Path of Exile

Self-cast Ice Nova looks like fun, but what version to take?

Content of the article: "Self-cast Ice Nova looks like fun, but what version to take?"

The initial spark came with Esoro's Frostbold + Ice Nova build presentation. The concept looks like a lot of fun, but I'm not entirely convinced I would want to go Hiero with it (especially with the Witch reworks this league). Also, while I doubt that's the case, judging by PoB numbers alone his Hiero looks very squishy to me; but I guess I'm just used to high life pools, high block, high evasion, etc.

While his build remains mostly the same in 3.13 (with the decision between life-leech vs charges being the only major difference I can spot), I kept digging for other versions. I found a couple others (Mathil, etc), but most of them seem outdated.

Now, I think I would prefer to go Occultist or maybe Elementalist (for the flair), but I'm unsure about their defenses. I've never done an ES build (I always go life), but Occultist almost asks for it; essentially, I'm afraid to end up in a progression corner and being forced to re-roll. I tried to fidget around and do my own ES Occultist variant, but I'm skeptical since I can't really test it – everything I go for seems rather squishy (but maybe I'm just underestimating ES) or lacks crit. I always end up point-starved.

I like MoM, but mostly in combination with Archmage and Agnostic, which wouldn't be the case here.

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What other viable versions of self-cast Frostbolt & Ice Nova are there? What are the advantages and drawbacks? How tanky do they feel? How hard are they to scale into lategame?

Just some other random thoughts:

  • Archmage isn't an option here, is it? I guess that would just become too mana intensive…
  • I really like Pledge of Hands. If the inclusion is possible, fantastic. But I'm not sure what I lose with other options, like wand + wand or wand + shield.
  • Is going crit the only viable option here?
  • I would prefer to avoid mechanics like EE in this particular case.
  • I guess Ghost Reaver is a must if going ES?
  • It doesn't have to be a zoom-zoom build. I tend to be a slow player, I regularly just stop and calmly pick things up before moving forward.

Please keep in mind that I'm mostly a casual gamer; a realistic budget for me is 5-7ex top. I don't intend to do T16+ 100% delirium maps with it, but perhaps being able to at least do all the League / Expansion content (including Maven) would be great. I'm also not really asking for finished builds, but perhaps even just experiences, suggestions or estimates from more experienced players; I tend to play "slow" and tanky builds for the most part, so ES just has me worried.

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Thanks for the help & opinions 🙂


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