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Rah Rah Rah! Pure Pyro Runemaster Build Guide

Posted By zeroentropy on September 10, 2023
Last updated on October 3, 2023




Patch 0.9.2 has brought us the Runemaster, a maestro of elemental carnage, ready to unleash destruction on the hordes of Eterra. Weaving the powers of fire, ice, and lightning through runes, it comes with one of the most customizable skill sets in any ARPG, primarily through the Runic Invocation ability. The combinations this supports through the Mage and Runemaster subclass kit can seem almost endless.

...but what if we were to eschew the tri-runic hijinks, and turn all of our attention into focusing this class into a pyromaniacal force of pure destruction?

Do you enjoy unleashing withering blasts of hellfire on your foes? Do lightning blasts scare your puppy? Do cold skills chill your icy heart a bit too much?

Enter: Aergon's Audacious Apocalypse, a truly "AAA" build!

Featuring nothing but the most bodacious burninator Aergon's Greater Fireball as its primary Invocation, this build is capable of screen-clearing pyrotechnic glory. Coupled with an impressive baddie-seeking machine-gun Fireball as its partner in crime, you'll be shredding resists, igniting foes, and generally mowing through content. Billy Joel didn't start the fire, but he knows who did: you.


This build is an evolution of the leveling build I used to take my pre-patch Mage into (and through) empowered monoliths, as we all patiently waited for 0.9.2 to drop. The simple Fireball-only version I was using had no issues clearing early endgame content, even when contained to only putting passive points into the Mage tree. The addition of the full Runemaster toolkit turned this into a beast, easily one of my fastest monolith clearing toons I've played. I combed through the new ability skill trees to find some workable synergy, and refined it into what you see here. This isn't a simple "hold right click" build; all of your skills play into each other in useful and powerful ways, so you'll want to be combining your casts to maximize this potential. Fret not though, it's not hard to get into a good rhythm, and you'll be sweeping through areas with fiery finesse in no time.

Pros & Cons


Extremely high burst damage! Aergon's Greater Fireball is usually a local/screen clear when combo'd correctly, and chunks bosses.

Fun, ACTIVE playstyle... all of your skills have combo synergy with at least one other skill!

Good mobility and pack clear with Flame Rush

Above Average tankiness; plenty of ward generation and solid armor

No hard dependency on Uniques (not a build-enabling requirement)


High combo/synergy between skills means build won't reach full potential if you prefer a more laid back "single button"-leaning playstyle

Doesn't use multiple elements, resulting in a brash mockery towards EHG's glorious design work for this class.

Can run into minor Mana problems during longer boss fights if you're chain casting (Resolvable with affix or passive swaps if desired)

Gameplay / Mechanics

Item Choice / Ward Generation

There are no hard requirements to enable Ward generation, but you will want at least one major source of cannibalistic health->ward transfer once you get into harder content. I chose Twisted Heart of Uhkeiros because of the variety of useful stats on it, and combined with my other Ward sources, I'm usually at 6-12k Ward while in combat with my still-evolving gear setup.

This build does not go for Crit Avoidance. Rather, we get to 100% SuffixReduced Bonus Damage Taken from Critical Strikes through a trivial combination of Fiery Dragon Shoes (or this affix on an exalted item) and points in Mental Catalysis to cover the difference.

Runemaster Mechanics

There are no rune-order creation issues to deal with here. We are pure fire from end to end. Burn, baby, burn.

Synergy Overview and Skill Highlights


  • Basic damage/filler skill for this build.
  • Taking Seeker's Ash 1/1 and Embers 1/1 turns the regular Fireball into a homing (including looping back around to hit additional enemies), multi-hit machine. You just need to aim in the general direction of monsters, and it'll do the work for you.
  • We will have appx 5 total Fireballs per cast, depending on how much of the top-left portion of the skill tree is taken. Each of these can independently hit the same enemy.
  • PrefixFireball Pierce Chance is good for this build, and is a viable alternative to your T6/7 affix on your helm until you get a good PrefixPenetration with Fire Invocations to drop. I tested this build with more points in Piercing Heat, but this is unsustainable in longer fights without exceptionally high mana regen (and you don't need the piercing for most boss encounters anyway.)
  • Pathing to Spreading Inferno 1/4 is a viable alternative to enhance pack clearing. Only 1 point is required, as it just has to trigger on one enemy to spread immediately to the entire pack.
  • With a barrage of Fireballs each applying Flammability 3/4, rapid recasting of this skill against bosses will quickly amplify your damage.

Runic Invocation

  • We take Prologue 1/1 and Interlude 1/1 to force each Invocation to cast the full combo of Aergon's Greater Fireball + Unvar's Eruption + Twin Embers. RAH RAH RAH, RAH RAH, RAH! Much Rah indeed.
  • The Runic Energy 3/5 sub-tree provides damage and doublecast to this skill. Three points in RE is sufficient, as Arcane Battery 1/1 turns this into 27 max stacks, and you'll be casting it around 9-12 stacks in most circumstances.
  • Note: The original version of this build had a modified tree that included Author of Arcana 1/1, giving this skill a base 12 second cooldown and refunding the mana cost. It's a viable alternative to this build, but I prefer the updated version for faster pack clearing.

Frost Wall

  • This skill is transmuted to a Fire ability via Pyroglass 1/1, providing area/crowd control, Ignite stacks, and high damage and passive tree (Celestial Doom 7/10) Brand synergy via Brand the Invaders 1/1.
  • Flame Ward is auto-cast (without triggering cooldown!) via Prepared Wards 1/1, giving us lots of Ward and damage boost.
  • Aspirant's Arrival 3/3 provides a massive damage boost to your RAH 3+2+1 triple-cast Invocations, especially if your Flame Wall has been up for a few seconds before you touch it. This is where you'll see some truly massive numbers against bosses or harder enemies.
  • The Howling Rift 1/1 node allows us to cheaply move the wall around in rapid succession, retargeting it for synergy combos or to renew the "on first pass through" triggered effects.
  • Crystals of Protection 4/4 provides excellent mana recovery.

Flame Ward

  • Tried and true Mage buff; provides large %Fire damage boost, lots of Ward, and Damage Reduction. With the mana-hungry nature of this build, pathing to Warmth 4/4 supplies a much needed chunk of mana regen, especially with the high uptime of this ability. Easily swappable to a more offensive setup via Through Flames 4/5 if desired.
  • Preferably applied automatically as you pass through a Frost Wall.

Flame Rush

  • Primary Traversal for this build. Fast cooldown, good range, and able to do massive damage if used in concert with other skills. Also applies significant Shred Fire Resistance for harder enemies.
  • Dual skill synergy with Frost Wall (via Gas Powered) and Fireball (via Guidance of Flames 3/3).
  • Low cooldown and decent damage potential means you'll be using this frequently during combat, not just as a movement or initiator skill. Should give good uptime on Never Late 5/8, making most of your spells hit the Crit chance cap.

Combat / Gameplay

The basic combat loop plays out as follows:

  1. Place the Frost Wall on the near side of a pack, launch a single Fireball at the wall, and immediately Flame Rush through it, exploding yourself right after you pass through the flame wall. This will trigger Gas Powered 1/1, as well as Guidance of Flames 3/3 and Breath of Fire 1/1 if timed correctly.
  2. For simple map-traversal, skip the intermediate Fireball cast and just Wall+Rush. The range on Rush lets you do this across a long distance, giving you quick traversal with decent pack clearing as you go. (remember: you're also triggering a refresh on Flame Ward with each Wall passthrough!)
  3. For bosses, do not Rush immediately. Wait 3-5 seconds, casting more Fireballs in the meantime, and then finish the Rush+Invoke combo. This ensures we get additional benefit from Aspirant's Arrival 3/3. If mana levels are high, you can repeat the rapid-chained basic skill combo until mana drops, and then you'll want to start waiting a couple seconds to "charge up" the damage on Invocation.
  4. Cast Runic Invocation, immediately unleashing it at the highest nearby density or hardest enemy concentrations. With multiple packs on screen, target this at a medium/distant range; the F2 and F1 invocations are person-based area attacks and will take care of the enemies immediately around you. You should be at 3 RAH runes if you cast Frost Wall and held down Flame Rush long enough to channel two runes (or cast the intermediary Fireball).
  5. Weave in Wall+Rush combo casts for mobility and safety during combat.
  6. Manually cast Flame Ward to refresh its effect as desired, or for an emergency burst of Ward. You should rarely have to do this if you're spamming Wall/Rush frequently (i.e. repeating Step 1).



Stat Priorities


In general, we're going for maximum boost to %Damage here for widest coverage across our kit. Defensive layers come primarily through Armour (including Grand Body of Obsidian as an alternate option), a decent sized HP pool to feed the cannibalizing Ward generators, and a wide selection of Ward generators from our passive and skill trees.

Spell Crit is capped, or close to it, through a combination of Crystal Skull implicit and Calculated Destruction, with various minor passives and skill nodes filling in the difference until your gear improves.


There's really no one answer for Idols for this build. It doesn't require any specific/special affix to make it work. I went with health and some damage, but use whatever feels comfortable for you. This is your first place to turn to fix any low Resists until it can be secured elsewhere.


Health% and +Health


The Black Sun

Grand Hunger of the Void (REQUIRED, unless you're substituting Leech in somewhere else)

The Age of Winter
The Stolen Lance
Blood, Frost, and Death
Fall of the Empire

Build Variants


This build is viable for leveling, as you will be easily screen-clearing with every Runic Invocation up through early Empowered Monoliths. The basic combo of Wall->Fireball->Rush will also likely be a one-shot on most packs as you level, assuming you've paid some attention to your gear affixes.

Spreading Flames (from Spreading Inferno or from gear such as Firestarter's Torch) is also excellent area clear well into early endgame.


Content Effectiveness

(Note: It's still early in the Runemaster era, so I'll be updating this as I progress deeper into endgame and higher corruption. Anecdotally, I've had no issues with any monolith affix combo or any of the content I've tried so far. My gear quality is still evolving; what you see in the equipment section is an idealized end state and a close approximation of what I've been using, albeit at lower affix tiers or worse item base in some cases.)

Monoliths: (10/03 update) Up to 1200 corruption and still going strong! Pushing past the 300-400 range is personal preference, as you can farm quickly and effectively within that for most builds, this one included.

Recommendation: prioritize taking enemy offensive boosts or non-stackable status buffs for echo mods, without overbuffing any one facet. There's nothing worse than getting into a grinding slog because you buffed enemy EHP to the moon. Stay away from "Enemy Crit Avoid % and HP" if at all possible; this is a massive hit to your damage potential and if you stack this too high you're going to have a bad day.

Dungeon/Bosses: No issues; build has fast clear and good mobility and defensive layers for bosses. Be aware of the short leap movement on your Invocation for bosses that require more precise positioning at times (e.g. Julra's spinning quad laser); if this becomes an issue for you, spec out of the top right portion of the Invocation tree for bossing and take the flat fire damage in the top left instead.

Arena: TBD

Loot Filter

No loot filter is provided for this guide. You can generate a loot filter for this build in the Build Planner or create one using Filter Wizard in the Loot Filters section.


Can I take Frost Claw (fire) instead of Fireball?

Yes, but be aware you're going to lose out on a source of rapid Shred Fire Resistance accumulation, as well as disempowering part of the Wall->Fireball->Rush basic opening combo. Instead, you gain more ailment cleanse and extra Ward generation (with Edict of the Scion 6/6) when using Frost Claw. I personally prefer Fireball, as it feels smoother overall to me, but there's some flexibility here.

Do I really need this much mana regen?

Yes! This is a mana-hungry build, even with the refund % we get from skill nodes. It's a high DPS output fast-casting setup, and that comes with some tradeoffs.



  • - Refinements to skill trees and passives.
  • Added alt LP uniques. Updated corruption potential.
  • Minor reformat to Overview. Minor update to gear section. Update to Corruption potential.
Show More
  • -
  • - Updated equipment section with tweaks to some affixes after further testing. Updated equipment with preferred Sealed affixes. Updated report on Content Effectiveness. Updated skill tree to reflect tuned version of build.
  • Updated several items to add sealed affix recommendations
  • Minor updates for skill explanation and equipment
  • Build guide was published


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