TbXie's Big Dark Pact Totems Hierophant Build Guide (PoE Trial of the Ancestors 3.22) (2024)

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TbXie's Big Dark Pact Totems Hierophant Build Guide (PoE Trial of the Ancestors 3.22) (1) TbXie


Due to the latest balancing changes, we do not recommend playing this build anymore, as it does not meet the high standards we apply to our guides in terms of fun and performance. We are leaving it up as a reference and it might be revived in a later patch.


Dark Pact totems is a build that used to be ludicrously strong but it kind of got dumpstered when they nerfed Forbidden Rite. Therefore, the build is now a tad debatable. It should only be played if you want to play a new totem build and you like this archetype. Don’t get me wrong, it still is very playable, it just isn’t at it ancient power levels. I felt the need to put that out there.


One of the most classic build archetypes in Path of Exile are definitely Totem Builds. Totems have gone through a lot of iterations over the years, and other skills were popularized through skill balances, Ascendancy releases, and changes of mechanics. One of the most iconic builds in PoE is definitely “Pizza Sticks”, which is slang that was used for Flameblast Totems. While this might sound horrible in the current state of the game, Flameblast Totems were considered the most broken thing to ever have happened to Path of Exile when they were popularized. Obviously, Flameblast, Ignite, and spell totem were changed and the skill lost in popularity! All of this occurred before Dark Pact even existed, and even then it took the Path of Exile community quite a while to realize how to use it effectively with Totems.

This immediately brings me to my first important point about the build guide: this build requires an Astral Projector to function. Well, I guess that might be a little harsh, but the ring basically makes the build go from kind of subpar to an absolute blast to play. Before you acquire this ring, Dark Pact will cast an AoE around your Totems which makes it rather awkward to clear an entire screen of monsters, as you’d have to put a totem on each pack. Astral Projector makes it so Dark Pact becomes targetable and castable away from you. Totems do use this mechanic fairly well, and start casting Dark Pacts well away from their base, and targeted at monster packs, to completely obliterate entire screens of monsters in seconds.

Other than the ring, the gear can be really cheap yet can be min-maxed fairly hard towards the endgame. The build relies on a combination of Energy Shield (with high regen), a decent Life Pool, Curses, a combination of Armour & Evasion through Auras to stay alive. It easily reaches over 7000 Effective Health Pool, resulting in a fairly tanky character. By itself, there are probably a lot more tanky characters out there, but since you’re playing a Totem build, you’ll rarely be in the fray and will rarely actually get hit by stuff. The build is incredibly safe, unless you decide to run ahead of your totems for some reason.

Build Summary

Pros and Cons


+ The skill feels amazing to play
+ Incredible Clear Speed
+ Ridiculous damage
+ After the Astral Projector, it blasts on any level of gear


Requires an Astral Projector, which can be a little bit hard to get, to feel good
Because of the above, it’s hardly playable in SSF
Can feel a little squishy at earlier stages of gear / levels

Map Modifiers to be Avoided

No Regeneration is annoying, but can be dealt with if you bring a Mana Flask. Otherwise, there’s nothing that’ll annoy you too much.

Playstyle, Mechanics & Strengths

The playstyle of all Totem builds is fairly similar. Put your Totems down and watch them evaporate monsters in the meanwhile. While your Totems go to town, you’re going to be casting Wither, which will cast Enfeeble through the Cast while Channeling support gem. Other than that,you’ll throw out a Storm Brand, which will take care of your Power Charge generation. This is a core enabler of the build, as without it we would never be getting close to the Critical Strike Chance cap.

Aside from the Wither casting, you don’t have anything to do, which means you’ll have a lot of downtime to move, dodge, and learn mechanics! This is one of Totem builds’ main features. It enables you to learn fights, mechanics, and just play the game in a better way in general as they allow you to have an easy time while they do your work for you. These totems push that fact to the next level, as they cast from a screen away and make it so you’ll rarely encounter monsters whatsoever.

The reason why Dark Pact scales so incredibly well with Totems is because it’s fairly easy to bump up Totem Life. Since Dark Pact gets its damage from “sacrificing” a part of your Life, (or in this case your Totems’ Life), scaling Totem Life is almost always your highest DPS-increasing stat. As Totems inherently have more HP than players do, the base damage Dark Pact gets from sacrificing parts of their HP is rather high and thus easier to scale up!

Passive Skill Tree, PoB, and Gem Links

You can find an optimized Path of Building here. Every build I release will use the community fork of Path of Building. You can find PoB’s Fork, by LocalIdentity, here.

If you are not comfortable with Path of Building, PoePlanner’s website offers you a non-PoB alternative to import the code from the above link. it is highly recommended you install Path of Building to follow builds most optimally.

More information about the Passive Skill Tree, as well as all the Gem Links can be found on our dedicated page.

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons

Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.

Gear Summary / TL;DR

A lot of this is explained more in depth in the Gear Page, however we will provide you with a basic idea of what gear you’re looking for in this short summary.

Gear Page

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare Viridi's Veil
Amulet Citrine Amulet with Cast Speed, Crit Multiplier, Life and Resistances
Chest # Soul Mantle
Gloves TbXie's Big Dark Pact Totems Hierophant Build Guide (PoE Trial of the Ancestors 3.22) (17) Sorcerer Gloves with High Life, Resistances
Boots Any rare boots with Life, Resistances and Movement Speed
Belt Stygian Vise with Life, Resistances
Rings 1x Astral Projector & 1x Magic Ring with Life & Despair on Hit
Weapon Rare Profane Wand with Spell Damage, levels to Spell Skills, Cast Speed, Spell Crit
Shield Rare Evasion/Energy Shield Shield with Life, +1 to Maximum Number of Totems, Cast Speed & Spell Suppression

Questions & Support

If you enjoy my content to such an extent that you’d like to support me and my work, or you have a specific question you request my private time for, you can buy me a coffee over at Patreon. At no point should you feel pressured to contribute, but if you do, your support means more to me than you will ever imagine.

Even though we try to make our guides as complete as possible, obvioulsy it’s possible you still have questions. We have an entire mod-team readily available to support you & your questions on Discord. You can find us on the ARPG Vault Discord. Make sure to open a Guide Help thread so things stay clear in the main channels.


Since we are very adamant about trying to give you a leveling experience that lies as close to your endgame playstyle as possible, we will be providing you a way to level up with Freezing Pulse totems. If you are looking for the most optimal way to level a character to maps, we refer you to the following guides. You can swap to Dark Pact totems as soon as you can equip your Astral Projector at level 40, (or at level 28 when you get Dark Pact if you want to use Dark Pact).

  • Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
  • Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
  • Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.

Make sure to check the PoB for leveling information Skill Sets & Leveling Trees

Getting to Brutus & Merveil

For starters, create a Templar in whichever league you want to start.

Pick up an Explosive Trap from the vendor to start your journey and go to kill Hailrake and clear Mud Flats. Set up the following links after Mud Flats:

  1. Freezing Pulse
  1. Explosive Trap

After killing Brutus, you will be adding an Added Cold Damage Support to your Freezing Pulse.

Level 12 and Onwards Setup

From level 12, after killing Merveil, you’ll be setting up for your road to maps. It might be a little rough for some bosses, but you should eventually be fine with this setup.

  1. Spell Totem Support
  2. Added Cold Damage Support
  3. Freezing Pulse
  4. Elemental Focus Support
  5. Controlled Destruction Support
  6. Lesser Multiple Projectiles Support
    Use the following on bosses:
  1. Frost Bomb
  2. Frostbite
    or Assassin's Mark

Run the following auras:

  1. Herald of Thunder
  2. Summon Skitterbots


  • Updated for Ritual 3.13.

  • Build added.

TbXie's Big Dark Pact Totems Hierophant Build Guide (PoE Trial of the Ancestors 3.22) (2024)


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