3.1 Frost Wind Ascendant (White Wind Frost Blades) HC red map viable #CURRENTLY UPDATING FOR 3.5

Hello everyone!

I am currently relevelling the build in BSC to evaluate it's current state and to minmax it for the contemporary endgame.

I will rewrite the entire guide as soon as I am done with the project.

See this link to go to page 13 of this thread and find my report:

Join me on my twitch stream twitch.tv/catmasterOP and ask me anything :3

Find the original 3.1 Guide below:


I want to present you my Frost Wind Ascendant build in Path of Exile 3.1 utilizing the White Wind Imperial Skean which grants bonusses while your offhand is empty.

I have been playing this build on stream for the better part of the last 3 weeks and this week finally hit level 95 in the ongoing Abyss HC league.

So far the build has been fairly inexpensive but there is still upgrades that I intend to make. However, before we max out the character completely or die to one of the many stupid mistakes I tend to make while playing I Just quickly wanted to give you an overview of the build as it is right now.

As you can see, we comfortably dash from pack to pack pretty much killing everything instantly often times shattering the whole pack at once.

Right now we are sitting at
193331.5 total Boss dps including charges and onslaught
136139.8 total Boss dps
6127 Life
2818.4 (4227.6) hp/s Life Leech rate @ 2.4 % attack damage leeched as life

We also have 60% chance to dodge attacks and 38% chance to dodge spell damage; which go up to 75% and 72% respectively when Vaal Grace is up.
We have about 4400 Evasion and we are running Arctic Armor and Fortify to reduce the size of incoming hits when we do end up getting hit.

The clear feels really comfortable, the build is fairly fast and mobile and – after upgrading to a 6L- the single target is also quite respectable, especially because our leech lets us facetank through a lot of damage meaning we can stand still and dish out damage at the same time.

So now that you have seen some gameplay in red maps I will give you a quick outline of the core concepts of the build, my gem setups, my pantheon choices as well as my gear and my passive tree choices.

Core Ideas

I set out to make a good build out of the new White Wind Imperial Skean that has been added to Path of Exile in 3.1 . People don't seem to like the empty off hand concept which is understandable if you think about all the great stats you can have on a stat stick or a shield, so – so far – the dagger is very cheap and costs only a handful of chaos even though a high roll can have up to 425 raw edps (ignoring the conditional global increase). That's not only comparable to mirror tier rare weapons, but also it is pure cold damage, so it is a lot easier to scale by means of increases and penetration than damage of all elements.
On top of that it also provides you with 20% chance to dodge attacks and said 100% globally increased cold damage as long as your off hand is empty.
The downsides of the dagger are it's low base crit, low explicit AS of only 15% and no critical strike multiplier

There were several skills on the table to choose from and we decided to go with frost blades because it grants easy access to Cold penetration via the fight for survival threshold jewesl which each offer 15% penetration to the melee portion of the skill
Frost Blades is a True Melee Skill which does require you to Namelock, but it comes with the Quality of Life of granting you +22 to weapon range at gemlevel 21. Daggers have a base weapon range of 8 so this adds up to a total of 30 range (which equals the length of 2.5 tiles in the elreon hideout and feels really good for whirling around and attacking in place. You will barely ever feel the need to reposition by walking, so you could even go for boots without movement speed.)

Because the white wind already grants you 20% dodge we wanted to make dodge one of the main defensive cornerstones of this build so we definitely wanted to pick up acrobatics and phase acrobatics. As an attacker we also have easy access to Leech stats in the bottom right of the tree. For a character based in the bottom right of the passive tree it is a long stretch to pick up elemental overload, which the reason we decided to go crit instead despite the low base crit of the dagger we are using.

We are also trying to scale a HoI for the clear because
as a crit build centered around cold damage, we freeze and shatter our enemies most of the time, with HoI these shatters will actually deal Cold aoe damage which is scaled by large global increase on the dagger so it helped the clear so much that we actually invested a little bit into making the Herald as strong as possible without compromising our single target dps or survivability too much.

We decided for the Scion or Ascendant with the miniascendancies Assassin and Slayer (aka Ass-Slayer) as our character class because this provides easy access to the following three things which are very desirable for our build
Jewel Sockets for abyss Jewels as a source of Flat cold damage and life
Life Leech effects don't end on Full life aka “The Slayerleech” which is very helpful if you want to pick up VP
Base Crit to make our crit scaling more efficient since the dagger has a low base crit and herald of ice has 0% base crit.

Gem Setups

My main setup in order of importance contains

+ Frost Blades
+ Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
+ Cold Penetration
+ Multistrike
+ Increased Critical Strikes
+ Increased Critical Damage (use Hypothermia for better boss damage as soon as you reach ~ 300%+ crit multi without it)

Increased Critical Strikes is a subpar choice in terms of raw dps and if you like swapping gems you can replace it with elemental focus for every bossfight. While preparing for this build guide I also realized that using added cold damage instead of increased critical damage is straightup more damage but really its a tossup and the choice depends on how much flat cold damage and how much crit multi you already have on abyss jewels and other gear. With very good cold flat damages on abyss jewels, increased critical damage will be better than added cold damage.

My 3L Herald of Ice is supported by
+ Increased Critical Strikes
+ Increased Area of Effect

Because Heralds do not have a base crit, we aim to get as much +% to critical strike chance as possible in order to clear consistently with HoI because only when the herald crits will it benefit from our massive amount of global critical strike multiplier.
In order to maximize the claer potential we increase the aoe noticeably with the Increased Area of Effect Support gem. If you have another free gem socket for a third support Cold penetration to further improve the clear or Onslaught if you do not have another source for the onslaught buff.

We are using a 4L Mobility setup with
+ Whirling blades
+ Faster attacks
+ Fortify for the 20% hit damage reduction
+ Bloodmagic
in order to prevent us from situations where we cannot use skills due to insufficient mana especially in maps without regeneration.

We are using a cast when damage taken setup with
+ Immortal Call
+ Increased Duration

Because Vaal Skills are not supported by CWDT we can also put our Vaal Grace into the same 4L as our CWDT setup so it benefits from the Increased Duration support increasing the duration from 6s to 10.44s

We are also using the following unlinked skills

+ Arctic Armor for the hit damage reduction while stationary
+ Summon Ice Golem as a strong buff which usually lasts for a whole bossfight
+ Decoy Totem to lead bosses and avoid having to facetank
(also taunted enemis deal 10% less damage to targets that aren't the source of the taunt)

+ Blood Rage for the Frenzy charge generation and the attack speed buff
and to enable the augmented Soul of Arakaali Pantheon in conjuction with the CWDT setup

Pantheon Powers

The Soul of Arakaali Pantheon grants us a variety of small buffs around incoming lightning damage and damage over time but most notably – once augmented by the soul of Arachnoxia – grants us
50% increased Recovery of Life and Energy Shield if you've stopped taking Damage Over Time Recently
All gaining of life and Energy shield is recovery, so this includes all "Gain on hit" and "Gain on kill" effects, all flask life recovery and most notably our leech bringing it from 2818.4 to 4227.6 hp/s as long as we had our CWDT proc at least once in the last 4 seconds.
This is why we aim to capture the soul of Arachnoxia as soon as possible and exclusively use the Soul of Arakaali as our major pantheon power

For the minor pantheon power you can basically choose freely according to situation and preference. I personally prefer the augmented Soul of Ralakesh because being immune to maim and blind is nice quality of life especially against the Shroud Walker Nemesis mod and reduced physical damage over time taken while moving reduces the degen from our blood rage and bleeds from hits or corrupting blood stacks.


Current Gear at lvl 95 in Abyss Hardcore

We are using

+ The White Wind Dagger
as the core piece of our build. There is not much to say about it, with an empty off hand it beats even the best possible imaginable mirror tier ambusher in terms of dps in this setup.
With a rare dagger, we could be using lycosidae or a rare shield possibly resulting in more damage or survivability but lycosidae alone would be 7 exalted orbs at the very least.

+ The Darkness enthroned Unique stygian vise
because it is very affordable and hard to outclass.
With perfect T1 mods on both socketed jewels this belt can grant up to
+ 150 life
+ 36% crit multi
+ 123-321 cold damage to dagger attacks

+ Oskarm Nubuck Gloves
because they are
+ the only source of global assassin's mark on hit (outside of expensive shaper base rings)
+ one of the few sources of Spell Dodge Chance
+ quite affordable
They have up to 50 life but come with the downside of -10 to -20% to chaos resist so you will need at least one chaos resist roll on one of your rare pieces.

+ Belly of the Beast
Simply the best option for many builds in the bottom right of the tree. Outside of using a belly of the beast, its not easy to get more than 200% increased maximum life which many would consider the bare minimum for hc viability. We don't usually get hit a lot but as a build without armor or endurance charges we do receive large hits so we ant to make sure we are safe from being oneshot, that is why we aim for the largest possible lifepool.
Alternatively you could consider The Perfect Form, but in the end this will just make you get killed easier.
You will likely need rare boots to get enough resistances but eventually you are aiming to wear Atziri's Step for another up to 16% chance to dodge spell damage or a pair of rare boots on an Elder base which can roll up to 10% chance to dodge spell damage as well but should be a lot harder to acquire.

On your rare boots, your rare jewellery and your rare helmet you will want to prioritize the following stats:

+ Elemental Resists
to reach cap, weakness cap and in the best case scenario, balance resists for Wise Oak Flask

+ Strong life rolls
because we are missing 100+ life from the rare shield we are not wearing

+ One Good Chaos resist roll
because we don't want to sit at -70% chaos resist while farming maps.

+ One or Two nice flat accuracy rolls
enough to reach 3000 accuracy for 90+ % chance to hit

+ Elemental Damage with Attack Skills and Crit Multi
strongest ways to scale Damage; flat cold is also ok.

+ Some Strength
to use Decoy Totem lvl 20 we need 155 STR

+ Some INT while levelling
We are lacking INT prior to picking up the shadow area of the tree and socketing the Pure Talent Jewel.

When transitioning into this build at around LVL 70, I equipped the Dagger, Body Armor, Belt and Gloves. I started gearing by buying the Sapphire Ring which was 30c I believe and I also got this amulet pretty cheap and still had this ring lieing around. I went and searched for a helmet that would put all 3 of my elemental resists to the same value to fully benefit from the Wise Oak Flask.
So I had my elemental resists sorted out already and was able to prioritize chaos resist next to life and movement speed on my boots and these are what I settled for at the time. Movement Speed is not really needed as you will be dashing around with Whirling Blades a lot, but it can be considered Quality of Life – especially during Labyrinth and Ascendancy Trials.


For Flasks we are using
+ The Wise Oak
because with all our resists balanced it grants us 10% less Damage taken for all three elements which is the equivalent of +2.5% all max res. An additional 15% penetration is also very nice to have.
+ Bubbling Hallowed Life Flask of Staunching
because our substantial Leech doesn't stop at full life, we only need to remove bleeds once and don't need Bleed on a Duration type flask as much as our other immunities against shock, freeze and curses
+ Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Grounding
+ Surgeon's Stibnite Flask of Heat
+ Surgeon's Basalt Flask of Warding
The surgeon's prefix grants us flask charge sustain during prolonged boss fights without adds. Because we can't roll Surgeon's on our Diamond Flask, we aim for Experimenter's for the longest possible uptime with full charges. For general mapping and bossing the surgeon's prefix on the basalt is not as good as a Chemist's prefix with 23 or more % less charges used because this would mean we can use it twice when it is at full charges. In longer fights, Surgeon's is better though.
Outside of a hc setting it might be viable to replace the curse removal flask for another unique flask such as atziri's Promise or Vessel of Vinktar (flat lightning to attacks) as long as you are resist capped for elemental weakness.



For our Passive Tree we are currently using at lvl 95
we stretch between
+ Adder's Touch
for massive crit bonus to dagger attacks
+ Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics
for 40% dodge and 30% spell dogdge at the cost of 5 passive points
+ Vaal Pact and Vitality Void
to make our leech as strong as possible

In between we aim to pick up as many
+ life nodes
+ jewel sockets
+ crit clusters
as possible.

We end up at
+ 193% increased Life from Tree
+ 6 Jewel Sockets

We are using the miniascendancies
+ Assassin
for Base Crit and Crit Multi against Full life targets
+ Slayer
for Endless Hunger Leech that doesn't stop at full life, making the Downside of Vaal Pact (giving up life regeneration) very negligible most of the time.

Because Path of the Shadow allows us to start at the shadow start, the shadow start does not have to be connected to the scion start

This also allows us to use a Pure Talent jewel for
+ 0.5% to crit
+ 25 all attributes

We are also using 2x Fight for Survival Viridian jewels for 30% Frost Blades Melee Cold penetration

The remaining 3 Sockets in the tree and 2 sockets on the unique belt we fill with rare abyss jewels on which we prioritize
+ Cold Damage to Attacks
+ Cold Damage to Dagger Attacks
+ Flat Life
+ Crit Multi
One roll "Chance to gain Onslaught on kill"

One more piece of advise here is to carefully try around to find out which jewels are best socketed in your belt for the 50% increased effect.

The jewels I am using currently are mostly mediocre as double T1 flat cold to dagger attack jewels with life and crit multi are not very available.

Sorry for the bad formatting, will update that soon :)
That's that, have a wonderful day and see you all in a future build post :)


3.2 Update
Ascendant changes Buff or Nerf?

Assassin lost 40% Crit multiplier against enemies on Full life and 0.5% Base Crit but gained a reliable 10% chance to gain Power charges on crit (20% chance to gain a power charge on hit against enemies on full life before) which makes it so that we have our power charges up all the time.
Slayer lost the 40% damage increase with hits against rare and unique enemies but gained culling strike and 20% increased damage while leeching (which we are most of the time where it matters). Furthermore, Slayer lost the guaranteed stun against enemies on full life which makes jumping into a pack a lot scarier if your critical strike chance is not that reliable yet (early maps).

So it's a

+ slight nerf on the defense side while clearing,

+ straightup buff to the bosskilling performance of the build

+ slight nerf to the clear which will likely go unnoticed because it was already pretty good.

Leaguestarter for 3.2?

I levelled this build in Abyss HC with strong levelling Items and a lot of flat damage to attacks from the abyss jewels, which let me level fairly easily.

The build is great as soon as you get it going which is not very expensive, but if you want to start in the 3.2 Bestiary League from the very beginning, keep in mind that abysses now only can appear from act 6 onwards and rare abyss jewels will be a lot less available, especially early on. As a scion with self found / self crafted gear you will have a mediocre start (because the start nodes aren't all that great and you cannot utilize the early access to multiple jewel sockets fully) and, unless you are lucky, you will have to outlevel content a little bit in order to progress comfortably.
On the bright side, you will have no problems capping your resists early with basically just white resist rings and some resist rolls on blue/rare gear because you get 28% all res from the tree and 15% All res from Alira so you just need another 32% of each element in order to be capped at 75%.
Thats 32% on two two-stone rings each and another 32 somewhere else. The build will pick up pace as soon as you get the Assassin node in the Ascendant Tree after you complete the Cruel Labyrinth. Merciless Labyrinth is another Power Spike which I would urge you to pick up before you go for act 10 kitava.

For Levelling I was using

From lvl 8 Tabula Rasa - for the 6L
From lvl 26 2x Ewar's Mirage - for a total of 80-110% increased elemental damage with attacks + Free chain and additional projectile
(you can use this into maps and beyond as long as you keep upgrading your abyss jewels. These Swords scale flat elemental damages really well with frost blades and the levelling clear with ancestral call +1 proj +1 chain is amazing)
you will only specialize into daggers very late into the build, so its worth it to level with these instead
from lvl23 the peregrine - for MS, mana leech and accuracy.

(completely optional) Goldrim and Wanderlust

I was also using the unique Stygian vise belt that grants 2 abyssal sockets with 50% increased effect of socketed jewels but due to how Abyss is implemented into the game, this will be even harder to get than jewels worth socketing in it. use a rare rustic sash for a little damage boost if you are using physical weapons or a rare leather belt for better life.

Gem Setup

Frost blades is not a very good single target skill while levelling. Use Molten strike for killing bosses instead.

I am lazy and don't like to swap gems around a lot so I used both Frost Blades and Molten Strike with the same four support gems in a
Tabula for an effective double 5L setup
Molten Strike and Frost Blades
+ Ancestral call
+ Added Cold Damage
+ Onslaught
The latter can be replaced by (-> Faster Attacks) -> Multistrike as soon as you have another source of Onslaught (Silver flask or Abyss jewel)

While levelling without Tabula, you want to use 2 seperate 4L/5L setups

Picking up a decoy totem and learning to keep it up during bossfights to lead bosses away and avoid having to facetank them helps tremendously, especially if you are running fast and underlevelled.

I also use all 3 heralds as soon as I can use them and later on, after the library quest, I replace Herald of Ash with a Blasphemy + Poacher's Mark setup for LGOH, MGOH, reduced enemy evasion and frenzy charge generation.

From Lvl 49 I recommend using Wyrmsign Wyrmscale gauntlets for a pseudo 5L Molten strike (MS+MS+EDwAS+AC) and rampage, for this you need to generate endurance charges which you want to do with blasphemy warlords mark (replacing poachers Mark). At this point you should be able to sustain a blood rage with your leech in order to keep generating frenzy charges while clearing.

As soon as you can equip white wind and have enough jewels with good cold damage to dagger attacks you should be able to transition into the endgame setup, I would recommend doing so after killing a10 kitava and merciless Izaro though because you really want to have both your ascendancy perks.

Levelling Progression

Passive Tree 35 Points

Notes: Pick up jewel sockets if you can get a jewel with "+2 Mana gained for each enemy hit by your attacks" or any abyss jewel with flat damage to attacks (Some of those rolls are weapon-specific. If you are using Ewar's Mirage, keep in mind that it is a sword and scales damage of ALL elements well. When you switch to White Wind later you will need dagger-specific flat cold dmg on abyss jewels).
BANDITS: Unless you have superb levelling gear, you need to help Alira for all she offers helps the build a lot early on. In Endgame you should be able to sort out your resists and refund this and get 2 passive points instead, but the difference is very marginal.

60 points

Notes: Likely you will have mana sustain problems as your leech cap will be lower than your mana consumption. The 5 flat regen from alira will alleviate this a bit, but if you don't have mana gain on hit jewels you may have to pick up Druidic Rite (also helps with flask sustain when packs are not as big yet) and/or Spirit Void in order to be able to fully sustain mana against single targets, where your life gain on hit from the poacher's mark will possibly not be enough. You can refund these later as your damage and your mana pool become big enough to leech everything back with just the .4% from the middle node betweeen Vitality Void and Spirit Void.
Also you may need to pick up a +30 INT node temporarily to keep levelling your blue gems.

90 points

Notes: you should have several decent jewels with useful stats now and no need for additional INT as you picked up some notables in the shadow start area that grant 30 int total. if you need more int you can path up to the dagger cluster already. In general, if you feel safe, you can sacrifice unnecessary life nodes for the sake of faster progression or more damage. you can always get them back later.

I hope this clarifies most questions and I hope you have a great start in 3.2
if you have any questions Feel free to come into my stream on twitch.tv/catmasterOP
I will be very busy with my own levelling but usually try to answer and my mods are usually very helpful as well.

Best of RNG and lots of fun in 3.2 for all of you!
"[...] probably only be achievable by some kind of divine spiritual being and I don't think any of us would claim to be one of those. I mean, I was surprised when I woke up this morning and discovered I was wearing underwear. I'm sure you can relate."
Posted by FatesDefiler
Last edited by Catmaster on Dec 16, 2018, 4:14:44 AM
Last bumped on Dec 21, 2018, 7:02:46 AM
What do you think about using ancestral call while mapping?
What do you think about using ancestral call while mapping?

Not necessary unless running red maps with several resist and/or life rolls (Equilibrium, Ele Resists, Endurance Charges), because we are running a 3L Herald of Ice that, while flasks are up, has 47% Effective Crit Chance and 353% Crit Multi and 15% cold penetration.
It's possible to sacrifice Ice Golem or Decoy Totem and 4L the herald with Cold Pen. or added cold damage which should make it even better at clearing.
"[...] probably only be achievable by some kind of divine spiritual being and I don't think any of us would claim to be one of those. I mean, I was surprised when I woke up this morning and discovered I was wearing underwear. I'm sure you can relate."
Posted by FatesDefiler
Last edited by Catmaster on Feb 13, 2018, 10:38:18 PM
Thanks for explanation.

Following this guide,I kinda modified it to lean towards more damage,since I'm playing on softcore.

250K shaper dps,tooltip shows around 110k. been going pretty well so far,killed atziri,killed elder on t13 map,ran several t15s, havent tried guardians yet.

all and all,build plays really smooth,thank you this was a fantastic build to end the league with :)
Did you killed all Bandits?
Would this be a good starter build in Bestiary? :-)
was introduce as 3.2 new league starter

what u think of normal jewel what to look for ?

and some new ascendancy revamp affect this build?
along with the new fated unique and new unique items other better choice?
Hi, nice post thx.
i've got a question about how to level the passive skill tree before getting the ascendancy node path of the shadow? and at what level do you switch?
i really would like to go with this build for the 3.2 bestiary league, can you give me those advise please?
i cant seem to open the skill tree.... how do i do this cuz i would love to play this
Thanks for explanation.

Following this guide,I kinda modified it to lean towards more damage,since I'm playing on softcore.

250K shaper dps,tooltip shows around 110k. been going pretty well so far,killed atziri,killed elder on t13 map,ran several t15s, havent tried guardians yet.

all and all,build plays really smooth,thank you this was a fantastic build to end the league with :)

What have u changed? Not playing HC

TY :)

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info