[3.1 Video Guide] MoM Essence Drain & Contagion Trickster [HC/SC/Uber Izaro/Uber Atziri/Shaper]

For a more detailed explanation of the build check out the video guide: Trickster: Essence Drain & Contagion Build Guide Video Low Budget [HC/SC & Atziri Viable]

If you have any questions you can always come to my twitch stream to get them answered or just to enjoy some rock / metal music:

Ghazzy's Livestreaming Channel

Path of Building Link for the guide: https://pastebin.com/SmB3jKLE
Simply go to "Import/Export Build" > Click the "Import from Pastebin" paste the link in there, and then click "Import"



Is this build for you?

1. If you are looking for a build with insanely high exp/h gain.

2. A build that allows you to level as itself without any external abilities required.

3. If the build you seek can start with a very low budget with possible upgrades for higher currency.

4. If you like to play a build that works wonders in low budget to accumulate enough currency fast for the higher budget version.

5. If you prefer a build guide that has a video linked to it.


This build is designed for general map clearing & to be an excellent league-starter build. However, if you are looking to kill end-game bosses this build CAN do them, but will require investment and even at that point there are a lot of other builds that would work better than this. You can always switch around as the guide will go in-to from a 1H/Shield approach to a +2/+3 Chaos Gem LvL staff which makes it able to farm bosses easier, but as mentioned; Other builds will be stronger for that purpose.


Defence & Utility

The build utilizes Mind over Matter with tons of mana unreserved and getting help from the Ascendancy nodes to sustain your effective HP pool.

Here is a link to a downloadable calculator for how much effective HP you'll have with Mind Over Matter: Mind Over Matter eHP Calculator

To help with the massive HP on map bosses we will be using Vaal Lightning Trap to increase the damage taken.

Shield Charge is combined with Fortify for that sweet defensive buff as well!


Pantheon Choices:

Pantheon List

Major God:

- Soul of Lunaris
Basically just helps with avoiding some projectile damage

Minor God:

- Soul of Ryslatha
Basically just an additional layer of defence when you're on low life.


Skill-gems & Setups:

Essence Drain:

- Essence Drain, Void Manipulation, Controlled Destruction, Swift Affliction, Efficacy, Pierce or Empower LvL 3+ for higher budget, can also use Poison instead as the 6th gem for increased single target damage till you get currency for an Empower. Decay is also another great option before the Empower to use for single target damage help.


- Contagion, Faster Casting, Increased Area of Effect, Arcane Surge

Make sure to read the Arcane Surge gem so that you know what lvl of gem will work with your current gem lvls!

Cast When Damage Taken:

- Cast When Damage Taken, Immortal Call, Increased Duration, Vaal Lightning Trap


- Spell Totem, Increased Duration, Wither, Faster Casting

Shield Charge:

- Shield Charge, Faster Attacks, Fortify


- Clarity, Blasphemy, Enfeeble
Could use TC over Enfeeble (matter of taste).


- Faster Casting, Arcane Surge, Increased Area of Effect, Contagion => On Allelopathy Gloves can help single target boss fights a bit!

With this setup I would recommend using 2x Spreading Rot Jewels and simply wait with the Grand Spectrum Jewels till later.

Skill-tree & Ascendancy Nodes:

Ascendancy Nodes:
Start with taking "Walk The Aether" and after those 2 points it comes down to a matter of personal taste.
You'll chose from these nodes: "Swift Killer", "Patient Reaper", & "Weave the Arcane". I personally prefer to use Swift Killer and Weave the Arcane as the mana gain gives you the possibility to sustain your mana pool much easier.

Leveling skill-tree, 39 points

Leveling skill-tree, 71 points

Leveling skill-tree, 89 points

Finished skill-tree

A few notes:

You can use Mind over Matter before you can afford Cloak of Defiance and before you get any of the mana providing Grand Spectrum Jewels. I would recommend going for the jewels before the chest piece, and simply use a high life providing chest till you can afford the cloak!

Also, don't spec into double curses till you get yourself a Witchfire Brew Stibnite Flask.

Here is a link to a downloadable calculator for how much effective HP you'll have with Mind Over Matter: Mind Over Matter eHP Calculator


Leveling Tips:

1. Use Fire Trap / Freezing Pulse till you can equip yourself with Essence Drain & Contagion then use those to level with all the way.

2. Items such as Goldrim, Lifesprig, Wunderlust helps a lot to speed up the leveling process.

3. If you get a Tabula Rasa early on, I'd recommend using Elreon jeweleries early on to ease up on the mana cost.

4. If you sell a blue rarity WAND to a vendor together with any of the chaos gems you get a +1 lvl of socketed chaos gems wand back!


- Kill them all or save Alira. It comes down to a matter of taste. I personally prefer to kill them all.


Gearing & Stat Priorities

What base items to use:

The base items of this build really doesn't matter as we don't care about the base defensive stats such as armour(str), evasion(dex) or energy shield(int). So instead the base items will follow the stat priority listed in this guide.
However, the attribute requirement of the items will base how hard it is to chrome (color) which will be the only thing we will think about when planing our gearing.
So, if you need 4 blue sockets in an item the recommendation is to get an item that has Energy Shield (int) base or a hybrid base which includes Energy Shield (int).

By using this chrome calculating website: https://siveran.github.io/calc.html you can easily track how hard it will be to chrome the colors you need. This YouTube playlist can help a lot for new players and also includes a few tricks when coloring items with the "wrong attribute requirements" for your build: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuu-MdPs0Af8A4e3gSsJ1xDKNNcdFwY1r

Low Budget Gearing

Rare items will follow the stat priorities written below.

Uniques can be anything from a Tabula Rasa to Cherrubim's Maleficence or a Death's Oath depending on market price.

Note: If you go with the Death's Oath you'll need to color it with the "socket coloring" trick which can cost a bit of currency, here's a guide for how to do that: Socket Coloring Guide

Weapon choices are simple, either get an Essence of Delirium crafted dagger (so you can still use shield charge) or if currency allows use the Breath of the Council. Shield wise for lower budget you can use a rare one, this goes with the rest of the gear as well.

High Budget Gearing

For higher budget gearing you'll want to first grab 3x mana providing Grand Spectrum Jewels then get yourself the Cloak of Defiance!

Weapon choices remain the same as the low budget version, however, you can use a few nice uniques if resistance & currency allows, these items ranges from:
* Rathpith Globe
* Atziri Slink Boots
* Bisco's Leash

Personally I would strive towards being able to use the belt as Rampage is extremely effective and very underestimated in the game.

Softcore Note on High Budget:
You can use Death's Oath over the Cloak of Defiance to lower your eHP a bit but increase your damage done.

Defensive Stats:

1. Life
2. Resistances
3. Mana

Offensive Stats:

1. Chaos Damage
1. Spell Damage
1. Damage over Time

They are all worth equally much for this build.


1. Chaos Damage
1. Spell Damage
1. Spell Damage Whilst Wielding a Shield
1. Damage over Time
2. Life
2. Mana


2x Seething Divine Life Flasks <w/e sufix>
1x Witchfire Brew be weary of your curse applications on enemies with this flask, you want to get a second curse running this. If not, replace it with another utility flask
1x w/e utility flask I'd recommend ...of Heat as a suffix
1x Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline


Recommended Unique Items:

Recommended LvLing Uniques:



This build thread is merely a rough guide to lead you in to the builds basics. If you wish to see more details about this beautiful build check out the video guide: Trickster: Essence Drain & Contagion Build Guide Video Low Budget [HC/SC & Atziri Viable]

Before you start posting questions I would recommend checking the video. I am as always available in my stream!

Hope you guys will enjoy the build! Below you can access my other build guides:

Build Guides

Last edited by Ghazzy on Jan 21, 2018 6:05:09 PM
Last bumped on Feb 18, 2018 6:50:05 AM

3.0 Update Notes:
Made changes to the Gear section to include what base items to use.
Last edited by Ghazzy on Aug 13, 2017 9:05:24 AM
Man, ED looks so strong, and I've been wanting to look into it. Thanks for the guide!
Completed 20 Challengesiorganic wrote:
Man, ED looks so strong, and I've been wanting to look into it. Thanks for the guide!

My pleasure bro!
Glad you like it :)
--nvm answered in video
Last edited by taion809 on Mar 20, 2016 11:01:25 AM
What would be the best chestpiece for this ?
thorgal89 wrote:
What would be the best chestpiece for this ?

+1 LvL of Socketed Gems Tabula Rasa, or if you're crazy or rich enough to get any other piece with +1 gem lvl 6 socket with proper colors that gives you stats then w/e item works.
Love the build, and really enjoy ED as a skill!

A couple quick questions!
* How does Contagion compare with Abyssal Cry at higher levels? I hear a lot of ED folks swapping and enjoying it.
* In higher-level maps (T11+), how does the damage/clear speed compare? Is this a viable 'high end' build, or does it plateau somewhere?
* What sort of single-target/boss damage solutions do you have? I sometimes feel like my group DPS is amazing, but my single-target damage is severely hindered.

Thanks again!
Running lightning coil for even moar mitigation. Works great
I'm currently leveling with your build, and I had a quick question for you.

In your video, it seems like your ED+Contagion spreads in such a large radius and clears rooms out so efficiently. What I am experiencing is that I can put Contagion on a group and then hit a mob with ED, but it doesn't spread nearly as greatly as yours.

Is the spreading of the dots based on the radius of my contagion? Or is it based on aoe nodes or something?

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