In Path of Exile, totems allow to do a lot of spell combining to obtain great results. Witches are a good class to play around them due to high mana availability, and this is a build around totems that use the Ethereal Knives skill. First off, a video showing it in action:
Witch totem EK build: the explanation
So what’s all about? A leveled up Ethereal Knives gem will throw a good amount of projectiles that do an average damage each one. If an Spell Totem is linked to it, then you will be able to summon a totem that casts EK nonstop, what traduces into a lot of knives flying around summing quite a nice amount of damage.
The drawback of spell totem is that it has reduced casting speed and damage, so as soon as possible you must link it to a Faster Casting gem. And that’s the best part of this build: with only three gems in linked sockets you pretty much have your DPS source.
So, if possible, you should link these 3 gems to an Item Rarity and/or Item Quantity gems. Since the totems will be doing the grinning, it means every kill will drop extra loot. With regular skills, you have to manually do the killing with the skill linked to the Item support gems to benefit from it!
The best defense is a good offense. Why not make the totems kill faster? In other words. Get Projectile Weakness or Critical Weakness curses and you won’t notice the totems cast EK with reduced damage. For an extra beef, a Wrath and Hatred auras are your best choice.
As your secondary damage source, get 1 to 3 Bear Traps and link them to an Added Fire Damage support gem. When your totems are in danger, the Bear Traps will be able to lock the mobs near/around the totems while they get killed. An alternative here would be to play with Temporal Chains.
Lastly, you’ll need some boost for yourself: Purity for extra resistances, Discipline for extra energy shield (these two also help the totems survive), and Clarity for the extra mana regen.
How to play with the witch totem EK build
1) Cast the totems. Run around to avoid getting hit.
2) Curse enemies if you feel like it -whatever is your preferred.
3) If your totems are in danger (you’ll know by experience which mobs can kill them), cast some Bear Traps, or Temporal Chains if you choose that.
4) Loot and repeat.
Drawing the build together
The hyphen symbol represent links. The gems in parenthesis are optional, but recommended.
Main damage source: Ethereal Knives – Spell Totem – Faster Casting (plus Item Quantity or Item Rarity for extra loot)
Secondary skill: Bear Trap – Added Fire Damage (plus extra Bear Traps)
Curse: Projectile Weakness or Critical Weakness
Damage auras: Wrath aura and/or Hatred aura
Support auras: Purity, Discipline, Clarity.
Note the build will progress fine item-wise because as a must-have you will only need one 3-linked sockets for the totems and one 2-linked for the bear traps. Lastly, with all the auras and curses you won’t have enough mana to do everything, so you will need a few (2 or 3) Reduced Mana gems and try to link them to as many curses and auras you can (RM + 2 gems on your wands, or RM+3 gems on boots/gloves/helmet).
Also note you should equip two (dual-wield) wands that provide you as many extra spell damage as possible.
Passive skills for the witch totem EK build
The Ancestral Bond keystone is a must to be able to cast an additional totem -it basically means a huge DPS increase.
Also, it’s important to get many big nodes for critical chance and damage (with lots of knives flying, many of them will critical and do lots of damage!).
The recommended passive skill tree is here: http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgMB37CC…