THIS GUIDE IS CURRENTLY OUTDATED. If you're looking for the old guide, please see the page for deprecated 3.5 builds - this page will be revised during 3.6 updates.
This build uses Elemental Hit, a Bow Attack that adds a large amount of Elemental damage to your hits and causes them to create a nova on impact with an enemy. Most Elemental Hit builds convert the skill entirely to Fire damage, but doing that requires some specialized items, so this build instead takes advantage of the Elemental Equilibrium Keystone Passive to make each element's hits improve the damage of the other elements' hits. Like most Deadeye builds, it's a very efficient trash clearer with weaker performance on bosses.
This build is a ranged Attack build that uses a Bow.
Deadeye is one of the Ranger Ascendancy subclasses. When you create your character, you will make a Ranger; you'll choose to be a Deadeye later on.
If you want to explore this build's stats, links, and Passive Tree interactively, head over to the Links page and download Path of Building. Then, in Path of Building, select Import/Export Build -> Import from Pastebin, and enter this link: https://pastebin.com/FGXAYx0z
Main Skill Basics
Elemental Hit uses your weapon to attack an enemy. It can be used with any weapon, but in this build we use a Bow, so it will fire an arrow from it. This attack deals a huge amount of bonus Cold, Lightning, or Fire damage, and is prevented from dealing any damage not of the chosen type. For example, if a shot of your Elemental Hit chooses Cold damage, it can only deal Cold damage (and no other element). Each hit also causes a nova around the struck target that deals damage to nearby enemies.
(Elemental Hit deals bonus damage and causes a larger nova against targets affected by Elemental Ailments - Chill, Freeze, Shock, and Ignite - that can be applied through Elemental damage. Ailments are not a core part of this build, but you can read more about them on their page in the Mechanics Reference if you like.)
Elemental Hit is an Attack, and therefore nominally does incorporate the damage of your weapon. However, the skill's innate added damage is so high that your weapon's damage is irrelevant for most purposes, and the fact that it can only deal one type of damage limits your weapon's contribution anyway. As a result, we'll seek weapons with high speed or special modifiers instead of high weapon damage. It deals Bow Projectile Area Attack damage of whatever element it chose (Cold, Fire, or Lightning), and benefits from modifiers to Bow, Projectile, Area, Attack, Elemental, and Cold/Fire/Lightning Damage. Attack Speed will improve the rate at which you fire shots. Elemental Hit's shots are Projectiles, and benefit from various Projectile related effects (see below).
Elemental Hit is not a Spell and does not benefit in any way from Spell-related modifiers.
This build also makes use of Chain and (optionally) Pierce.
A projectile that Pierces hits an enemy, then passes through it. Pierce is the first priority for projectile effects, and a projectile that pierces cannot Fork or Chain. A projectile that Chains hits an enemy, then targets another enemy near the one struck and begins to move in that direction to strike this new enemy. Chain is lower-priority than Pierce, and a projectile that Pierces will not Chain.
See the "Pierce, Fork, and Chain" section in the Mechanics Reference for more on these effects.
This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 1" section of the guide.
Early Act 1
We won't get access to Elemental Hit until the end of Act 1. For now, you can use whatever Bow skill you like.
From Enemy at the Gate, you can pick up your choice of a few temporary Bow skills. Shrapnel Shot and Ice Shot are your two main options.
With your first few passive points, work your way towards the following tree:
Once you finish Mercy Mission, you can pick up Mirage Archer Support. Mirage Archer will give you a friendly ghost that 'piggybacks' on you for a few seconds after you use one of your Bow skills. The ghost will fire that skill automatically, even while you're moving, making it great for clearing on the move.
From Breaking Some Eggs, you can grab Siege Ballista for some cheap extra damage on bosses. You won't be using this skill long-term, but it's fine for now. Phase it out once you see it start to die quickly in fights, probably around the end of Act 1 to the middle of Act 2.
Once you enter the Prison (The Caged Brute), you'll be offered a few Support gems. Added Cold is free damage for the remainder of the act until you get Elemental Hit; Lesser Multiple Projectiles is a solid choice once you actually get Elemental Hit later on.
Brutus (The Caged Brute) is likely to be an annoying hit-and-run fight. You don't have your core skill or much damage scaling yet, so he'll be a war of attrition. Dodge his chain-grabs, portal back to town to refill your Flasks if you need to.
Once you've defeated Brutus, you can pick up Blink Arrow, a helpful movement skill. We won't discuss Movement skills until later in the guide, but you can start using it now if you like.
Late Act 1
As you go, you'll want to look for a few specific sorts of item:
- 3- and 4-linked items with green sockets, plus possibly one red.
- A Bow with a fast Attack Speed. Damage only matters until we get Elemental Hit, at which point the added damage from Elemental Hit will completely outstrip anything our weapon could have.
- Quivers with Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills.
- Gear with Life and Resistances. You'll most likely only have the Dexterity to use Evasion armour for now, so do that; later on we'll have the stats for Armour or Energy Shield equipment.
- Jewellery with Life and Resistances. Ignore damage on them except for "Increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills", which is quite good if you can get it.
As you continue to gain more Passive Skill Points, work your way towards the following tree. You'll have enough points for all the Passives shown here sometime around Act 3 or 4, at which point you can move on to the full Passive Tree (listed in the "Full Build" section of this guide below).
Once you enter the Cavern of Wrath (The Siren's Cadence), Nessa will finally offer you your Elemental Hit. Link it with Mirage Archer and Volley or Lesser Multiple Projectiles for now; you don't really have any other useful options for it yet.
At this point you should start deleting trash packs with little or no effort. Merveil (The Siren's Cadence) will likely be a little more difficult in that she won't immediately keel over, but as long as you make some effort not to stand in every attack she has she should be no trouble. Don't be afraid to stay mobile and let your Mirage Archer chip away at her.
This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 2" section of the guide.
Early Act 2
For the Deal with the Bandits quest, we kill all the bandits. You could justify helping Kraityn with this build, since it benefits nicely from all the effects he offers, but we're travelling a long way across the tree and you'll have an easier time if you get early access to some of the powerhouse passives at the top-left.
We don't care about any of the gems from Intruders in Black.
From Sharp and Cruel, pick up Elemental Damage with Attacks. You'll want to link this to your Elemental Hit as quickly as possible. If you have a 4-link, add it in with Mirage Archer and Lesser Multiple Projectiles; if not, find a 2green/1red 3-link and link Elemental Hit, Elemental Damage with Attacks, and either Mirage Archer or Lesser Multiple Projectiles.
Late Act 2
There's nothing of particular note in late Act 2 for this build.
This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 3" section of the guide.
Early Act 3
Once you've completed Lost in Love, you'll be rewarded with a choice of a few Curses. Projectile Weakness is the clear winner for this build in terms of damage output. You can also pick up Haste for free movement speed and damage output; we'll use it through the endgame.
Late Act 3
Sever the Right Hand offers nothing of interest to you.
A Fixture of Fate doesn't reward anything of direct interest, but it does unlock a wide range of gems normally offered to other classes during early quests. Elemental Focus is the main support gem of interest here, since it's a huge damage boost to your Elemental Hit.
Since, for now, you are only using a 4-link, it may be helpful to set up two separate copies of your Elemental Hit:
- For trash: Elemental Hit - Elemental Damage with Attacks - Mirage Archer - Lesser Multiple Projectiles
- For bosses: Elemental Hit - Elemental Damage with Attacks - Elemental Focus - Faster Attacks/Mirage Archer
If you want to go shopping at this point, you can purchase the Unique bow Storm Cloud for very little cost (no more than an Orb of Alchemy). It deals no Physical damage, but we don't care about that anyway, and is very fast. It can last you most of the main story with a build like this.
This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 4" section of the guide.
Early Act 4
As a bow user, your default movement skill is Blink Arrow. You can't really use much else. If you didn't start using this back in Act 1, now is probably the time to start. It should be linked with Faster Attacks and Faster Projectiles to both fire the arrow and have it land and teleport you more quickly.
From Breaking the Seal, we don't really care about much of anything. You can use a Golem for now if you like, but this isn't a minion build and it will die often.
From The Eternal Nightmare, you can pick up Greater Multiple Projectiles ("GMP"), Chain, or both. Greater Multiple Projectiles should replace Lesser Multiple Projectiles in your trash-clearing setup; Chain is optional if you want even more area coverage at the cost of some damage.
By this point you've probably completed the Passive Tree shown above. Here's the full tree, which you should work towards from here on out, adjusting how much damage or life you pursue as you feel your damage or survivability is in need of more help.
Note that there are some minor changes near the bottom of the tree; you'll need to go down the new path, then use the Respec Points you've been given through quests to undo the extra points. There's also one stray easy-to-miss point at the bottom of the tree that we spend to make sure we Leech enough Mana to keep shooting.
The Labyrinth is a good chance to practice everything you've learned so far. Blink Arrow will bypass many of the traps in the Labyrinth with clever use, and Izaro is a hard-hitting boss to practice your hit-and-run tactics on. Again, don't be afraid to let your Mirage Archer do some heavy lifting!
Once you've completed the Labyrinth, pick up Far Shot for your first Ascendancy passive. This is a no brainer, adding a huge damage boost when attacking from long range (which you always will be unless something is going terribly wrong). It's also a pre-requisite to two other very strong nodes.
Late Act 4
Nothing of particular note for this build. Many of the bosses in this segment hit hard and are fought in tight spaces, but your damage should be high enough at this point to not have to be too afraid of them.
This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 5" section of the guide.
The only major build-specific note for Act 5 is the choice of Unique Jewel from Death to Purity. Elemental Hit doesn't benefit from any of these Jewels, so you can either not select one (so you'll have access to one later if you decide to make another character), or you can sell it for an Orb of Alchemy or so.
Part II (Acts 6-10)
Once you complete your second Labyrinth, around the end of Act 7 or the beginning of Act 8, pick up Endless Munitions for a large boost to your clearing power. The free extra Projectile substantially reduces the value of Greater Multiple Projectiles, which you can consider phasing out at this point for something like Chain or Pierce Supports.
Epilogue & Maps
Once you complete your third Labyrinth, sometime early into Maps, you can choose between Ricochet and Fast and Deadly. Fast and Deadly will speed up our movement substantially and gives good damage against bosses while you're in bad gear thanks to its Accuracy boost. Ricochet makes all your shots bounce to extra targets, even further improving your already excellent trash-clearing potential.
Like most straight damage builds, the main mod this build is afraid of on maps is reflect - specifically, Monsters Reflect X% of Elemental Damage. Just don't even try it. You do so much damage to packs that you're likely to obliterate yourself with one shot in these maps.
Once you complete your final Labyrinth, late in the endgame, pick up either Ricochet or Fast and Deadly - the one you didn't get back in the third Labyrinth - to complete the build. Alternately, you could go with Tailwind, which makes you a great deal faster (and is the more standard Deadeye choice, although it won't help you much against bosses).
The Full Build
Main Skill Links
For trash: Elemental Hit - Mirage Archer - Elemental Damage with Attacks - Chain. During the earlier parts of the leveling process, Greater Multiple Projectiles can be better than Chain. If you can set up a 5- or 6-link for trash, add in Elemental Focus for damage and Greater Multiple Projectiles or Pierce to push your coverage into the stratosphere.
For bosses: Elemental Hit - Elemental Damage with Attacks - Elemental Focus are essential. The remaining links can go to Slower Projectiles and Faster Attacks for raw hit damage, Mirage Archer for damage on the run, Pierce to hit bosses that spawn extra monsters in the way, or the expensive drop-only gem Empower for even more damage. Empower is marginally stronger than Slower Projectiles or Faster Attacks, but significantly more expensive.
If you must use the same link for both, start with Elemental Hit - Elemental Damage with Attacks - Elemental Focus - Mirage Archer and go from there.
(Beyond the standard ones listed as part of the Act 4 Guide)
Blink Arrow - Faster Attacks - Faster Projectiles is your movement skill. You can toss in a Maim to have your spawned clone slow enemies, a Blind to have it blind them and reduce their chance to hit, or Culling Strike to have it execute enemies below 10% of their max Life.
Haste, unlinked, is your Aura of choice. Ideally, you'll want its Vaal variant Vaal Haste to add a reasonably powerful damage cooldown to your toolbox.
Projectile Weakness is the clear offensive winner, even against bosses with high Resistances. The main defensive option is Enfeeble. This build isn't hurting for mana if you've picked up the recommended Leech node near the bottom of the tree, so you can reserve some mana to run these on a Blasphemy setup.
Offensively, you're looking for a Bow with high speed and +X to Level of Socketed Gems modifiers. Other modifiers, like Increased Elemental Damage with Attacks or Chance to Deal Double Damage, can be good too. The simplest option is just to invest in a so-called "+3 Bow", meaning a bow with +1 to Level of Socketed Gems and +2 to Level of Socketed Bow Gems.
On your quiver, you're looking for Life and Elemental Damage with Attacks. Ideally you'll want this on a Penetrating Arrow Quiver for the Arrows Pierce implicit modifier. "Adds an Additional Arrow" is a much-sought-after Corruption-only modifier on quivers if you want to spend some extra money.
On jewellery, look for Elemental Damage with Attacks, Life, Attack Speed, and Resistances.
You're pretty agnostic about the rest of your armor. You have the stats to use most types of it, so just go with whatever's got the socket colors, Life, and Resistances you need.
There aren't too many notable Unique items for this build except for the generically good Attack build items like Rat's Nest (a helm with movement and attack speed).