[3.4] Poet's Pen Dark Pact HoA Champion - Detailed Guide, Shaper down

Shaped Burial Chamber.

The lag in the gif is because my computer can't record video properly, not because the build lags

Example atziri run at level 83: https://youtu.be/2dn4GL8hIPY


So I'm sick of farming for tier 16 maps and decided to just buy them all to test my build )). And here I will show you my excruciating struggle with Shapers and his guardians as this is the first time I fight these bosses and I don't know what the fuck I am doing, bonus the part that all maps are corrupted )). I now admire those people who have done it with 4k hp after this )).

Corrupted Hydra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcoOhsABtZM&t=11s

Corrupted Chimera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojguM9NP-Rw

Corrupted Minotaur: https://youtu.be/g9dLa77SH2s

Bonus: Minotaur fail: https://youtu.be/xJ0u_gPUpw4 ( He had like double the damage from the lightning though )

Corrupted Phoenix: https://youtu.be/md6HrBectHE


I know the new end game is the Uber Elder but I can't even meet him yet and this is at least a personal achievement for me. ))

If you want a build that is:

- Off-meta
- Can do all map mods
- Tanky
- Good clear speed
- Easy leveling
- Shaper doable.
- You like ranged and hate melee skills with a passion (probably not since you are on champion sub)
- You like purple

Then this build is for you.


- Update a comparision with other ascendencies.

-More detailed Gloomfang vs Impresence Comparision. Uploaded a video.

-Updated the PoB link and the Gem section for more visibility. Killed Red Elder, so the damage is always there. Hopefully I can fight Uber Elder soon )), but normally I get bored quick and start new build, will see.

-I just realize that Concentrated effect does not work with Herald of Agony, what a bummer.
So instead of looking for combination of Minion damage + Conc gem, I look for Minion Damage + Socketed Minion gems +2 level. It is a bit more expensive, but doable. Updated in the guide


Defense, featuring:
- Up to 6400 life
- Permanent fortify
- 6% reduced damage taken
- 3600 Life gain on hit /sec
- 50% reduced curse

- Around 300k dps for our spells and attack, not including 6 link damage from Herald of Agony, which is not known because GGG doesn't give number for that. But remember that this Herald gem is very potent, someone has killed Uber Elder in 3 min with just damage from this gem.

General idea: ( You should read this )

Why Champion?

I want to use champion because I want the tankiness of it, besides the ascendency offers 20% more damage from all source, which is good for Herald of Agony and our various spells. We try to scale as general as possible, invest in skill points that benefit all our spells and minion. With the introduction of Spiritual Aid, this is made possible.

Analyzing other options:

ES does not work with Life gain on hit so Occultist is out of the way. Unless, you want to stack ES recovery and dump Life gain on hit. The build would be overly expensive though due to gear requirements.

Necromancer offers no real defense.

Assassin would triple/quadruple our damage for Dark Pact, Dark Pact is like 50% of our damage because of Herald of Agony though. Besides the defense is too low. If you want a glass cannon and content with dodging bosses, try it )).

Pathfinder is too far from Spiritual Aid node. Slower Virulence offers no real benefit for this build. But, with Queen of the forest and flasks set up the movement speed would be bunkers. The defense is meh.

Gladiator is the most promising alternative. You may try it for originality. Tree is unchanged.

Ascendant: Not sure what this offers better than the others.

Juggernault: Good option, lacks in damage though. You might try it )).

Overall you could make this build even more tanky for less damage and vice versa. That is the beauty of Path of Exile, builds can be flexible enough to tweak to your taste.

What do I gain from this build compared to other Pen builds?

You are tankier and can do reflect maps. And it's off meta so everything is cheap. You don't have to weapon swap. You don't have headache from Body swapping / Lightning warp too much.

Why do I use Essence Drain instead of another support gem like Empower for Skeletons?

Because Skeleton base health is piss poor. At level 22, skeleton has around 128 health, and on top of it dark pact only take 6% of Skele Life as extra damage. I do the math and think it's not worth it to invest in any sort of mion life node. Besdies, at maximum skeleton, every additional cast of poet's pen on skeleton is wasted, so we may as well use another chaos spell for that. The only candidate is Essence Drain. With this set up Essence Drain is equivalent to 10% more Damage multiplier for our spells. We have the added regen and clear speed from it too.

Why do I use Barrage instead of Frenzy/Power Siphon
Because you can't have constant 40 Poison on bosses for Herald of Agony otherwise. We also have so much more Life gain on hit with it.

Path of Building

Central Unique Items:

Poet's pen, because the title :D.

Kaom's heart because we can't get much life otherwise: (Not required, but very useful. Need this armour to have enough life to do high tier content)

Gloomfang amulet is about 20% more damage multiplier for us: ( Because dark pact can chain one more to skeleton, hitting one more time )

You can consider replacing Gloomfang with Impresence chaos version, but this amulet is 1c, and Impresence is 1 ex.

Pros and Cons of Impresence:
- You don't have to manually cast curse.
- You have more life, a bit more chaos res.
- Maddening Presence is sometimes useful in mapping, or is very useful if you map with Beyond zana mod a lot.
- Less strength / dexterity burden.
- Less life leech, you loose around 300 life leech / sec for this
- No Flame Dash ( this could be important to dodge tough bosses )
- 13 to 14% Dps loss with Dark Pact, note that this loss only with Dark Pact, not our overall DPS, which is again not known.

So it's up to you to decide.

Thief's Torment: This so that we can sustain life + mana. Very important later on. I can't solve the mana problem cleanly otherwise. Get as high life gain on hit as possible.

From Dust Jewel:

This is so that we don't miss dark pact on the initial hit and to "block" cast of Summon Skeleton and focus the pen on casting Essence Drain for bosses. Not super important.

My current gear:

Other imporant rares:

A Helmet with: Minion damage mod and +2 Minion level gem mod. Bone Helmet is very good if you can afford one with these mod. This is so that we can have a pseudo 6 link Herald of agony.

A Glove with: Poison support and Faster attack Support:

Other equiments and jewels: Life and resist. If you could fit in any other damage mods without affecting life and resist then it'S great.

Look for these mods: Minion Damage (best mod), Chaos Damage, Area Damage.

You need to get at max 0.25 Attack time in Tooltip, no more, no less. Less you lose casts. More you also lose casts. 4 APS is the optimal number

Again, not super important. Quicksilver flask with another Increased Ms mod on itself or on another flask is important for clear speed.

Dying sun is for the LuL clear speed, not important.

Skill Tree:

General direction: From duel list starting node, go down, go up, then go left to grab minion nodes, then head to the right. Grab life when needed. Remember this thresold:
1k life by the time you want to do Normal Lab
2k life by the time you want to do Cruel Lab
3k life by the time you want to do Mercilesss Lab
5k Life by the time you want to do Uber Lab

Bandit: Take Kraityn if you can afford to balance the resist later on, I like the movement speed. Otherwise take Alira. I personally take Alira.

Permant Fortify Node + Taunt Nodes.


Main hand Pen:

Summon skeleton - Essence Drain - Empower

Offhand pen:

Dark Pact- Concentrated Effect- Void manipulation

The poet's pen with Summon Skeleton needs to be on Main hand, because we cast it first. Summon Skeleton gem needs to be above Essence Drain Gem, because again, spell cast order.

Herald of Agony setup:

Herald Of Agony- Vicious Projectile - Damage On Full Life - Final gem can be Empower / Vile Toxins - Minion Damage in the Helmet

Barrage Set Up:

Barrage-Greater Multiple Projectile- Faster Attack in Glove - Poison support in Glove - Withering Touch- Life gained on Hit

Unlike other Poet's pen build, every gem in this list count, so try to have 6 link glove as soon as possible. Poison support and faster attack is the most important. Get it first.

Utility Setup:

Despair - Phase run - Flame Dash - Increased Duration.

This build is very tight on gem socket. You need to learn the Vorici trick to have the proper color on glove because more often than not the Glove you buy is on wrong base. Detail search Google )).

One more thing, if you want bunker clear speed, go for increased AoE in the second pen. If you want middle of the road clear speed and dont want to swap gem, swap out concentrated effect for Controlled Destruction, you lose like 10% dps from this. If you want highest DPS possible, go for Concentrated Effect.

If you want to use Impresence Amulet, swap out Flame dash for Blasphemy Support, I dont use Flame Dash much anyway

Do try to have level 21 Dark Pact, level 4 Empower. That is room for our build improvement.

Whatever, not important. I use Lunaris major god and Life flask for minor god. But do try to upgrade it though.

How to play

One button build if you can automate the ms flask and phase run ( I wish 8)) ). Otherwise still very relaxing. Remember to curse the tough bosses, it's around 30% more damage multiplier. Your curse lasts 15 second, so you don't have to cast much.

Sometimes Facetanking is better than running around because we have so much Life gain on hit, combined with Damage reduction

Use Cleave till level 12. By 12, equip Poet's Pens, with Body Swap and Volatile Dead (Search a Poet's pen VD build for links). Switch to Dark Pact/Summon Skeleton/Essence Drain at level 28, equip Thief's torment. From then just auto pilot to maps )).

Strength could be a problem later on, so try to remedy that with Jewels and Strength from the tree. This only becomes important by the time you want to wear Kaom.

All I have to say is leveling with this build is so ez if you have the gear prepared a bit and do it right )). This is a common feature among all Pen builds.

Ascendency order: I played with taking Taunt Node first, but since Uber Lab is hard I have to delay the it to I have 5k life, and since the node before it is useless without Fortify, I basically played with 2 Ascendency Node to Uber Lab. So it's on you, you can take the Taunt nodes first so you have 3 Ascendency nodes in effect as soon as possible. Not sure what is best

If you intend to try out this build, please comment below so I have some motivation )).
Dernière édition par xpmrz, le 8 oct. 2018 15:02:17
Dernier bump le 5 nov. 2018 20:37:21
can i have a pob link if you have one?
Dernière édition par DaitePofarmit, le 7 oct. 2018 17:15:06
SqueeTheSage a écrit :
can i have a pob link if you have one?

Sure, forgot that. Here you are: https://pastebin.com/miUXsLuv .
This is the projected development of my character until level 90. Tree is a bit different, but doesn't matter that much though.

Note that multiply by 4 for the dark pact because of chains, and another 4 because Poet's pen casts 4 times per second, same for Essence Drain.

I will update the link into the guide.
DaitePofarmit a écrit :

Thanks for bumping my guide, even if it is not yours. :D
I posted a video ^^. Elder dropped a perfectly rolled Impresence for me so I will use it for now. I'm not sure the loss of Flamedash is significant, will take time to test.
Hey mate, I'll try this build, looks fun! Never tried any PP build before. Thanks for sharing

I'm also trying out this build right now. It's my first duelist build and the first with PP.

2 questions:
1. How do you get 155 dexterity for HoA level 20? I don't see many dexterity nodes in the tree.
2. What do you think about using Fenumus Weaves? Would it be worth using the gloves slot and reserving another 25% of mana?
Thorsten94 a écrit :

I'm also trying out this build right now. It's my first duelist build and the first with PP.

2 questions:
1. How do you get 155 dexterity for HoA level 20? I don't see many dexterity nodes in the tree.
2. What do you think about using Fenumus Weaves? Would it be worth using the gloves slot and reserving another 25% of mana?

Sorry for the late reply, summer time is over, I can't check PoE that regularly anymore ^^.

To answer your question ( if you still have interest), dexterity could be filled by a combination of Jewel socket/ skill tree / amulet / item suffix. There is no clear answer for you as it depends on your current gear. I can only say, and this applies to every other builds you play which lack some attribute: if you feel like your gear is almost done / don't plan on upgrade gear anytime soon, then fill out dex on the tree, just drop some life/damage node. If you plan to upgrade your gear, then try to find something with open suffix which you can craft dex on it.
AdrienKnight a écrit :
Hey mate, I'll try this build, looks fun! Never tried any PP build before. Thanks for sharing

Sorry for having missed your post, I feel a bit guilty. But thanks for your interest^^


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