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Shock Nova Witch Elementalist PoE build

Shock Nova Witch Elementalist PoE build

Powerful spellcaster build for the Synthesis League and Patch 3.6

Shock Nova
Shocking Elementalist Build

Updated for Patch 3.6

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Estimated budget: mediocre
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Guide notes
March 9, 2019
-Build created
May 4, 2019
-Added Gameplay video

Shock Nova in patch 3.6 received probably one of the highest buffs to damage and damage effectiveness, which makes this skill one of the most powerful for spellcasters currently. Shock Nova has great clear speed and single target damage, thanks to rings of Lightning Damage overlapping on a single target with the right placement. If damage from Shock Nova will not be enough, we have also Lightning Spire setup, which can melt endgame bosses in a matter of seconds. The Mastermind of Discord will penetrate Lightning Resistances of the hardest bosses in the game and Beacon of Ruin will increase the damage they receive by a ton. If you want even more clear speed, then investing in Inpulsa's Broken Heart is your best bet. 

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1. Gameplay

Insane Lightning Nova explosions all around you make this build very enjoyable to play. Running into huge packs of monsters and sending deadly Lightning ring around you, killing them with one hit is probably the most satisfying feeling our team had with any build we tested. When engaging into a boss fight, place all Lightning Spire Traps underneath the boss, so all their hits can overlap.

0:06 Tier 15 Defiled Cathedral
0:27 Tier 14 Racecourse
0:59 Tier 14 Sunken City
1:24 Tier 16 Lair of the Hydra
1:56 Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix

This video was recorded on a level 90 Elementalist on Standard mode

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • amazing AoE with lightning projectiles fired all around you
  • very fast clear speed
  • great damage even on budget equipment
  • not expensive to farm red maps
  • Lightning Spire Trap is mandatory for endgame single-target
  • vulnerable to elemental reflect map mods

3. Leveling tips

For leveling, we are going to use Arc, because Shock Nova starts dealing insane damage in the endgame, when we reach the maps and have most of the skill tree. Nothing to worry about, because all supported gems that will be linked to Arc are also being used in endgame version of the build. You should buy Shock Nova and Lightning Spire Trap and level it in the offhand, so it will be ready when you reach maps.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Arc setup
Arc Arc - great Lightning leveling spell
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - adds a lot of Lightning Damage 
Increased Critical Strike Support Increase Critical Strikes Support - increases your chance to Critical Strike with Arc
Lightning Spire Trap setup
Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap - it's your single target skill, that will be also used in endgame build with all linked gems. Get it as soon as you hit level 28
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - definitely the best gem for Trap. While it might not be noticeable in Path of Building or tooltip DPS, it is highest Damage boost, because it increases Lightning Strikes frequency
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - increases Trap Damage by a lot
Utility Gems
Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - the recommended Golem for this build which increases your Critical Strike Chance
Assassin's Mark Conductivity - perfect Curse for our build because it lowers Lightning Resistance of cursed enemies
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - very good leveling Aura, that will grant additional Lightning Damage and strikes nearby enemies with Lightning Bolts
Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - recommended mobility skill 
Assassin's Mark Faster Casting - increased casting and movement speed of Flame Dash


We recommend helping Alira for increased Critical Strike Multiplier and Elemental Resistances or killing all Bandits if you prefer to get 2 additional Skill Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

34 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Heart and Soul 2) Lightning Walker 3) Cruel Preparation 4) Blast Radius 5) Throatseeker 6) Crackling Speed

64 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Doom Cast 2) Blood Drinker 3) Resourcefulness 4) Coordination 5) Elemental Focus

Recommended leveling items:

Malachai's Simula Malachai's Simula - great leveling Helmet for Lightning Builds. If you wear it then you should not use any Aura for leveling
(15-30)% increased Spell Damage
+20 to Strength
(20-30)% increased Lightning Damage
+10% to Lightning Resistance
Blood Magic
WanderlustWanderlust - great leveling boots that you can use since level 1, providing a lot of Movement Speed and immunity to Freeze
+5 to Dexterity
(20-40)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+(10-20) to maximum Energy Shield
20% increased Movement Speed
Cannot be Frozen
Stone of LazhwarStone of Lazhwar - grants a lot of Chance to Block Spell Damage and Cast Speed, which increases both Arc and Lightning Spire Trap Damage
(12-15)% Chance to Block Spell Damage
(10-15)% increased Cast Speed
+(30-50) to maximum Mana
Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - perfect choice for the whole leveling process, it's recommended to use it on both ring slots
(10-30)% increased Damage
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
Axiom PerpetuumAxiom Perpetuum - best leveling weapon in the game for spellcasters. A lot of Additional Damage to Spells and an insane amount of Critical Strike Chance for them. It's recommended to dual-wield them
(4-6)% increased Cast Speed
(100-140)% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Adds (2-3) to (5-6) Fire Damage to Spells
Adds (2-3) to (5-6) Cold Damage to Spells
Adds 1 to (10-12) Lightning Damage to Spells

4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

115 Points Final Skill Tree
115 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Pendulum of Destruction
  2. Mastermind of Discord
  3. Shaper of Desolation
  4. Beacon of Ruin


Major God: Soul of Bring 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] Shock Nova setup
Shock Nova Shock Nova - your main skill for clearing Maps and dealing AoE Damage. It's perfect to use it on Bosses as well
Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support 
Spell Echo Spell Echo - this support gem repeat each cast of Shock Nova for an additional time
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - increase Area Damage of your Shock Nova by a huge amount, at the expense of slightly decreased AoE
Lightning Penetration Support Lightning Penetration Support - your enemies have lower Resistances versus Shock Nova
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support - huge DPS increase that comes at the cost of slightly reduced Critical Strike Chance
[DPS] Lightning Spire Trap setup
(Gloves Only)
Lightning Spire Trap Lightning Spire Trap - it's your primary single-target DPS skill. Use it against Bosses and tough Rare Enemies. Try to cast all the Traps directly on the enemy for highest DPS
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support
Faster Casting Faster Casting - increases frequency of which your Lightning Spire Trap cast projectilas
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - replace it with Increased Area of Effect if you have required Support affix on Gloves
Optional gem options (these are only used if you are wearing recommended Shaper's Gloves):
Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support - increases Lightning Beams AoE, making them overlap each other, striking Bosses with all 3 of them at the same time
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
[CURSE/DEFENSE] Conductivity and Immortal Call setup
Conductivity Conductivity - main Curse, which reduces enemies' Lightning Resistance. Will be cast automatically thanks to Cast when Damage Taken Gem. Keep it at level 5
Cast When Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will automatically cast Immortal Call and Conductivity after receiving enough damage
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants Physical Damage immunity for a short period of time
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of Immortal Call buff and your Curse
[AURA] Wrath
(Socketed in Essence Worm only)
Wrath Wrath - increases Lightning Damage. Socket it only in Essence Worm if you have it
[UTILITY] Herald of Thunder
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - since we are Elementalist, it would be a sin to not use best Herald for Lightning damage build
[UTILITY] Ball Lightning Power Charge Generation setup
Ball Lightning Baal Lightning - it will be cast automatically thanks to Cast when Damage Taken. Keep it at level 4
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast supported spells after a certain amount of damage is taken by your character. Do not upgrade it above level 1
Power Charge on Critical Support Power Charge on Critical Support - it will generate Power Charges when you Critically Strike with Ball Lightning
Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support - will increase the number of Ball Lightning projectiles
[MOVEMENT/UTILITY] Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - recommended mobility skill 
Assassin's Mark Faster Casting - increased casting and movement speed of Flame Dash
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge - after casting Flame Dash it will grant Arcane Surge buff, which increases Spell Damage

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5. Gear Setup

This Shock Nova is one of the cheaper builds, with no required uniques. If you are using Choir of the Storm or The Wise Oak invest the most into Lightning Resistance for higher DPS. Below you will find all the recommended gear. If you would like to have the end-game items also added here please let us know in the comments below. 

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The recommended items from our list will:

  1. Help you cap your Elemental Resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS and Life to start mapping successfully

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Spell Damage/Lightning Damage
  4. Critical Strike Chance & Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. Cast Speed
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - this is our best choice for fixing both Elemental Resistances and Dexterity requirements

Min. requirements:
30 to Dexterity
70 to maximum Life
30% to Fire Resistance
35% to Lightning Resistance

Helmet enchantments:
Lightning Spire Trap strikes an additional area
Increased Shock Nova Area of Effect
Increased Shock Nova Damage
Rare Wand(Weapon) Rare Wand - definitely the best in the slot for this build. If you want maximum DPS, feel free to dual-wield them. Otherwise, use it in your main hand only
Min. requirements:
80% increased Spell Damage
Adds 6 to 90 Lightning Damage to Spells
80% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
increased Lightning Damage
Rare Shield(Shield) Rare Shield - shield will provide a lot of Life and additional Cast Speed and Spell Damage
Min. requirements:
50% increased Spell Damage
80 to maximum Life
12% to all Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Inpulsa's Broken Heart(Body Armour) Inpulsa's Broken Heart - all-around best Armour for this build. Increases clear speed thanks to explosions, Damage for all our Spells and effect of Shock which scales your damage up
+(60-80) to maximum Life
(20-50)% increased Damage if you have Shocked an Enemy Recently
(25-40)% increased Effect of Shock
Shocked Enemies you Kill Explode, dealing 5% of
their Maximum Life as Lightning Damage which cannot Shock
Unaffected by Shock
Rare Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - basically any armour will do, just try to get with the highest Life and Elemental Resistances

Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
29% Fire Resistance
29% Lightning Resistance
40% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:

Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - with the stats listed, it will be a great boost for your DPS
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
20% increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
15% increased Spell Damage
20 All Attributes
Optional affixes:
Increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Choir of the Storm(Amulet) Choir of the Storm - insane amulet for this build. It will immensely increase your DPS and with very high Critical Strike Chance it will shot Lightning Bolts all the time
(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
Essence Worm(Ring) Essence Worm - perfect Ring to socket Warth Aura
Has 1 Socket
+2 to Level of Socketed Aura Gems
Socketed Gems Reserve No Mana
40% increased Mana Reserved
Rare RingRare Ring(Ring) Rare Opal Rings - it will fix your Elemental Resistances and increase maximum Life
Min. requirements:
40 to maximum Life
15% to all Elemental Resistances
40% to Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
increased Lightning Damage
maximum Mana
Rare boots(Boots) Rare Boots - get the highest maximum Life and Movement Speed bonuses you can afford
Min. requirements:
70 to maximum Life
25% to Fire Resistance
25% to Cold Resistance
40% to Lightning Resistance
20% increased Movement Speed
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Damage Penetrated 10% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven't Killed Recently
Leather Belt(Belt) Rare Belt
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
29% Fire Resistance
29% Lightning Resistance
29% Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Stygian Vise - with the same stat as the regular belt. Will grant Abyss socket and allow you to use one more Abyss Jewel
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
29% Fire Resistance
29% Cold Resistance
29% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Strength or Dexterity for meeting attributes requirements
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Shaper Gloves - this is your highest single target Damage boost. Socket Lightning Spire Trap setup into them
Min. requirements:
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 16 Trap And Mine Damage
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 16 Faster Casting
20% increased Trap Damage
10% increased Cast Speed
30 Dexterity
Optional affixes:
Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Voidbringer(Gloves) Voidbringer - a cheaper alternative for Shaper Gloves, that will increase your Critical Strike Chance by a lot
+1 to Level of Socketed Elemental Gems
(125-150)% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
(180-250)% increased Energy Shield
(80-40)% increased Mana Cost of Skills
+(15-20) Energy Shield gained on Kill
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - if you prefer to change Skill Tree for Jewel sockets these affixes are recommended
Recommended affixes:
increased Maximum Life
increased Spell Damage/Lightning Damage
increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Abyss Jewel(Jewels) Abyss Jewels - main priority is maximum Life and flat damage to Spells
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
added Elemental Damage to Spells
Optional affixes:
increased Spell Damage
increased Cast Speed

The Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - a great boost for your Lightning Penetration and additional Elemental Resistances

During Flask Effect, 10% reduced Damage taken of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is lowest
During Flask Effect, Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Resistance of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is highest

Vessel of Vinktar(Flask) Vessel of Vinktar - insane Flask. It provides Life Leech, Lightning Penetration and increased Shock Effect on enemies

(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
Damage Penetrates 10% Lightning Resistance during Flask effect
20% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Hallowed Hybrid Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Heat (immunity to Freeze and Chill)
  3. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Movement Speed)
The Wise OakVessel of VinktarHallowed Hybrid FlaskDiamond FlaskQuicksilver Flask

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