(Build guide in the description)
This is a build guide for a Volatile Dead Elementalist, aimed at Path of Exile 3.6 Synthesis Flashback League.
It is SSF and beginner friendly. Due to the high amount of energy shield leech this build will have, it _should_ be hardcore friendly.
I have intentionally included a set of blue/magic items in this guide to show that you don't _need_ anything fancy in terms of gear. Just your average self-found rares and lucky uniques will suffice.
The basic gameplay loop consists of putting down corpses with Desecrate, casting Volatile Dead and then watching most mobs on the screen die. Lightning Warp forward, rinse, repeat. For bosses there is a Scorching Ray Spell Totem and Flammability curse to help you push through more damage. This is a rather mobile build thanks to using Unleash to inflict burst damage.
Path of Building (https://github.com/Openarl/...
...) code: https://pastebin.com/p1FQnGr2
## Leveling & Skills
During Act 1 you'll play with Fireball + Arcane Surge + Summon Phantasm on Kill, and I'd suggest to use Raise Zombie as well. This should give you a direct damage source (Fireball) and some distractions to keep you safe (minions). Pick up Clarity and keep it at level 1 to give you some extra mana regeneration.
When you enter Merveil's Cavern, you unlock access to Volatile Dead and Scorching Ray (Spell Totem unlocks earlier, so you now have your SR totem). I'd advise to keep using Fireball as your primary attack until you get Desecrate after clearing Act 2 Chamber of Sins.
At this point you can transition to the skill layout that matches the final build, and maybe use some placeholder skills until you get higher level gems. Examples: you can use Faster Casting instead of Energy Shield Leech.
Act 3 Library is where 90% of the build will be complete, so that's a good point to take out all gems and the put them back in with close to their final layout and links.
- Act 3 Library: Less Duration Support, Energy Leech Support, Burning Damage, Increased Duration Support
- Early Act 4: Summon Stone Golem
- Late Act 4: Cast when Damage Taken
- Act 6: Immortal Call
This is a build to take advantage of the new ES leech nodes on the tree to sustain itself. Volatile Dead launches multiple projectiles and is thus naturally suited for this playstyle. It has gone through a number of variations. You can see more of the history in the Path of Building notes.
### v3: Unleash!
If you take out Concentrated Effect and replace it with Unleash Support, you change the math in a way that Path of Building does not reflect. Volatile Dead lists damage _per hit_, not per second.
Unleash with all 3 charges will fire Volatile Dead 4 times with a single click. The first cast will do 100% damage, the next 3 will do 66% each. Effectively your 12 missiles will deal the damage of 9, while you only stood to cast for the time it took to summon 3.
Long story short (more math in the PoB notes): you will inflict a very high burst damage with Unleash, allowing you to move around more and still inflict significant damage. This burst damage is higher than the DPS of using a damage support gem instead of Unleash.
I'd advise to use a Sceptre and Energy Shield gear. Maybe use an ES/Armour boots for you Cast When Damage Taken setup, to make the sockets easier to color. Get good resists (also chaos resists!) and get a little bit of life. Your weapon should provide a decent chunk of extra damage. Your belt and amulet can be used to get Strength and Dexterity, supplemented by some random affixes on other gear.
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