Ethereal Knives Ignite Elementalist


The Ethereal Knives Ignite Elementalist is a well-rounded beast, capable of farming all content, including Wave 30 Simulacrum, 100% Delirium, Uber Pinnacle Bosses as well as speed mapping. While having a very comfortable one button play style, this build excels at clearing maps very fast, thanks to explosions, Herald of Ash and Ignite Proliferation. It's able to defeat the hardest bosses in the game and can also be played as a Magic Finder with a few gearing adjustments.

The EK-Ignite Elementalist is not a beginner-friendly build! In order to utilize its full potential, you have to understand how Damage Conversion works to apply the biggest Ignites in Wraeclast.

Warning: This guide assumes that you already reached Path of Exiles endgame and have enough Currency to gear your character as the guide recommends. If not, consider reading our Wave of Conviction Ignite Elementalist Guide, as it is perfectly suited as a starting option to later on convert into the EK-Ignite Elementalist.

Strengths and Weaknesses


Skills Breakdown

Ethereal Knives

Ethereal Knives is our primary source of damage and our main skill, which fires an arc of knives in front of
the caster. It is a Physical Spell that we first convert into Cold Damage and then convert a big portion into
Fire Damage, using Cold to Fire Support. Since we play Elementalist, our Ascendancy Node
Shaper of Flames lets all of our Damage sources Ignite, including Physical, Lightning, Cold, Fire and Chaos Damage.

Explosions with Ignite Proliferation and Herald of Ash

The Ethereal Knives Ignite Elementalist has one of the most satisfying monster clears in the game. Thanks to
the synthesized implicit modifier, "Enemies you kill have a 25% chance to explode, dealing a tenth of their
maximum Life as Physical Damage" on our Weapon, in combination with Ignite Proliferation and
Herald of Ash.

Explode Modifier:
We want to have any form of monster explosion, with the synthesized implicit being the best, using a
Quiver as a stat stick as well. In lower Budget versions, use Obliteration with a shield. Since we are
converting all of our Physical Damage into Cold and furthermore into Fire, we also convert our Physical
Explosions the same way. Obliteration has Chaos Damage as base explosion damage, which can't be
converted, making it a weaker choice overall.

Ignite Proliferation:
There are two different types of Ignite proliferation. One leaves burning ground underneath the corpse, the
other inflicts an Ignite on nearby enemies. The respective modifier "Ignites spread to other Enemies within a
Radius of X" can be achieved in many ways. Either use the Ignite Proliferation Support, roll Ignite
spread on a Cluster Jewel or use Eldritch Currency to craft the Ignite Proliferation Implicit Modifiers on Gloves.
For the ultimate clear, we want to use Berek's Respite or Abberath's Hooves which inflict an
Ignite to nearby enemies upon death. On the EK Ignite Elementalist, this is not necessary since we have
3 sources of AoE already.

Herald of Ash
HoA does not only give us Physical Damage as extra Fire Damage and more Burning Damage, but also burns
nearby enemies upon death, based on overkill damage. This damage can be further scaled with modifiers to
damage over time, which our build is built upon.

Aura Setup

We use a wide variety of Auras to boost our Defensive and Offensive layers. The majority of our Auras are
permanent, while Haste and Malevolence are castable duration Auras that can be switched based
on the content we do. Note that you can only have one Blessing Aura active at a time!

Defensive Aura:
Determination - Armour Aura.
Grace - Evasion Aura.
Discipline - Energy Shield Aura.
Vitality - Health regeneration Aura.

Offensive Auras:
Hatred - Cold Damage Aura.
Malevolence - Damage over Time Aura.
Herald of Purity - Physical Damage Buff.
Herald of Ash - Fire Damage Buff.

Utility Auras:
Haste - Movement, attack and cast speed Aura.

Arcanist Brand Setup

For bossing, we use a specific Arcanist Brand setup to further enhance our single target damage. This
Brand periodically activates while attached, triggering linked spells in order. We link Arcanist Brand with
Hydrosphere, Flame Surge and Combustion Support.

Hydrosphere acts as our target dummy, to chain projectiles off of. With Gloomfang Amulet equipped,
we gain a massive Damage boost, thanks to its modifier Projectiles that have Chained gain (20-35)% of
Non-Chaos Damage as extra Chaos Damage as well as granting us Skills Chain +1 times.
When Ethereal Knives hits the orb, it chains to the boss and inflicts an even bigger Ignite.

Note that Ignite doesn't stack, but always applies the highest ignite among multiple hits.

Flame Surge creates a Burning Ground based on the Ignite on the enemy on hit, helping us with additional
single target damage.

Combustion Support affects both, Hydrosphere and Flame Surge (cannot ignite) and lowers the
enemies fire resistance when ignited, boosting our damage even further.


Flame Dash is our mobility skill of choice. It allows for swift teleports to zoom from pack to pack or to
avoid dangerous mechanics. It also lets us blink over obstacles or dash to higher environmental layers. Since it
is dealing Fire Damage and leaves a trail of fire, this can potentially ignite foes and let them explode in the same
way our Ethereal Knives does.

Ascendancy Breakdown

The Elementalist Ascendancy is necessary since the passive Shaper of Flames, enabling all of converted damage to Ignite. Alongside strong offensive Layers, this Ascendancy also allows us to become immune to reflected Elemental Damage and can provide us with an Elemental Damage Shield. Overall, the Elementalist is one of the strongest Ascendancies in the Game. To learn how the Labyrinth works, feel free to check out our Labyrinth Guide!

  • Shaper of Flames is the core Passive our build is built upon. With Shaper of Flames, ALL of our Damage can Ignite, and has 100% chance to Ignite, including Physical, Fire, Cold, Lightning and Chaos Damage. On top of that, we get 25% more Ignite Damage when our highest Damage from our hit was caused by fire.
  • Mastermind of Discord empowers our Fire Exposure by an additional 25%, inflicted from the eldritch implicit on our gloves. Also grants us Mana regeneration if we have inflicted an exposure recently (past 4 seconds).
  • Heart of Destruction is probably one of the strongest Ascendancy Nodes in Path of Exile. It grants 60% increased Area of Effect by default, while changing to Convergence for 4 seconds after we hit a Unique Monster, granting us an astonishing 30% more Elemental Damage multiplier. Basically, we gain increased AoE for mapping and more Elemental Damage for Bossing.
  • Shaper of Storms is the equivalent of Shaper of Flames, but based on Lightning Damage. Since all of our Damage can inflict Shock with this Node, it is worth it to scale Increased Effect of Non-Damaging Ailments. This inflicts big shocks allowing our Ignites to deal a ton more damage. This Node can also be swapped to Shaper of Winter if you prefer a more defensive playstyle, or Bastion of Elements to become elemental damage reflect immune as well as an elemental damage shield to boost our defence.