[3.12] Breaking Volkuur’s Guidance

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction 3. The Build
2. The Concept   a. Links
  a. Abusing the upside   b. Ascendancy
  b. Mitigating the downside   c. Fulfilling stat requirements
  c. Summary   d. Scaling damage
  e. Defenses
  f. My gem links
  g. My gear


In this article I want to show how to utilize one of my favorite 1c uniques – . These gloves come in 3 variants – one of each elemental damage type. I found the Lightning variant to be most interesting, but I’m sure there are ways of abusing Fire and Cold too. I love items that mess with damage types and ailments – you can usually do really dumb stuff with them.

The Concept

In Path of Exile most powerful effects usually come with a downside. The more potent the effect, the more detrimental the downside.

My general approach to solving unique effects is to:

  • First identify ways of abusing given effect’s upside.
  • Then figuring out how to possibly mitigate the downside. 
  • If I can find an overlapping solution to both of those problems then I have a good basis for a build. 

Now let’s apply that methodology to .

The upside

Understanding the effect

Obviously we want to focus on the “Your Lightning Damage can Poison” line. But to take full advantage of it’s effect we first need to understand how Poison damage behaves in this situation.

Poison will deal Chaos Damage Over Time even though it was caused by Lightning damage hits. This is because “Your Lightning Damage can Poison” contains an implicit damage type conversion from Lightning to Chaos*. This is actually good. It means that we can scale Poison damage by modifiers that affect Lightning (and be extension Elemental), Chaos and DoT damage.

It should also be noted that conversion only applies to Poison, initial hit is still considered to be Lightning. This means that we can also apply Shock.

*For an in-depth explanation of damage conversion check out this wiki article.

Abusing the effect

Now that we understand how works we can focus on building around it. Our main focus will obviously be applying Poisons with a Lightning skill.

Poison is a unique ailment in that it can stack indefinitely (only limiting factor is it’s duration), so one of the ways of scaling it is to apply lots of it very fast and let it ramp-up. To do that we want to perform as many hits per second as possible and make each of them apply a Poison stack.

Best skill for that job is as it hits ~8 times with each cast when supported by (Ball Lightning Hits Per Cast count is dependent on multiple factors – 8 hits per cast is an estimation.

This means that a single can apply up to 8 stacks of poison for each cast. So we obviously want to cast as many of them as fast as possible. To do that we can use the good old combo of and +

Here is how it works:

  • + + – Every time Cyclone crits this setup will cast a Ball Lightning.
  • + – Every time we hit something Mjölner’s effect will cast a socketed Ball Lightning – this includes hits caused by Cyclone.
  • So every time crits we will cast 2 s.
  • Cyclone itself will also apply Poison stacks – they won’t deal much damage though.

‘s and ’s trigger rates are variable, but with good conditions we can assume 6 attacks per second, so 6 triggers from each of them.

The downside

’s downside is the dreaded “50% less Poison Duration” effect. But is it really that bad?

Base duration of Poison is 2 sec. Since “50% less Poison Duration” is a “less” modifier it means that it will apply after all other modifiers. This means that no matter what we do our Poison duration will be cut in half, and baseline it will be only 1 sec. And since our main goal is to apply and maintain as many Poison stacks as possible this is rather detrimental.

But the solution is pretty simple and clear-cut – .

Since we are applying a lot of Poison stacks very fast we can easily rump-up their duration through the “5% increased Poison Duration for each Poison you have inflicted Recently” effect. Nothing more to add here – this solves the entire issue pretty neatly. (There are other ways of extending Poison’s duration such as or , but none of them are as potent as ).

It is also worth noting that Assassin is already the best CoC and Poison Ascendancy, so that’s pretty nice.


To mitigate ‘s downside we are going to lean into Assassin Ascendancy and also use it’s strong synergies with Poison and Critical Strikes. This will allow us to cast a lot of trough + and . Thanks to the high frequency of hits produced by we will apply hudge amounts for Poison stacks.

The Build

This is a mini-guide that covers only the major parts of the build that are needed for it to function. I won’t explain basic concepts or provide leveling tips as there are a lot of other guides that do that. I’m also assuming at least a basic level of knowledge about the game and theorycrafting builds.


Assassin – It solves the Poison duration problem through , helps us with bossing and farming through and gives us nice survivability with . If you are struggling to reach high Crit chance you can also go with one of the Crit branches.

My suggested ascendancy passives priority is this:

is always first, but the rest can be shuffled around or even replaced by other nodes depending on your needs.

Fulfilling stat requirements

As I mentioned in the Concept section there are stats requirements that we need to meet for this build to function.

Accuracy and Crit

Any CoC build needs to get as close to 100% Accuracy and Crit Chance as possible. Usually that means a lot of investment, but we can make it a bit easier with Assassin synergies and clever use of a few unique effects.

Let’s start with one of my favorite combos: + . For the price of a shield slot and one jewel socket it gives us 100% Accuracy, 25% more Crit Chance and Blind immunity.

How does it work? ’s effect “Your hits can’t be Evaded” means we will always hit no matter what, so accuracy no longer matters. This also means that ’s Blind does nothing to us.

Secondly we want to use for that sweet “Your Critical Strike Chance is Lucky” effect. We also want to generate Power Charges – or are good sources. If needed we can also use or aura.

Attack Speed

No big tricks here, we simply need to stack enough of Attack Speed to reach at least 6 attacks per second.

But here are few things to note:

  • We can take advantage of the fact that is a channeled skill and use things like .
  • We can apply “+1 to Minimum Frenzy Charges” mod to our rings since we are not generating Frenzy charges in any other way.

Chance to Poison on Hit

We need to make sure that all hits apply Poison stacks. Luckily it is pretty easy to reach 100%. In fact we can do that just with the passive tree if we want to.

  • We get base 20% from .
  • gives us another 40%.
  • notable provides 15%.
  • notable provides 10%.
  • gives us 20%.
  • Any missing percentages can be filled with basic nodes: , or .

Increasing Poison duration

Poison duration is very important, especially for bosses. 

Here is how we are going to increase it:

  • – already mentioned in this article multiple times and by far the most important passive in this build.
  • – up to 75% increased Poison duration – very strong.
  • – “Other effects on Cursed enemies expire 40% slower” also applies to Poisons. My recommendation is to use it with for 100% uptime.
  • Passives such as or .

Scaling damage

Scaling damage is rather straightforward and falls in line with other Poison-based builds.


Since we can easily pickup we can run 2 curses.

  • First one should be for Poison duration and slow effect.
  • Second one should be for raw dps increase. We can get it for free from the .


Nothing special here – we want to reserve most of our mana since we don’t really need it for anything else.

For permanent, non-curse auras we will want to use: 

  • – for that nice 10% more Poison damage and 20% chance to Poison on hit.
  • – just raw damage.
  • – if we have mana to spare we can use it to get closer to the Crit Chance cap.


As with any other Chaos damage build we want to apply Withered stacks. To do that we simply run as our movement skill and use it on cooldown. To help with building stacks fast we can also use .

Perfect Agony

So the keystone has a pretty nice effect that allows us to scale Poison with “Critical Strike Multiplier”, which is often easier to find than “Damage over Time Multiplier”. Since our main damage source comes from Poison and not from hits the downside of ”30% less Damage with Hits” gets compensated very easily. This passive is also provided by .


In a single target we don’t care about increasing projectiles count, as only one projectile from a single cast can hit a target. In other words – can’t shotgun.

But in multi-target we want to get more projectiles for better coverage.

We can do that with:

  • – This will apply separately to both and , so we are getting 4 additional projectiles total. Love this flask.
  • – when farming we can swap one of our gems in 6-link and that should be enough. But if you really want to meme you can also put it in your 3-link.

In summary – if we really want to we can have 14 projectiles with each crit, but 10 or even 6 should be enough. 


Dodge and Evasion

Due to our position on the tree we are going with Dodge and Evasion as the main defensive layer.

Main sources of Dodge and Evasion are:

  • +
  • – granting us permanent Elusive
  • and
  • – if you have space for it.

Chaos Resistance + Poison Immunity

We can achieve decent Chaos Resistance with a simple 2-piece combo.

causes us to get affected by our own Poisons, which in turn gives us an additional 100% Chaos Resistance*. To prevent any self-damage we are using with “Unaffected by Poison while affected by Malevolence”.

*Keep in mind that this resistance is added to our base resistance, so without any other modifiers out total resistance will be 40% (due to -60% base).

Main 6-Link

Mjölner 3-Link

Movement 4-link

Defensive 3-link

(lvl 3) ┄ (lvl 1) ┄

Debuff 4-link

Auras 4-link

My gear




Body armor