PoE Templar Freezing Pulse Totems Hierophant Endgame Build
Freezing Pulse is a cold spell, launching a short-ranged projectile which passes through enemies with a chance of freezing them.
Skill Gems Setup
Freezing Pulse is a cold spell, launching a short-ranged projectile which passes through enemies with a chance of freezing them.
Pursuit of Faith -> Ritual of Awakening -> Conviction of Power -> Divine Guidance
Not much choice here for a totem build. Luckily all four of these nodes are very strong and make Hierophant the standard bearer for totem builds.
(Major) Soul of the Brine King - We don't get any stun immunity in this build, so Brine King helps prevent us from getting totally stunlocked in bad situations. The reduced Chill effect is also good for fights like Uber Elder where your Freeze flask can run out leaving you very vulnerable to Chill.
(Minor) Soul of Shakari - Honestly the Minor doesn't make too much of a difference in this build. I often leave Shakari on for the Poison immunity (once upgraded). Especially useful to be immune to the poison from dart traps in the Labyrinth. In the end, though, just use whatever you're most comfortable with here.
Help Alira (5 Mana Regenerated per second, +20% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier, +15% to all Elemental Resistances)
Especially as a league starter, helping Alira is simply too beneficial to this build to take over 2 passive skill points. The resists and mana regeneration are super useful at the start of the game and remain good bonuses all the way through Uber Elder, while critical strike multiplier is weak early but the strongest offensive stat available to us at endgame. At the high end of things you can only get slightly more damage out of 2 passive skill points; the sacrifice of resistances and mana regeneration simply isn't worth it in my opinion.
Primary damage links in order of priority
Freezing Pulse -> Controlled Destruction -> Hypothermia -> Cold Penetration -> Increased Critical Strikes -> Added Cold Damage
Note that if you are not yet using a Soul Mantle you'll need to equip a Spell Totem gem to convert Freezing Pulse into a Totem; the support gems above are listed in order of priority so drop gems as needed to fit your current available links.
Offensive support 4-link
Frostbite -> Arcane Surge -> Increased Duration -> Spell Cascade
This should be your priority for your first spare 4-link. Remember to level your Arcane Surge gem such that the mana cost of Frostbite is equal or higher than the trigger for Arcane Surge to grant its buff effect. You want Frostbite to grant Arcane Surge every single time it is cast; maximum uptime is worth more than slightly increasing Arcane Surge's buff effect. Spell Cascade allows you to both increase Frostbite's cost (to give you more room for a higher level Arcane Surge) and allows you to blanket a much larger area without increasing Frostbite's cast time.
The reason this gem link does not contain Faster Casting is that it is intended to be socketed into Shaper gloves that contain the affix "Socketed Gems are supported by level 18/20 Faster Casting" on them. Until you have such gloves, feel free to drop Increased Duration for Faster Casting.
For late-game purposes, Projectile Weakness will actually prove to be a stronger curse damage-wise than Frostbite, with two caveats; a much lower mana cost (making it harder to consistently trigger high-rank Arcane Surge) and a very high Dexterity requirement (155 Dexterity required for rank 20). As such, I recommend you stick with Frostbite from the outset and only in endgame once you have the flexibility and currency to start refining gear for minor stats like Dexterity, consider switching to Projectile Weakness. Just remember to keep an eye on your rank of Arcane Surge; you generally want to trigger that buff within 2 casts of your curse so that you are never without the Arcane Surge buff.
Offensive support 4-link
Frost Bomb -> Intensify -> Increased Area of Effect -> Increased Duration
This 4-link setup gives us access to Cold Exposure, an additional -25% Cold Resistance penalty that stacks on enemies on top of any other sources of penetration we are using. We can't actually deal damage with Frost Bomb, so we are only concerned with supports that improve this effect; Intensify and Increased Area give it a much larger radius and Increased Duration will improve how long the Frost Bomb remains to pulse its effect as well as how long the Cold Exposure lasts on enemies once applied.
Utility support 4-link
Steelskin -> Cast When Damage Taken -> Increased Duration -> (Your Choice)
I've actually started running Steelskin over Immortal call as of late; even though we do generate Endurance Charges in this build, we have a low base amount of physical mitigation, and do not rebuild our Endurance Charges that consistently after Immortal Call eats them, which can leave us a bit vulnerable to physical damage once Immortal Call wears off if we are not fully out of danger. Steelskin doesn't consume our Endurance Charges when it triggers, so we get to keep the additional physical mitigation at all times. The downside of Steelskin is that it requires a much higher rank of skill gem to really be useful later, so you'll want to level up Steelskin and Cast When Damage Taken to relatively high levels. I personally run a level 17 Cast When Damage Taken and a level 19 Steelskin, which allows Steelskin to absorb up to around 2k damage during its buff effect.
The final link here is yours to decide; Vaal Righteous Fire would be my recommendation as it is a big damage increase when available. Just make sure whatever you slot here is high enough rank that it is not triggered autoamatically by Cast When Damage Taken unless you want it to be.
Damage support 3-link
Cold Snap -> Cast When Damage Taken -> Bonechill
I run this 3-link setup in my weapon so that when enemies strike me, it will drop a Cold Snap chilling area under them that increases the cold damage they take thanks to Bonechill support. Keep Cast When Damage Taken at level 1 in this setup (which will allow you up to a level 7 Cold Snap) since we don't care how much damage Cold Snap itself does, so we want this to trigger as much as possible.
Movement support 3-link
Flame Dash -> Lightning Warp -> Faster Casting
Not much to say here, you just want your movement skills to cast as fast as possible. If you don't find yourself using Lightning Warp much, consider replacing it with a Portal gem for the free portals.
A good Rare helm is your target here. Treat this slot as a defensive piece; you'll want life, mana, and resistances mostly. This is also one of the most ideal places to pick up your main Dexterity bonus. Fossil crafting with Frigid Fossils will allow you to potentially roll the affix "Nearby Enemies have -X% Cold Resistance" which would be a slight boost in overall DPS and optimal for endgame gearing; I recommend using a combination of Pristine and Frigid Fossils in 2-socket Resonators until you get something you are satisfied with, and hopefully have a spare suffix for you to be able to craft Dexerity on top of that (unless you are getting your Dexterity elsewhere).
For your helm enchant, pick up the Freezing Pulse +30% Projectile Speed if you can. Freezing Pulse drops off in damage and freeze chance the further it travels, so the faster you can make the projectile go, the more damage it will do at any given point in its travel path.
This build utilizes the Soul Mantle unique chest piece for two reasons: one it gives us another +1 to maximum totems, and two because we are going to actually make use of the fact that this chest piece applies Curses to us every time a totem dies (which also counts if you summon new totems beyond your maximum, as the oldest totems are destroyed). When we combine this chest piece with two Kikazaru rings and the Sanctum of Thought passive tree notable, we have a full 100% reduced effect of curses on us, meaning we no longer suffer the effects of any Curses applied to us whatsoever (even though they will still apply and appear on our character visually). We'll then turn these Curses into damage buffs via the Self-Flagellation unique Jewel, which grants +20% increased damage for every Curse effect on you. This chest piece is mandatory for this build guide to function properly.
Rare Shaper gloves that have the "Socketed Gems are supported by level 18/20 Faster Casting / Increased Cast Speed" affix are ideal here. Item level 75 is needed for level 18 Faster Casting affix while 84 is needed for level 20.
Since that affix will provide global cast speed on top of the socketed gem bonus, the rest of your affixes should be defensive in nature. Life, resistances and mana if you still need to balance your mana pool for Mind Over Matter. This is also a decent slot to try and pick up some Dexterity for your skill gem requirements. You can also get the "Socketed Gems are supported by Level 16/18/20 Slower Projectiles", which won't do anything for the gem links since we slot our curse here, but that affix is paired with a Increased Projectile Damage bonus which does boost Freezing Pulse's damage.
As far as glove enchant, I personally like Commandment of Spite here to give you a slight defensive trigger that will chill enemies sometimes when you are hit. None of the glove enchants do much for us in general so don't worry too much about getting one.
Rare boots are my preference here as well; like the helmet slot I treat this mainly as a defensive piece, so life, resists and mana are the focus on top of getting as much movement speed as possible.
For the boot enchant, the best options here are "120% increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven't crit recently" or "Damage Penetrates 10% of enemy resistances if you have not killed recently". Since our totems do killing instead of us, we have these effects up permanently. The Critical Strike Chance version should be slightly more powerful than the Damage Penetration, if you are really trying to min-max your damage.
A Rare Sceptre, Wand or Dagger will all work here. You're looking for standard "caster" stats - spell damage, elemental damage, cold damage, critical strike chance, and critical strike multiplier.
In terms of raw damage, a Rare Shaper sceptre or wand would be my choice with the prefix "19-20% Elemental Damage gained as Extra Chaos Damage". This affix requires an item level of 85 or higher, and is not an easy affix to isolate when crafting a rare sceptre, but makes for a powerful multi-mod weapon for endgame gearing. We also now have the option of getting "+1 to All Cold Skill Gems" as a global affix, which is pretty close to equal with "19-20% Elemental Damage gained as Extra Chaos Damage", so starting with either affix as a multi-mod base is fine. In an ideal world, you'd roll something that had one of those two prefixes, Regal Orb the item into the other affix, then (if needed) Annulment Orb any unwanted suffix off the item. Don't expect to come across a weapon like this, though, they will likely be exceedingly rare and extremely expensive.
You can check the Path of Building item loadout for an example of a strong endgame multi-mod sceptre; Opal & Void Sceptres (40% Increased Elemental Damage), Opal Wands (up to 42% Spell Damage) Prophecy Wands (up to 40% Spell Damage) and Profane Wands (14% Increased Cast Speed) make the best bases and are close enough to each other that any of them is fine to invest into multi-modding.
A Rare Shaper shield is your main goal here for the "+1 to number of maximum summoned totems" affix. This only requires an item level of 70 or higher to appear on Shaper shields so acquiring a base shield to craft isn't too bad. I recommend crafting on something like a Fossilised Spirit Shield base for the highest possible Spell Damage implicit bonus.
Thanks to the 3.8 changes, we can now also roll the "+1 to All Cold Skill Gems" onto pure Intelligence requirement shields, which is a really solid damage gain and should be your second priority on a rare shield after "+1 to number of maximum summoned totems" affix. Unlike the weapon slot, this 3.8 change is a pure upgrade to the build, so keep an eye out for a shield with both these affixes.
Otherwise, look for either defensive stats where you're currently lacking (life, mana, resists) or general offensive caster stats like cast speed, spell damage, or spell crit chance bonuses.
As mentioned in the Body Armour section, this build makes use of two Kikazaru rings to give us 80% reduced effect of Curses on us, with the final 20% coming from the passive skill tree. These rings are required to prevent the Curses that Soul Mantle will be applying to you from actually applying their negative effects. Thankfully, these rings are common and relatively cheap, so they shouldn't be hard to acquire even early into a league.
A good Rare is my recommendation here, especially if you are running two unique rings as your resists will be harder to cap. Offensively the most important affix you can get in this slot is critical strike multiplier as it rolls higher in this slot than any other jewelry slot we have. Life should also be on this slot; beyond that pick up whatever resists you need patched and then grab more offensive caster affixes (critical strike chance, cast speed, spell & cold damage). You should also look for these stats on Jade, Citrine or Turquoise amulet bases, as that will give you some additional Dexterity towards your skill gem requirements.
The Pandemonius is also a good fallback option that provides a large amount of damage through the cold penetration against chilled enemies and bonus cold damage, and applies blind to enemies when they are chilled for additional safety. It is also a Jade amulet base so you still get to pick up some Dexterity in this slot for your skill gem requirements.
Another Rare slot, but there are a couple good options here: either a Rare Stygian Vise for the abliity to socket a strong Abyss Jewel, or an Elder Rare belt which can roll extremely high life bonuses as well as increased life recovery, which will boost all sources of our healing.
Treat this like a standard defensive belt slot - as much life as you can get, resists, and flask bonuses. Increased damage from Veiled crafting is another good option for this slot. Fossil crafting with Frigid Fossils will allow you to roll a potential additional 30% Cold Damage affix. With patch 3.8, we can also roll mana on belts, which gives you some flexibility if you need help balancing your life-to-mana ratio for Mind Over Matter.
You cannot be Maimed
10% increased Projectile Damage
With at least 40 Intelligence in Radius, Freezing Pulse fires 2 additional Projectiles
With at least 40 Intelligence in Radius, 25% increased Freezing Pulse Damage if
you've Shattered an Enemy Recently
First Snow is the first unique jewel in this build, and one of your first priorities in gearing is to unlock your first two jewel slots to equip these as soon as you possibly can. Each of these threshold jewels will add 2 projectiles to Freezing Pulse, which massively improves the amount of enemies the skill can hit per cast. You also get minor damage bonuses in the form of +10% projectile damage and another +25% damage for 4 seconds after you shatter any enemy. These jewels are usually quite cheap, so it is worth trying to track down corrupted versions that have bonus implicits such as You Cannot Be Maimed / Hindered.
20% increased Damage per Curse on you
An additional Curse can be applied to you
Self-Flagellation is the second unique jewel you'll want to have access to, which you can make use of once you have equipped your Soul Mantle body armour and Kikazaru rings. This jewel grants up to +20% increased damage for every Curse effect on you, which thanks to Soul Mantle you will have plenty of pretty much at all times. This is an enormous source of damage for this build, but don't worry about picking this up until you have your Soul Mantle setup equipped.
29% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
57% increased Spell Damage while no Mana is Reserved
Clear Mind is the last jewel for this build and simply grants a nice chunk of mana regeneration and spell damage, so long as you are not reserving any of your mana pool. Since we are avoiding mana reservations to make use of our 40% Mind over Matter damage split, this jewel fits nicely into the build. This jewel should come as a last priority after the above three jewels are already in your build.