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Toxic Rain Champion Starter Build

Toxic Rain Champion Starter Build

A build for Champion that uses Toxic Rain to deal a lot of Chaos Damage over Time

Toxic Rain
Champion Build

Updated for Patch 3.17

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Guide notes
October 22, 2021
-Build created
February 05, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.17
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Toxic Rain has always been recognized as one of the best league-starter builds, this time is no exception. DoT passives have been improved, there are now more options to choose from, and the existing clusters are improved too. Fortify, and consequentially Champion Ascendancy has been reworked - choosing this class results in a lot of protection against Hits and tons of Armour and Evasion Rating, the stats which have been immensely improved. Maximum Life is now easier to get for builds allocating passives on the right side of the skill tree, but you will also benefit from Energy Shield, Evasion, Spell Suppression, and Armour creating a character with really solid defenses. Build requires no Uniques or any expensive gear, making it one of the best league starters. 

Toxic Rain is a Bow Attack that creates Spore Pods on the ground after your initial arrows land on the ground, these will deal a lot of Chaos Damage over Time before expiring, and dealing yet another portion of Chaos Damage. Note that the Spore Pods damage can overlap, so stacking AoE, increased Duration, and Attack Speed are especially beneficial. Chaos Damage, Damage over Time, and Level of Toxic Rain will be the other stats to look for. Maximum Life, Evasion Ragin, Energy Shield, Armour, and Capped Resistances are the stats to boost your survivability.

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1. Gameplay

Use your Toxic Rain as you run around the map. It's The only DPS Skill so the gameplay is rather simple. Use Despair as your Curse to deal more Chaos Damage and DoT. For more resilient opponents it's recommended to have them withered from Withering Step. You don't need your Body Armour to be 6-linked, only your Bow, it should have local Gem Level modifiers. Use Defiance Banner, Malevolence, and Determination; you might also be able to fit in Grace with proper setup. Molten Shell is a great option for Guard Spell.

This video was recorded on a level 93 Champion wearing Carcass Jack and random rares. Overall, we had a level 27 Toxic Rain in the main DPS Setup which pushed this build's DPS to approximately 3-4kk Shaper DPS, however, it's extremely hard to calculate because of the inability to evaluate the number of clouds that are affecting your target at the same time

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • beginner-friendly build that's one of the best league-starters
  • can start Mapping red tier maps with literally no investment
  • great defenses from Champion's Ascendancy and Skill Tree
  • vulnerable to spells damage and DoT
  • Mana/Life Recovery can get tricky


3. Leveling tips

Choose Caustic Arrow as a reward for killing Hillock. After that pick Toxic Rain later during leveling through the first act. Allocate Maximum Life, Evasion, Bow nodes, and DoT nodes from the passive skill tree. Going through acts should be an easy process from now on. Use Rare items you find, craft, or buy some cheap leveling items with increased Damage over Time or Chaos Damage, you can also try using Essences of Envy.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Toxic Rain setup
Toxic Rain Toxic Rain - you can level with this Skill comfortably
Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support - creates an apparition that will use the Toxic Rain in the same fashion as you do, but with lesser effectiveness
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support - use for more Damage over Time and increased Skill Effect Duration
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support - more Chaos Damage
Aura setup
Malevolence Malevolence - an aura that's best for increasing your Damage over Time and Skill Effect Duration
Curse and Debuff setup
Despair Despair - a curse that lowers enemies Chaos Resistance and increases your Damage Over Time against them
Withering Step Withering Step - inflicts Withered Debuffs, grants Phasing, and Elusive
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - used to make linked Skills cost Life instead of Mana


Kill all three bandits and be rewarded with two additional Skill Points


Leveling Skill Trees:
33 Points Passive Tree
Take Bravery by taking small Attack Speed nodes, Avatar of the Hunt, Heart of Oak, and Wasting. 

60 Points Passive Tree
Go for Blood Siphon, Entropy, Revenge of the Hunted, Hunter's Gambit, and Replenishing Remedies with Life/Mana Flask Charge recovery which will allow you to spam Toxic Rain without issues


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - use this Ring for more Elemental REsistances and to increase your damage
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
Quill RainQuill Rain - it gives you a lot of Attack Speed which is important for stacking spore pods, one of the best early-game Unique Bows this game has to offer
+(10-20) to Dexterity
100% increased Physical Damage
100% increased Attack Speed
+2 Mana gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
(50-100)% increased Projectile Speed
+(25-50) to Accuracy Rating
30% less Damage
GoldrimGoldrim - Goldrim gives you 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)
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - use Tabula until you can find a decent 5 or 6-linked proper Body Armour
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:

108 Points Final Passive Tree
115 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Unstoppable Hero
  2. Fortitude
  3. Conqueror
  4. Inspirational


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 Garukhan: +5% chance to Evade Attack Hits if you've taken a Savage Hit Recently


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Toxic Rain for general use setup
Toxic Rain Toxic Rain - Toxic Rain deals Chaos Damage over time via spore pods, which overlap its areas of effect making it a great tool for boss killing. It's an Attack Skill.
Mirage Archer Support Mirage Archer Support - creates an additional character that uses this Setup, but with a much lower efficiency
Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support - increases your Chaos Damage but lowers the Projectile Speed
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support - more Chaos Damage at the cost of less Elemental Damage, but you don't deal any
Empower Support Empower Support - increasing Gem Level of Toxic Rain is greatly beneficial, and Empower is the best way to do it
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support - increases Damage over Time, and Skill Effect Duration
[DPS] Toxic Rain - Ballista setup
Toxic Rain Toxic Rain - by using another instance of Toxic Rain cast by Ballistas, you can even further increase your DPS
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support 
Withering Touch Support Withering Touch Support - applies Withered debuff which makes enemies affected by it take more Chaos Damage
Ballista Totem Support Ballista Totem Support - Toxic Rain will be used by a Totem that you can now summon
Focused Ballista Support Focused Ballista Support - increases Totem Placement Speed, Attack Speed, and Damage
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support - more maximum Totems can be summoned at once and witch each cast
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Malevolence Malevolence - it's by far the best Aura you can use to increase your DPS, it increases your DoT and Skill Effect Duration
Grace Grace - adds a lot of Flat Evasion Rating, important to have after allocating Ghost Dance Keystone
Determination Determination - increases your Armour by a percentage of your existing Armour. Depending on your gear and potential Helmet enchantments, you may not have enough Mana to use Determination. In such a case it's recommended to replace it with VitalityVitality
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - lowers the cost of Mana Reservation Cost of linked Skills
[MOBILITY] Withering Step/Blood Rage setup
Withering Step Withering Step - grants Phasing, Elusive with refreshed and increased effect, and inflict Withered on enemies, it shares a cooldown with other Blink Skills
Enhance Support Enhance Support - increases the Quality of linked Active Skills
Blood Rage Blood Rage - slowly drains your Life while increasing your damage, Life Leech, and generating Frenzy Charges
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - use to spend no Mana on linked Skills, but Life instead
[UTILITY] Flame Dash
Flame Dash Flame Dash - use Flame dahs to quickly dodge dangerous attacks and to improve your mobility
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases the Cast Speed of Flame Dash, boosting your mobility
[UTILITY] Molten Shell/Defiance Banner
Molten Shell Molten Shell - with a lot of Armour you should have, Molten Shell will be especially efficient in absorbing the damage. You should allocate it under your left mouse button so that it's triggered nearly automatically whenever off cooldown
Defiance Banner Defiance Banner - This Banner will have an enhanced effect and cost you no Mana thanks to Inspirational Keystone. This Type of Banner increases your Armour, Evasion Rating, and AoE when placed

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6. Gear Setup

It's one of the cheapest builds out there, with little to no investment you can easily get to red maps. Your priority should be the defensive stats such as Maximum Life, Evasion Rating, Armour, or Energy Shield (Maximum Life is still the most important stat there). Your Elemental Resistances should be capped at 75% at all times, but these are extraordinarily easy to find. to increase your damage seek Chaos Damage, and Damage over Time, check the detailed description to see where you can expect to find such stat, but the build does require you to have such items to work - damage from your passive skill tree should be enough for a start. Look for additional Strength and Intelligence to cover the needs of some of your Skill Gems.

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. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Chaos Damage Over Time
  4. Attack Speed
  5. Skill Effect Duration
  6. Area of Effect
  7. Evasion Rating
  8. Armour
  9. Energy Shield
  10. Chaos Resistance
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - the only uniquely good mod you should look for is reduced Chaos Resistance of Nearby Enemies but besides that look for generic good stats such as Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances
Min. requirements:
+80 to Maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Nearby Enemies have -#% to Chaos Resistance
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Increased Mana Regeneration Rate
Evasion Rating
Viridi's Veil(Helmet) Viridi's Veil - this Unique Helmet is a good alternative to a rare one, potentially rendering you Hexproof and immune to extra damage from Critical Strikes if you're willing to sacrifice some mods on Ring slots
+(1–2) to Level of Socketed Gems
(120–160)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(15–25)% to all Elemental Resistances
Damage of Enemies Hitting you is Unlucky while you have a Magic Ring Equipped
You are Hexproof if you have a Magic Ring in right slot
Take no Extra Damage from Critical Strikes if you have a Magic Ring in left slot
Helmet enchantments:
Toxic Rain deals 40% increased Damage
Toxic Rain fires 1 additional Arrow
Bow(Weapon) Rare Bow - Focus on increasing the Gem Level of your Socketed Gems, especially Toxic Rain. There are mods - some of them craftable - that can help you with that. There's also Chaos Damage Over Time mod which is pretty much mandatory. We highly recommend crafting two mods: +2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems and Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier, but that's a high-end upgrade.
Min. requirements:
+(31-35)% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
+2 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems
Optional affixes: 
+1 to Level of Socketed Dexterity Gems
Damage over Time Multiplier
increased Chaos Damage over Time
Bow Attacks Fire 2 Additional Arrows
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
+2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems
Increased Attack Speed
Quiver(Weapon) Rare Quiver - The best-case scenario is to have both Damages Over Time modifiers - the general and Chaos Damage one, and Maximum Life on top of that. Typically you won't be able to afford such quiver until much later so don't mind just fulfilling the minimum requirements. Additionally, look for Attack Speed and Elemental Resistances.
Min. requirements:
+80 to maximum Life
+17% to Damage over Time Multiplier with Attack Skills
9% increased Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
+25% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier with Attack Skills
Elemental Resists
Maloney's Mechanism(Weapon) Maloney's Mechanism -  Popular quiver choice that might be also expensive. It triggers a Bow Skill after you Attack with a bow. You can socket a Caustic Arrow with Arrow Nova Support for better clear speed as a high-end upgrade for the build.
Has 3 Sockets
Trigger a Socketed Bow Skill when you Attack with a Bow
(7-12)% increased Attack Speed
+(50-70) to maximum Life
5% chance to Blind Enemies on Hit with Attacks
body armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - regular Body Armour with high Max Life and Elemental Resistances is good enough, but some of the affixes listed could improve your overall performance
Min. requirements:
+70 to maximum Life
+10% to Damage over Time Multiplier with Attack Skills
+40% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
+25% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier with Attack Skills
9% increased Attack Speed
chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Hit
Carcass Jack(Body Armour) Carcass Jack - It's probably your best choice for a Unique Body Armour. What really sells it is the increased Area of Effect and Area Damage - it scales really well with Toxic Rain because the spore pod's damage can overlap.
(120-150)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(9-12)% to all Elemental Resistances
(40-50)% increased Area of Effect
(40-50)% increased Area Damage
Extra gore
Atziri's Step(Boots) Atziri's Step - A really cheap Unique pair of Boots that provides all the stats you need, especially an additional chance to Dodge Spell Hits, which is an excellent addition to your build, even more so in the upcoming league.
180% increased Evasion Rating
+(55-75) to maximum Life
30% increased Movement Speed
(14-16)% chance to Dodge Spell Hits
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Gloves are where you can get a lot of Elemental Resistances and Chaos Damage Over Time Multipliers. Gripped Gloves should be considered a valid choice for a base, but an Apothecary's Gloves base will give you increased Damage over Time, which is comparable.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life
+40% to Elemental Resistances
+15% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Increased Evasion Rating
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - You can't really find many offensive mods that'd benefit you on a Belt, except for the optional increased Chaos Damage. Aim for the highest Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances.
Min. requirements:
80 Maximum Life
70 Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Chaos Damage
increased Maximum Life
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - +1 to Level of all Chaos Skill Gems is important, you should prioritize finding an Amulet with this mod. Besides obvious Maximum Life, other mods worth mentioning are Chaos Damage over Time, reduction in Mana Reservation for Malevolence if you need more Mana, and increased Chaos Damage. If you have problems with Mana, you can craft a lower Cost of non-channeling skills.
Min. requirements:
+1 to Level of all Chaos Skill Gems
+15% to Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
+50 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Non-channeling Skills have (-10–-9) to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Malevolence has reduced Reservation
increased Chaos Damage
Elemental Resistances
Recommended Anointments:
Hardened Scars
Growth and Decay
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - One of your Rings should Curse enemies on Hit with Despair, or you will have to rely on Witchfire Brew which is much less reliable against Bosses. You can easily find a lot of Resistances and Maximum Life here while also getting a hold of some Mana and Life Leech if you need any. If you have problems with Mana sustain, you can craft a lower Mana Cost of non-channeling skills.
Min. requirements:
Curse Enemies with Despair on Hit, with 20% increased Effect
+70% to Elemental Resistances
+70 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Non-channeling Skills have (-7–-6) to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Chaos Resistance
Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
Chaos Damage Leeched as Life
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances are what matters the most, additionally look for Attack Speed,  Damage Over time, and Corrupted implicit protecting you from Corrupted Blood

Recommended affixes:
#% Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed with Bows
Corrupted Blood cannot be inflicted on you
increased Damage over Time/Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier

Replica Conqueror's Efficiency(Jewel) Replica Conqueror's Efficiency - Skill Effect Duration and Reduced Total Mana Cost if Skills are very impactful stats, but the Jewel is not mandatory for a build
4% increased Skill Effect Duration
+5 to Maximum Rage
Non-Channelling Skills have -9 to Total Mana Cost
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - It's an expensive Jewel for players willing to min-max the build. Damage over Time Multiplier while affected by Malevolence is the most important Aura mod, you could get another one with Malevolence or Vitality but that's an expensive endeavor.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Recommended Aura modifiers:
Damage over Time Multiplier while affected by Malevolence
Unaffected by Poison while affected by Malevolence
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - Get a single Large Cluster Jewel, it will increase your Chaos Damage with some of the Notable Passives mentioned here.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Touch of Cruelty
1 Added Passive Skill is Unholy Grace
1 Added Passive Skill is Wicked Pall
1 Added Passive Skill is Unwaveringly Evil
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - increasing your Projectile damage will result in the highest efficiency among all the other stats these types of Cluster Jewels have to offer
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Repeater
1 Added Passive Skill is Shrieking Bolts
Witchfire Brew(Flask) Witchfire Brew - It's obligatory if you don't have Despair Curse on Hit on your Ring, it increases your Evasion Rating and Damage over Time on use
20% More Evasion Rating
Creates a Smoke Cloud on Use
50% increased Charges used
(25-40)% increased Damage Over Time during Flask Effect
Grants Level 21 Despair Curse Aura during Flask Effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Simmering Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Bleed removal)
  2. Enduring Eternal Mana Flask if Dousing/Curing (Mana Regen and random ailment removal)
  3. Apprentice's Granite Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
  4. Investigator's Quick Silver Flask of Hare (increased Mobility)
Witchfire BrewLife FlaskMana Flaskgranite 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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