[2.4] Double Dipping DoT Dreams | CI Vortex Trapper

This build was inspired by two reddit posts and a Pohx video. Originally, I went into this build intending to do chaos conversion Detonate Dead traps, but I realised that the 75% I’d get from two Consuming Dark's and a Soul Mantle would be vastly worse than the 100% I could get in standard, so I swapped to Firestorm traps and eventually, Vortex traps.

This build is a lot of fun. It absolutely melts all bosses that don’t have an ignite immunity, and tears up maps. It is however, a little bit slow, and a little defensively lacking, but you patch both of those by just stacking more Area of Effect. I was super surprised at how well it was performing when I was running it early on, and it's still performing well at higher tier maps.

This build relies on a few uniques to make the build run as smoothly as it can.

Sunblast lets our traps go off instantly, letting us stack AoE for much easier positioning of our thrown traps. Pyre lets our Vortex damage trigger Elemental Equilibrium, but not convert the cold DoT. Soul Strike gives us a massive amount of extra survivability, as we basically always have our energy shield regenning. You'd be surprised at how well this patches up our lack of a healing.

Why you should play Vortex Traps:
  • Incredibly easy mapping
  • Budget
  • Lots of fun
  • Bosses die incredibly fast due to double dipping our DoT damage and ignites
  • Quite good survivability
  • Reflect is not even a consideration
  • Safer than normal Vortex because we cast it from a distance as opposed to radiating from the caster

What you might not like about Vortex Traps:
  • Pyre effectively kills our chance of running proliferation
  • No ability to leech damage due to traps
  • Trap cooldown suuuucks
  • Can clear a bit slowly for some peoples tastes
  • Traps can be a bit of a pain to use

Why Vortex?:
Vortex is insane. Like, super insane. Everything on the spell is cool, but there’s one super important line.

“Modifiers to Spell Damage apply to this skill's Damage Over Time"

Like, holy balls. This means that MORE modifiers increase the damage of the skills Damage over Time. And do you know what else counts as a DoT? Ignites! Meaning that all things that increase our spell damage double dips on increasing our ignite damage. It’s broken as hell, really.

We also get a fantastic skill interaction with the Pyre Unique ring.

As you can see by the text on Pyre, it converts all of the cold damage you deal to fire damage. This does not include the cold damage over time that Vortex deals. So in essence, we have this fantastic delivery system for Elemental Equilibrium, as you proc it with the initial damage hit, and then the cold damage deals even more damage. Pyre also increases the damage we deal with ignites even more, which kinda makes up for the fact that EE will raise the monsters fire resistance until we lower it again with a lightning spell.

Vortex also got given a new MTX in the most recent patch, and it's really really good looking, and probably the best reason to play Vortex.

Why Vortex Traps over plain Vortex?:
Honestly, you can do either. I simply went the trapper route as I've been interested in playing a trapper for a while, and my original skill tree already had all of the trap nodes. The main benefit of playing as a trapper over a non-trapper is we get more More% modifiers for which we can scale our damage.

Traps are also slightly safer in some ways, as you can throw your traps from a distance as opposed to Vortex coming from the caster. However, this does remove our ability to leech life from them so we're reliant on Soul Strike for all of our healing.

Being a Trapper also means that we don't have to worry about reflect maps, which is really really great.

Required uniques:
Sunblast: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Sunblast
Pyre: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Pyre
Eye of Chayula: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Eye_of_Chayula
Cheap Construction: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Cheap_Construction x2
Soul Strike: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Soul_Strike

Intuitive Leap: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Intuitive_Leap
Energy from Within: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Energy_From_Within
Doryani’s Catalyst: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Doryani%27s_Catalyst
Izaro's Turmoil: http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Izaro%27s_Turmoil

All of the above uniques are incredibly cheap. The most expensive one there is Eye of Chayula which will set you back 10 chaos at the time of writing. Energy from Within is definitely something you should aim to pick up because it gives you a pretty substantial amount of energy shield, but it is rather pricy.

Basically for your gearing choices you want to get as much energy shield as you possibly can while also capping your resistances and getting 25-30% movement speed on boots.

For your weapon, you should aim for a +3 Crude Bow. The reason we opt for a Crude Bow over a Doryani’s Catalyst and an ES Shield is because it gives us access to the Soul Strike quiver, which is actually obscenely good. In addition to this, it’s incredibly easy to craft a +3 to socketed Cold Gems bow in comparison to a staff.

How to craft your +3 Bow:

Step 1: Aquire a Shrieking Essence of Sorrow. Use it on the crude bow.
Step 2: Continue to roll +2 bows until you have a bow with an open suffix and an open prefix. Ideally, roll it until you have stats or resistances you need.
Step 3: Find someone with Catarina 7 to craft “Cannot Roll Attack Mods” as a suffix.
Step 4: Exalt it, giving you Paragons (+1 to Socketed Gems)

Alternatively, buy multiple Shrieking Essence of Sorrow's and spam them on your bow until it rolls both Paragons and +2 to socketed Cold. This is way cheaper but highly RNG reliant, and you may not get very good suffixes. This is how I got my +3 bow.

If you feel like you Soul Strike and a +3 Bow isn’t going to be enough defensively, feel free to take Doryani’s Catalyst and an ES shield. It’s entirely your choice, but this will be a large damage loss.

Feel free to Vaal lots of Sunblasts as well, because the belt is cheap as hell and the Implicit is largely negated due to the fact that we run an Eye of Chayula, so you can spam Vaal them for the chance for 4-6% increase AoE, which will be a massive benefit for the build.

With the new essences and bases, you can aim to get an Opal Ring and craft %cold damage onto it, which will give you a nice boost to your damage.

Any of the uber lab enchantments for Vortex will be good for the build. I’m gonna have a hunch and say that Duration > Damage > Radius though.

My Gear:

Gem links:

Poecraft Gems Links: http://poecraft.com/gemplanner#v12.3C2C2A2E2M2S..0c=d0t24.112U2S1o0j==.1O0e0R=H.=V0L1w2a.==.==.==

Main vortex trap:
5L -

6L -
Empower 4 over Rapid Decay in all scenarios, Empower 3/4 over Rapid Decay in a +1 to Socketed Gems bow.

For bosses, take out Increased AoE and put in Chance to Ignite.
For ignite immune bosses, take out Increased AoE and put in Elemental Focus or Concentrated Effect.


Rapid Decay is functionally less good than Trap and Mine Damage support (TMD).

TMD and RD give you a flat 39% more multiplier to your overall damage, however, the reason that TMD shines is that not only does Vortex last 15% longer, the initial hit of Vortex will also be higher.

You can, however, opt for Rapid Decay if you so choose. There comes a point in the build where you take Entropy, which gives you 5% increased Skill Duration. This, coupled with Sunblast and two Cheap Construction jewels will give you a 0.8 second duration on your traps. Trust me, it’s noticeable enough that you might choose to run Rapid Decay instead.

Another reason you may want to take Rapid Decay over TMD is it’ll let you drop out a Cheap Construction jewel, which you can take another jewel in it’s place.

We run Chance to Ignite for bosses as Ignites are a massive source of single target damage for us, and the more we ignite the more damage we do. For bosses such as Atziri and the two ignite immune Guardians, you can run Elemental Focus, as the multiplier is massive, and we still chill even with that.

How much damage does Empower give me?

Alright, trigger warning ahead for maths.

We take the assumption that Trap and Mine Damage are level 21, for a blanket 40% More multiplier on tooltip.

We can make another assumption and say that as Rapid Decay only ever boosts Damage over Time, and not the spells damage itself, we can say that it gives a 34% boost, rather than a 40% More Multi at level 21, given that 0.4*0.85 = 0.34, where 0.85 is the reduction to skill duration.

Average damage was done by adding the minimum and maximum values the spell can hit and dividing by 2.

We can see by looking at the table above that for any value higher than 1.34 our Vortex hits harder with Empower than it does with Rapid Decay. In fact, that table is only considering the initial hit, for which Rapid Decay doesn't benefit it at all! So Empower is always going to result in a higher hit. However, our ignite damage is based off of the initial hit so it must still be considered.

We can see here that if you're considering only the Damage over Time portion of Vortex, Empower is always better than Rapid Decay if it's Empower 4, or Empower 3 on a +1 to Socketed Gems bow.

The numbers in this table are gained by taking the values from the same cells in the first two tables and finding the average. We can see in this that it's always better to take Empower 3/4 over Rapid Decay, no matter what the level of the spell.

Spreadsheet link:

4L -

4L -
+ Immortal Call (Missing gem picture)

4L -


Mana Leech or Blind Support with Herald of Thunder doesn't increase the mana cost, but allows you to leech mana back or blind enemies. It's a nice thing to have.


I'd also recommend taking Vaal Discipline for an extra level of survivability in a pinch if you think you need it. For this, you'd probably just run Flame Dash in your Aura links, and run Vaal Disc + Increased Duration as a 2 link on your body armor.

Vaal Lightning Trap can also be fun to have, but it's not really needed. We get shocks from Conflux, and that's good enough for my tastes.


We take Elementalist for that insane 6 seconds of 100% ignite chance every 14 seconds. Everything else in that tree is just a bonus.

Normal: Shaper of Desolation
Cruel: Liege of the Primordial
Merciless: Paragon of Calamity
Uber: Pendulum of Destruction

We take Conflux first because it’s insane damage when you get an ignite on anything.
Liege of the Primordial is second because by this point, your Golem’s won’t be dead every 3 seconds, and the boost they give is really really good. Something like 4-5k tooltip dps.
You can take the others in whatever order you choose. If you feel like you’re demolishing maps, take Pendulum of Destruction. If you feel like you’re having a fair bit of trouble, take Paragon.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. “Mr Honking sir, why don’t we get proliferation? Surely it must be really good with all these huge damaging ignites!” The answer is yes! It would be really good. But Pyre 100% negates our ability to run it. Ignited enemies you hit are destroyed on Kill means that the ignited corpse is destroyed, and cannot proliferate the effect of the ignite, chill or shock. The benefits of Pyre far outweigh the loss of proliferation, and we get access to another ascendancy node anyway, so everything ends up alright.


Kill all - Kill all - Kill all

You can take Resistances from Kraytin in Normal if you choose, but skill points are definitely going to be better in the long run.


If you can, grab yourself a Lifesprig or two, Dream Fragments ring and Deerstalker boots.

Deerstalkers ensure that you never have anything less than a 5 Link, and that level 11 trap is more than you'd have early on as it is. Dream Fragments ring is also amazing to have for the no freeze and mana regen.

You should level with Spark > Firestorm > Vortex
Alternatively, pick any skill you like. I'm not your boss.

Switch to Traps when you get Vortex, as Firestorm traps are really average in comparison to casting it yourself.

Run Multi Trap support until you hit level 38, at which point you swap it out for Increased AoE.


We take as many local Life nodes as we can, while also rushing Hasty Reconstruction, as that's by far the best Quality of Life improvement in the whole tree. We also take Blast Radius for a bit of extra Area of Effect which helps a lot for Vortex and Firestorm.

Passive trees:

More trees:
30 points:

We take as many local Life nodes as we can, while also rushing Hasty Reconstruction, as that's by far the best Quality of Life improvement in the whole tree. We also take Blast Radius for a bit of extra Area of Effect which helps a lot for Vortex and Firestorm.

53 points:
We go to Clever Construction and High Explosives so we have traps that don't die and 10% elemental penetration, which is really nice to have on top of EE later.

We also take Nullification because every stat that node gives us is amazing.

We go back to the Witch cluster and take Elemental Overload as well. This is far better than critical Vortex as the More multiplier applies to the DoT, and therefore is amazing. You won't find it proccing very often until you take link a lightning spell with Increased Critical Strikes however, but it is nice to have for when it does proc.

79 points:

102 points:

Somewhere between 79 and 102 points you should swap into Chaos Innoculation. Personally, I did it when I could make use of Soul Strike. Spec out of the 3 Life/Mana nodes near the Witch start and use those to take CI.

We're basically just stacking Energy Shield and Damage. We spend 3 points to pick up Entropy in the Assassin area as it seems to be the most efficient use of 3 points to pick up more damage that we have access to, but I'm probably wrong on that.

You'll notice I've picked up an Intuitive Leap and taken the 10% Increased AoE in the Scion nodes. This is completely optional, but you should do it if you have the spare currency for Intuitive leap (7c when I bought it).





Buffed w/ Pendulum:

It should definitely be noted that with the offensive stats and tooltip dps, this is only the inital hit of the spell itself, and doesn't include any form of DoT



Is this build Hardcore Viable?
Not as an Elementalist. Elementalist has simply not enough defenses to even enable this build to have survivability.

But yes, if you play Occultist you can easily deal with basically everything. As an Occultist, you'd take Wicked Ward, Vile Bastion, Profane Bloom and Malediction, and you'd run Blasphemy Temporal Chains or Enfeeble, with the other in the CWDT setup. Wicked Ward + Soul Strike is effectively the same as having Zealot's Oath and a bunch of life regen, which is a great thing to have.

You'd also run Elemental Focus in your gem links for general mapping, because as we're not critting, we're not causing ignites.

Which map mods can this build not do?
It can't do No Regen maps or Blood Magic maps. That's basically it. I'd also advise you to avoid doing Burning Ground maps, as your energy shield regen will be seriously hampered if you're consistently standing in the burning, which is kinda hard to avoid doing due to the nature of how opaque Vortex is on the floor.

You CAN run No Status Effect maps, but it's waaay slower than it is without it.

I'd also avoid Temporal Chains maps because it's hard to distance yourself from enemies so you can regen your ES.

Can I run this with a different Ascendancy?
Yes you can. I'm confident that this build will work with Saboteur and Occultist, and potentially Pathfinder, but the skill tree will be a tiny bit janky from the Ranger spawn.

Heck, who am I kidding, Pathfinder is viable for literally everything at the moment.

With Saboteur you'd take the Elemental Damage nodes, and follow the build from there onwards.

Can this build do Shaper/Atziri/Uber?
Honestly? I don't know. My computer is a little bad, so I've never actually tried my hand at Atziri, and it's still too early in the league to know if this build is Shaper viable. Will try my hand at Uber and let you guys know, but it annihilated Merciless Izaro (1 vortex ignite on first phase brought him down), so I'm fairly confident in its ability to do it.

Why do we take Chayula over Valyrium?
We benefit less from an amulet than we do from a ring. With an open Amulet slot, we get access to... I don't even really know, I haven't looked into it. From having a ring slot open, we get access to the new base in Opal ring, which gives us extra elemental damage, which is always nice.

The main pro to having your amulet slot open is Critical Multiplier, and as we take Elemental Overload, it doesn't benefit us in any way, shape, or form.

Why no Multi/Cluster traps?
The damage we deal from vortex does not stack with itself. Well, let me rephrase that. The initial hit will stack, but the DoT does not. In addition to that, it's a Less% multiplier on both of them, and that sucks a lot, because it lowers our overall damage.

I would recommend using Multi Traps for levelling before Increased AoE however, as I did a bunch of mapping without Inc AoE and trust me, you don't want to do that. You kill things fast enough in Normal that multi traps is barely noticeable anyway.

What's going on with my mana! My regen seems really low!
You're right, it's incredibly low. But that's actually completely fine. I mean sure, you can't spam 3 vortexes in quick succession and expect to have mana for any of that, but you shouldn't be needing to do that anyway. You'll find that you tend to throw traps and re-position yourself fairly often, and in that time your mana regens enough to throw another trap anyway.

On maps with less mana regen, on a 5 Link, I'm 100% fine dealing with up to 40% less regen, but at 60% I take out Herald of Thunder and swap in Clarity, and that patches it up fine. We take Dynamo after level 79 as it is and I'm yet to pick that up, so we'll find out if it's fine on a 6L or not.

But Proliferation seems like a really good thing and I want to run it!
Well in this case, you have a few options. Hrimburn allows your cold damage to ignite, which means you don't have to run Pyre, and as such ignited enemies won't shatter on death.

The issue with Hrimburn is it's not an ES based item, and it won't allow you to trigger EE for fire damage with the inital hit.

You can also run Southbound, which stops the initial hit of Vortex from killing the target, though your DoT's can still do so.

Three Dragons mask also allows our cold damage to ignite. The resistances on this are really good but man the rest of the stats are bad, and that's kinda the reason I don't run it.

I still think that Proliferation isn't 100% needed. But it's up to you. Feel free to pick it up and sub out Pyre for something else and let me know how it performs.

Videos please
I'll record videos of high tier maps both when they drop and when I get an opportunity to. My computer is somewhat of a potato so it's hard for me to record. But I'll do my best!

20/09/16 - Build guide posted, expect lots of revisions as so far it's pretty incomplete
22/09/16 - Added more gems and items, added more to QA
24/09/16 - Updated splash with new MTX, added tooltip screenshots

If anything I've got written here is wrong or you have anything you think you can add, let me know! I'm definitely open to suggestions and help.
Last edited by Honking on Sep 24, 2016, 10:11:36 AM
Last bumped on Feb 22, 2017, 9:11:11 AM
Pyre kills our chance of running proliferation

Last edited by Xendran on Sep 21, 2016, 12:55:36 AM
Xendran wrote:
Pyre kills our chance of running proliferation


That's true, I was going to include that as a mention as well as Hrimburn and Three Dragons, but forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me
Which bandits should I be going for?
Would you consider Cold to fire + avatar of fire instead of pyre?
Video of T14+ please
bengetsbecky wrote:
Which bandits should I be going for?

Added a section on Bandits, thanks for reminding me

ZePample wrote:
Video of T14+ please

I'll get one of these up when they start dropping and I can record one

C_Viper wrote:
Would you consider Cold to fire + avatar of fire instead of pyre?

Cold to Fire doesn't have a More% multiplier attached to it, or this would be a good idea. In addition, we wouldn't be able to trigger Elemental Equilibrium with this setup and lightning spells, and I don't think that Vortex would deal any damage with DoT due to not being able to deal non fire damage.
Honking wrote:
The main benefit of playing as a trapper over a non-trapper is we get more More% modifiers for which we can scale our damage.

Are you sure about that, there is a line in 2.4 pathc saying Trap's damage modifier no longer affects damage over time. How does that interact with Vortex? I had a feeling Vortex was a collateral damage while "fixing" Bladefall Mines/Traps.
I like this build and will give a try on EHC but as OCC over Elementalist.
Guess I will add a decoy totem or something to prevent some hits i dont want to take
I will take a few other notes like double curse and later tripple curse once uberlab is done tho.
Maybe I will do some brainstorming and think about a Chaos Conversion over the Fire to Ice one as I´ve a 5L Darkscorn in my stash and I am CI later so it would be like 25% physical reduction + Phy to Chaos conversion which may be pretty handy as it strikes tho any ES and stacks with wither totem :D

Adds 14 to 17 Physical Damage
10% increased Attack Speed
25% of Physical Damage Converted to Chaos Damage
25% of Physical Damage taken as Chaos Damage

Anyway my question or better sugguestion to add in your guide

Why did u advise flamedash or lightning warp with less duration?
I mean we use a Bow and have another VERY lovely alternative -> Blink Arrow + Faster Attacks <- which leaves a decoy which is handy as well and double green isnt hard to archieve via our Masters :)
(If you go for the scepter you can use Leapslam - faster attacks - fortify for even more defense tho)

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