I managed to farm my shavs + 4, and I bought a new weapon but I think it is not as much better as I hoped it to be.
Can you maybe check pob to it and tell me if I am wrong?
and my old
I have to say I usually run arround with 3 frenzy charges, obv I could redeemer exalt this in hope to get the hatred effect but I would only do If it is signifcally better?
Best and thanks so much for your help in advance :)
I can already tell you your old dagger is better. High cold dot, spell dmg is very good. I only imported it partially. Didn't even add the damage per Frenzy Charge, and it's already a bit better. The difference is not huge, but yeah. Now you have two good weapons I guess :P
Deep Chill. then what suits you (Widespread Destruction and Prismatic Heart for me)
one my second large I opted for Conjured Wall. (then completed with Essence rush and Arcane heroism).
3x Vile Reinvigoration + Brush with Death
1x Master of Fear + Wish for Death
4x Energy from Naught.
Of course you can play with megalomaniac, but this is time (and exalts) consuming. As you see my setup is pretty defensive, but it works well. There is plenty to experiment. I need more dps I think (overall as CI with an es on kill vaal regalia). As I use 3 curses, I have to explore curse clusters too. I believe my cluster setup will work better with a Shavronne
Edit: With Ci you can use 2 clusters plus a Kiloava to convert Pain attunement to glancing blows. AS LL you have to chose 2 cluster, or 1 cluster and Kiloava.
anyone see anything easy I can improve on my build? I'm in SSF so what I can get is limited. I'm currently working on map completion and just started on red maps, flame dashing into groups to vortex no problem.
Looking for help i got bored in trade league and rolled in ssf
finally doing t14-16 maps and im getting my ASS kicked
i have not been able to find a way to get ci to work my es still would be uder 5500 and i have almost no regen so i see no point
current sitting at 5200 life 2800es max res with -7 chaos and +23 choas dot
im getting FUCKED UP wtf
this is my gear what am i doing wrong here?
Ive also got a large cluster 1 med and 2 smalls whith good cold dot mods but i cant figure out how to link them from tree without taking them off
Do you hate having to choose between high damage builds and ones with great defenses? Do you want a single build that can take on deep delves and still crush Uber Elder? This guide is your stop for all things Vortex. Whether you want a character easily geared in SSF, a safe boss killer, or a build deals constant damage while maneuvering around, you'll find what you need inside!
Discover how to:
✔️ Level quickly in a new league and transition to Vortex cheaply
✔️ Craft your own gear and save a lot of $$
✔️ Adjust your build for delving and take on that deep content
✔️ Make bosses a joke while avoiding all of their moves
Vortex has survived the patch notes extremely well. No major buffs and no major nerfs. There are changes to crafting methods that I will be exploring - Shaper belts cant roll ES anymore (rip 1,000+ ES belts), but the "increased ES from body armour" mod has moved to a prefix, which is MASSIVE for fixing resists or attributes.
Overall, the build is looking fantastic for Delirium and should breeze through all content as usual. Great league starter and even better end-game crusher.
I will be updating the PoB as much as I'm able before league launch. There shouldn't be too many sweeping changes, and older PoBs and build setups will still be fantastic.
The Path of Building has been (mostly) updated, and can be found in the appropriate place in section 1.4. I'm continuing to work on updates in other sections as free time allows.
To-Do List & Upcoming Guide Changes
I'm using this space to leave myself notes for updates, so no promises that it all makes sense
- More PoBs. A normal progression PoB and some other weirder builds
- SSF specific instructions
- Re-do item pictures for Part 3B (wiped in the comment move)
- Add in many new sections with the new best items and new items
- Hide a toucan somewhere in the guide
- Deeper explanations on mechanics that are difficult to understand (EE I'M LOOKING AT YOU)
- Crafting processes
This guide is an overhaul of my first guide on Vortex, which can be viewed here. If you want to see videos before I upload fresh 3.9 kills, go here.
About the Author
I began playing Path of Exile in 2014. After a several-year break, I returned to PoE around 2017 and have been playing steadily since. I streamed Path of Exile content for a while on Twitch, especially my participation in the “Kammell” races in 2018/19, but have taken a step back from streaming as my wife and I have begun foster care. I love writing, and am excited to contribute to the community in this way.
I enjoy playing efficient builds, and fondly remember the days of clearing Merciless Dried Lake with Vaal Spark in 30 seconds or less.
As always, toEnki, whose Arc guide inspires me in my content creation, writing, and dedication to the game.❤️❤️❤️
Why Make A Vortex Guide?
As mentioned at the start, this actually isn't my first Vortex guide. I really love Vortex, and it has been one of my favorite builds since 3.5, although Occultist got nerfed pretty hard. Nevertheless, the build is still top tier, and I was happy to return to it. I've redone the guide, as I want to keep it in the "For Dummies" style, and much of the tree and items have changed in the past 6-9 months.
My goal is for this guide to be the stop for all things Vortex. Whether you're playing CI, Low Life, or some weird Life build (you weirdo), this is the place for you.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Introduction to Vortex 1.1 - The Mechanics of Vortex
1.2 - Why Play Vortex?
1.3 - The Pros and Cons of Vortex
1.4 - Path of Building (PoB) and Brief Build Theory
1.5 - Videos Part 2: Leveling 2.1 - Leveling in a fresh league or With a New Account
2.2 - Leveling with twink gear
2.3 - Full Leveling Guide
2.4 - Leveling Guide tl;dr
2.5 - Converting to Chaos Inoculation Part 3: The Full Vortex 3.1 - Gem Setups
3.2 - Immunities
3.3 - Flasks
3.4 - Jewels
3.5 - Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers
3.6 - Trade League Live Searches
3.7 - Gearing For Low and Mid-Tier Maps
3.8 - Low-Life Build: Destroying the End-Game Part 4: The Part of Tens 4.1 - Ten Cheap Uniques That Can Substitute For Expensive Gear
4.2 - Ten TV Shows to Watch While Deep Delving
4.3 - Ten Builds To Play If You Need A Break From Vortex Part 5: FAQ, Index, And Changelog 5.1 - Frequently Asked Questions
5.2 - Index
5.3 - Changelog
Part 1: Introduction to Vortex
1.1 The Mechanics of Vortex
How Does the Gem Work?
Here is the default spell visual:
Vortex is an instant cast spell that causes an initial hit of Cold Damage and leaves behind a circle on the ground that deals Cold Damage Over Time.
A few things to note about the mechanics of Vortex:
1. Instant cast means that casting does not interrupt your character's movement.
2. The Vortex is created at the feet of the caster and stays in that location (As of 3.9, there is a ring which makes Vortex targetable. It is bad).
3. Vortex (and Cold Snap) applies increases to your spell damage to its Damage Over Time.
4. The Frostbolt interaction can be ignored. This build does not utilize it in any way.
How Do You Build Around Vortex?
Vortex builds have a simple concept paired with a high degree of flexibility. Vortex has incredibly high DPS "uptime", a concept that I will mention throughout the guide, so I will explain here.
DPS Uptime : DPS Uptime is my term for the % of time in combat when enemies are taking damage. If you stop Fireballing to Flame Dash, you lose DPS uptime. If your Mirage Archer is firing while you're moving, you don't. This is why some melee builds can put up absurd damage in Path of Building but struggle in game. If you list 5 million DPS but you spent half your time Leap Slamming, you're not really doing 5 million DPS. Vortex has phenomenal DPS uptime, as it creates its damage instantly while moving, and the damage remains around to kill more enemies afterward.
Vortex builds want to do 3 things, none of which require extensive game knowledge or complicated calculations:
1. Vortex wants to stack generic Spell Damage, Damage over Time, and Cold Damage to deal high damage for its duration.
2. Vortex wants to stack Energy Shield and other defensive layers to become as tanky as possible.
3. Vortex wants to utilize curses and the freeze and chill ailments to the greatest extent possible to neutralize enemies and stay safe.
1.2 Why Play Vortex?
Quality of Life
Vortex rivals Righteous Fire for the best combination of damage, survivability, and forgiving gameplay. While the ultra-fast gameplay of Tornado Shot can be fun and rewarding, it can also be a strain on your fingers, eyes, and attention. Vortex is very good at turning the game's toughest content into a manageable and enjoyable experience.
Gear Requirements and SSF
Good news: there are no specific gear requirements. There are uniques that make the build better, and some are required for the Low Life variant of the build. However, Vortex can be played into maps in all self-crafted blue (Magic) gear. I've demonstrated this in the past, and plan to record a video of the gearing process. The build can achieve 4500+ ES, capped res, and 50-60k Vortex DPS (Not counting Cold Snap) in all blue self-crafted gear.
Vortex vs Melee Skills
Vortex's advantage over melee skills is its defenses and DPS uptime. Where melee builds constantly switch between attack and movement, Vortex has constant DoT dps while never having to stop moving. It can be actively finding a safe position while damaging the enemy and keeping them cursed.
Vortex vs Ranged Skills
Vortex will never compete with the speed of a clearing build like Tornado Shot or Kinetic Blast, but it more than makes up for it with survivability and bossing ability. Vortex is a rare build that needs no gem, gear, or build swapping to do all content from T1 maps, to Atziri, to Uber Elder, to deep delves. It's survivability in comparison to ranged classes can barely even be calculated.
Vortex vs Other Spell Skills
Vortex is the king of survivable spellcasters. Its combination of curses, ailments, and Energy Shield stacking allows it to cruise through trash mobs and take down bosses in ways that most spellcasters cannot. It may not have the DPS of Blade Vortex, but it can dish out its damage and survive to tell the tale.
1.3 The Pros and Cons of Vortex
▲ One of the safest builds in the game ▲ Can do all content and easily farm Uber Elder ▲ Damage Over Time cannot be reflected, so you can do Reflect maps by Vortexing at your feet and pulling mobs into the DoT ▲ Can reach 11-12k ES, ~1 million DPS on Vortex alone, and a dizzying array of defensive layers
▼ Not a god-tier clearing build like Tornado Shot ▼ Does not have infinite scaling like some attack builds ▼ Can't effectively clear Hall of Grandmaster? I don't know - there's very few cons to this build
1.4 Path of Building (PoB) and Brief Build Theory
I'll start with the obligatory, "Unless you really know what you're doing, do not just yoink the PoB and leave." I've never seen people debate a skill tree as much as I've seen in comments on other Vortex guides. This isn't a bad thing - Vortex is INCREDIBLY flexible. However, as you get more specific in uniques and playstyle, the tree options tighten up a good bit.
PoB : https://pastebin.com/zCVUSMcq. Pay attention to your tree and items, as there are different trees, and gem/item/jewel setups that differ between each tree.
A full Vortex build goes through 3 and sometimes 4 stages, each utilizing a very different looking skill tree. While the first 2-3 stages of the build do not have any required uniques, be sure to save up your passive respec points and any Orbs of Regret that you find; you'll be spending a LOT of them.
Stage 1: Early end-game, life-based build \still using an Orb of Storms leveling setup.
Stage 1b: Some players prefer to use their main skill while leveling, even if it slows them down. Stage 1b is the same as 1, just slower and using Vortex the whole way.
Stage 2: The CI transition. After accumulating gear, the build shifts to Chaos Inoculation and goes full time Vortex if it hadn't already.
Stage 3: The build abandons Chaos Inoculation in favor of a low-life build with Shavronne's Wrappings. This build has both the highest possible defenses AND damage and is incredibly strong.
2.1 Leveling in a Fresh League or With a New Account
If you're new to the game, starting with 100,000 other players in a new league, or a speedrun addict (*raises hand), you're starting with no items and no currency. Luckily for you, the build requires nothing and is absurdly cheap even if you're switching to CI. Don't worry about unique items for now. Just move down a couple of sections and start with the Full Leveling Guide. Take your time and enjoy!
2.2 Leveling with Twink Gear
Uniques That Help The Leveling Process
There are a few uniques that will allow you to truly zoom zoom through the leveling process. If you want to twink your character, slap these bad boys on and crush everything.
2.3 Full Leveling Guide
The full leveling guide for Vortex can be viewed here. This allows me to host future leveling guides for other builds in one place and reduces the character count for this guide.
2.4 Leveling Guide tl;dr
Here is the full tree for leveling. See the full guide for an Act-by-Act breakdown.
This is ripped straight from the full leveling guide. Here are the links in order to level as Orb of Storms / Wave of Conviction and level some of your end-game gems:
► You should be leveling as many of the following gems as possible, roughly in this order: Vortex, Discipline, Malevolence, 2x Efficacy, another Elemental Focus, Controlled Destruction, 2x Hypothermia, Swift Affliction, Bonechill, Storm Brand, Frost Bomb, and Tempest Shield. These are all for Vortex later, so they can be leveled unlinked in any available slots or off-hands.
2.5 Swapping from Orb of Storms to Vortex
I highly recommend farming either Blood Aqueducts or Tier 1 maps as Orb of Storms, while picking up pure ES bases to assemble your initial set of Budget Gear, as displayed in the PoB. As far as using Vortex, it shines in a 5-Link, but you can swap from Orb of Storms as soon as the support gems are high enough level to be comfortable. Don't forget to save your Orb of Storms gem and a few of the supports for later!
The process of crafting your initial CI gear is easy. First, if you have Rares with a combination of ES and resist(s), keep it and use it! For the rest, quality the white item to 20%, Transmute it, and Alt spam, looking for 1 good resist, a good % or flat ES roll, or ideally both. Look for tier 3+ ES rolls and tier 4+ resist rolls. You can equip and use the items as you complete them. Just be aware that until you actually take Chaos Inoculation, your main concern will be Chaos Damage, as it will bypass your growing ES pool and directly drain from your shrinking life pool. Once you have 5500+ ES and capped resists, you're ready to transition. Take CI, start using Vortex if you weren't already, and get off to the races!
Part 3A: The Full Vortex
3.1 Gem Setups
Wowowowowowow. WELCOME TO 3.9! This gem is bonkers. This is the type of gem that you warp your build around. In the case of Vortex, I'm seriously considering using this gem. To do so, my initial thought is to swap to a Mace and drop the wand, or maybe even get nutty and go for a staff. I might modify the tree to grab some attack speed, and I would be using either Shield Charge or Leap Slam as my movement skill in a 4-Link. Links would be SC/LS - Awakened Curse on Hit, Temp Chains, Enfeeble. Maybe Frostbite? Idk I have to think on this a little more, but there are insanely strong possibilities for this gem.
Immunities are a huge part of survivability in PoE. Vortex uses its immunities to become even tankier and reduce any chance of missing uptime on DPS.
All of the desired immunities can be Beastcrafted onto flasks through the Menagerie, if you are able to roll a flask with just a prefix mod.
Freeze and Stun Immunity
One of the biggest advantages of being an Occultist is in the immunities offered to the build through the ascendancy. As an Occultist, Vile Bastion gives you stun immunity and Frigid Wake grants Freeze and Chill Immunity. As soon as you complete Merciless Labyrinth, you will not have to worry about these immunities again.
Bleed immunity will typically be achieved through flasks. You're looking for the "of Staunching" mod on your flask. In the late-game, you can Vaal jewels or buy one to get the "Cannot be Inflicted With Corrupting Blood" mod. The example jewel is not a Vortex jewel, but is shown for the mod.
Curse Immunity is important, especially for higher tier mapping. Roll flasks to get the "of Warding" mod to become curse immune.
As our Freeze/Chill immunity is covered outside of flasks, you may be able to work in shock immunity to the build and further smooth out your incoming damage. Roll flasks to get the "of Grounding" mod to become shock immune.
The only unique flask used by the majority of Vortex builds, either CI or Low-life, is Rumi's Concoction. Other unique flask options are discussed below, but Rumi's as the only unique flask gives us a lot of utility options in the remaining 4 slots. A Quicksilver flask is all but mandatory. Roll Adrenaline and any prefix that you like. A Basalt flask is another great option to pair with a Rumi's or other Granite flask for a large buff to armour and damage reduction.
For the remaining two slots, I like starting with a Quartz flask. The phasing is invaluable to our Vortex placement, and the dodge chance adds another layer of defense to the build. If you're running Zealot's Oath for the ES regen, a Sulphur flask can provide both great damage and some fantastic ES regen.
There are a few flasks you could use to fill out any remaining flask slots. Until you have a Corrupting Blood jewel, I highly recommend using non-unique flasks with the immunities discussed above. Here are some options for usable flasks in your final two slots:
Lethal Pride (Kiloava)
Before I describe the jewel, I will warn you to double, triple, or even quadruple check if you buy a Lethal Pride jewel from another player. MAKE SURE IT'S A KILOAVA LETHAL PRIDE! I ran into SIX scammers in a row when I bought this as a test. It's one of the easiest scams to run in PoE.
When a Lethal Pride Kiloava jewel is socketed, it turns nearby Keystones into Glancing Blows:
This keystone is incredibly valuable and smooths incoming damage by a huge amount. You'll want to socket this into the top right of the tree, converting Eldritch Battery to Glancing Blows. If you've ever noticed a huge amount of Vortex players inexplicably taking EB on sites like poe.ninja, this is why.
Energy From Within
EFW is a great jewel for the combination life/ES nodes on the tree. If you have one, socket it here:
Watcher's Eye has randomly assigned mods that grant bonus effects based on auras that the player has equipped. If you can get your hands on a Watcher's Eye, here are some good mods to look for:
-ANY "while affected by Clarity" mod except for "% of Damage taken from Mana before Life while affected by Clarity"
-ANY "while affected by Discipline" mod except for "+# Energy Shield gained for each Enemy Hit while affected by Discipline"
-ANY "while affected by Malevolence" mod except for "Damaging Ailments you inflict deal Damage #% faster while affected by Malevolence"
Vortex can use Cobalt regular jewels or Searching Eye abyss jewels. Best jewel corruptions: Corrupted Blood cannot be inflicted on you, Increased Area of Effect, Increased Damage, 1% Reduced Mana Reserved
Cobalt mods to look for:
-Spell damage while holding a Shield
-Increased Cold Damage
-Maximum Energy Shield
-Chance to Block Attack/Spell Damage while holding a Shield
-Faster start of Energy Shield Recharge (HUGELY BENEFICIAL; BEST STAT)
-Energy Shield Recharge Rate
-Damage over Time
-% Chance to Freeze and Freeze Duration
-Cold Damage over Time Multiplier
Searching Eye mods to look for:
-Damage over Time while holding a Shield
-Maximum Energy Shield
-Increased Effect of Chill
-% Chance to Block Spell Damage / Attack Damage if you were Damaged by a Hit Recently
-Increased Movement Speed if you haven't taken Damage recently or if you've killed recently
-Damage Penetrates #% Elemental Resistance if you haven't killed recently
-% Chance to Gain Onslaught or Phasing on kill