GhazzyTV - Essence Drain & Contagion (or Bane/Soulrend) Trickster [SC/HC/Uber Elder/Shaper]



I will be answering ALL questions on that forum thread and keep all guides on icy-veins website ( updated consistently every league as per usual.

All my build guides as well as other written guides can be found here:

This thread will no longer be updated but will leave it as it was when I did this move for the sake of nostalgia <3


Check out the video guide: Trickster: Essence Drain Bane or Contagion Build Guide Video

Occultist version using Bane & Soulrend

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:
Simply go to "Import/Export Build" > Click the "Import from Pastebin" paste the link in there, and then click "Import"

PoB Links for other playstyles:
CI 2H Staff version:
This approach can be played with the guides tree and keep the 2H staff or use 1h/Shield, it all comes down to a matter of personal taste of how you'd prefer to play.


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 with more 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(s).

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


Defence & Utility

The build utilizes Mind over Matter combined with Eldritch Battery which moves all your Energy Shield over your mana 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


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, Controlled Destruction, Efficacy, Void Manipulation, Swift Affliction, Empower

Before you can afford an Empower lvl 3+ you can use Decay!

Cast When Damage Taken:

- Cast When Damage Taken, Immortal Call, Increased Duration

The lvl of CWDT is suppose to be low, this comes down to a matter of taste, I prefer to keep it at lvl 3 with the Immortal Call at lvl 5, if it's higher it won't work. It also does not require Endurance Charges to function though the duration will be rather low without which is still enough to keep you from getting instantly killed by Porcupine packs that dies!


- Flame Dash
- Phase Run, Vaal Righteous Fire Increased Duration

You only want to use the Vaal Righteous Fire, not the regular Righteous Fire!


- Malevolence, Discipline

Wither / Blight Totems:

This part is tricky, you either run a standard Wither setup like this:

- Spell Totem, Multiple Totems, Wither, Faster Casting

Or you run with the "hindered" effect via Blight threshold jewel Spreading Rot, which requires 1 of those jewels and looks like this:

- Spell Totem, Multiple Totems, Blight, Faster Casting

Bane vs Contagion:

The choice between the 2 abilities comes down to personal preference, some enjoy to cast Essence Drain and spread it by having a Contagion cast before you use ED. However, I felt that the approach of using Bane was smoother, faster and honestly, better in all ways. A classic Contagion set would look like this:

- Contagion, Intensify, Faster Casting, Increased Area of Effect

I like to use Spell Cascade in early lvls then later switch to Intensify later on.

Whilst my preferred style is Bane like this:

- Bane, Despair, Efficacy, Controlled Destruction

The Bane approach makes you able to skip other sources of Despair cursing via things like Witchfire Brew Flask.


Blighted Oils

There are 2 identical nodes to oil which both does the exact same thing for the build:
Dirty Techniques which requires the following oils: 2x Amber Oils & Silver Oil
Hunter's Gambit which requires the following oils: Clear Oil, Verdant Oil & Silver Oil


Skill-tree & Ascendancy Nodes:

Ascendancy Nodes:
Since we are utilizing Mind over Matter together with Eldritch Battery it is important that we have enough Energy Shield to cover our life pool. However, that massive effective HP gain is not really important till later in the game so the ascendancy order based of my preference would look like this:
Patient Reaper then I'd take the eHP enhancing nodes being: Ghost Dance & Escape Artist and finish of with big damage increase from Prolonged Pain!

Leveling skill-tree, 48 points

Leveling skill-tree, 71 points

Leveling skill-tree, 97 points

Finished skill-tree

A few notes:

The jewel slot at the Shadow starter area is only to be picked up for the Spreading Rot Jewel and should obviously not be used until you're using Blight totems (if at all).

You should only ever pick up Mind over Matter if you can sustain the mana or be close to the required unserved mana based of the MoM calculator provided below.

Don't bother going into the Eldritch Battery unless you can take the Mind over Matter node as well as having Escape Artist ascendancy node sorted.

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. Freezing Pulse till you can equip yourself with ED/Contagion which you'll use till you get Bane then use this to level with all the way.

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

3. If you get a Tabula Rasa early on you're gucci all the way!


- Kill them all


Gearing & Stat Priorities

What items to use:

Low Budget:

Since we are utilizing Energy Shield it is important that we try to get as much ES as we can get, but don't let this focus tip you away and discard LIFE rolls, Life is still the number 1 effective HP providing modifier for the build, the ES is your secondary. So all your gear pieces must provide ES and Life to be of optimal state, obviously you always want to make sure you have 75% at least of your elemental resistances at least after act 6/7+.
The only time this changes is thanks to the Escape Artist ascendancy node, this allows you to get ES from evasion providing chest pieces. This allows you to use items such as Hyrri's Ire, Atziri's Splendour (Make sure the splendour is the Evasion/ES providing one) or even items such as Queen of the Forest. If you'd prefer a rare item you can go for Hybrid Evasion/Energy Shield pieces to bump up your effective HP a LOT.

Other unique items you could be using depends on personal preference, I found that Atziri's Step Slink Boots are perfectly fine, but getting a rare pair will significantly make it easier to sort resistances for you.

There are a tonne of unique items you can utilize for this build, however, rare items will ultimately be the better choice in most slots.

Higher Budget Examples:

Higher budget items include multi-crafted weapons and in general higher numeric values on the rare items. Higher budget unique suggestions would consist in the form of Solstice Vigil to allow for a free Temporal Chains curse but the hinder effect is already provided by the Blight Totem setup, so if you really want to go high budget with the build you can truly let your mind roam free due to the extensive amount of options. My favorite style would be the Devouring Diadem which would demand some socket/gem changes but would absolutely work very well with the hybrid style this build promotes.

Stat Priority:

Defensive Stats:

1. Life
2. Resistances
3. Mana

Offensive Stats:

1. Non-ailmen chaos damage over time multiplier
2. Chaos Damage
2. Spell Damage
2. Damage over Time


1. Chaos Damage
1. Spell Damage
1. Spell Damage Whilst Wielding a Shield
1. Damage over Time
1. Non-ailment chaos damage over time multiplier
2. Life
2. Energy Shield


1x Seething Divine Life Flasks <w/e sufix>
1x w/e Stibnite Flask of Warding
1x w/e Sulphur Flask of Heat
1x w/e Jade Flask of Reflexes
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 Bane or Contagion Build Guide Video

Occultist version using Bane & Soulrend

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 17, 2021, 10:41:27 AM
Last bumped on Jan 14, 2021, 9:10:45 PM


I've reached a point where I have too many build guides to keep up with responding personally on each comment as I've always done on my threads in the past. I will obviously continue doing this but on the youtube videos instead. I hope you guys will understand, sadly I'm not a fulltime streamer and for me to keep build guides like this posted this was an inevitable result!

Last edited by Ghazzy on Sep 11, 2018, 10:22:21 AM
Man, ED looks so strong, and I've been wanting to look into it. Thanks for the guide!
iorganic 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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