[3.7] Face-Cannon Frost blades Assassin. Face Tank everything! (Shaper, Uber elder video added)
3.7 Update 1: The passive tree has been changed for 3.7
3.7 Update 2: Eventually, we should aim at BOTH enlighten Lv4 and a Shaper's Touch with "+1 level of socketed gems" implicit. By doing this, we will be able to add in another aura - Level 1 Precision. It is a huge dmg boost while only reserve 22 mana.
A cheaper option could be enlighten lv3 + "+1 socketed gem" shaper's touch + rings with -7 mana cost craft.
3.7 Update 3: PoB updated for 3.7. In the PoB I took more life nodes instead of DPS nodes, but if you get enough life from the gears, you can go for more DPS nodes. Also, definitely use a Lethal Pride jewel in the socket above Blood Drinker.
With 3.7 Melee buff, this build actually becomes viable again.
Although the instant leech is capped, we do get more life leech from the claw wheel on passive tree and blind enemy with critical strike. Therefore, please ignore the previous note and enjoy face tanking.
Also if you've played this build before, you may notice a lot of the death comes from the "continuous" attack from multistrike, or little stuck from whirling blades, and since they are fixed now, I would guess this build is less squishy compared to before.
Hi all, my name is NT and this is my first build guide, so all advices are welcome :). I want to share my face-cannon frost blades build. This build sacrifices a little DPS by using bloodseekers. (still got around 400k in pob with very cheap gear [edit: Could reach 3 million dps (2m shaper DPS with my current gear)]). but can face tank almost all bosses up to SHAPER, even with dangerous mods like elemental reflect([edit:See video for T16 ele reflect Vaal Temple face tank!]). The clear speed is very fast and it can easily face tank uber lab, atziri, red elder, T16 Chimera, Minotaur, Hydra. (Phoenix you have to dodge the big explode).
This build does not require much budget since all required uniques are cheap,but if you're rich, there is also huge space to improve. The build uses Bloodseeker for instant life leech and from Opportunistic ascendancy of Assassin (no crit from boss), we can face tank most of the bosses without worrying about positioning.
What if I can not sustain mana? : Enlighten 4 is needed if you want to use hatred + two 25% heralds/arctic armour/aspect skill. Note that with enlighten lv3, you could not sustain mana consistently.
However, you could make the followings changes (which will sacrifice a little DPS):
> use hatred + 1 herald
> use helmet enchant with reduce hatred mana reservation
> craft -6 or higher mana cost of skills (Jun craft)
> use shaper's touch with +1 level of socketed gems (currently 3c in Legion). Also the aura/heralds will also get +1.
What if I feel squishy? : This build needs a good balance between DPS and life, you need high DPS to provide enough leeching, and high life as well to prevent 1 hit. So make sure you got T1 life rolls on all your rare gear, i.e. 70+ life on rings, 80+ life on amulets and boots, 100+ life on belt (abyss belt with life jewel or leather belt). Also make sure at least one of your rings is Steel Ring, and have 2 or more DPS mods (increased cold dmg, WED, flat phys). Make sure your amulet have 3 or more DPS mods. (flat phys, increased cold dmg, crit multi, WED) WED means elemental damage with attack skills.
If you die a lot due to stuns/freeze, wear a Kaom's root. But then you need more expensive gear to support your resistance.
Here are some shortcut link for gear search.
EZ poe.trade links for amulet: http://poe.trade/search/uriyoosesunako
EZ poe.trade links for rings: http://poe.trade/search/ihekosarikunon
End-game gear v.s Shaper
Face Tank Shaper (literally)
Uber Elder Kill
This is my first uber elder kill so it looks very sloppy. I've killed more than 50 uber elders with this build since then, and it was way smoother that what it looks in the video below.. probably will update another video in future.
Red Elder face tank
T16 Vaal Temple face tank with ele reflect
Guardians Face Tank
T16 Minotaur face tank
T16 Chimera face tank
T16 Hydra face tank
T15 Reef Elemental Reflect Boss Fight
The map also has 40% resistant, but the boss still die very fast.
T15 Sunken City Full Map Run
Facetank boss, again :D
videos before my updates
Tooltip and Defense
Eng Game Gear Buffed
With Stygian wise + abyss jewel, one rare multimod claw.
Here are some unique claws I used during leveling:
Lv34 Mortem Morsu, Lv46 Ornament of the East, Lv62 Bloodseeker. You could use 2x Touch of Anguish until you start to die to slowly leech, and then switch back to 2x bloodseeker or 1 bloodseeker + 1 rare/ToA.
If you can not afford a 6L belly:
You could use Tabula to level until around Lv80.
You could buy a 6L rare with 120+ life to level until Lv90.
For helmet, both goldrim and Peregrine are good choices.
For belt, you could use meginord.
For boots, use wanderlust.
Use onslaught gem during leveling.
For amulet, you could use Kauri ward .
Use whatever rings you found.
Please use Shaper's touch with "+1 level of socketed gems" before you have enlighten Lv4, and put enlighten + hatred + herald of ash + herald of purity in glove.
Belly vs Loreweave
This build really loves the stats that loreweave provides, if you're using loreweave, make sure at least the resistance roll is 80% and the damage/life roll are above average. You may want to use Arctic Armour with loreweave since your physical defense is weaker than belly.
I put belly as suggested gear since it is more affordable and it is definitely end-game viable.
Only consider the section below only after you got all required gear:
The best corruption will be crit multi or attack speed.
But the add fire/cold/lightning, weapon range, crit chance, frenzy on kill are also very good.
If you hit culling strike, it's not useful for this build, but you could sell it for 5ex+.
You could also use bestiary 30% quality craft. You could check in your PoB to see which one provides more DPS with your current gear.
(credit to Ziltoidian)
Rare claws with metacraft could give you some huge DPS boost. If you use a rare claw and find yourself leech not fast enough, take 3 points to get Vitality Void on your passive tree.
Fossil Craft Belt and Helmet
Eventually you want to use Stygian Wise with abyss socket.
Use Pristine + Frigid + Prismatic to fossil craft your belt.
You could get a huge DPS boost.
Also, use Pristine + Frigid to craft the helmet
The quicksilver flask is a switchable flask. Some potential flasks are "Wise Oak" "Lion's Roar", Jade flask, onslaught flask; depending on what you need/want.
Updated on April 16. 2018:
Chest: Frost blades - Melee Physical Damage - Elemental Damage with Attacks - Multistrike - Ruthless - Elemental Focus
Note: For more DPS, You can use Ruthless or increased critical damage instead of faster attacks. I enjoy a fast attack speed play style so I kept faster attacks here.
Note 04-14-2019: After lv92, it seems we already have enough attack speed from tree/gear. I suggest to use ruthless instead of faster attacks after Lv92.
Note 06-08-2019: No need to use faster attack anymore, since we could cancel the animation now.
Glove: Enlighten (Lv4) - Hatred - Herald of Ash (or Herald of Ice, or Arctic Armour) - Herald of Purity
Note: Lv3 Enlighten will be good enough for mapping, but for single target the mana may hit 0 every few seconds.
Why Herald of Ash? : When your physical dmg is high enough, herald of ash may provide more damage. Your herald of ice will not trigger frequently since you don't freeze with elemental focus, but herald of ash can be triggered without problem.
Boots: Blood Magic - Whirling Blades - Faster Attacks - Fortify
Helmet: CWDT - Frost bomb - Frostbite - Immotral Call
Helmet 3.6 Update: CWDT - Purifying Flame - Frostbite - Immotral Call
Weapon 1: Vaal Ancestral Warchief - Faster Attacks - Ruthless (or Conc effect)
Weapon 2: Ice Golem - Blood Rage - Vaal Haste (or vaal lightning trap, or phase run)
Passive Tree (Updated for 3.7)
Ambush & Assassinate
Take Alira or two passives.
Brine king or Lunaris
YuGul (preferred) or Tukohama
NT's testing directions (No need to look at)
Here are some future directions you can try:
1. Use shaper/elder amulet with High life roll, Gain #% *** dmg as *** dmg, Crit multi, Phys dmg etc.
2. Use Steel ring with Phys dmg, life and WED.
3. Use Abyss belt with one abyss jewel.
4. Elder body armor with base crit/ percent life/ +1 level support gem.
5. Watcher's Eye with hatred mod
[edit:One hatred mod jewel is NOT better than fight for survival, two hatred mods jewel will outperform fight for survival. However, I would suggest grab the socket above blood drinker from int side, it will free you one point of +30 int also]
Possible Directions (tests needed)
1. use elder rare claw with ``50 life gain on hit for blind enemies'', along with abyss jewel with chance to blind. --> more DPS than bloodseeker, able to instant leech?
2. Try elder chest, with
Prefix: Craft additional curse, max life(ilvi86), elder percent life(ilvl85) [or +1 support]
Suffix: Maim(Serrated Fossil) + Crit(ilvl84) + Aura(Bound Fossil) [or +1 str/dex/int gem?]
Then glove elemental weakness corruption + frostbite/assasin mark -> GG
3. Test Hyrri's Truth, Impresence, The Pandemonius
3.6 updates archive
3.6 Update: I will keep updating this build. From the patch note I did not see any nerf for this build. And Hatred change actually buffs our build a little bit since we're dealing full cold damage. If my math is correct, let's assume original damage is 1000, with old version hatred will be 1360 dmg, new version will be 1450 dmg xD.
3.6 Update 2: Might of the Meek jewel may not work with the new passive tree. I am a little busy recently and will update the guide according to changes later this week, but as of now you could follow the version without might of the meek jewel.
3.6 Update 3: Build some defense! I have used the new purifying flame gem (create consecrated ground) in my CWDT setup - feels so good. New 4L gem on the helmet or glove: CWDT - - Immortal Call - Frostbite - Purifying flame. We now have 6% life regen + some more crit chance. (since we're melee, enemies are likely to be on consecrated ground)
3.6 Update 4: After Lv92 or so, we should have enough attack speed from gear/tree,then we can switch faster attack into ruthless support. Will be a big DPS boost. Added some other options for gems for more DPS. (vaal lightning trap, vaal ancestral warchief)
With the nerf for instant life leech, this build does not function as before. You can not facetank shaper as shown in the gif anymore. I feel this means the build is ``bricked'' now as it does not serve the original purpose anymore. If you replace the bloodseekers with high DPS rare claws, the build will still be viable for endgame, but then you are not able to facetank endgame contents and the gear cost will be high.
I will leave the post here as the gear/gems/skill trees could still be useful and helpful for people playing FB builds. GG/GL!
3.5 updates archive
3.5 Update: Nothing has been nerfed for this build with 3.5 updates, and I even think the build is more powerful than 3.4 now. I will explore the new mods, items, etc and provide update.
3.5 Update 1:
I could almost confirm that this build is way strong than it ever was.
Some useful tips I already found in 3.5:
1. You could craft hybrid life now. So it's very cheap to get a 100+ life 30ms boots with good resists.
2. You could betrayal craft your weapon to 30% quality, and DOUBLE corrupt the bloodseeker hoping for two of attack speed/ crit multi/ weapon range/ add attack damage. It is VERY powerful since we lose nothing from the implicit. (We deal full elemental damage, physical damage leech as life is useless.)
3. You could now sustain mana with Hatred+ two heralds using ONLY enlighten LV3! Simply craft -7 mana cost using the new craft recipe.
3.5 Update 2:
The end-game version of this build is very powerful this league.
1. Veil mods allow us to metacraft rare claw, with Hits can't be evaded, + quality etc. See a sample rare claw in the Gear section.
3.4 updates archive
3.4 Update: Sorry was AFK for a long time, but it seems everything still works for 3.4. We got a DPS buff due to the new herald of purity gem. I have updated the POB and passive tree since the previous links seem not working anymore. Enjoy!
3.4 Update 2:
1. The new Herald of Purity provides much more DPS than Herald of Ice, please take out herald of ice and use this new gem!
2. The leech rate is higher than we need, I have respec 3 points from Vitality Void and get some % life nodes. It brings me to around 6.2K life now.
3. Corrupt your bloodseekers! The best corruption will be crit multi or attack speed.
But the add fire/cold/lightning, weapon range, crit chance, frenzy on kill are also very good.
3.4 Update 3:
Made a few modifications on the passive tree to incorporate Might of the Meek jewel [placed at the socket above Blood Drinker node]. Lose around 100 life, but got 80k more DPS, more evasion and more dex. I feel it's worth it.
3.4 Update 4:
I'm adding back the old version without Might of the Meek jewel as well, since that jewel was a little expensive and anyways it's not necessary at all.
Note that we can not pick Winter Spirit for full phys to cold conversion, since the Bloodseeker only leech physical damage as life.
[edit: see update 4. We do take winter spirit now since we use elemental focus]
I am currently using two Fight For Survival jewels, one Might of the Meek jewel and one watcher's eye jewel.
94 pts passive tree is up to date (3.4). I haven't modified the rest yet.
94 pts with Might of the Meek Jewel
94 pts without Might of the Meek Jewel
3.3 updates archive
Update 1: Just added T16 Chimera and Minotaur boss kill. Fairly easy just face tank.
Update 2: Since clear speed is already insanely fast and safe, I feel it's not necessary to freeze enemies. So I replace increased damage support with elemental focus. I am not able to freeze enemies now, but the DPS goes to 500k.
Update 3: T15 red elder down. Able to face tank all his physical attacks/ frost blades. Pretty simple if you know how to dodge the slam.
Update 4: After switching to elemental focus for my 6-L setup, I realized that by taking "Winter Spirit" will provide much more dps. It means we are 100% cold conversion now and thus lose our physical damage leech as life. However our life leech rate INCREASED since the damage boost is too large.
Update 5: Shaper is killed. Did not try to face tank all the attacks though ^^
Update 6: After some discussion in this post, I would suggest use blood rage during mapping! You can get three free frenzy charges, make the clear speed even more insane.
Update 7: UBER ELDER DOWN and dropoed a two hatred mod jewel :)))
Update 8: Face tank shaper video added! Stand in the beam and face tank the cold penetration balls!
I am really enjoying this build so far and if you have any question or suggestion please let me know!
----Change Log -----
2018.04.16 Changed to elemental focus gem and use Blood rage to generate frenzy charges
2018.10.9 Updated passive tree and PoB. Remove Vitality Void, Use herald of purity.
2018.10.17 Updated passive tree and PoB. Took 4th jewel socket, use Might of the Meek jewel.
2019.03.07 Updated passive tree and PoB for 3.6 Synthesis. Remove Might of the Meek version since not viable anymore.
2019.06.12 Updated passive tree and PoB for 3.7 Legion.
Last edited by nal_tony on Jun 30, 2019, 9:22:31 AM
Last bumped on May 12, 2020, 4:23:49 AM
on Mar 23, 2018, 5:31:33 PM
Hello. I'm completely new to the game and got really interested in the visuals of Frost Blades skill and luck for me its seems to be quite a strong skill as well.
I was reading three guides that uses Frostblades (yours, the one you said on your guide and another one that uses Trickster as ascendacy).
Anyway, I can't decide haha. What would be the main difference between Trickster and Assassin? Also, which one would you recommend for someone new to the game?
on Mar 23, 2018, 7:57:13 PM
I will definitely suggest my build for new players :))). You don't have to learn boss mechanics or how to position/dodge attacks, just stay still and face tank every boss.
Not quite sure which Trickster build you're referring to, but if it's the one with Oni-Goroshi, I would not suggest to play as a new player. Oni-Goroshi is not easy to obtain as a new player.
Assassin is offense-oriented and focuses more on Crits, and I feel Trickster is a mixture of offense and defense. I think either should be fine with frost blades, just your personal preference.
on Mar 23, 2018, 8:26:36 PM
this build feels good to play from the start! currently lvl 36 and blasting through everything.
The only thing im a bit in doubt about is the lvling tree. atm im just picking all dmg+leech+ some life nodes.
Looking forward to mapping with this build ;)
edit: at 8k tooltip dps at lvl 36 :D
Last edited by AlexBrinkz on Mar 24, 2018, 6:04:00 PM
on Mar 24, 2018, 5:14:51 PM
Glad you like it! You can focus more on dmg and leech in early game, but when you start doing maps you need to pick more life nodes. This prevents you being one shot by some bosses/mobs. With my build you can always leech back as long as you don't get one shot.
on Mar 25, 2018, 7:39:03 AM
Started playing your build fun so far, do you use fight for survival? or what jewels do you use?
Also what are your thoughts on spending 1 point for Point Blank?
Last edited by argoniashawks on Mar 25, 2018, 11:54:35 AM
on Mar 25, 2018, 11:16:53 AM
How this build works to kill boses like elder, ubber atziri or guardians?...
on Mar 25, 2018, 1:21:22 PM
Glad you're having fun with it! Yes I am using two fight for survival jewels (you can find that in the passive tree), but I'll also consider watcher's eye when I have enough currency.
I do not think you need Point Blank, first it won't help you during boss fight, since your primary hit is melee attack; second the clear speed is already very fast so you don't need that for the icy blades either, and sometimes your icy blades travel very far so it may even be a damage decrease.
on Mar 25, 2018, 2:00:35 PM
I've got only 2 T16 drops so far (after many T15 runs).... and have finished Hydra and Chimera easily. Just face tank them (you need to dodge the balls when hydra boss disappear though, since nothing to leech). Yellow elder is simply face tank, did not try red elder & uber atziri yet. I'll keep the post updated and upload videos when those are done.
on Mar 25, 2018, 2:08:35 PM
Thanks, but the jewels don't show up in the tree for me, why I asked about them :)
on Mar 25, 2018, 3:15:34 PM