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Shockwave Totem Hierophant Build

Shockwave Totem Hierophant Build

A Lightning Conversion Build that uses Astral Projector to increase the damage and AoE of your Shockwave Totems

 Shockwave Totem
Hierophant build

Updated for Patch 3.17

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Guide notes
April 19, 2022
-Build created
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Shockwave Totem is one of the simplest Totem Skills in the game. It summons a Totem which deals Physical Spell Damage in form of a Nova. As it is common for most of the Totem builds, the best choice is to pick the Hierophant Class with Pursuit of Faith and Ritual Awakening - two immensely beneficial Totem Ascendancy Keystones. Another Hierophant's Passives worth picking are Conviction of Power for eight extra permanent Charges and Divine Guidance. It's a build that heavily relies on Mana as combined with Mind over Matter, Arcane Cloak, and around 3000 unreserved Mana, it will amplify both - offensive and defensive aspects of it. The build is very simple and offers a lot of elbow room when putting together. Only one Unique gear piece is required - the Astral Projector Ring. In our version, we included two Large Cluster Jewels and four Medium ones.

The Shockwave Totem deals purely Physical Damage, but after conversion, it should be Lightning Damage only. Converted Lightning Spell Damage is much easier to scale up on a Hierophant than a purely physical one. You can benefit from Arcane Cloak Buff which is based on the Mana you spent on it, and, for a Templar, it is very easy to access the Lightning and Mana nodes on a Skill Tree. Lightning mastery and Physical to Lightning Support Gem will be sufficient to convert almost all of your Damage. It's also a build that includes a lot of Critical Strike mods to reach nearly 100 Critical Strike Chance. The Damage is overall pretty good as you will be able to summon five Totems. The defenses are great too, your actual Life Pool which is around 4 to 5k will be amplified by your Mana, as over 40% of Damage received will be deducted from your Mana Pool. It has also some Armour, Energy Shield, and Block Chance.

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1. Gameplay

It's a default Totem build - you have to place Totems ahead of you, these will target and kill enemies with a small help from Astral Projector. The peculiar aspect of the build is the Mana management. You have to constantly cast Arcane Cloak that consumes 65% of your Mana and have Zealoty linked up to a Divine Blessing, preferably at all times. Activating it will also remove a big chunk of your Mana Pool. To apply Exposure use Lightning Golem linked to an Elemental Army Support Gem, cast automatically as you take damage. Another useful foot, especially for boss fights, is an Arcanist Brand linked to an Innervate Support and Culling Strike Support. For a Curse use Conductivity, and for a movement Skill - Flame Dash.


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • has extraordinarily high boss DPS
  • good defenses with lots of Mana to absorb the damage
  • can benefit from a lot of damage sources such as physical damage, elemental damage, or critical damage
  • it can be assembled quite easily
  • can run all the maps, no matter the modifiers
  • Totem playstyle might not be suited for the fast-paced playstyle
  • upgrades to the build are costly


3. Leveling tips

We recommend starting with an Elemental Spell Totem, Holy Flame Totem is a perfect candidate as it's available since level 1. Quickly convert the remaining half of the Physical Damage to fire via Fire Mastery, and pick the Fire, Spell, and Life nodes on a Skill Tree. Continue leveling with Holy Flame Totem until you acquire a 5-link, and after level 40, which is the minimum level to wiled Astral Projector. Keep your Elemental Resistances, Maximum Life, and mana high at all times. You can pick Mind over Matter and Agnostic if your Mana Pool and Mana Regeneration Rate are exceptionally high.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Glacial Hammer setup
Holy Flame Holy Flame Totem - a Spell Totem which fires three Projectiles dealing Physical damage, half of which is converted to Fire
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds Fire Damage sourced from Physical Damage
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - as you spend Mana on the linked Skills, you gain the Arcane Surge buff for increased Spell Damage and Mana regeneration
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - you can summon more Totems to deal more damage
various Gems
Flammability Flammability - a Cure to lower Fire Resistance, later to be swapped with Conductivity
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants you extra Fire Damage sourced from your Physical Damage and increases your clear speed
Anger Anger - adds Fire Damage to your Spells
Clarity Clarity - Clarity increases your mana Regeneration Rate, which is very important
Flame Dash Flame Dash - a basic movement Spell


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points.

Leveling Skill Trees:

33 Points Skill Tree
Pick Ancestral Bond Keystone, Totem, Spell, Elemental, and Life nodes. Pick Mind over Matter or Agnostic if you feel like you can sustain the mana drain.

69 Points Skill Tree
Allocate more Maximum Life, Maximum Mana, and Elemental Damage. If you're still using Holy Flame Totem go for Heart of Flame and Fire Mastery to convert Damage, if you're using Shockwave Totem, allocate Crackling Speed and its Mastery.

Recommended leveling items:

Atziri's FoibleAtziri's Foible - pretty much mandatory for leveling, as it grants you a lot of Mana and Mana Regeneration
(20-30)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+100 to maximum Mana
(16-24)% increased maximum Mana
(80-100)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
Items and Gems have 25% reduced Attribute Requirements
LifesprigLifesprig - one of the best leveling items in the game, especially for this build
+1 to Level of Socketed Spell Gems
(20-28)% increased Spell Damage
(5-8)% increased Cast Speed
+(15-20) to maximum Life
+(15-20) to maximum Mana
Regenerate (6-8) Life over 1 second when you Cast a Spell

GoldrimGoldrim - has a lot 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)
PraxisPraxis - a common ring that grants you tons of Mana in many shapes and sizes
+(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 Recouped as Mana
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - Tabula is especially good if you have a lot of Mana Regeneration Rate, which you should
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:

90 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Unique or Cluster Jewels)
118 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Pursuit of Faith
  2. Ritual Awakening
  3. Divine Guidance
  4. Conviction of Power


Major God: Soul of Solaris 6% Physical Damage Reduction if there is only one nearby Enemy; 20% chance to take 50%  less Area Damage from Hits

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 setup
Shockwave Totem Shockwave Totem - It's your main DPS Skill. A Totem that cast a Nova Spell dealing Converted Lightning Damage in the targeted area. It has really good scaling with the Gem Level so keep that in mind.
Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support - it not only converts half of the Physical damage to Lightning but also adds extra Lightning Damage sourced from the Physical one.
Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support - increases Critical Strike Chance for the linked Skills
Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support - Critical Strikes deal more damage, the Critical Strike Multiplier is increased
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - you can summon two more Totems to increase your damage
Empower Support Empower Support - Increases the Gem Level of Shockwave Totem. If you don't have it, use Lightning Penetration Support Lightning Penetration Support as it's your second best option.
[UTILITY] Arcanist Brand setup
Arcanist Brand Arcanist Brand - Arcanist Brand is a spell that sticks to the enemy and periodically casts Spells linked to it.
Divergent Innervate Divergent Innervate Support - Divergent Innervate increases the chance to Shock for the linked Spells and has a small chance to grant you the Innervation Buff when you shock an enemy with the Spell, but only with the Divergent Quality. It's also guaranteed to grant you this buff on Kill.
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - A Spell that deals Damage and Exposes the enemy to Lightning, reducing their Resistance.
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - linked Spell kills enemies below 10% of their Maximum Life instantly
[UTILITY] Lightning Golem setup
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - Lightning Golem grants a Buff to increase your Attack and Cast Speed. We recommend using an Anomalous version to amplify it.
Meat Shield Support Meat Shield Support - linked Minion is faster, more sturdy, it Taunts enemies, and behaves more defensively
Elemental Army Support Elemental Army Support - linked Minion has increased Elemental Resistances and applies Exposure on Hit
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - Golem will be cast automatically when you take enough damage, you can level it all the way up
[UTILITY] Arcane Cloak setup
Arcane Cloak Arcane Cloak - Arcane Cloak is an important part of the build. It's a Guard Spell that consumes 65% of your current Mana and makes a shield out of it that's able to mitigate 75% of the incoming Hit Damage. it also adds Lightning Damage to your Spells that's equal to 15% of consumed Mana.
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge - as you spend enough Mana on the linked Skill it grants you an Arcan Surge Buff that increases your Mana Regeneration Rate, increases your Spell Damage, and grants you more Spell Damage
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - Arcane Cloak and Arcane Surge last longer
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Zealotry Zealotry - an Aura that increases Critical Strike Chance for Spells and grants more Spell Damage, while being able to create Consecrated Ground during Boss Fights
Divine Blessing Support Divine Blessing Support - linked Aura will not Reserve Mana, but instead, it will have a duration and increased Mana Cost and Aura Effect
[UTILITY] Curse setup
Conductivity Conductivity - Cursed enemies have vastly reduced Lightning Resistance and are more likely to be Shocked
Spell Cascade Support Spell Cascade Support - Curse is being cast in a larger Area. You can also use Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support as the outcome will be roughly the same.
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash
Flame Dash Flame Dash - a simple Movement Spell that allows you to dash

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5. Gear Setup

What you're looking for is primarily the Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier for Spells, increased or added Spell, Elemental, Physical or Lighting Damage, and the Gem Level of Shockwave Totem. Remember that the Gem setup and Skill Tree will convert 90% of your Physical Damage to Lightning, the remaining 10% should be covered by your items. The easiest way to do so is to craft the conversion mod on your Gloves. The Essence of Insanity opens a possibility for a better Mana sustain when used on an Amulet. As for the defensives, aim mostly for Maximum Life, Resistances, and some Armour with Block Chance. Bury in mind that your Maximum Mana and Mana Regeneration Rate are very important, you should have 3000 Maximum Mana and a reliable way to regenerate it rapidly, as it is a source of your Damage and also improves your survivability significantly. As for Unique Items, you should get the Astral Projector Ring, Clear Mind Jewel, and Militant Faith Timeless Jewel to gain Inner Conviction. It should be easy to get all the required Attributes.


Stat priorities on items:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Maximum Mana
  4. Gem Level of Shockwave Totem
  5. Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier for Spells
  6. Mana Regeneration Rate
  7. increased and added Spell, Physical, Elemental, or Lightning Damage
  8. Power Charges scaling
  9. Cast Speed
  10. Chaos Resistance
  11. Armour
  12. Block Chance
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances are great to have, but your priorities should be an additional Maximum Power Charge and some other rare utility mods
Min. requirements:
+70 maximum Life
+80% to Total Elemental Resistances
+1 to Maximum Power Charges
Optional affixes:
Nearby enemies take #% Increased Lightning Damage
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
10% chance to Recover 10% of Mana when you use a Skill (Essence of Insanity)
increased maximum Mana (Elder Prefix)
Helmet enchantment:
Shockwave Totem Enchantment
sceptre(Weapon) Rare Wand or Sceptre - The best weapon should have two modifiers increasing the Gem Level of your Shockwave Totem and some other offensive mods on top of that, the easiest one to find is increased Spell, Physical, Lightning, or Elemental Damage.
Min. requirements:
+1 to Level of all Spell or Physical Skill Gems
increased Spell or Lightning Damage
Optional affixes:
+1 to Level of all Spell or Physical Skill Gems
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Added Physical or Lightning Damage to Spells
increased Cast Speed
Maximum Mana
Shield(Off-hand) Rare Shield - We recommend an Intelligence-based Shield as it can grant you a lot of offensive utility mods. Aim for Life, Resistances, Mana, Spell Damage, and Critical Strike mods. The most valuable are mods for Maximum Physical Spell Skills Gem Level and an additional Totem.
Min. requirements:
+70 maximum Life
+80% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Maximum Mana
+1 to Level of all Physical Spell Skill Gems
+1 to maximum number of Summoned Totems (Shaper's Prefix)
increased Maximum Life
increased Mana Regeneration Rate
increased Spell or Lightning Damage
increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Rare Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - Get a Strength or Intelligence base as you will need three blue and three red sockets. Seek the Regular Life and Resistances mods, or some of the Shaper's mods.
Min. requirements:
+100 maximum Life
+80% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Maximum Life
+1 to Level of Socketed Active Skill Gems (Shaper's and Warlord's Prefix)
increased maximum Mana (Shaper's Prefix)
You can apply an additional Curse
Skin of the Lords(Body Armour) Skin of the Lords - As it's often the case with builds that prioritize the Gem Level of the Skill in the main setup, it's one of the best options.
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Sockets cannot be modified
+2 to Level of Socketed Gems
100% increased Global Defences
You can only Socket Corrupted Gems in this item
Item has 6 Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
<Random Keystone>
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Life, Resistances, and some offensive mods in form of an increased Spell Damage or Critical Strike mods will be sufficient.
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
increased Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
#% of Physical Damage Converted to Lightning Damage
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
increased Critical Strike Chance against Shocked Enemies
increased Cast Speed
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Boots should increase your Movement Speed, Life, and Resistances. For the more high-end mods, you can get the Tailwind and Elusive affixes. For the Lab Enchant, seek the "70% increased Mana Regeneration Rate if you've cast a Spell Recently".
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Cannot be Frozen (crafted)
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - Try to get as much Maximum Life and Resistances as you can afford. There isn't much to look for so just focus on the basic mods.
Min. requirements:
+100 maximum Life
+70% to Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Damage
increased Maximum Life
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - prioritize Life, Resistances, and the Gem Level of Shockwave Totem. There are a lot of other extremely useful affixes worth looking into.
Min. requirements:
+1 to Level of all Spell or Physical Skill Gems
+70 Maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
maximum Mana
Optional affixes:
+1 to Level of all Spell or Physical Skill Gems
Critical Strike mods
increased Spell or Lightning Damage
Recommended Anointments:
Divine Wrath
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances are the most important modifiers. Maximum Mana is also a stat that you should look for - Cerulean Ring increases your Mana by its Implicit.
Min. requirements:
+80 maximum Life
+80% to Total Elemental Resistances
maximum Mana
Optional affixes:
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
+1 to Maximum Power Charges (Synthesised Implicit)
increased Cast Speed
Astral Projector(Ring) Astral Projector - It's one of the mandatory items, mostly because of its unique property which makes your Nova Spells cast at the targeted location. Totem will aim automatically at the enemies making it especially beneficial.
+(20-30)% to Lightning Resistance
+(30-50) to Intelligence
(20-25)% increased Spell Damage
30% chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments
Nova Spells have 20% less Area of Effect
Nova Spells deal 30% less Damage to Players
Nova Spells Cast at the targeted location instead of around you
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - you're using only Zealotry - increased Critical Strike Chance and Elemental Resistances Penetration are the two best mods here
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Clear Mind(Jewel) Clear Mind - you should have an entirety of your Mana unreserved, use this Jewel for the conditional benefits of it
(20-30)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
(40-60)% increased Spell Damage while no Mana is Reserved
Militant Faith(Jewel) Militant Faith - The main reason to use it is to change Minion Instability into Inner Conviction by Dominus' variant, and to gain some of the Devotion mods. Totem and Elemental Damage are some of the best ones.
Carved to glorify (2000-10000) new faithful converted by High Templar (Avarius-Dominus-Maxarius)
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Templars
<two random mods of devotion>
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - There are many stats to seek, but the most important are Maximum Life, Maximum Mana, and Critical Strike mods.
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased maximum Mana
increased Physical/ Area/ Lighting/ Elemental Damage with Spells
Totem Mods
Cast Speed
Critical Strike Mods
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - We've used two Large Jewels, one that's Physical Damage-based, and the other one Spell Damage-based. Force Multiplier is probably the best Notable in terms of damage increase.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Battle-Hardened
1 Added Passive Skill is Force Multiplier
1 Added Passive Skill is Conjured Wall
1 Added Passive Skill is Mage Hunter
1 Added Passive Skill is Thaumophage
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - One Master of Fear, Sleepless Sentries, and Ancestral Inspiration are extremely advantageous additions. For the remaining Notables look to increase your Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Basics of Pain
1 Added Passive Skill is Pressure Points
1 Added Passive Skill is Evil Eye
1 Added Passive Skill is Master of Fear
1 Added Passive Skill is Sleepless Sentries
1 Added Passive Skill is Ancestral Inspiration
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - use it for increased Armour and additional Block Chance
+1500 to Armour
+(8-12)% Chance to Block Attack Damage during Flask effect
+(4-6)% Chance to Block Spell Damage during Flask effect
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - increases your Damage, Critical Strike Chance, and creates a massive Consecrated Ground
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-15)% reduced Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
(100-150)% increased Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Flask effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Quicksilver Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Life Flask with random ailment removal
  3. Diamond Flask with random ailment removal
Diamond FlaskRumi's ConcoctionLife FlaskBottled FaithQuicksilver Flask

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