3.5 - Caustic Arrow Trickster Mapping + Delving Unkillable Machine

This is a build i started off Delve league with and soon grew to love the Caustic arrow rework going on to hitting my first level 100.
In 3.4 The rework made the caustic cloud (The main component we scale) have a huge base damage increase from previous patches making a level 20 CA equivalent to a level 28 CA in previous patches, With the added benefit of dropping clouds for every target hit. Making it extremely good with pierce. I've cleared up to delve 600~ and all Guardians/Shaper with ease, I haven't attempted uber elder but i doubt the build has the single-target sustain for it.

3.5 Changes to the build/Thoughts
3.5 Patch notes have been released and the build looks to be buffed for Caustic arrow. We now get the new type of scaling "Chaos Damage over time Multiplier" This is an extremely strong node on the tree and alluded to in the patch notes this will be available on jewels and elder/shaper item crafts.
Quill rain got pretty gutted for toxic rain and use with Caustic Arrow i wouldn't suggest using it as strongly as i would have in 3.4, although may still be good for leveling with Toxic rain. Alternatively for endgame you will want to just craft a +3 bow to use with toxic rain or have a 6-link chest - Possibly with some new veiled mods such as +1 curse, which has already teased.
I've gone and updated The POB link with new trees. (Just dropped a few nodes and the "Heavy Draw" Wheel for the new "Method to madness" wheel.

TL;DR:Toxic rain/Quill rain got heavily nerfed, Chaos damage over time got a huge buff Via tree and new rolls. Build is still very good for league start and onwards.


• Trickster's Patient reaper makes mapping a complete breeze
• Smooth leveling process and transition into late game
• Can preform amazing on a budget
• Very defensive oriented, good for hardcore (Although not played myself)
• Highly scalable although can get expensive quick.
• Every piece of gear is rare no required uniques, Even kaoms can be supplemented for a 6link if you don't enjoy weapon swapping.
• Can run any combination of Map Mods perfectly fine, no gear swaps needed.
• Able to run Toxic rain and Caustic arrow, Two fun and new skills


• Single target becomes quite lackluster towards endgame guardians, although very do-able.
• Again single target sustain is an issue when it comes to harder bosses, relying on flasks/passive regeneration.
• Caustic arrow not being able to target flying enemies. Small gripe but in some cases can be annoying (Haku missions, Arsenal map) although having a weapon swap for toxic rain fixes this.
• Ideally needing a +1 curse amulet to take full advantage of mana reservations.

Video of the build:
I know i like seeing videos of builds before playing them.
Running T16 Underground seas with beyond: https://youtu.be/iKH5yv4X8HM
Shaper deathless run: https://youtu.be/C7JBiTAGQuY
Maze of the Minotaur: https://youtu.be/EsHyTFvRVGI
Let me know if you want more content cleared for a video.

The Build breakdown

Pastebin For Path Of Building:

Gear section (Current Gear in Delve):


The Quill rain/Quiver are a weapon swap i run for lower maps with a toxic rain setup

Skill tree:
Level 100 Tree:

Level 90 Tree:

Kill all for 2 skill points is the best option.
You could potentially go Alira if you wanted the mana regen/resistances but i don't think it's necessary

Ascendancy Order:
Patient Reaper > Swift Killer > Prolonged Pain > Weave the Arcane
You can use Ghost dance although it's not extremely beneficial, Since weave the arcane is very good for running no regen maps.

For leveling it's pretty straightforward use Silverbranch from the start and grab caustic arrow>Void manipulation>Lesser multiple projectiles or Mirage archer.
Transition into Silverbough and carry on till mapping. Picking up the endgame skill gems as you can get them.
3.5 Notes: Quill rain might still be good to level with but be warned Quill rain is now nerfed in Betrayal - You will deal 40% less damage.
Alternatively you can level with toxic rain, It's very strong while leveling due to the attack and move on nature of the skill, Using a quill rain is ideal due to the high attack speed and huge proj speed, Since life on hit procs a ton with toxic rain you can use the Vendor recipe to grab a Hyyri's Bite with this recipe:

For other gear slots get anything with life and resistances.

Skill gems and links:
6-link Setup (CA)

Concentrated effect ends up being more damage as a 6th/7th link if you want to go full DPS/Bossing, or have two bows with a GGGRB for bossing.

If you don't have a Vicious projectiles bow use the gem, It's one of the biggest multipliers. As for the empower, i would suggest using mirage archer or Slower projectiles until you get a level 3/4 empower. A level 3 empower is just under the same damage as slower projectiles if you're looking for pure DOT, but the quality of life for faster projectiles is nicer. If you decide you want to use mirage archer with empower, Swap out Void manipulation for mirage archer as void manipulation gives the least damage.
If you do have a Vicious projectiles bow, You can drop the link and have mirage archer or slower projectiles in permanently as your 7th link.

6-link setup (TR) in Offhand

I personally love having the weapon swap for quicker lower level mapping, Having this setup in a quill rain making mirage archer hard carry by attacking so fast and auto-targeting

Blasphemy/Wither totem setup

Make sure the 4-socket you have is 2 2-link setups so you don't end up with a Curse totem, Also for lower levels i suggest using Temporal chains, i swapped in Enfeeble for higher tier content.

CWDT Immortal call setup

Adjust the level of the CWDT and immortal call to your liking, Mine triggers when taking 1k~ damage. You can also swap vaal grace instead of phase run into the green link for an Increased duration

Blink arrow and utility gems

These links you can use whatever you think you need, For delving outposts became very rippy so i added a Vaal grace insead of Faster attacks/Faster proj on blink arrow. Make sure your culling strike is qualitied for this setup or you might find the blink arrow is very slow, Ofcourse use this for boss Culling (The blink arrow clone and Golem can cull)


Flasks are pretty simple, Get one of each of the following - Bleed, Freeze, Curse and Shock immune.
Ideally you want your bleed on the life flask since you don't need a duration for it and you are likely to take damage from the bleed that needs healing up.
Freeze, curse and shock removal are ideal to be on utility flask due to their long duration, If you have to pick which is the least important to not use, get shock immunity last.
As for dying sun you can swap your sulphur flask for it, It makes the build feel very nice having a cone of 3 projectiles.

Explanation and notes for Aspect of the Spider:

Aspect of the spider is by far the #1 upgrade for a build like this, it adds both defensive and offensive buffs. In my current setup the 3 stacks add another 75k Total dot DPS (Against normal mobs). If you cannot get a decently rolled rare item with the aspect, I would suggest replacing gloves with Fenumus' weave https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Fenumus'_Weave

You can run the build perfectly fine without the aspect, and you have some more Mana reservation to play around with. (Having another blasphemy instead of relying on witchfire brew).

In-depth itemization:

This section will be catered to deciding what rolls have on gear


All 3 of these bows are a good option, Silverbranch/Silverbough and quill rain are very good for leveling/early mapping, Later on you will want to transition into a +2 or +3 thicket bow, All you care about for the base bow is Attack speed as crit and physical damage don't matter. These are very easy to craft with Essences of Dread and the Porcupine Divination card.

Vicious projectile bow:
The highest tier of bow for endgame would be a +3 Vicious Projectiles bow, This has to be on an Elder base, and in my experience the vicious projectiles mod is very uncommon. The method i used for crafting was to spam Essences of Dread (+2 bow gems) and hope to hit +2 and Vicious projectiles, Then with 1 open prefix and 1 open suffix, Craft cannot roll attack mods and Slam with exalted for +1 Socketed gems.


These are the 3 quivers i used for my setup, For Caustic arrow the best base is a penetrating quiver for the +1 pierce, after that you can look at getting +1 arrow for a slight increase in clear (Although i didn't think it was very beneficial) Or craft penetrating quivers with Essences of Misery adding another +1 pierce on the explicit or +2 for Deafening.
As for defenses you can make up any needed resistances on the quiver but focus on life rolls.
For Delve there is a unique Mod on quivers with the "Shuddering" Fossil, It can potentially help keep up frenzy charges for bossing but i haven't tested much. The 100% ideal quiver would be The Shuddering fossil mod +1 Arrow or a +2 pierce +1 arrow, Both ideally having Tier 1 life/Attack speed on a Shaper Penetrating quiver.

Body Armour:

This is where i chose to diverge from other CA builds and use a Kaoms as all i was focused on was increasing my total life pool, With a 6-link on the bow i didn't need a second one for any purpose. You can use any rare chest with a decent amount of life and resistances if you can't afford a kaoms. I tried using a Barrage/Withering touch totem setup and didn't like it much so opted for the wither totem.
If you're running low level maps or delving for fossils it's easy to swap a couple of flasks and a Queen for movement speed.


Focus on life and resistances but - Helmets are where Delve mods get exciting, with the addition of Nearby enemies have -9 Chaos resistance. This mod is by far the best thing to have on a helmet, even Caustic arrow damage doesn't give as much of an offensive upgrade. This can be obtained by using Aberrant Fossils along with a pristine if you need life rolls.
Using a starkonja's is also a valid option as the enchants will be very cheap, decent life roll and evasion.


For gloves there's nothing really special here, Life and resistances as high as you can afford, and try to get a Gripped gloves base.
As mentioned in the section about Aspect of the spider you can also use Fenumus' weave instead.


Boots all you really need is high life and resitances, If you can afford ones with good movement speed they will help greatly since the main form of mapping is just running and blink arrow. If i re-geared i would swap two-toned boots for another pair with 2% of life regen enchant


Belts are simple Life and resistances, You could potentially use Aberrant fossils to craft %Chaos damage as a prefix. In my case i got lucky with the aspect on my belt.


Ring are the same as most, Life and resistances or make up some needed attributes for using Wither totem/Increased duration (Strength and intelligence)
You could also potentially use Essences to craft %Chaos damage although it would take up a slot for Resistances.


This is a slot most people might not be able to fill, Getting a +1 curse amulet with life and resistances or any potential attributes needed. This allows us to use Despair and Enfeeble/Temp chains, it's a very good upgrade for the build. There are other options for getting another curse, such as a Doedre's Damning in a ring slot, or Windscream but these are not ideal options.
You could potentially drop the blasphemy curse and use just Witchfire brew for despair, Then reserve grace for more evasion to make use of your mana.


Jewels are pretty simple, Focus on life then any damage rolls, %Chaos %Damage over time %area damage, You can also fix any attribute issues you might have, i know i had a lot of Intelligence/Strength issues with my gear.

Last edited by Pimmalage on Dec 5, 2018, 1:27:04 PM
Last bumped on Dec 14, 2018, 11:22:30 PM
Last edited by JakoSmako on Oct 22, 2018, 4:34:35 PM
BOSS SERVICE view-thread/2157071 ----- MIRROR THREAD view-thread/2173802
-Added a little bit more to leveling section
-Added shaper kill video
Thanks for the guide! Ive been stalking you on poe.ninja :P
Planning on following this build for betrayal start to farm currency! Just the right amount of depth, easy to absorb but enough info really understand the build.
IGN: Raise_Ur_Donger
In what order do you do the skill tree? What should I go for last or leave out since ill prob only get to 90
Completed 13 Challengesenasniddg77 wrote:
In what order do you do the skill tree? What should I go for last or leave out since ill prob only get to 90

Probably something like this:http://poeurl.com/b9Ic
Just dropped mostly life nodes and a 3 point jewel socket. You could drop some damage nodes if you prefer that option. I'll add this tree to the guide also.

Completed 7 Challengesdemondied1 wrote:
Planning on following this build for betrayal start to farm currency! Just the right amount of depth, easy to absorb but enough info really understand the build.

Thanks! took a while to make the build guide, nothing special and meta defining, Just plain ol' caustic arrow :)
Last edited by Pimmalage on Dec 5, 2018, 1:31:59 PM
yoink mine now
can it clear twilight strand

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