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Build Info & Playstyle

Last Updated: August 15th 2023

Trial of the Ancestors 3.22

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Poison Spark Pathfinder Key Build Info, Scaling, Pantheons, and Farming Strategies.

Key Build Info

This section discusses the key mechanics leveraged by the build to scale your Damage and Defenses. If at any point in the guide you have a question about how something works, check back here for more detail.

Flask Uptime

It's important to ensure your Utility Flasks are up 100% of the time so that you can use them to cap Resistances, making room for damage on gear. To achieve this combine Passives like Careful Conservationist, with Flask Duration Cluster Jewels and Flask modifiers on your Belt. Path of Building is a helpful tool for calculating Flask Uptime, so use it to double check things whenever you swap gear.

Poison Spark & Ashes of the Stars

The Phantasmal Spark Pathfinder relies on scaling gem quality to 50%. Phantasmal Spark's alternate quality converts a portion of Spark's Lightning Damage into Chaos Damage, allowing it to Poison. To achieve this, use an Ashes of the Stars with 30% to Quality of all Skill Gems and a Phantasmal Spark gem with at least 20% quality. It is essential to have a 30% roll! 100% Chance to Poison is achieved though Divergent Herald of Agony.

Note: Your Ashes of the Stars needs 19% increased Reservation Efficiency of Skills to activate all Auras on a level 100 character. Otherwise you need to make up the difference on Jewels.

Spark Mechanics

With a single cast your Phantasmal Spark can hit an enemy once every 0.66 seconds. Keep in mind this is per cast, not per projectile. Without any increase in duration, a single cast can hit an enemy thrice with the base duration of 2 seconds.  Spark projectiles bounce off of terrain obstructions and edges for as long as they persist. If a spark projectile strikes a mob, it is absorbed unless it can pierce. That is why projectile speed, increased duration and pierce can result in significant increases in real DPS.

Damage Taken As

This build has no Armor, and therefore relies on Damage Taken As to shift Physical damage taken to Elemental. Cloak of Flame and Taste of Hate supply a majority of your Physical damage taken as, with the rest coming from your Helmet. When running Lightning Coil you lose around 130% Resistances in comparison to Cloak of Flame, making it a poor substitute.


Suppression halve all incoming Spell damage, making it an extremely valuable defensive layer. Spell suppression cap is easy to achieve thanks to passive tree clusters granting a large sum of it. Finally, a 14% Fractured modifier on your Boots gets you to 100%. Achieving 100% Chance to Suppress Spell Damage is incredibly important, as your Suppression also caps your Ailment Avoidance.


50% Comes from Ancestral Vision and capped Spell Suppression, the rest is from your Boots. This keeps you safe from ailments such as Shock, Chill, Freeze and Ignite as well as all alternative ailments. Eldritch Altars and certain rare monsters reflect non-damaging ailments you inflict. Therefore, it is important to itemize for this as Ailments can drastically increase the damage you take from all sources or slow your character's Action Speed.

Recovery Layers

This Poison Spark Pathfinder build uses several layers of recovery to deal with incoming damage. The unique jewel Bloodnotch, causes you to recover a portion of damage taken from a Stunning hit. When you have the Energy Shield Mastery for Stun Threshold is Based on 60% of Energy Shield instead of Life, every hit stuns you. Therefore, Immutable Force is crucial to lower the duration of incoming stuns. This combo provides crazy recovery especially when mapping.


As a Pathfinder with Master Surgeon your Life Flask provides potent healing. This is great when you're fighting phased Bosses and don't have anything to hit for Leech or Gain on Hit.

Leech & Gain on Hit

Your last recovery layers are Leech and Life Gain on Spell Hit. You leech Leech Life to heal thanks to Divergent Void Manipulation Support. You also leech Energy Shield to fuel your spells with Ethereal Feast. Use the Leech Mastery for 10% of Leech is Instant to turn a portion of your Leech into instant recovery. For even more instant recovery use a Vitality Watcher's Eye or a Crusader's Ring.

Explosive Clear-Speed

Your Poison Spark Pathfinder build has explosive clear. Asenath's Gentle Touch applies Temporal Chains on hit, and you use a Corrupted version to also apply Despair on hit. This is a great way to completely automate your Curses and add explosions to clear Maps even faster! In addition to Curse Enemies with Despair on Hit, look for Corrupted Implicits like Cast Speed, +to Spell Critical Strike Chance or +1 To Level of Socketed Gems. If you focus purely on Bossing, use Hands of the High Templar instead to automate Curses and gain access to more Implicit modifiers, Life, and Resistances.

Eldritch Battery

Eldritch Battery allows you to ignore Mana costs by leveraging Energy Shield Leech and wearing Intelligence based items. Try to get 600-1000 Energy Shield so you have enough Energy Shield to use all your skills and recover in between casts.

Feeling Squishy? For more information on how to scale defenses in Path of Exile, check out our guide on Defenses and Defensive Layering.

Pantheon & Bandits

Bandits: Kill all

For information about acquisition, alternatives and upgrading check out our Pantheon Guide!

For your Major Pantheon, select Solaris or Lunaris to gain defensive bonuses.

For your Minor Pantheon, select Abberath and upgrade it with a Divine Vessel. This grants you defenses but most importantly Immunity to Burning Ground.



When Mapping, look for a group of enemies then spam Phantasmal Spark to Poison everything. Your Poison Spark Pathfinder Build doesn't get hard-countered by any map modifiers making it a great choice for running Corrupted maps. However, some combinations are unpleasant to run and should be avoided when possible. Remember to be in Sand Stance and keep Haste active for higher Speed.

Map Modifiers to Avoid

The following modifiers are to be avoided if possible:

  • Players gain 30% reduced Flask Charges (Lethal in low density maps, use Altars or Scarabs to add mobs)
  • Players have #% reduced effect of Non-Curse Auras from Skills (Can be run but dangerous)
  • Players have -# to Maximum Resistances (Can be run but dangerous)
  • Players have Less Recovery Rate of Life, and Energy Shield (Can be run but annoying)


When fighting Bosses, remember your Life Flask for additional healing. When you enter a Boss arena cast Spark until the entire arena is filled with projectiles for extra damage as soon as the Boss becomes active. Move forward to activate the boss and proceed with dodging abilities while casting spark whenever possible to re-apply your poison damage on the target. Make sure to re-cast Haste whenever it is down to grant you more Cast Speed.

Farming Strategies

As a high end build this Poison Spark Pathfinder can farm anything Path of Exile has to offer. In particular it excels at mapping mechanics like Expedition, Legion, and Blight. But you can also use the build to take down Uber Bosses or do anything else Path of Exile has to offer. Clicking the League Mechanics below takes you to either a full Explanation Guide or a detailed Currency Farming Guide based around maximizing your profits from that mechanic or content.

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