PoE 3.22 Hydrosphere Totem League Starter Occultist Build
Welcome to this detailed guide for a powerful and unique league starter build centered around the Hydrosphere skill in Path of Exile 3.22. This build may not be the most straightforward, but once you grasp its mechanics, it becomes an incredibly satisfying and enjoyable playstyle. In this guide, we'll delve into the mechanics of Hydrosphere, explore various skill interactions, gear choices, and leveling strategies to help you succeed in your journey.
- Hydrosphere Mechanics Overview
- PoB Link
- Path of Building (PoB) Considerations
- Early Leveling and Freezing Mechanics
- Ice Spear and Freezing Pulse Interactions
- Maximizing Hydrosphere Damage
- Transitioning to Endgame and Boss Fights
- Gem Setups
- Gear Progression and Cluster Jewels
↖ Hydrosphere Mechanics Overview
Hydrosphere is a skill that offers a distinct playstyle, focusing on both area damage and single target damage through freezing mechanics. When cast, Hydrosphere converts 100% of its base physical damage into cold damage, dealing cold damage on hit and while moving along a path. The unique aspect of Hydrosphere is its freezing mechanic. By casting and freezing the Hydrosphere, it becomes stationary and pulses cold damage within its area.
↖ PoB Link
↖ Path of Building (PoB) Considerations
The provided Path of Building (PoB) showcases both mid-endgame and early-endgame setups. Early on, focus on maximizing spell suppression and block mechanics with gear like Mist Wall. In mid-endgame, prioritize block and spell block chance to reduce incoming damage. Intensify is a recommended gem for its significant damage boost, particularly when combined with casting and freezing.
↖ Early Leveling and Freezing Mechanics
While leveling, it's not necessary to keep Hydrosphere frozen at all times. Unfrozen, it still deals cold damage upon hitting a target. You can recast it into a pack if needed. Alternatively, you can utilize a Freezing Pulse setup with the support of Ice Bite to achieve a reliable freezing chance, especially effective during leveling.
↖ Ice Spear and Freezing Pulse Interactions
For single target damage, casting Ice Spear on Hydrosphere will freeze it, creating a powerful stationary damage source. Ice Spear's second form has a high critical strike chance, which, when combined with piercing mechanics, guarantees hits on the frozen Hydrosphere. However, if you're not fond of Ice Spear, other options such as Freezing Pulse with added pierce support can provide an alternative solution.
↖ Maximizing Hydrosphere Damage
To achieve the highest damage output, cast and freeze the Hydrosphere simultaneously. This results in continuous pulsing and casting, effectively doubling your damage potential. Calculating your DPS involves combining hit DPS with cast rate times average hit damage.
↖ Transitioning to Endgame and Boss Fights
As you progress, you can incorporate Vortex into your build, placing it on your left click for incidental freezing while moving over the Hydrosphere. Against endgame bosses like Elder and Shaper, maintaining Hydrosphere's freeze status becomes crucial, but it's manageable with proper positioning.
↖ Gem Setups
- Hydrosphere Setup: Use Intensify support for increased area damage when standing still, making it highly effective for clearing packs. The larger area coverage ensures better efficiency when moving the Hydrosphere around.
- Early Endgame Setup: Utilize Mist Wall shield for maximum block chance against attacks when not blocked recently. Combine with lucky spell suppression and block chance for solid defense.
- Mid Endgame Setup: Focus on both block and spell block with gear and passive tree allocation. This offers superior overall defense compared to high spell suppression, allowing you to take fewer but more manageable chunks of damage.
- Late Endgame Setup: Aim for high-end gear with additional defenses, like a +2 Power Charge Shield, to enhance your survivability.
- League Start Tips: This build can be self-sufficient in SSF (Solo Self-Found) mode. Keep in mind that Mist Wall might be expensive early on, but a regular shield with block and spell block can suffice.
- Tree Pathing: Prioritize key nodes related to freezing, damage, and defenses. Adapt the tree based on your gear, preferences, and the evolving metagame.
↖ Gear Progression and Cluster Jewels
The guide discusses gear choices for both early and mid-endgame stages. Special attention is given to the Mist Wall shield, which synergizes well with the evasion-based nature of the build. Cluster jewels play a significant role, providing additional damage, block, and spell block chances. Intelligence scaling via cluster jewels is especially valuable, allowing for increased passive point investment and potential for more gem levels.
While this Hydrosphere build may present challenges and require adapting to its mechanics, it offers a rewarding and unique gameplay experience. The synergy between casting, freezing, and area damage makes for an engaging and powerful character. As you progress through the game, the build evolves, offering various options and playstyles. If you're up for a thrilling and enjoyable journey, this Hydrosphere build is a fantastic choice for your Path of Exile 3.22 league starter. Good luck, and may your Hydrosphere adventures be both frosty and triumphant!
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