[3.5] Frosty Duelist - Dual Wielding Frost Blades

Frosty Duelist 2.6 - 3.5


Changes and new things for 3.5

At the high end, shaped weapons can only get 20% extra cold now :(

But Paradoxica is great! (change to 100% more damage in pob) especially with blind


Sorry the guide is long but it should answer most questions.

Thanks to all the people that have helped and contributed along the way!

I love the frost blades mechanic and have tried for a balanced 'jack of all trades' that can do all content, has good clearspeed and decent boss killing ability. It wont facetank high level bosses but can take a few hits and then kill them. Shaper can be done but Uber Elder isn’t recommended.

Levelling is easy, you get frost blades in act1 and from there are progressing your build. With this build I have completed the 40 challenges in each of Harbinger, Abyss, Bestiary & Incursion. Uber lab is a breeze and can do a full party carry at high levels. Atziri is not hard but needs care because of reflect. I have done deathless shaper (knowing the fight is really the most important part) and I have done not deathless uber elder (Only just and with a lot of deaths!).

However you will probably end with rare weapons which require path of building for working out how good they are.
I consider it a medium-high price build and have run with final budgets of 300-400 chaos to over 40 ex (you can run a tight budget and still have a good time and you can keep upgrading as you get more money).
I use it as league starter every league but it uses yoke of suffering, perseverance, tombfist etc. These are not available on day 1 (it was a week before yokes were readily available (50c) in incursion and were still 3-4ex a week into delve). It is fine if it takes you a week to hit lvl 90 etc but not great if you want to reach high levels on day 1.


Why not Slayer?
Slayer really needs a 2 hander so ends up quite different (Gnew95 has a build for slayers but it hasnt been updated https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1930028)

Why not poison or bleed?
We are 100% cold damage so poison and bleed do not work as they need physical damage. We also don't leech 'physical attack damage'.

POB Damage
I use "is shocked" for yoke of suffering in POB's configuration tab.
POB puts it at 50% (the max for shock), when it is really 20-50%. However POB doesn't add the extra damage from ailments (up to 20%) so for us it should be 0 on first hit then an extra 30%-70% so POB's 50% seems a fair compromise (and I can't change it anyway :)



Decided there should really be a rough changelog as the forum tool tells me there have been over 300 versions of the guide since POE 2.6 so here it is

7/12/18 rewrite for version 3.5
20/8/18-29/8/18 heaps of changes :) claws, classes, stats etc
18/8/18 updated gems with ancestral call
26/7/18 general tidy and wording updates added lightpoacher
20/7/18 updates of jewels, totem, tree etc
1/6/18 Major testing and rework of the whole build, updated guide to reflect this.
30/5/18 second update for 3.3
29/5/18 first update for 3.3
1/5/18 added some videos
25/3/18 added a bit on damage conversion
22/3/18 rework from the top down, added gearcheck
18/3/18 tweaks and added lvl 90 update
12/3/18 added loreweave
11/3/18 reworked from the top down key changes in the discussion of swords
6/3/18 brought back mention of scaeva, and radius for fight for survival
4/3/18 mention jade flask, and tree changes primal spirit vs versatility
2/3/18 more updates for 3.2 including pob & tree changes
1/3/18 First update for 3.2
11/1/18 rework to make clearer, finalize changes for abyss league
2/1/18 updated yoke of suffering and abyssal jewels
1/1/18 finally remembered to add vaal haste
1/1/18 added a changelog
1/1/18 added hypothermia with some math
30/12/17 fixed some typos
major cleanup making it more relevant for current league and condensed harbinger gear & stats


Videos and boss strategy

Not real exciting but some videos :) I need to do some more with better strategies and that show updated version of build (These are running blasphemy rather than herald of purity).

From 3.2
Sunken City t15 https://youtu.be/Yr2NB4H07oA
Elder Guardians on t16
Chimera t16 (starts part way as I forgot to push start :)

Izaro https://youtu.be/kIUWA2tLqF4
Sorry didnt note what stage the build was at when I recorded Izaro, nowhere near as strong as the t16 videos. I got an acceleration shrine which made me op but there is always some nice buff in the darkshrines. It still wasn't all that quick a run though :) but anyway you can see what I do for Izaro at 2:50, 8:50 and 11:40 without the acceleration shrine it is the same just 1-2 seconds longer.

My strategy is to drop a totem and frostbomb as he emerges on the top right hand side then use whirling blades behind him and kill him while he goes for the totem.

Another lab run with the end game gear (kills at 1:20, 3:35 and 6:00)

Atziri is pretty simple, progress as normal and before entering atziri's room remove multistrike (swap for maim) and enter atziri. In the split stages attack whichever is opposite the one with reflect.

Elder - I've done him about 40 times and find him pretty easy, don't really have a strategy beyond jumping around, avoiding damage and killing him, which is pretty much my general strategy. Half way way between a marauder and a ranger so hit for a bit, whirling blades out of danger, hit again and so on.

Shaper and uber elder - I suck at shaper :) but have managed to do it deathless. I did uber elder with a massive number or deaths. Kaoms roots are pretty much essential for uber which requires changing a fair bit of gear to meet resists.



Swords vs Claws

I like swords :) so have always used them and was happy with the boss kill and clear speed of the build.
However claws are extremely viable. In general claws have life gain on hit but less damage and cost a lot more. Rare gemini claws also require higher intelligence.

Claws life gain on hit implicit makes a significant difference in the delve mine or with big mobs around. The touch of anguish claw adds chaining and is very powerful until late game. Crits not longer auto freeze so our freeze chance is a bit lower (about 30%) which is still ok.

Rare swords generally have more damage because of the crit multiplier implicit. High end claws are less common and are in higher demand so cost a lot more. I'd expect to spend over double the price for a claw in comparison to a sword. (While it can be done much cheaper, I generally work on 6 - 10 ex for my end game swords, I would expect 10 - 20 ex for claws that gives similar damage.)


Once you have Worthy Foe from the lab, Accuracy no longer helps after the first hit as enemies cannot evade so increased accuracy on the implicit of some swords isn't providing us any advantage.

Main Hand
Scaeva with 3 green sockets.
I always grab one of these at level 60. The three green sockets adds a lot but is a pain.

Second sword
I usually go a semi-decent rare sword (around 200+ pdps with crit multiplier etc can often be found for less than 10c.
Otherwise there a lot of options for uniques here such as Beltimber blade, Grelwood shank, Ahns might, another scaeva (with a least 1 green socket) or Dreadbeak etc.

Alternatively to Scaeva, 2 x Ahn's might.
These were fantastic when introduced in 3.1. They lost a bit of their appeal with the ascendancy rework because of the accuracy but are good (although I havent used them for a couple of leagues as I hit lvl60 and grab a scaeva as I prefer that).
However we don't want frenzy charges while using them so it means not using blood rage or using the pacifism jewel to cut the frenzies. Ahn's might have a massive dps range going from around 280 to 350 pdps so get the best you can afford.

Varunastra - I started with one of these and used 2 in legacy :).
They require their own tree (in the tree section below). Damage ends up similar to scaeva/claws etc.
Varunastra is where Scion shines and the tree works fantastic for her giving her a lot more damage. If you play Varunastra then seriously consider running as a Scion.
The problem is with their availability in that they drop from 'the formless sea' card or from cadiro. If cadiro isnt a Zana mod for the league it can be weeks before they are readily available. So not a league starter.


The wasp's nest at level 60 are very good but you will want to change to Touch of Anguish at lvl 68

These were designed for frost blades and when coupled with ancestral call provide great clearspeed. Critical strike chance doesn't automatically freeze so our chance to chance is somewhere around 30%. With how many attacks per second we have it is enough (just not quite as good as other weapons).


Late game weapons
You will need POB and both pricing and availability fluctuates a lot.
You probably wont be end game boss farming but any of the above will take down shaper, guardians etc if you have good experience with that boss.
(In Harbinger before the ascendancy changes Asardial completed everything using 2 x Ahn's in Abyss and I completed 30 guardian kills and 37 challenges before bothering to replace the scaeva so look at your other gear first.)

Anyway when you are ready look for high physical dps (pdps) - 250+

However the dps calculation doesn't include crit and other factors so also look for

Gain % physical damage as extra cold damage - this is op
Crit multiplier - not less than 25% (preferably 50+ if it doesn't have extra cold) (rapiers max 73%)
Elemental damage with attacks is also a very nice bonus after the above two mods.
Crit chance - I'd avoid crit '5' and more crit chance is nice but less important than others

These other factors add a lot. ie a 320 pdps sword with 60% total crit multiplier will beat a 400 pdps sword with 25% crit multiplier. +% physical damage as extra cold is massive.

But weapon damage is only one part of the overall damage!


All the other Gear


% and adds physical damage are our strongest mods, then crit multiplier / elemental damage with attacks etc

There are a number of items like triple watcher's eye jewel, elder crafted amulets etc that can be very powerful (and expensive :). They can be great but I cant rely on more than a few being available and don't want to recommend 100ex items.

Cold damage vs physical damage

We are 100% cold damage. Critical strikes give 100% chance to freeze with the freeze time dependent on damage vs monster life. We average 40-50% crit chance (60-70% with diamond flask) so 'chance to freeze' isn't very important.

We have a lot of physical damage modifiers which get applied before cold conversion so adding phys damage is important. We get some boost from added cold but it is a lot less important. Fire and lightning only get a few modifiers (increased elemental damage) so these provide limited benefit. Bleed and poison don't work for cold damage so aren't any good for us.

Quick look at damage types
I took my lvl91 tree in 3.2, turned off everything, removed all gear and added a redbeak with default values (DPS 4537). I then added a ring with only 1 mod being the max t1 roll for each damage type
adds 9-15 phys damage = +2931dps
adds 22-40 cold damage = +1920dps
adds 25-45 fire damage = +706dps
adds 7-72 lightning damage = +798dps

so despite the numbers being smaller, physical damage ends up way more powerful. Taking it further with my gear and everything on. The same ring phys gives +184k, cold +71k, fire +40k and lightning +45k


The Belt

Perseverance belt, unfortunately we can't use it until late in game but with Fortitude it will give permanent onslaught! which is 20% attack and movement speed (and the attack speed makes whirling blades faster). (there is no visual indication of onslaught with the belt but take it on and off and you can see it is working)

Stygian vise is a good choice with a good jewel. A rustic sash can have 99 life and will scale to around 150 more life than the perseverance belt. Use some blessed's to get it 24% physical damage. Make sure you have a high elemental damage with attacks with either of these.

Cowards legacy - Makes you count as low life but adrenaline triggers when you reach low life so you would have to swap it in and out so not worth it - Thanks to A7X89 for pointing this out



You want the frost blade damage enchant!!!

A good rare with the enchant is fine but there are usually plenty of uniques available.

Lightpoacher - This needs the extra investment of jewels but can end up with the most damage and good life. Its resists meant I took off cloth and chain and picked up 2 points on the tree.
Only 2 jewel sockets so totem isn't as strong and vaal haste is gone or will have to taken the place of enlighten (I never used it anyway). The spirit burst looks good but even with end game gear doesn't do a lot. The life recovery is nice in mobs but less useful in boss fights.

Starkonja's - great balanced helm, adds 8-9% evade chance over lightpoacher. Has no movement but has damage and life (ends up about +250-300 more life).

Devoto's devotion provides chaos resist, movement and damage. It's the cheapest one but you will really want to stack more life on other gear. I usually keep one of these for late game lab runs.

Rat's nest will provide the most damage and still provide a movement boost but again no life.

I retested Abyssus (I hadn't used it since legacy). It added about 50% more damage which is massive but so was the extra damage taken :). It's not my thing but it is definitely viable, although you are well into the glass cannon category and will want to know the boss fights extremely well. I'd also suggest dropping some dps from the tree for more life and investing in a taste of hate.



I run a rare armour with around 100 life until late 80's when I can afford better.
My preference is loreweave but it does come down to personal preference as there are so many good choices especially with some being reworked in 3.5.

Daressos adds charges, The Shroud of the Lightless has lvl 20 ele penetration, perfect form gives arctic armour, Lioneyes vision gives the projectiles pierce etc.
A shaper/elder rare with regain 5-6% of life on kill can bring in 250-300 life on every kill which is pretty serious and works well for general mapping and bosses with minions (elder guardians and shaper dont so loses some appeal here)

Belly of the beast adds a few hundred more life meaning over 6k life is possible (I used this from legacy to abyss leagues).

Loreweave armor which comes from a vendor recipe of any 60 unique rings.
Added physical damage is the most important factor but it also has elemental damage, crit chance and +max resists etc. Get 79-80% elemental resists as this is 20-24% less elemental damage taken and it is certainly noticeable (this also works well with taste of hate). The max resists are a hard cap so ruby flasks etc wont increase resists however reduced resistances map mods etc also have no effect!



Tombfist Gloves - Tombfist gloves with a murderous eye jewel to get intimidate
With 5% life on the gloves + 32 on the jewel would be about the same as gloves having 60 life. There is also a 2 jewel sock version which is very cool. For the jewels get life and adds physical damage or adds physical damage with swords and then other mods (fire damage here can give ignite for yoke of suffering).

Otherwise if you got 'first to strike, last to fall' then get either shaped gloves with faster attacks and blind or spiked gloves with life, attack speed and added phys damage. (Maligoro's virtuosity will beat a lot of spiked gloves and are cheap but don't have life so are another trade-off).



2 x Fight for Survival threshold jewels - these need nodes with 40 dex in their radius but those dex nodes don't have to be allocated so they work fine for us. Try and get 14-15% cold. These can be corrupted for increased crit chance or increased damage both of which add a little more dps

For the other sockets +%max life and preferably two forms of crit multiplier (either global, dual wielding, one hand, with cold, with elemental, or melee). These are not real cheap though and it is also worth a look at watcher's eye for one socket.

Watchers eye with damage penetrates 14-15% resists while affected by hatred is powerful. With only that one hatred mod they are sitting at 30-40c a few weeks into the league. Crit chance with hatred is about the same for dps but more expensive.

Abyssal jewels are not as strong in the tree as 2 x crit mult + life but worth a look. Choose a combination of crit multiplier, life, added phys or added phys with swords.


Bubonic trail and inya's epiphany are both good but I have always had to go rare to get the resists. Bubonic means stacking a lot of resists on the rings which cuts the damage of the rings so it really needs to be the expensive 2 socket version to be worthwhile.
Boots are also a good place to get some chaos resistance
Regardless of what you use make sure you enchant your boots!
'increased attack and cast speed if you have killed recently' adds a lot and lasts 4 secs and a lot of bosses have some minion around to give us the boost, although not many for shaper and parts of elder. Extra leech or extra regen are also both very good and probably better for shaper fights.
Boots can also have intelligence if needed.



1st ring
Curse with assassins mark or warlords mark is very viable here. Assassin’s is cheaper than warlords and adds a lot of dps. Warlord’s adds endurance charges so some more defences.
Get life on it as well! (and preferably adds physical damage to attacks.

2nd ring
Get life, adds physical damage and elemental damage with attack skills.
You will probably need intelligence (or you can get it on your boots) and fill in any resists you need.

Attack speed, crit and %cold damage are very nice and can make a significant difference (as well as accuracy for scion).

The taming is nice but not that great especially with the cost.



Yoke of suffering.
Has some very nice resists but no life and very little int so lose a point in picking up int on the tree.
This allows shock which is massive but like hypothermia smaller first hit but more damage after (shock amount varies between 20% and 50% more damage).

Monsters also take an increased 5% for each ailment (chill, freeze and shock). Adding a little fire damage somewhere can also ignite which adds another 5% so it is easily possible to get 20% although you wont always have it.

Until level 70 use a standard rare amulet which can be a great place to stack intelligence. Look for adds phys damage (15-26 is the top), life and high % crit multiplier.

Other uniques - Aul’s with hatred is great but expensive and there isn’t anything we can do with the extra mana to make up for shock. The Halycon can be beaten pretty easily. The Pandemonius adds blind which is a great defense against non spell casters but doesn't compete with the shock and bonus damage from the yoke.



Over a third of my dps comes from the flasks so I use them a lot!

DPS Flasks. These stats vary a lot depending on the various aspects of your other gear (crit chance etc) but what I'm getting in 3.2 peak dps & end game gear as a very rough guide. (They do boost each other so atziri's and taste of hate will do more if they are all active).

Diamond Flask +860k
Lion's Roar (24%) +790k
Atziri's (18/15) +320k
Taste of Hate +290k
Wise Oak +236k

I run 4 utility and 1 life (surgeons life flask of staunching)
Lion's roar is fantastic for its armor, damage and knockback (I consider this essential).
You can get a diamond from a levelling quest and it can be rolled to remove freeze or curses.
The price of Atziri's makes it a no-brainer.
I usually drop in a quicksilver flask of warding or taste of hate as it gives nice damage reduction as my fifth flask.


Gear Check

just a quick list if you are looking at your gear and wondering what to do next.

Life on everything possible. Rings can be crafted for +40-44, boots +60-64, by level 90 should have over 5000 life with a loreweave / rare armour and closer to 6000 with belly of the beast.

Helmet Enchant!
Rings with adds physical damage and either 25% elemental damage (opal) or high elemental damage with attacks, its even better if you can add attack speed, increased cold damage or critical strike chance as well
Belt - Perserverance or rustic / stygian with elemental damage with attacks (24+ preferably higher)
Weapons - Scaeva, good unique or rare 2nd sword
Gems - Quality 20 on 6-link gems.
Gloves - Tombfist with murderous eye jewel that has adds phys and life
Flasks - Lions roar, Atziris and Diamond, flask of staunching
Yoke of suffering (preferably a small amount of fire damage somewhere to ignite and get the extra 5%)
Boot Enchant



I never bothered with ancestral call and was happy with clear but in incursion flashback have been using it and the clear speed is certainly higher when there is good mob density but there is significant cost to single target damage. It also adds a gem swap for high end single target bosses (lower maps or those with 2-3 bosses I didn't swap) so it really is personal preference. Give it a try if you don't like it just leave ruthless in :)

There is a fair bit of flexibility in what goes where, this will often leave some sockets empty so you add more support / change what you like.

6 link -> frost blades, multistrike, elem damage with attacks, melee physical damage, hypothermia and then a swap of ancestral call and ruthless

5 link- drop hypothermia

3/4 link - Whirling blades, faster attacks, blood magic.

3/4 link – hatred, blood rage, frost bomb

2 link - Immortal Call & cwdt (only lasts for .4 secs but can make a difference)
If you have a 3rd socket add increased duration / molten shell / cold snap

4 link - herald of purity, ice golem, vaal ancestral warchief, culling strike.
This adds culling strike to all minions, personally having cull on the totem is the important one.


Vaal Haste can be a nice boost, especially for bosses (I keep forgetting that I have it :) so I consider it a low priority.
Vaal Cold Snap is nice when linked with CWDT (vaal version doesnt trigger but normal does and can use vaal version self cast)
Molten shell has gone out of fashion but at lvl 20 is still nice with CWDT

Maim maim is the next best gem for the 6link and is available early and can easily be used as an extra gem while leveling (until multistrike is available etc).
If you going to do atziri kills level a maim gem in a 2nd weapon (X) so that you can swap it with multistrike as needed.

Hypothermia gives more damage against chilled enemies than maim. So our first hit is essentially with a 5 link to cause the chill with our 2nd hit doing more damage. Because of the loss from that first hit it takes around 4-5 hits for the extra from hypothermia to equal maim.
I ran 10 hydras with my end gear comparing to maim (next best) and found I killed hydra about 10% quicker with hypothermia.

Blood Magic - Pretty minor but with no extra mana on my gear I found that I run out of mana for whirling blades when doing long runs and backtracking etc (fighting is not a problem because of the leech). Without vaal pact you can put blood magic on the whirling blades as the regen easily covers it, it also means that you can usually drop enlighten.

Frostbomb - Mostly for bosses and chests you wont have enough intelligence to fully level frost bomb but it doesn't matter as it's real bonus is the -ve resist

Vaal Ancestral Warchief - I was using ancestral protector until mid 3.3 and have now changed to warchief. Protector gives more overall dps but warchief gives us bigger hits so better chill, freeze and shock as well has splash built so frees up a socket.

Level 21 - Frostblades gets an additional projectile at level 21 (from 7 to 8) and a little more dps. It's noticeable especially with ancestral call but isn't a high priority.


The Tree, Bandits, Ascendancies and Stats etc


Conqueror then Worthy Foe -> these two are OP, especially can't evade which means we dont have to worry about accuracy

Then Unstoppable hero and Fortitude

I love permanent fortify especially with the belt to get permanent onslaught so we both move and whirling blades faster. For my playstyle I die less with permanent fortify so choose this every time.

otherwise Adrenaline is crazy - in real terms over 20% extra damage but only when low life.
It can be procc'ed with blood magic, blasphemy and a curse but is a pain and takes 3 sockets (I'd use shaped or spiked gloves rather than tombfist with this option because of the intimidate)


Tree & POB


Sword Tree
This is my 'regular' tree. It gives us a great balance of offensive and defense, lots of regen and enough resists so that the rest of the gearing is easier.

POB - https://pastebin.com/zcgRnURc

Poeplanner for tree

Claw Tree

POB - https://pastebin.com/Ait5pRe0

POE planner - https://tinyurl.com/ybbock7m

Take the vitality void leech until you get the leech from Soul Raker in the claw nodes, then take Vitality void off. (acrobatics is 1 point if you want it)

Varunastra tree

POB https://pastebin.com/pYM4cU9P

POE planner - https://tinyurl.com/y7ebl74b


Notes for all trees
Mana flows - Sometimes short on mana or intelligence while levelling and I grab this and take it off again later
Cloth and Chain - If you are short on resists this is great
Vaal pact - needs only 1 point - use it if you like (life regen is now about 7.4%)
Acrobatics is 2 points for swords or 1 for claws


Everything is turned on in POB. The rare used with a scaeva cost 10c but they vary massively so 5-25c sword? weapons are mid level on POB, generally it doesn't take much to do better.

Sword defenses
Life - ~5500-5600
Evade - 41%
Phys Dam Red - 49%
Block - 25%
Movement - 56% + Quicksilver

Claw & Varunstra defenses
Life - ~5300
Evade - 42%
Phys Dam Red - 45%
Block - 17%
Movement - 55% + Quicksilver

Shaper DPS (range is giving for best and worst roll of unique weapons). Dps could be increased by using vaal haste and ancestral protector rather than warchief and obviously more dps could be had with less life.

Budget - This is the gear I used for 6 different in chars in flashback at level 94 (I took them to level 85 and each happily ran tier 9-11 maps (the highest I had). Taking them into the 90's wouldn't have a been a problem.
Gear: A corrupted 6 link, enchanted starkonja's, no boot enchant and basic gear total cost around 300 chaos (I had no significant sales of gear, predominately just chaos recipe). 3 x dps potions.

Scaeva + rare - Ruthless Melee - 1.27-1.42M / Ancestral Melee - 773-859k
Varunastra - Ruthless Melee - 1.37-1.71M / Ancestral Melee - 831k-1.03M
Touch of Ang - Ruthless Melee - 1.42-1.62M / Ancestral Melee - 894k-1.01M

Good Gear- End game gear, enchanted lightpoacher (1ex), decent loreweave, very good rings (80c for both), single hatred watcher's eye. Estimated cost 10-12ex + weapons. 4 x dps potions (Rare swords are shown in incursion section at end).

Scaeva + rare - Ruthless Melee - 2.11-2.32M / Ancestral Melee - 1.32-1.45M
Varunastra - Ruthless Melee - 2.52-2.78M / Ancestral Melee - 1.58-1.74M (check Scion at end)
Touch of Ang - Ruthless Melee - 2.34-2.62M / Ancestral Melee - 1.47-1.64M
2 x Good Rare Swords - Ruthless Melee - 3.71M / Ancestral Melee - 2.33M

Extreme - My end game gear from incursion, my swords were better in Bestiary but this time I had corrupted tombfist and yoke etc, a very good loreweave (14ex), dual hatred watchers eye (10ex)
Total cost with rare swords around 40ex
(I shouldn't have bothered with dual watchers as it only added around +140k for 10ex).
Vaal Haste would add another 500+k.

Shaper DPS with Ruthless 4.7M Ancestral 2.89M



There are no real build defining choices so personal preference. When I remember :) I hit 'y' and change them for the map

Soul of Arakaali - Thanks to Chris for his observations that after capturing "herald of thunder" (not the skill gem) when someone hit us while we are using blood rage and immortal call procs, we benefit from the Soul of Arakaali power "50% increased Recovery of Life and Energy Shield".

Soul of Solaris is great for maps with increased critical strikes and I often leave it sitting on this.

Minor: Generally I use 'soul of tukohama' for the regen or 'soul of gruthkul' so that anything that hits me has less attack speed.

Change to Soul of Ralakesh before doing the lab, makes a massive difference

Alira - crit multiplier gives us more damage than any other option. Resists are always nice to have, especially at an early stage and allows more life/damage on other gear.


Leveling and Progression


This varies obviously depending on drops, whether it is start of the league, 2nd character etc etc but leveling can be fun with this build with playing around with different weapons.
The Princess Saber are fantastic at level 12 (should take you lvl30+) and Daresso's Passion at lvl 43 are also good. At lvl 60, Scaeva in the main hand (with 3 green sockets) is brilliant.
Claws are also good until you take the sword nodes on the tree.

There would be others but some items of note

Level 1 - Last Resort Claw / Wanderlust Boots (or seven league step :) / Lochtonial Caress Gloves / Goldrim hat / blackheart rings
Level 5 - Karui Ward Amulet
Level 8 - Asenath's Mark (for 5% movement)
Level 9 - Hrimsorrow gloves
Level 10 - Princess Saber - fantastic sword until the low 30's
Level 16 - The Magnate belt
Level 20 - Belt of the Deceiver
Level 21 - Maligaro's Virtuosity Gloves
Level 24 - Karui Charge
Level 27 - Lion's Roar Flask
Level 30 - Le Heup of All ring
Level 34 - Ewar's Mirage is good for main hand
Level 36 - Tombfist gloves
Level 43 - Daresso's Passion / Ornament of the East
Level 53 - LightPoacher
Level 60 - Scaeva[/b] / Starkonjas
Level 67/68 - Ahn's might / Devoto's devotion
Level 70 - Yoke of Suffering
Level 78 - Perseverance belt

In a new league it is largely whatever I find until lvl 60ish, I will replace most items 3-4 times between after level 60. My end game gear usually comes in between level 80 and 90.

Don't forgot about the vendor recipe to get a weapon with (40 to 69%) Increased Physical Damage by selling x 1 Weapon x 1 Blue or Rare Rustic Sash and a Blacksmith's Whetstone

I always buy a 14% or 15% 'fight for survival' as soon as I reach the socket and a scaeva at level 60.

I will grab a 5 link as soon as I can and preferably a cheap corrupted 6 link just before final kitava. I usually get a normal cheap 6 link and reroll it a few times in early maps which I will keep until the late 70's / early 80's when I will put in the final armour.

A number of items like lion's roar, tombfist gloves etc I get a few days after the league starts when they are cheaper. Until then I look for attack speed and added physical damage

Rings, amulet etc I am just looking for added physical damage, attack speed, life and resists on items while leveling. Last two starts I've had a belt of the deciever drop and i've used that until perservance, otherwise a rustic sash preferably with elemental damage with attacks

Tree Leveling

This varies a bit each time I do it. There is juggle between getting damage (the best defense is a good offence) and life so you are not a glass cannon. No matter how do it, with whatever weapons and classes etc, there are a number of weak spots, particularly around the mid 70s.

I pick up and later take off path of the warrior at times as it is often better than the first node of a cluster. Sometimes I take mana flows early and then taken it off later.

I worked down to the jewel socket and put in the first fight for survival and the life next to it. I then work across to the right picking up the life (2), leech (3), life (4) and winter spirit (5) through to the next gem (6), leaving most of the other nodes. I had a nice jewel drop so picked up the socket (8) but if you havent got a reasonable one, then leave to later.

I then worked through to strong arm (7) and back up to the big life at (9) and then got the jewel and resists at (10). I then intersperse getting more life from (9) with more damage at 11 and 12, I then work through to 13 and again mix damage and life with those marked 14. I then finish off with those marked (end).

Claw and varunstra tree is different but core and starting is the same, start working up to claw nodes after (10)


Scion and other classes



Scion probably needs reworking with unnatural instinct and might of the meek

Swords POB https://pastebin.com/e5NCRXD4
Varunastra POB https://pastebin.com/SrFfdujX
Claws https://pastebin.com/DDgvfSRa

Follow the assassin through to being to able to start in shadows area
on uber lab go with 2nd ascendancy that you have chosen (slayer/inquisitor/etc)
Scion gets power charges through the assassin tree so should use frostbite.

Scion was great until the Champion ascendancy rework and is still very usable just nowhere near as powerful in comparison.

With the incursion end game gear (that got 4.78M Shaper dps) she would do 3.47M. That is choosing slayer as second preference to get over leech and cull. Some of the others such as Inquisitor and Juggernaut would get a little more damage. With claws she has a similar drop in Dps.

However with Varunastra she would a little more than the Duelist and get the 2nd ascendancy on top. With my max gear she pulls 3.23M. Personally this is the way to go for a Scion or Varunastras


With Swords deadeye gets 3.81M but has chain built in so fantastic clear. There are a number of ranger frostblades builds already so it is worth a look at them if you want to play a ranger



I played a juggernaught he had about 20% less damage than duelist but picked up endurance charges. Playing the dualist with warlords mark instead of assassins would give endurance and more damage so he didnt seem worth it. I really need to read more juggernaught builds, play it and refine it more, work out how good unbreakable etc etc. to be able to come up with a good build.


Gear each league etc


Incursion Gear


Shaper DPS is at 4.78M


Bestiary Level 90 Update

Challenges & content
Highest map I've got so far is T12, I feel overpowered and these have been easy
20/40 Challenges done - pretty mixed which ones I've done and a number are half done, I dont see an issue in getting any of them beyond time and rng.

POB https://pastebin.com/0jUUttxb


So far 1 ex, 2 divines & 335 chaos, so roughly 430c all up so far.
(although I should have paid more for that sword).


Bestiary Level 94 End game

Level 94 somewhere around 25-30 exalts spent (My most expensive version of this build)
All 40 challenges complete (however I bought a carry for uber elder because very simply I suck at shaper my best so far is 1 death (plenty of people have done deathless with not as good gear I just need more practice at it).

A taste of hate dropped on the last day up to then I used a quiksilver flask and I never used the vaal haste and I still feel very overpowered with red elder going down about 10 times.

POB https://pastebin.com/cdHZva6k



Harbinger Stats, Gear etc (outdated)


This is outdated as the version 3.2 ascendencies now make us much stronger as well as newer gear

200 chaos version at lvl 93

Regen (non vaal pact) Champion, you can see in the lvl 93/94 stats the amount of variance for different versions

Life about 5000
Hideout - Everything off - 352k
Theoretical peak - Everything, all charge, all potions etc - 1.26M

800 chaos version at Level 93/94

Champion POB https://pastebin.com/t9mBasnE

1400-1500 chaos version at Level 93/94

POB https://pastebin.com/TFqXstLN

Peak dps
original tree and my best gear :) life 5740 - 2.32M dps

Harbinger league update at lvl 88 / 92 (around 200 chaos)


I'm lvl 88 and soon to finish leveling the gems. I have 4868 life now and taking the odd over 4000 hit but mostly surviving. Slowly worked my way up through gear, this is my 3rd scaeva and 3rd 6-link armor :) I went the rare hat as it was cheaper.

So far I have spent in chaos - scaeva 10, gemstone sword 30, armour 85, helm 40, amulet 3, viper ring 5, mind knot ring 5, belt 12, boots 8, gloves 10 and the flask I picked up. So total 208 chaos and close to my original 200c goal :)

Still need to get the boot enchant but this gear with all charges up and all potions etc will reach about 1.27 million peak dps at level 93

POB https://pastebin.com/zk6tXGYQ)

Gear & Budget (ignore gems as we made it better :)

Harbinger league update at lvl 93/94 (around 800 chaos)


My gear has changed but I haven't really spent a lot more (though I did bargain hunt).
I bought a belly of the beast and linked it with 3 fusings!!! and managed to sell my previous armour for what the belly ended up costing me

New sword cost 150 chaos with its 61% crit multiplier and great attack speed. The cold portion here is only doing about 6k dps. Physical dps is 335 but to match it with a 35% crit sword I would need 425pds and a 25% crit sword around 450pds. (It's great but a lot of its dps is in attack speed so its average hit isn't that high so less freeze time).

Gloves were 30, I think the amulet cost around 20-30, rings about 5-10 each and the jewel was 35. Better gear is available if you have the money to spend :)

If i had bought the belly link then selling off the old stuff the build would have cost around 800 chaos at this point, most of which is the cost of belly.

This let me hit a peak of 2m dps at lvl 95, I then added frostbomb and brought it up to 2.3m.


Last edited by WildWombat on Feb 16, 2019, 10:24:07 PM
Last bumped on Feb 6, 2019, 9:35:08 AM
Why do you use two swords? Isn't the sword + shield better? After all, the damage comes from each sword in turn. Or just because of the increased attack speed why dual wielding? Then in my opinion it is better to use a shield and improve survival. How do u think?
Last edited by Spooneer on Jun 1, 2017, 5:47:35 AM
Wiki: "Whenever the player equips two one-handed weapons of any type, dual wielding grants the following stats:

10% more Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
15% additional Block Chance while Dual Wielding
20% more Attack Physical Damage while Dual Wielding"

I guess thats it )) Or ... ?

I sold this characters gear to start my next char so cant try it anymore but have since discovered path of building :)

It tells me that the melee hit when dual wielding when running
frostbite - dps is 307k
or with artic armor - dps is 241k

there are a few shields that could also be interesting like daresso's courage or kaltensoul but I put in to change the 2nd sword to a lioneyes remorse

frostbite dps - 173k
arctic dps - 136k

so a lot of difference for dps but it picks around 500 more life, increased block chance and goes from 46% to 54% physical damage reduction.

Whos is General Playing for all Content? Breach/Atziri/Mapping?

i play a Swort-Crit Gladiator

its not Bad only sucks its Phy Dmg from Uberlab :(
freeze is based on singleplayer monster hp even in grps
Played a lot more different chars and learn't since writing the original :)

The biggest difference from the original is the Perseverance belt. This belt is just about made for the champion ascendancy as it gives onslaught when you have fortify, so we gain permanent onslaught with more attack speed and movement (now 81%)

It also adds damage based on armour and evasion so a jade flask adds a nice dps boost as well as evasion. I'd also now look more at armour / evasion mix body armour rare rather than straight armour (or lightning coil becomes an obvious choice for a unique).

I also found a good pair of spiked gloves will outperform the atziri's but lose instant leach and intelligence (but cost 10c rather than 10ex :)

I'd also put culling strike on the totem and golem

I was going to try this in 3.0 as there doesn't seem to be any changes although the availability of varunstra may wipe it out, will have to see...
moved up to the top and deleted
Last edited by WildWombat on Aug 11, 2017, 1:01:47 AM

Still on act9, lvl63. But has been way too easy to get here. Very good clear speed. I'm using decoy totem to avoid being hit by bosses and its doing very well. Still haven't got a 5 or 6L. Even with 4L the build (even incomplete) is already awesome and easy to play.

Well done!
Last edited by Fabriciocovero on Aug 8, 2017, 10:10:16 PM
Glad you like it! :)

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