibly Strength for attribute requirements
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
90% Total Elemental Resistances
40 Strength
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Flasks applied to you have #% increased Effect
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Life and Damage over Time multipliers are the most important stats for your amulet. Other than that, look for missing Attributes and Resistances
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
20% Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Strength and Intelligence
30% Chaos Resistance
Optional affixes:
20% Damage over Time Multiplier
Elemental Resistances
Adds # to # Chaos Damage to Attacks
Recommended Anointments:
Dirty Techniques
Two Stone Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - just basic stats here like Life, Resistances, and Attributes if needed. You can also get Despair on Hit to automate your Curse setup
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
30% Chaos Resistance
Optional affixes:
Channeling skills have -3 to total  Mana Cost
Curse enemies with Despair on Hit, with 20% increased Effect
Circle of Nostalgia(Ring) Circle of Nostalgia - can grant very high bonus Damage and possibly a lot of Chaos Resistance which boosts your defenses
+(9-13)% to Chaos Resistance
<One to three random Synthesis implicit modifiers>
+(10-20) to all Attributes
Adds (15-20) to (21-30) Chaos Damage
+(17-23)% to Chaos Resistance
<Two Random Herald of Agony modifiers>
Recommended modifiers:
(40-60)% increased Chaos Damage while affected by Herald of Agony
Herald of Agony has (40-60)% increased Buff Effect
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - aim for high Life, Attack Speed and Resistances. You can get very powerful bonuses from Eldritch Implicits. 
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
Elemental resistances
Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistances
Damage during Flask Effect
Eldritch Implicits:
+(5-20)% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
(0.2-0.7)% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - you should get two Large Cluster Jewels which can offer bonuses to Chaos Damage or Bow Damage/DoT. Unwaveringly Evil offers extra protection from Stuns, and Fuel the Fight is very useful when it comes to Mana management
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Touch of Cruelty
1 Added Passive Skill is Unholy Grace
1 Added Passive Skill is Unwaveringly Evil
1 Added Passive Skill is Fuel the Fight
1 Added Passive Skill is Martial Prowess
1 Added Passive Skill is Tempered Arrowheads
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - you can get up to four Medium Cluster Jewels. One should be Flask focused while remaining ones should be used to boost your Damage
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Mender's Wellspring
1 Added Passive Skill is Spiked Concoction
1 Added Passive Skill is Circling Oblivion
1 Added Passive Skill is Eternal Suffering
Small Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewels - you can get very high Maximum Chaos Resistances by using Born on Chaos notable. It's very effective since it will affect every type of Damage you take.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Born of Chaos
Viridian Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - these should provide extra Life and damage bonuses
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Damage with Poison
Attack Speed
Poison Duration
Elemental Resistances
Searching Eye Jewel(Jewel) Abyss Jewels - try finding similar stats to that on the regular Jewels. Obviously, if you are missing Resistances, focus on those primarily here
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Added Physical/Chaos Damage to Attacks
Chance to gain Phasing on Kill
Glorious Vanity(Jewel) Glorious Vanity - allows you to convert Supreme Ego to Divine Flesh, which effectively reduces Elemental Damage taken by your character by approximately  30% (depending on your Chaos Resistance). 
Bathed in the blood of (100-8000) sacrificed in the name of (Ahuana-Doryani-Xibaqua)
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Vaal
Vorana's Preparation(Flask) Sin's Rebirth - a very strong Flask for this build. It will grant you an Unholy Might for extra Damage, but also will increase your Evasion Rating and stop Ignites on you
Creates a Smoke Cloud on Use
Gain Unholy Might during Flask Effect
Grants Immunity to Ignite for 4 seconds if used while Ignited
Removes all Burning when used
dying sunDying Sun - this Flask is very good for Map clear if you don't have any source of additional Projectiles elsewhere, but is rather weak in Single-Target scenario 
(125-150)% increased Charges per use
(60-40)% less Duration
(10-20)% increased Area of Effect during Flask Effect
Skills fire 2 additional Projectiles during Flask Effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Divine Life Flask with immunity to Bleeding
  2. Jade Flask with Attack Speed
  3. Sulphur Flask with reduced Mana Costs
  4. Quicksilver Flask with increased Evasion Rating
sins rebirhtDivine Life FlaskJade Flasksulphur flaskquicksilver Flask

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