Forum Index Skill Gem Feedback Ball Lightning


you better be using ball lightning with knockback though, because it not only provides defense by pushing foes away, but it keeps foes in the damage radius for more hits.

slowing the projectile down has same effect but already has a slight damage boost to it, thing is moving slower and thus hits a given foe more. so the point is to use both and some AoE to mix extra damage with surviving.

the distance is obviously less via SP but last i used it, it ends just before edge of screen for a 1980 x 1080 res monitor, so its still far. it was "Wasted" going further than that because the fast mobs come in rushing if i do that... like my fast caster with that old dex mmy unique found out to its disappointment. it would be nicer to wand or ice spear instead so only one foe is hit and likely not come closer.

Jan 11, 2015 02:27:20 AM

All this questions is because i'll try to kill ubber with this build that i'm creating...

so i need to keep something in mind:

1- bosses dont get knowckback
2- if projectile go so far it may hit reflect
3- i need dps as much as possible to kill it fast

Jan 11, 2015 14:44:41 PM

I'm surprised that it is still taking us so long to come to a consensus on what the best gems to use with Ball Lightning. The gems that I know are essential for a BL build are:

1. Ball Lightning
2. Lightning Penetration

That is it! The other gems that work with BL are:

1. Echo
2. Faster Casting
3. Knock Back
4. Slower Projectiles
5. Increased AOE
6. Added Lightning
7. Added Chaos
8. Iron Will (Yes, for my build it does)

Then there is the Curse on Hit waste of space which unfortunately is. People who use BL to curse items should be sh*t, plain and simple. I mean, is this the best we can hope for? No.

Well, due to my build I am in a conundrum as to what my additional gems should be. Note that I am very limited due to my build and don't have the luxury to choose willy nilly.

My Build:


As you can see, I'm limited to that chest piece. The best I can hope for is 4 Blue Sockets a Red Socket, and whatever 2 sockets I'm left with. My best options are getting 4 Blue and 2 Red, which sucks because Ideally I want 5B and 1R but the odds... The odds of that happening are too expensive.

When I figure it out, I'll reupdate this post. Currenly I have 1600 DPS Ball Lightning, which is ok I guess. I hope to take this number to at least 2K DPS.


This build utilizes the spell damage from Iron Will, which is nice. It also benefits from using Righteous Fire.

Sol Mitts
Goliath Gauntlets
Click to expand
  • +38 to Strength
  • 92% increased Armour
  • +75 to maximum Life
  • +22% to Lightning Resistance
  • +30% to Cold Resistance
  • Storm Trail
    Soldier Boots
    Click to expand
  • +31 to Strength
  • +56 to maximum Life
  • +32% to Lightning Resistance
  • 30% increased Movement Speed
  • +29% to Fire Resistance
  • Wrath Harness
    Leather Belt
    Click to expand
  • +36 to maximum Life
  • +40 to Strength
  • +68 to maximum Life
  • Regenerate 4.8 Life per second
  • +45% to Cold Resistance
  • Mind Guardian
    Glorious Plate
    Click to expand
  • +41 to Strength
  • +339 to Armour
  • 63% increased Armour
  • +73 to maximum Life
  • Regenerate 4 Life per second
  • +40% to Fire Resistance
  • Bramble Horn
    Samite Helmet
    Click to expand
  • +41 to Strength
  • +90 to maximum Life
  • +25% to Fire Resistance
  • +12% to Cold Resistance
  • Brimstone Ram
    Abyssal Sceptre
    Click to expand
  • 15% increased Elemental Damage
  • +32 to Strength
  • 65% increased Spell Damage
  • 9% increased Cast Speed
  • +15 to maximum Mana
  • 0.2% of Lightning Damage Leeched as Life
  • Rise of the Phoenix
    Mosaic Kite Shield
    Click to expand
  • +8% to all Elemental Resistances
  • 88% increased Armour and Energy Shield
  • Regenerate 6 Life per second
  • +8% to maximum Fire Resistance
  • +24% to Fire Resistance
  • +25% to Fire Resistance while on Low Life
  • 10% increased Movement Speed when on Low Life
  • Cannot be Ignited while on Low Life
  • My bearer shall be guarded by flame,

    for I am the phoenix, forever radiant in glory.

    Onyx Amulet
    Click to expand
  • +15 to all Attributes
  • +94 to all Attributes
  • -4 Physical Damage taken from Attack Hits
  • Mindless rage will shake the world,

    Cunning lies will bend it.

    Reckless haste will break the world,

    And into darkness send it.

    Horror Nail
    Two-Stone Ring
    Click to expand
  • +16% to Cold and Lightning Resistances
  • +31 to Strength
  • Adds 1 to 2 Cold Damage to Attacks
  • +74 to maximum Life
  • Regenerate 1.7 Life per second
  • +22% to Lightning Resistance
  • Vengeance Knuckle
    Sapphire Ring
    Click to expand
  • +21% to Cold Resistance
  • +42 to Strength
  • +60 to maximum Life
  • Regenerate 1.2 Life per second
  • +43% to Lightning Resistance

  • Catchafire2000
    Jan 12, 2015 20:14:02 PM

    After playing with ball lightning some more, I'm not a fan of slower projectiles. While I understand it provides more hits, its frankly too damn slow and can put you in some dangerous position. Its also harder to kite with slower projectiles.

    Jan 14, 2015 04:09:12 AM

    I don't recommend linking increased AoE gem, as it carries a steep mana multiplier and doesn't seem to make much of a noticeable difference if you already have ~20% increased AoE from nodes. DPS is more important than that particular gem, and it seems easy to hit everything in mobs if you aim carefully. While BL is never going to be a screen-clearing skill, it can manage crowds very effectively without LMP/GMP (also don't recommend those, because I've read enemies can't be hit with more than one ball per cast; no "shotgun" AoE bonus).

    My witch is using a 5L with BL+Spell Echo+Faster Casting+Added Chaos+Added Lightning and currently hitting almost 4k DPS on tooltip with level 18 gems, only some of which have 20% quality (in reality it's much higher than that because enemies get hit with more than one ball from separate casts at a time; not totally sure how that all adds up, but it's observably way higher than 4k). I will add Lightning Penetration, Slower Projectiles, or Crit Mult when i someday get a 6L for that toon - probably penetration.

    Mar 08, 2015 09:20:44 AM

    Knowing that some effects in PoE are rolled globally per cast like crit while others are rolled per hit like shock, it would be interesting to know how damage is rolled for Ball Lightning.
    Is there a single damage roll that applies for each cast and if so, how does it work with echo? Or is the damage rolled per mob or even per hit?

    In other words: which of these options is correct? (only counting the damage roll, not resistances or other effects that affect how much damage a mob takes)
    1. BL rolls 187 damage, all mobs get hit for 187 damage with each hit from that ball.
    a) using spell echo, both balls have the same damage roll
    b) using spell echo, damage is rolled individually for each ball

    2. BL rolls 187 damage, then 132, then 51, then 222 etc. so mobs can recieve different damage from the individual hits of a single ball

    3. BL rolls 187 damage when hitting the first mob, each subsequent hit on that mobs deals 187 damage. BL rolls 132 damage on the next it hits hit, each subsequent hit on that mob deals 132 damage etc.

    I am planning to do a BL caster in the one month league that relies on high damage and a huge AoE but slow cast speed to get a decent damage output from just 1-2 balls instead of the usual faster casting + spell echo "string of beads" combo.
    If the damage is rolled only once per cast, that could be very ineffective due to the huge range between min-max damage for lightning spells, therefore the question.

    Mar 15, 2015 18:16:05 PM

    Only Crit is rolled per activation. Situation 2.

    Mar 15, 2015 18:38:22 PM

    Sweet, thx for the quick answer!

    Mar 15, 2015 19:16:30 PM

    Started a Ball Lightning Witch for the 1-month softcore race and want to provide some feedback on the skill. I will post again when the build has reached the next stage around lvl 85 and i hopefully get a 5L Carcass Jack and dual Divinarius.

    * BL as main skill from as early as i could (bought it at lvl ~33 if i remember correctly)
    * scaling damage via AoE, damage, shock, added X damage supports, Heralds and crit in the last stage
    * less focus on cast speed but if i get insanely lucky i will put Spell Echo in the 6th link and i am also leveling Haste
    * main focus on damage -> softcore

    The damage output isn't terrible but certainly on the low side - still, large groups of white mobs die fairly quickly.
    What is really annoying, however, is the bad damage progression of BL compared to about any other spell. A level up often gives only ~9% damage increase compared to 10-13% for other higher level skills and ~25% for Lightning Tendrils for example. While the main spell leveling is usually a reason to celebrate, i often found myself thinking "yeah, it leveled! ... wait, is that really all? ... meh (-.-')". Something like 5% higher damage at lvl 1 up to 20% at lvl 20 compared to the current progress would seem more in line with other spells. That being said, i still miss a lot of AoE scaling from gear and crit so i cannot really give a final verdict at this point.
    Originally i planned to go non-crit but the damage output seems very low so far so i decided to change the endgame build to (semi-)crit.
    My current build looks like this @ lvl 71 and the finished version will be something like this. With the Increased Critical Strikes support and dual Divinarius i will be around ~45% critchance and 110%+ increased AoE so most mobs should get hit 6-7 times and maybe up to 8x when they stand directly in the path of the projectile.
    Going for AoE scaling seems like a really good decision so far since it not only increases the coverage but also the effective DpS due to each mob getting hit more often.

    I am also experimenting with different Added X Damage support gems. Although BL's damage effectiveness is very low, they still add a decent amount of damage increase relative to BL's very low base damage.
    Added Lightning: highest damage increase due to the high lightning damage scaling.
    Added Chaos: almost the same as above but less trouble from reflect and higher minimum damage make for better consistency.
    Added Cold: lower damage but would give much better freezing and more frquent explosions from HoI when i get a decent critchance going.

    Current gear:

    Imbued Wand
    Click to expand
  • 17% increased Spell Damage
  • Socketed Gems are supported by Level 5 Blind
  • +10 to Intelligence
  • 40% increased Spell Damage
  • 125% increased Physical Damage
  • 21% increased Lightning Damage
  • 10% increased Cast Speed
  • 10% chance to Blind Enemies on hit
  • Cast into darkness

    And trapped for a thousand years,

    The lonely moon weeps

    Pain Crown
    Necromancer Circlet
    Click to expand
  • +7 to maximum Energy Shield
  • +30% to Fire Resistance
  • +40% to Cold Resistance
  • +15% to Lightning Resistance
  • +39 to maximum Life
  • Demon Spell
    Ancient Spirit Shield
    Click to expand
  • 5% increased Spell Damage
  • +9 to maximum Energy Shield
  • 34% increased Energy Shield
  • +72 to maximum Life
  • Regenerate 2.9 Life per second
  • 44% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
  • +25% to Lightning Resistance
  • 12% increased Stun and Block Recovery

  • Hate Heart
    Paua Amulet
    Click to expand
  • 21% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
  • Adds 4 to 6 Physical Damage to Attacks
  • 13% increased maximum Energy Shield
  • 41% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
  • +25% to Cold Resistance
  • Rapture Eye
    Prismatic Ring
    Click to expand
  • +10% to all Elemental Resistances
  • Adds 2 to 22 Lightning Damage to Attacks
  • +50 to maximum Mana
  • 59% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
  • 14% increased Rarity of Items found
  • +1 Mana gained on Kill
  • Eagle Turn
    Ruby Ring
    Click to expand
  • +24% to Fire Resistance
  • +33 to maximum Mana
  • +35% to Fire Resistance
  • +8% to Cold Resistance
  • +22% to Lightning Resistance

  • Miracle Nails
    Legion Gloves
    Click to expand
  • Adds 6 to 16 Cold Damage to Attacks
  • +69 to maximum Life
  • +39% to Cold Resistance
  • +34% to Lightning Resistance
  • +1 Mana gained on Kill
  • Vengeance Jack
    Waxed Garb
    Click to expand
  • +21 to Dexterity
  • +59 to maximum Life
  • +13% to Fire Resistance
  • +17% to Lightning Resistance
  • Nemesis Spur
    Legion Boots
    Click to expand
  • +41 to maximum Energy Shield
  • +32% to Fire Resistance
  • +29% to Cold Resistance
  • +18% to Lightning Resistance
  • 25% increased Movement Speed
  • +53 to maximum Life
  • Demon Twine
    Leather Belt
    Click to expand
  • +25 to maximum Life
  • +10 to maximum Energy Shield
  • +86 to maximum Life
  • +40% to Cold Resistance
  • 23% increased Stun Duration on Enemies
  • +20% to Lightning Resistance

  • Using Lightning Tendrils for bosses that are hard to kite since the higher damage output and blind are very useful there.

    Preliminary feedback:
    The skill is fun to use but the damage feels pretty low and the level progression is really disappointing. Still a great "trash mob" clearing skill and allows for some really interesting play with positioning and movement since the balls move slightly slower than my char.
    I basically move all the time and stop every 2-3 seconds for a moment to cast another ball when mobs are in sight so i am surrounded by 2-3 projectiles most of the time which allows for good clearspeed. Rares and magic mobs are a pain due to the low damage output of BL, so i often use Tendrils when they get close.

    Mar 31, 2015 20:48:40 PM

    Yeah, I also have the same issue when I levelled with this spell. The damage is not enough. It needs just a bit more damage and it would be good.

    It is great for fights that require heavy kiting and blindly firing at the position you guess the opponent will be at.

    Apr 01, 2015 11:39:23 AM
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