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

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

One of the most powerful Pathfinder builds based on the Scourge Arrow skill and terrific Poison DPS

 Scourge Arrow/Shrapnel Ballista
Pathfinder build

Updated for Patch 3.15

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Guide notes
August 16, 2021
-Updated for Patch 3.15
Important Note: the build no longer uses Toxic Rain even though the old title may refer to this build that way
August 27, 2021
-Added gameplay video


Patch 3.4 introduced new interesting Chaos/Bow skills - Scourge Arrow and Toxic Rain. At the same time, the Pathfinder class was redesigned, which now 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 which is a channeled skill that when released fires a single projectile. While the projectile passes over the ground, pods are created that burst into tons of secondary projectiles that 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, Dodge, 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 approx. 20%, and with high combined chance to avoid damage from Attack Hits, you end up with quite a tanky character with deadly DOT at its disposal. 

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 Shrapnel Ballistas for extra DPS and Withered debuff, and then spamming Scourge Arrow to deal massive Poison Damage with it. The build is quite tanky, and thanks to the Arctic Armour you may be even able to tank enemies in better equipment, so just try out for yourself how much you can withstand. 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 Hands of the High Templar. 

This video was recorded on a level 94 Pathfinder in Expedition League Softcore. We had Darkscord, dual-curse Hands of the High Templar, one decently rolled Circle of Nostalgia, and a set of random Rare equipment. As advised in the following guide, we had Divine Flesh and 83% Chaos Resistance

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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 5-6 Linked items
  • mediocre team Utility with no Auras
  • scaling DPS can get expensive with Cluster Jewels and Chaos DoT Multiplier gear


3. Leveling tips

Leveling this character is very easy. If you can afford a 4-linked Quill Rain that shouldn't cost more than 2 Chaos Orbs, it will be a smooth ride starting from level 5. Quill Rain provides the highest bonus Attack Speed in the entire game and the way it affects your overall DPS nullifies the damage reduction from the Bow. You can level up with several different Bow Attacks, but initially, 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. 

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
Toxic Rain setup
Toxic Rain Toxic Rain - Toxic Rain is used to slow down enemies, apply Withered, and deal additional damage
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 build type 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:

34 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Finesse 2) Herbalism 3) Master Fletcher 4) Far Sight

61 Points Skill Tree

Priorities: 1) Hunter's Gambit 2) Blood Drinker 3) Blood Siphon 4) Large Jewel Socket

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
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
100% increased Physical Damage
+(10-20) to Dexterity
100% increased Attack Speed
+(25-50) to Accuracy Rating
+2 Mana gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
(50-100)% increased Projectile Speed
40% less Weapon Damage

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


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

116 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Passives from Cluster Jewels and Thread of Hope)
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 +5% chance to Evade Attack Hits if you've taken a Savage Hit Recently


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Scourge Arrow
Toxic Rain Scourge Arrow - is a channeled Bow skill that should be released always at 5 stacks. It deals moderate "on Hit" damage and insane Poison Damage from all the smaller arrows that are shot from the Spore Pods
Chaos Damage Support Added Chaos Damage Support - adds flat Chaos Damage to supported skills
Void Manipulation Void Manipulation Support - grants high Chaos Damage multiplier
Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support - summons a spectral archer on your back that fires Scourge Arrow for you with slightly reduced damage and Attack Speed
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
Shrapnel Ballista Shrapnel 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
Greater Multiple Projectiles Greater Multiple Projectiles Support - increases the number of Projectiles fired by your Ballista Totems
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. If you have a Jewel with Enduring Composure you can increase its' level to increase the duration to approx. 10-12
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
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 Arctic Armour - reduces your damage taken while stationary (meaning always when channeling Scourge Arrow) and chills attackers, making it a great defensive skills
Herald of Agony Herald of Agony - increases your Chance to Poison and 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
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces Mana Reservation Cost of Supported Spells
[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
Enhance Support Enhance Support - since you have that extra socket here you may as well use another Enhance to increase the effect of linked Gems
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - allows you to store additional charges on Dash
[UTILITY] Vaal Blight/Grace
Vaal Blight Vaal Blight - you should have an extra Socket, so you can use it for Vaal Blight which increases your Chaos Damage and offers very powerful slow, or you can use Vaal GraceVaal Grace for additional Dodge Chance

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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 Unique is Darkscorn, which is quite easy to obtain as just a handful of builds use it. It will work just fine with random Rares, but obviously, Items like Hand of the High Templar, Thread of Hope, Circle of Nostalgia, make this build so much more powerful and smoother to play. Luckily, you can gradually upgrade the equipment as you progress without any pressure.

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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 Damage/Area Damage
  5. Attack Speed
  6. 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
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Chaos Resistance
% increased Duration of Ailments you inflict while Focused
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Helmet enchantment:
Scourge Arrow deals 40% increased Damage
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 flat Reduction to Mana Cost of Socketed Skills, but such 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
Darkscorn(Weapon) Darkscorn - the BiS Weapon for this build. It offers insane damage to Poison and high base DPS
+(15-25)% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
(130-150)% 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 high Chaos DoT multiplier and possibly with a chance to gain Onslaught buff
Min. requirements:
50 maximum Life
#% Chance to Gain Onslaught on Kill
20% Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Chaos Resistance
Bows fire an additional Arrow
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - with high defensive stats, Life, and Movement Speed bonus
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
40% Chaos Resistance
40 Intelligence
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
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 - Chaos DoT multiplier and missing attributes are the core stats on your Amulet
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
10% Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Strength and Intelligence
30% Chaos Resistance
Optional affixes:
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. No fancy affixes are required
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
30% Chaos Resistance
Optional affixes:
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
+(31-43)% to Chaos Resistance while affected by Herald of Agony
Herald of Agony has (40-60)% increased Buff Effect
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - aim for Chaos DoT Multiplier and high defensive stats
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
15% Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Damage during Flask Effect
Hands of the High Templar(Gloves) Hands of the High Templar - required if you want to effortlessly apply recommended Curses. You should get the Gloves with two of them preferably, though you could as well apply Despair via Flask
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
Recommended implicit mods:
Curse Enemies with Temporal Chains on Hit, with #% increased Effect
Curse Enemies with Despair on Hit, with #% increased Effect
#% Increased Attack Speed
#% Increased Maximum 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 two Medium Cluster Jewels. One with Chaos DoT multiplier, and the other with increased effectiveness of Flasks
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 should use three different types of Small Cluster Jewels. One with Enduring Composure so that you can generate Endurance Charges, one with Fettle for high Life bonus, and Born of Chaos for extra Chaos Resistance
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Enduring Composure
1 Added Passive Skill is Fettle
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 over Time
Attack Speed
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
Glorious Vanity(Jewel) Glorious Vanity - allows you to convert Perfect Agony to Divine Flesh, which effectively reduces Elemental Damage taken by your character by approx 20% (depending on your Chaos Resistance). Our Jewel had around 2000 Sacrificed in the name of Xibaqua for that effect
Bathed in the blood of (100-8000) sacrificed in the name of (Ahuana-Doryani-Xibaqua)
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Vaal
Thread of Hope(Jewel) Thread of Hope - allows you to pick up Adders Touch, King of the Hill, Master Fletcher, and Poisonous Fangs without connecting those to your Tree. You need to have a Jewel with a Large Ring and socket it right above Herbalism
Only affects Passives in a Large Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Vorana's Preparation(Flask) Vorana's Preparation - a very interesting Flask that was introduced in Patch 3.15. You are mainly going to use it for the Debilitate effect which slows down enemies and causes them to deal 10% less damage
Restores Ward on use
(-10–10)% reduced Charges used
Debilitate nearby Enemies for 2 Seconds when Flask Effect ends
Flask Effect is removed when Ward Breaks
Culling Strike during Flask Effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Ample Jade Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
  3. Experimenter's Quartz Flask of Adrenaline (increased Dodge and Mobility)
  4. Experimenter's Stibnite Flask of Acceleration (Attack Speed)
Vorana's PreparationDivine Life FlaskJade FlaskQuartz FlaskStibnite Flask

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