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Spectral Shield Throw Pathfinder Build

Spectral Shield Throw Pathfinder Build

Very quick Pathfinder build with many defensive layers that attack with a Shield dealing primarily Chaos Damage

Chaos Spectral Shield Throw
Pathfinder Build

Created for Patch 3.19

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Guide notes
September 13, 2022
-Build created
Build Overview



Boss DPS:



Spectral Shield Throw was the first Shield-related Skill introduced to Path of Exile and remains as most popular Skill in this Archetype. It is a very unique Attack, as it uses your Shield instead of your Weapon to deal Damage. It throws a spectral copy of your Shield that splits into many smaller projectiles upon impact, and deals Damage based on the Defenses of thrown Shield: Armour and Evasion Ratings increase its base Physical Damage, while Energy Shield affects Critical Strikes.

Newly buffed Unique Shield, Emperor's Vigilance makes a perfect match for this Skill. Thanks to this, the entry costs of this build are much lower as crafting similar Shield in the past was very difficult. Even though Weapon is not used to Attack in this build, it can still be used to boost our Damage. In this case, we are using Obliteration Wand. It gives a big portion of our Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage and gives very satisfying Chaos explosions upon killing enemies. To further boost our damage, we gain over 100% of the physical damage as Extra Chaos Damage. Chaos damage is particularly strong because it can not be reflected and monsters usually have lower resistance values compared to elemental ones.  For that reason, Pathfinder Ascendancy is an amazing choice for this build as it excels at two things - Chaos Attacks and Flasks. The high uptime and effectiveness of your Flasks make this build very smooth to play. You can even play without Life Flask as you will be healed every time you use any flask. It will also remove any Bleeding or Corrupting Blood effect.

Unfortunately, the right side of the passive tree doesn't provide many Maximum Life passive skills. Because of that, this build focuses heavily on avoiding Damage. Very high Evasion Ratings have perfect synergy with capped Spell Suppression and Attack Block Chance. Thanks to the mentioned Uniques this build can be started on a very low budget and scales very well with every new upgrade you make. 

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1. Gameplay

With this build, you will be able to Shield Charge around the Maps very quickly and throw Spectral Shields to obliterate packs of enemies. You can throw only one Spectral Shield - adding more projectiles applies only to the shards created upon impact. Wither applied by Spell Totems and Tornado will greatly boost your Damage against tough enemies. Thanks to our high Defenses you don't need to be afraid to stand close to fully utilize the Damage bonus from Point Blanks Keystone. We recommend enchanting all your Flasks to be used when they reach full Charges, as they will be full almost all the time. 


This video was recorded on a level 96 Pathfinder using The Covenant, Ming's Heart, Obliteration Wand, and Emperor's Vigilance. No fancy Rares or Forbidden Flame/Flesh Jewels were used as it was recorded during the first two weeks of the League

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • very good single target DPS paired with decent clear
  • can start on a budget, and scales well into the end-game
  • smooth to play
  • fairly tanky 
  • only one projectile requires good targeting


3. Leveling tips

Leveling as a Ranger investing in Projectile Attack passives is a very pleasant experience. You could start using Shield Skills very early into the game, but getting decent Shield every few levels is not that easy. We recommend using Spectral Helix or Lightning Strike until you can get the proper setup for your Shield Throw. Make good use of the Magic Flasks during leveling, they will make leveling process much faster. High Spell Suppression Chance just from your Passive Tree works insanely well during early levels. Point Blank massively boosts the damage of Projectiles if you stand close to the enemy, try to get this Keystone fairly quickly regardless of what type of Damage you use. 

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Spectral Helix setup
spectral helix Spectral Helix - It will rotate in place from where you use it. It can hit the same opponent many times 
chance to bleed Chance to Bleed Support - adds a good amount of Physical Damage to Attacks and causes Bleeding for additional Damage
onlsaught support Onslaught Support - this Support Gem will guarantee very high uptime on Onslaught Buff for massive Movement and Attack Speed during the campaign
Vicious Projectiles support Vicious Projectiles Support - gives a lot of Damage to your Physical Projectile Attacks
Ancestral Protector setup
ancestral protector Ancestral Protector - grants a bonus to your Attack Speed and deals some damage
Maim Support Maim Support - totem will now have a high chance to apply Maim which will increase the Physical Damage you deal to the enemy
ancestral call  Support Ancestral Call Support - Protector by itself has a pretty limited range of Attacks, this will help him reach more monsters
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - boost your totem Melee Attack Damage but lowers his Attack Speed a bit
Auras setup
Grace Grace - gives a huge amount of Evasion Rating which tremendously helps with surviving the early Acts
Precision Precision - grants a lot of Accuracy and Critical Strike Chances which are very useful during leveling 

Clarity - helps with sustaining your Mana before you get Mana Leech. Keep at a low level so it doesn't reserve too much Mana

Curse and Flame Dash setup
Dash Dash - this Skill is used to move faster and skip some pathways or rocks
assassin mark Assassin Mark - it will make Critical Strikes to be more reliable during leveling


Kill all three bandits to be rewarded with two additional Passive Skill Points


Leveling Skill Trees:

34 Points Passive Tree
We recommend this order:
1) Heart of Oak  2) Fangs Of Viper  3) Assassination 4) Revenge of the Hunted 5) Inveterate

63 Points Passive Tree
1) Acuity  2) Herbalism  3) Point Blank 4) Lethality 5) Hearthseeker 6) Marked for Death 7) Entrench 8) Thick Skin


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - very good ring for leveling as it gives generic Damage, all Elemental Resistances and Attributes
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
GoldrimGoldrim - the best helmet you can get for leveling as it makes capping Resistances much easier
+(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)
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - provides no defensive stats, but allows you to use a six link from level 1 
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
oni goroshiOni-Goroshi - a very strong sword that gets stronger with every level you get. Can be pretty expensive and requires your Fire Resistances to be maxed out
40% increased Global Accuracy Rating
Uses both hand slots
(70-90)% increased Critical Strike Chance
Adds 2 to 3 Physical Damage to Attacks per Level
Gain Her Embrace for 3 seconds when you Ignite an Enemy
While in Her Embrace, take 0.5% of your total Maximum Life and Energy Shield as Fire Damage per second per Level
Item has 6 Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
ewars mirageEwar's Mirage - a very strong sword if you decide to use Elemental Damage instead of Physical for leveling purposes. You can equip it at level 26
+25% to Global Critical Strike MultiplierAdds 1 to (45-55) Lightning Damage
(16-22)% increased Attack Speed
Attacks Chain an additional time when in Main Hand
Attacks fire an additional Projectile when in Off Hand
(40-55)% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
mightflayMightflay - this Dagger provides a lot of Physical Damage and Life sustain. One of the best weapons for level 30 characters
30% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+25 to Strength
(80-100)% increased Physical Damage
Adds 12 to 24 Physical Damage
+10 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
mightflayEmperor's Vigilance - you can equip your End-Game Shield about halfway through the campaign, as it requires only level 46 to wear.  It grants absurd amounts of Damage during that time
(16-22)% Chance to Block Spell Damage
1000% increased Armour and Energy Shield
Damage taken from Blocked Hits cannot bypass Energy Shield
Damage taken from Unblocked hits always bypasses Energy Shield
Glancing Blows
Maligaro's VirtuosityMaligaro's Virtuosity - greatly boosts your Critical Strikes and Attack Speed. With those, you can't increase nor reduce your Critical Strike Multiplier
+(20-30) to Dexterity
5% increased Attack Speed
50% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
(60-80)% increased Evasion Rating
Your Critical Strike Multiplier is 300%
Meginord's GirdlePerandus Blazon - this Belt makes your Flasks last longer and greatly help with missing Attributes
(15-25)% increased Stun and Block Recovery
+(20-30) to all Attributes
(6-8)% increased Quantity of Items found
+20% to Fire Resistance
20% increased Flask Effect Duration
-2 Physical Damage taken from Attack Hits
karui wardKarui Ward- very good leveling Amulet which gives generic Projectile Damage and Movement Speed
+(20-30) to Dexterity
+(20-30) to Strength
+100 to Accuracy Rating
30% increased Projectile Speed
10% increased Movement Speed
30% increased Projectile Damage
Carnage HeartThief's Torment - disables your other Ring, but grants a lot of Elemental Resistances and amazing Life and Mana sustain
(10-16)% increased Quantity of Items found
Can't use other Rings
+(16-24)% to all Elemental Resistances
+(40-60) Life gained for each Enemy hit by your Attacks
+30 Mana gained for each Enemy hit by your Attacks
50% reduced Effect of Curses on you
WanderlustWanderlust - this pair of Boots make you Immune to Freeze which is very helpful in the early game. It also adds a good amount of Movement Speed
+5 to Dexterity
+(10-20) to maximum Energy Shield
(20-40)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
20% increased Movement Speed
Cannot be Frozen
seven league stepSeven-League Step - this pair of boots can be pretty expensive to buy, but provides unmatched amounts of Movement Speed
50% increased Movement Speed
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

118 Points Final Passive Tree 
118 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


Major God: Brine King: You cannot be Stunned if you've been Stunned in the past 2 seconds, Cannot be Frozen, 50% reduced Effect of Chill on you

Minor God: Soul of Shakari: You cannot be Poisoned while there are at least 3 Poisons on you; 50% less Duration of Poisons on You


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Spectral Shield Throw setup
spectral shield throw Spectral Shield Throw - ranged Projectile Attacks that use your own Shield to deal Damage. Has built-in chain for extra clear potential
vicious projectiles Spport Vicious Projectiles Support - increases Physical Damage of your projectiles but reduces Attack Speed a bit
void manipulation support Void Manipulation Support - gives a massive boost to our Chaos Damage 
increased critical strikes  Support Increased Critical Strikes Support - with this Support Gem we can reach nearly 100% Chance to deal Critical Strike
damage on full lifeSupport Damage on Full Life Support  - grants a huge amount of Damage if you have Full Life, which shouldn't be a problem with the amount of sustain this build provides
increased cirtical damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support - makes your Critical Hits much stronger
[UTILITY] Auras 
grace Grace - gives a lot of Evasion Rating and helps us scale it to even higher values
herald of purity Herald of Purity - this Herald boosts our Physical Damage significantly
defiance banner Defiance Banner - increases our Armour and Evasion a bit, and reduces the enemy's Chances to deal Critical Strike
precision Precision - this aura gives a lot of flat Accuracy Rating and Critical Strike Chance. Try to keep it at a low level for lower mana reservations. 
flash and stone Flesh and Stone  - use only the Sand Stance. It blinds nearby enemies and reduces the Damage you Take from Ranged monsters
[UTILITY] Tornado setup
tornado Tornado - hitting Tornado with your Shield Throw will cause it to deal Bonus Damage based on the hit from your Shield
onslaguht Onslaught - thanks to this Support your Tornado will sometimes give your Buff that increases your Attack and Movement Speed 
power charge on cirtical Power Charge on Critical Support - helps us generate Power Charges in single-target situations
[UTILITY] Assassin Mark setup
assassin mark Assassin's Mark - Marked enemies are more prone to Critical Strikes. It will also help you generate Power Charges. If you get another source of Power Charges, sniper markSniper Mark offers more Damage
mark on hit Mark on Hit Support - with this Support any Hit will apply linked Mark to enemies
[UTILITY] Wither setup
wither Wither - it is a stacking debuff that massively increases Chaos Damage Taken by enemies and Hinders them for a short duration
spell totem support Spell Totem Support -  using Totems to cast this debuff is highly recommended for smoother gameplay
mutliple totems support Multiple Totems Support - more Totems will apply maximum stacks of Wither much faster
[UTILITY] Steel Skin
steel skin Steelskin - this Guard skill absorbs a big part of Damage before it harms you directly
[MOVEMENT] Shield Charge and others
shield charge Shield Charge - with this Attack you can travel short distances very quickly. It scales with your Attack Speed and Movement Speed
flame Dash Flame Dash - using Blink Skill you can bypass a lot of obstacles. It is not as fast as Shield Charge for general movement
withering step Withering Step - if you prefer high movement speed over using travel skills, this is a perfect ability for you. It also applies Wither to nearby enemies

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6. Gear Setup

The most important Item in this build is the Shield. In this case, we are using Emperor's Vigilance Unique Shield for its very high base Armour and Energy Shield. Other than that, we use various methods to get a lot of Extra Chaos Damage based on our Physical Damage. Firstly, we use Obliteration for 40% Extra Chaos Damage and the chance to explode enemies on Kill. The second item with such property is Ming Heart Unique Ring. With 20% Quality, it adds almost 70% Extra Chaos Damage. However, this Ring comes with a major drawback, which is reduced Life, which is why we limit ourselves to using just one such Ring.   With just those two items, we gain over double our Damage as Chaos Damage. Another important piece of equipment is your Body Armour. If you get Spectral Shield Throw to a total of 24 Skill Gem Level, it will gain a significant bonus to its Damage scaling from your Shield. That's why if you can acquire Level 21 Spectral Shield Throw Gem and an amulet with a +1 Gem Level modifier for this Skill, you can use Skin of the Lords for the maximum damage bonus. If not, newly buffed The Covenant provides a huge bonus to chaos damage in form of built-in  Level 29 Added Chaos Support Gem. Other than that, the rest of the gear is focused on getting as many Maximum Life, Resistances, Spell Suppression, and minor Damage bonuses as you can get. 


Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances at 75%
  2. Provide you with enough DPS and Life to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Reach 75% of each Elemental Resistance
  2. Maximum Life
  3. Spell Suppression
  4. Chaos Damage
  5. Chaos Resistances
  6. Evasion
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - you can get a lot of maximum Life and Elemental Resistances here. Other than that, you should look for Spell Suppression or reduction to Nearby Enemy Chaos Resistance
Min. requirements:
+60% to Elemental Resistances
+70 to Maximum Life
Spell Suppression
Optional affixes:
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Chaos Resistance
Helmet enchantments:
30% increased Assassin's Mark Effect
Blood Rage grants additional 12% increased Attack Speed
Martyr of innocence(Weapon) Obliteration - this Unique Wand provides tons of Damage and satisfying explosions for extra Clear.  You can get corrupted implicit for generating power charges upon critical strikes
(31-35)% increased Spell Damage
Gain (30-40)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
Enemies you Kill have a 20% chance to Explode, dealing a quarter of their maximum Life as Chaos Damage
Martyr of innocence(Shield)Emperor's Vigilance - core Item for this Build. It has very high Armour and Energy Shield for our Damage scaling, but it also provides Glancing Blows Keystone and some Spell Block Chance. 
(16-22)% Chance to Block Spell Damage
1000% increased Armour and Energy Shield
Damage taken from Blocked Hits cannot bypass Energy Shield
Damage taken from Unblocked hits always bypasses Energy Shield
Glancing Blows
Rare Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - you can start this build using just regular Rare Armour with lots of Life, Resistances, and some Spell Suppression
Min. requirements:
+120 to maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
You can apply an additional Curse
covenant(Body Armour)The Covenant - this Body Armour gives you a very powerful level 29 Support Gem for your Main Setup.  It also increases your maximum Life and helps a bit with Intelligence requirements
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
skin of the lords (Body Armour)Skin of the Lords - with this Armour you can easily reach 24 Level of your Main Skill Gem. It also provides a massive bonus to all your Defences. 
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>
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - try to get at least 25% Movement Speed paired with good defensive options. You can also get Tailwind on Critical Strike if you get enough budget for that
Min. requirements:
+70 to maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
(8–12)% chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - look mostly for good maximum Life and Resistances. By using Eldritch currency you can get implicit modifiers that allow you to generate rage with attacks and convert part of your physical damage to chaos damage. 
Min. requirements:
+70 to maximum Life
+90% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Attack Speed 
Spell Suppression
Accuracy Rating
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - Preferably a Stygian Vise base so you can fit in additional Abyss Jewel. Look for high Maximum Life, Resistances, and Attributes
Min. requirements:
+100 to Maximum Life
+80% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
% Increased Maximum Life
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - this is a very important piece to increasing our Damage. Look for modifiers to Gem Level, Critical Strike Multiplier, and Chaos Damage. You also need some Life and Resistances here.
Min. requirements:
+70% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
+1 to Level of all Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Physical Skill Gems
Critical Strike  Multiplier
increased Chaos Damage
Recommended Anointments:
ming heart(Ring)Ming's Heart - this Ring gives a lot of Extra Chaos damage, which you can boost even further by using Noxious Catalyst for 20% quality. In return, it lowers your Life and Energy Shield.
+(17-23)% to Chaos Resistance
25% reduced maximum Energy Shield
25% reduced maximum Life
+(40-50)% to Chaos Resistance
Gain (40-60)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - the other Ring should have a lot of Life, Resistances, and Attributes. You can also look for Accuracy Rating or Mana Cost reductions
Min. requirements:
+80% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - increase your Maximum Life, Attack Speed, Critical Strike Multiplier or Elemental Resistances
Recommended affixes:
7% increased maximum Life
Critical Strike Multiplier
Attack Speed
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - there are many useful modifiers for this build since we use a lot of Auras. Modifiers for Precision Aura are the best DMG wise
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Recommended Aura mods:
+(20–30)% to Critical Strike Multiplier while affected by Precision
+(40–60)% increased Attack Damage while affected by Precision
seething fury(Jewel) Seething Fury - this Jewel is very important for our Critical Strikes. It grants a lot of base Critical Strike Chance and Critical Strike Multiplier 
(10-15)% increased Attack Damage while holding a Shield
+0.15% to Off Hand Critical Strike Chance per 10 Maximum Energy Shield on Shield
+4% to Off Hand Critical Strike Multiplier per 10 Maximum Energy Shield on Shield
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Replica Conqueror's Efficiency - using this Jewel is a great way to reduce your Mana Costs significantly 
4% increased Skill Effect Duration
+5 to Maximum Rage
Non-Channelling Skills have -9 to Total Mana Cost
lethal pride(Jewel) Lethal Pride - this Timeless Jewel can provide a lot of Damage if you manage to find a good one, but due to their nature, it is a pretty hard task to accomplish
Potential bonuses to your passive tree:
5% chance to deal Double Damage
4% increased maximum Life
20% increased Physical Damage
10% chance to Intimidate Enemies for 4 seconds on Hit
sins rebirth (Flask)Sin's Rebirth - this amazing Flask gives you a lot of Evasion Rating, Blinds nearby Enemies and gives you Unholy Might for a massive Damage bonus
20% more Evasion Rating
Gain Unholy Might during Flask Effect
Grants Immunity to Ignite for 4 seconds if used while Ignited
Removes all Burning when used
atzrii promise(Flask)Atziri's Promise - yet another source of our Extra Chaos Damage. It also provides some Chaos Resistances and Life Leech
+35% to Chaos Resistance
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (5-8)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (5-8)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect

Suggested Flasks:

  1. Quicksilver Flask with Movement Speed bonus
  2. Sulphur Flask  with Attack Speed increase
  3. Jade Flask with increased Evasion Rating
sins rbirhtatziri promiseQuickilver Flasksulphur flaskjade 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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