TbXie's Explosive Arrow Ballista Champion Build Guide (PoE Necropolis 3.24) (2024)

  • League Starter
  • Low Budget
  • Medium Budget
  • All-Rounder

TbXie's Explosive Arrow Ballista Champion Build Guide (PoE Necropolis 3.24) (1) TbXie



Given there are two common ways to obtain projectiles on the build and because both ways of obtaining them are generally about the same efficiency-wise, you are going to have to determine which of the two is the more accessible (read: cheaper) option to you. These variations are the Rain of Splinters variant and the Thread of Hope variant. Either works well, it’s really just a matter of which one is more cheap than the other.


Explosive Arrow has been hyped up incredibly hard by a lot of people the last couple of leagues.
Getting some input and backbone from popular and reliable content creators such as Ziz and Crouching Tuna I decided to write up a guide about this insane-looking leaguestarter for you to enjoy.


The mechanics of this build, unlike often suggested, are actually fairly simple. You’re looking to stack as many explosive arrows on a target as possible to abuse the more damage multiplier on the gem. This is achieved by playing a Totem build, as they all apply fuses to your target. Given the damage scaling is so outrageous, this build gets to focus on stacking a lot of defenses. That’s also why I chose to write about the most durable version available. For variants on the build, generally Hierophant or Elementalist, I refer back to the abovementioned youtube content creators who have guides on the Hiero & Elementalist counterparts.

While this build is an insane and obscene powerhouse in the lategame (and has overkill amounts of damage even while starting mapping) it does have one little problem. It’s relatively annoying to level, even more so on a champion. You’re going to be leveling as a melee build until level 28 (with something like Shattering Steel or Splitting Steel) which might be tedious but once you kick of with EA, as long as you stack enough attack speed, you’re going to be blasting. Getting an early Quill Rain will smooth the leveling process by a lot once you swap over to EA.

When you start getting to the endgame, you’re just going to spam out ballista totems when you’re running around in the map. Once on a boss, make sure to drop totems & hit them with Frenzy to generate charges & curse them.

Disclaimer: Make sure to find a single roll of Lighting or Cold damage to attacks on your gear or jewels to activate Elemental Equilibrium. Make sure you don’t have a single source of “Fire Damage to Attacks” anywhere!

Fuses Math

Explosive Arrow gains more “explosion damage”, which is what causes our damage to ignite and then for the ignite to start rolling on the enemy, per “Fuse” (read, arrow) in an enemy at the time of the explosion. Therefore, we need to check the time between starting to attack a target & the duration of the “initial stage” (before the explosion) to check if we are attacking fast enough to get the maximum amount of fuses in a target before the explosion occurs. Given that the maximum amount of fuses is twenty, we can calculate this for our character using the following steps:

1) Figure out your duration (usually 1.2 seconds because 1 second base and 15% increased from Damage over time mastery and later on another 10% from Tempered Arrowheads on our large cluster jewel)
2) Figure out what that means for fuses. If you want to apply 19 stacks (you always only need to count 19, because you have one from the initial hit), you divide 19 by 1.2 to figure out how many fuses you need to be applying per second.
3) In this case, you’d need 15.83 fuses per second. You have 6 totems hitting the enemy meaning you divide that number by 6.
4) You therefore need 2.64 attacks per second to cap.
5) You now take some margin, because you don’t always have your 6 totems down instantly and you’re at capped damage.

Build Viability in Numbers

This is where I’ll rate the build in numbers. The lower the number the worse I actually think the build is in that compartment.

  • Durability : 9.5/10
  • Damage : 9.5/10
  • Playstyle : 7/10
  • Gearing : 7/10
  • Complexity : 5/10

Path of Building & Skill Tree

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.

For more information about the Passive Skill Tree & Gem Links, we have a dedicated page for those.

Gear Summary

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.

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare AR/EV Helmet with Life, Resistances & Spell Suppression
Amulet Rare Amulet with Life & Damage over Time Multiplier
Chest Rare Chestpiece with Life, Spell Suppression & Resistances
Gloves Rare AR/EV Shield with Life, chance to Suppress Spell Damage, Resistances and Potentially Attack Speed
Boots Rare AR/EV Boots with Life, Resistances, Spell Suppression & Movement Speed
Belt Dyadian Dawn
Rings Rare Amethyst Rings with Life, Resistances and a source of Light or Cold damage to attacks
Weapon Quill Rain
Quiver Rare Quiver with Life, Attack Speed & Resistances

Item Slot Item Name
Head Rare AR/EV with Life, Resistance, Spell Suppression & Duration of Ailments while Focused Craft
Amulet Rare amulet with Life, Elemental Damage with Attacks, Level of Fire Skills & Resistances
Chest Rare Chestpiece with Life, Increased Maximum Life, Spell Suppression & Resistances
Gloves Rare AR/EV Gloves with Life, Fire Damage Multiplier, Resistances and Attack Speed
Boots Rare AR/EV Boots with Life, Movement Speed, Spell Suppression
Belt Dyadian Dawn
Rings Rare Amethyst Rings with Life, Elemental Damage with Attacks, Attack Speed, Resistances and a source of Light or Cold damage to attacks
Quiver Rare quiver with Life, Damage over Time Multiplier with Attack Skills, Elemental Damage with Attacks and Attack Speed
Weapon Rare Thicket Bow with +1 to level of Socketed Gems, +2 to level of Socketed Bow Gems, Attack Speed (& Minion Attack Speed *)

*Only get minion attack speed if you pick up the Spiritual Command notable.

Jewels 1 Rain of Splinters – Otherwise Life, Attack Speed, Attack Speed with Bows
  • This jewel can now only be obtained by corruption

1 Granite Flask of the Armadillo
2 Sulphur Flask of the Owl
3 Jade Flask of the Cheetah
4 Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Assuaging
5 Quicksilver Flask of the Heron

Be sure to check out our Flask Crafting Guide to learn everything you need to know about how to set up your non-Unique flasks.


Early map ignite chance

we use a jewel with % chance to ignite to cap our ignite early maps until we can get eldritch implicit on our helmet for increased curse effect of flammability at that point we can swap the ignite jewel for better jewels

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.


  • Updated for 3.22 Trial of the Ancestors

  • Updated for 3.20 The Forbidden Sanctum.

  • Updated for 3.18Sentinel

TbXie's Explosive Arrow Ballista Champion Build Guide (PoE Necropolis 3.24) (2024)


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