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Shockwave Totem Chieftain Starter Build

Shockwave Totem Chieftain Starter Build

Beginner-friendly Totem build which offers good AoE and defenses

Shockwave Totem
Chieftan Starter build

Updated for Patch 3.8

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Guide notes
September 11, 2019
-Build created
September 28, 2019
-Added gameplay video

 

Totems offer very defensive and solid play style. They are one of the best Spell-types for beginners or for a new League's Starter build. We have decided to pick Chieftain for this build since it offers decent damage thanks to Fire Damage Conversion and insane defenses. With just random Rares, and several inexpensive Uniques, we have managed to reach over 6,000 Life, 30,000 Armour Rating, and over 1,000 Life Regenerated per second. This allows our Shockwave Chieftain to deal with any encounter in the game, though you should be aware that with low-budget equipment, your single-target DPS will make Shaper and Elder fights quite long. This still remains one of our top recommendations for the Blight League and Patch 3.8 for beginners.

You can also check our other Path of Exile builds right over here Best PoE Builds by Odealo

 

1. Gameplay

This build, like most of the Totem builds, offers defensive playstyle. You have to place your Totems, stay back a little, and use Flame Thrower Trap and Scorching Ray to apply your Curse and debuff enemies. This build is extremely easy to master, and thanks to Chieftains durability you should feel nearly immortal most of the time. You will be able to create up to four Shockwave Totems thanks to Multiple Totems Support Gem and Ancestral Bond Passive. You also get to use Flame Dash for some extra mobility, and to grant you the Arcane Surge buff for increased Spell Damage, Cast Speed, and Mana Regeneration Rate. This build may feel slow to level up and farm Maps, but it deals with Blight encounters really well. 


0:06 Tier 15 Coves
0:30 Tier 15 Siege
1:12 Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix
1:42 Tier 16 Tower

This video was recorded on a level 90 Chieftain on Standard Softcore using Rare Sceptre, Formless Inferno, and Trolltimber Spire


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

PROS
  • good AoE damage
  • insane defenses with over 6,000 Life and approximately 90% Physical Damage Reduction
  • easy leveling
  • can do Reflect Mods
  • requires 0 equipment
  • great as a League Starter build
CONS
  • slow when it comes to leveling and farming
  • can't do no Mana Regen Maps

 

3. Leveling tips

You should start off by using Holy Flame Totems. They have the same type of damage as Shockwave Totems, which lets you use the exact same Support Gems. You should prioritize getting Ancestral Bond first, which will basically double your DPS. You can additionally use Searing Bond Totem, since it increases the number of your maximum allowed Totems by 1, allowing you to have a third Totem(as long as one of them is the Searing Bond one). 

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Holy Flame Totem setup
Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem - Holy Flame Totems fire projectiles which deal base Physical Damage that gets partly Converted to Fire
Infused Channeling Support Infused Channeling Support - since Totems are channeling the Flames, this is the best Damage support for them
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds additional Fire Damage based on Physical Damage deal by Supported Skills
Holy Flame Totem setup
Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem - Holy Flame Totems fire projectiles which deal base Physical Damage that gets partly Converted to Fire
Infused Channeling Support Infused Channeling Support - since Totems are channeling the Flames, this is the best Damage support for them
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds additional Fire Damage based on Physical Damage deal by Supported Skills
Searing Bond setup
Searing Bond Searing Bond - a Totem Spell which links yourself, and all your Totems with a fiery beam that deals high Fire Damage over Time. You should only use one Searing Bond Totem
Burning Damage Support Burning Damage Support - increases the Damage of Searing Bond
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support - greatly increases Spell Damage at the cost of reduced Crit. Chance (and Searing Bond can't Crit. anyway)
Utility Gems
Flammability Flammability - a great Curse for most of the Fire-based builds. It reduces  Fire Resistance of Cursed enemies
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants more Fire and Burning Damage. If you kill the enemy, it will also cause nearby enemies to Burn for part of the Overkill Damage
Flame Dash Flame Dash - the recommended Mobility Spell used in this build
Portal Portal - lets you portal to Town without the necessity to use a Scroll

Bandits:

We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

30 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Warrior's Blood 2) Primal Manifestation 3) Devotion

60 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Divine Fury/Divine Wrath/Divine Judgement 2) Discipline and Training 3) Light of Divinity 4) Constitution 5) Avatar of Fire (assuming you already have Ngamahu, Flame's Advance Passive)

Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - this Rings provide everything you need during the leveling. You should use at least one to give you the required Attributes for Intelligence-based Gems
(10-30)% increased Damage
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
 
GoldrimGoldrim - one of the best leveling helmets in Path of Exile, will fix your Elemental Resistances for the entire Campaign
+(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)
 
Trolltimber SpireTrolltimber Spire - very powerful Shield, which also happens to be one of the recommended end-game Items. It grants high Life bonus, and Damage dealt by your Totems is Leeched to you as Life
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
 
Axiom PerpetuumAxiom Perpetuum - one of the best leveling Weapons for this build. It grants insane damage bonuses
(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:

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

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Ngamahu, Flame's Advance
  2. Ramako, Sun's Light
  3. Arohongui, Moon's Presence
  4. Hinekora, Death's Fury

Pantheon:

Major God: Soul of Lunaris 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%; 1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%

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] Shockwave Totem
Shockwave Totem Shockwave Totem - a Totem Spell which deals high Physical Damage in the area around it, which is fully Converted to Fire Damage in this build
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - allows you to summon an additional Totem with the Supported Spells, and makes it create two Totems instead of one with each cast
Combustion Support Fire Penetration Support - Supported Skills ignore some of the targets Fire Resistance, increasing your DPS
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support - in exchange for a bit of Critical Strike Chance it will increase Spell Damage by a lot
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - a great boost to Elemental Damage. However, it makes your Supported Spells unable to inflict Elemental Ailments
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds additional Fire Damage based the Supported Skill's Physical Damage
[UTILITY] Flamethrower Trap setup
Flamethrower Trap Flamethrower Trap - used to apply your Curse and to debuff enemies with Combustion. We can't deal any damage ourselves, so the only way to do it is through Traps or Mines
Combustion Support Combustion Support - when you Ignite enemy with your Flamethrower Trap, it will have reduced Fire Resistance
Curse on Hit Support Curse on Hit Support - makes Flamethrower Trap apply your Supported Curse
Flammability Flammability - the recommended Curse for this build which reduces monster's Fire Resistance
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - recommended Mobility Spell used in this build. On top of allowing you to move faster, it will grant you the Arcane Surge buff with each cast
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases Flame Dash's Cast Speed
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - if you keep this Gem at level 7, it will grant you the Arcane Surge buff with each cast of Flame Dash, increasing your Spell Damage, Cast Speed, and Mana Regeneration Rate
[UTILITY] Scorching Ray setup
Flame Dash Scorching Ray - used solely for the Fire Exposure debuff which reduces Fire Resistance of affected enemies. You can use a level 1 of this Gem to minimize Mana Cost
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
Portal Portal - quite useful Utility Gem, and since we have an open Socket here why not use it
[UTILITY] Heralds/Aura
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants more Fire and Burning Damage. It also slightly inreases your clear speed by Burning enemies for some of your Overkill Damage
Clarity Clarity - if you are having problems managing your Mana, make sure you use Clarity Aura for increased Mana Regeneration Rate
[UTILITY] Golem
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken Support - will automatically resummon your Golem
Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem - grants increased Life Regeneration per Second
[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Vaal Righteous Fire
(only if you aren't using Kaom's Roots)
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants solid defensive buffs for a short duration. Keep it at level 9
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast Immortal Call. Keep it at level 7
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of Immortal Call and Vaal Righteous Fire
Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire - greatly increases your Spell Damage for a short duration. The AoE effect will not deal any damage however


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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find the recommended gear for this build. We would like to remind you that this is a Beginner-friendly, low-budget build, so we have not included any expensive equipment. This build has a lot of space for improvements, however, if you get to this point, we would recommend spending your Currency on another build/character. This build has a set up role, which does not include spending tons of Exalted Orbs and pushing end-game content.

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. Fire/Spell Damage
  4. Cast Speed
  5. Armour Rating
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - any Helmet with some Life and Elemental Resistances will do just fine
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
Formless Inferno(Helmet) The Formless Inferno - grants insane defensive bonus, by greatly increasing your Armour Rating. This is our top recommendation for the Helmet slot
(80-120)% increased Armour
+(40-50) to maximum Life
-30% to Fire Resistance
8% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Fire Damage
Armour is increased by Uncapped Fire Resistance
Helmet enchantments:
40% increased Shockwave Totem Damage
15% increased Shockwave Totem Cast Speed
Sceptre(Weapon) Rare Sceptre - just try to get the highest possible stats out of the ones listed below

Min. requirements:
60% Increased Spell Damage
Adds ~30 Fire Damage to Spells
20% Increased Cast Speed
Optional affixes:
Gain 20% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage

Doryani's Catalyst(Weapon) Doryani's Catalyst you just can't go wrong when chosing Doryani's for this build. It offers very solid DPS bonuses and will cost just a few Chaos Orbs
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
Trolltimber Spire(Shield) Trolltimber Spire - this Shield will work just fine on Maps as it did during the leveling
+(20-30) to maximum Life
(130-150)% increased Armour
+(40-60) to maximum Life
Regenerate 0.5% of Life 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
Glorious Plate(Body Armour) Rare Armour - just aim for a cheap six-link with Life, high base Armour, and possibly Fire Resistnace if you are using The Formless Inferno
Min. requirements:
110 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
High Armour Rating
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - just grab the highest possible Life, and Movement Speed you can afford
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
25% Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Chaos Resistance
Kaom's Roots(Boots) Kaom's Roots - our top recommendation. They grant insane amount of Life, Stun Immunity, and they should be relatively cheap
Has no Sockets
Cannot be Knocked Back
+(150-200) to maximum Life
Action Speed cannot be modified to below base value
Unwavering Stance
Boot enchantment:
10% increased Movement Speed if you haven't been Hit Recently (Kaom's Roots)
Regenerate 2% of Life per second if you were Hit Recently
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - once again, mainly look for defensive stats
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
35 Dexterity
Optional affixes:
High Armour Rating
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - either pick Leather Belt for maximum Life bonus, or Stygian Vise for the extra Abyssal Jewel
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
30% Fire Resistance
30% Cold Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Armour Rating
Increased Damage (Crafting Bench)
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
15% Spell Damage
12% Cast Speed
Optional affixes:
Attributes
Fire Resistance
Opal Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - any base will do, but Opal Rings can provide the highest potential damage bonus
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
40 maximum Mana
30 Dexterity
Optional affixes:
Cast Speed
Fire/Elemental Damage
Elemental Resistances
Dream Fragments(Ring) Dream Fragments - provide very high bonus Mana and Freeze Immunity, making it exceptional useful for this build
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
20% increased maximum Mana
50% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+(30-40)% to Cold Resistance
Cannot be Chilled
Cannot be Frozen
Abyss Jewel(Jewel) Abyss Jewels - with added flat Fire Damage to Spells
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
Added Fire Damage to Spells
Added Physical Damage to Spells
Optional affixes:
Increased Damage if you have killed recently
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - they should provide extra Life and Damage bonuses
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Physical/Spell/Totem/Area Damage
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
The Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - will provide high DPS bonus if your Fire Resistance is the highest (and it should be if you have followed this Guide)
+35% to all 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
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - very solid defensive Flask which grants bonus Block Chance and Armour Rating
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-50)% increased Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
+(1-2)% to Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Effect
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Experimenter's Ruby Flask of Iron Skin (increased Armour Rating)
  3. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Movement Speed)
The Wise OakRumi's ConcoctionDivine Life FlaskRuby FlaskQuicksilver Flask


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If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below. We are always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

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