3.6* - Caustic Arrow Trickster Mapping + Delving Unkillable Machine

A note since some info is a little old, You are welcome to PM me in-game about any questions

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.

3.6 Changes to the build/Thoughts
Caustic arrow basically was untouched in its entirety.

The new "Malevolence" aura seems insanely good for the build, especially since the mana reservations were a underutilized part of the build.

Trickster got some insanely nice buffs to the tree and ascendancy, a Ci version seems a little more possible although i would still recommend occultist if you decide to go this route.
A possible playstyle change/Buff to the build would be working in a blight setup for boss encounters since Swift killer now gives frenzy/power generation while channeling, Being able to drop CA and channel blight getting the benefit of power/frenzy, hinder and the damage shouldn't be useless either since it's a chaos/dot skill.

Not sure which of the mods we will be missing out on from the 3.5 added crafting, The +2 support gems mod with +1 socketed gems was a nice combo and will still be a good option for bow crafts. Even if this is changed (And becomes much more expensive) there is still the option of +2 bow +1 socketed/Vicious proj.

I'm not going to "update" the guide as i haven't re-played the character myself and there are very little changes to it since delve. So i would suggest sharing new build additions from synthesis.

TL;DR - Trickster buffed, CA untouched, Malevolence extremely useful and Blight + new Swift Killer makes for some boss improvements.

Old 3.5 Thoughts:
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.

Betrayal added 2 new bow prefixes which we can use and you should look out for, along with a glove elder Mod, i have added an explanation in the Itemization section.

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.

Leveling a CA character is a breeze, you get CA at low level from act 1 and can start from level 5 with the bow you will use up until mapping.
If you are starting with some currency i would suggest spending around 40c~ for a Porcupine divination set, Or buying the bow outright (6-link Short bow ilvl 50).
If the bow is white with no mods it will have a requirement of level 5 and a little bit of dexterity requirement, this can be fixed by grabbing a Jade amulet from the vendor in Act 1.
Other alternatives are a silverbough/branch and you “can” use a Quill rain but after the nerf i wouldn’t suggest using it.
As for every other piece of gear while leveling it’s not too complicated, just focus on links resistances and life.

Quick Reference for gem links while leveling:
Level 4: Caustic arrow-Mirage archer-Onslaught

Level 8: Caustic arrow-Void Manipulation-Mirage archer-Onslaught

Level 10: Caustic arrow-Void Manipulation-Mirage archer-Onslaught
Blink arrow

Level 18: Caustic arrow-Vicious Projectiles-Void Manipulation-Mirage archer-Onslaught-Damage on full life
Blink arrow-Culling Strike

Level 24: Caustic arrow-Vicious Projectiles-Void Manipulation-Mirage archer-Onslaught-Damage on full life
Blink arrow-Culling Strike

Level 31: Caustic arrow-Vicious Projectiles-Void Manipulation-Swift affliction-Damage on full life-Mirage archer
Blink arrow-Culling Strike

Level 38: Caustic arrow-Vicious Projectiles-Void Manipulation-Swift affliction-Damage on full life-Mirage archer
Blink arrow-Culling Strike
Stone Golem
Cast when damage taken-Immortal call-Increased duration

Level 4: “Caustic Arrow” “Mirage archer” “Onslaught” Grab caustic arrow from the quest reward and make sure you complete tidal island for Mirage archer and Onslaught. Use both of these in a 3-link until you can get to level 8.

Level 8: “Void manipulation” Once killing brutus you can grab your quest reward of Void manipulation, if using the 6-link you can add this into it, Alternatively if you only have a 1-3 link swap out onslaught for Void manipulation.

Level 10: “Blink Arrow” “Wither” You can grab these gems when you are level 8 after killing brutus but won’t be able to use them till 10. You don’t have to use the wither as most bosses die fairly quick but having a movement ability is a huge bonus.

Level 18: “Culling Strike” “Damage on Full life” “Vicious Projectiles” As a shadow you don’t actually get damage on full life and Vicious projectiles support. If you have a duelist friend they can mule both gems to you, or get someone to buy them for you (As level 1’s). If these aren’t options for you it’s not an issue you will just drop a bit of damage until you can complete the act 3 quest “Fixture of fate”. As for links now, i would suggest using “Caustic Arrow/Vicious projectiles/Mirage Archer/Void manipulation/Onslaught/Damage on full life” in that order if you have less links.

Level 24: “Enfeeble” “Malevolence” After almost killing piety and her fleeing, you can get these two gems, Malevolence you can use instantly, Enfeeble will have to wait till later for the quest “A Fixture of fate” so we can get blasphemy support.

Level 31: “Swift affliction” “Slower projectiles” “Blasphemy” “Damage on full life*” “Vicious Projectiles*” “Spell totem support” Here is where we can get the gems we missed out on in Act 2 and some others we didn’t have access to. I would suggest grabbing slower projectiles but only leveling it, using it early on feels very slow and the damage isn’t needed that much. Link your blasphemy to Enfeeble and link spell totem to wither. Your main links should be at this point: Caustic arrow/Vicious projectiles/Swift affliction/Void manipulation/Mirage archer/Damage on full life. In order of importance, Damage on full life is a strong support but only really utilised when you complete normal Lab (Patient Reaper).

Level 34: “Stone golem” “Immortal call” “Phase Run” These can be grabbed after opening the mines, none of them are completely necessary but all are nice utility to the build. Immortal call should be linked to a “Cast when damage taken” which you can pick up after killing Malachai.
Act 6 - Lilly roth: If you missed out on any gems, you can complete the twilight strand sidequest and lilly will sell you any type of gem in town once completed.

From act 6 onwards you should focus on rebalancing your resistances making sure you’re over 75% elemental resist or if not very close, Everything else should be plain sailing for the rest of the acts.

As for Labyrinth i would suggest doing Normal lab once you have gotten to the start of act 4, Give it a try if it’s too difficult try again another time once you’re stronger.
Cruel lab i would suggest doing once you hit blood aqueduct and leveled a little bit. Should be much easier.
And finally Merciless, Most people recommend trying to do this right before you kill act 10 kitava so you still have higher resistances, it is something i would recommend too, Again if it’s too difficult i wouldn’t worry carry on and kill kitava then try again once you are resistance capped and much stronger.
Uber labyrinth isn’t something you need to rush it doesn’t do a whole lot for the build and you map just fine without it.

Getting into mapping shouldn’t be trouble at all, i made a very undergeared character to playtest running yellow maps and it wasn’t an issue at all.
Example gear(Mostly random stuff from my stash): Do not copy this gear, this is just to show the minimum level required to get into yellow maps

Pantheon choices:

Pantheons are not extremely important in the build, they give a minor defensive boost and some utility, Prettymuch all of the choices have their advantages.
What i would suggest to use are:
Major Gods:
Soul of the brine King - This is probably the best all-round choice for the build, As with all of the gods make sure to get the upgrades when you can, Chain Stun/Freeze immunity are very powerful.
Soul of Lunaris/Solaris - These two choices are entirely dependant on the content you're running; Solaris favours single-target boss fights and aims to reduce the damage taken, Lunaris favours map clear and dense areas for it's usage. Pick and choose these if you feel they are worth it, Again you want to upgrade these as and when you can.
Minor Gods:
Soul of Gruthkul - This is probably what i would recommend for most players upgrading can be quite powerful, further adding to our slows, and a small amount of phys reduction (Which we have very little of since we are Acrobatics)
Soul of Shakari - This is mostly a utility pantheon when you have the upgrade, Mainly for the map mod "Enemies Poison on hit" You can swap into this for every map you run with that mod.
Soul of Ryslatha - This pantheon will probably get the least use but is worth mentioning, most of the Regen outside of killing enemies comes from your life flask, so you might find it useful i longer fights.

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

Listed in order of importance
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 DO NOT 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.

New bow options for Betrayal crafting:
In betrayal we get access to 2 new prefixes which can replace the difficult crafting method of a Vicious proj/+3 bow.
(73–80)% increased Chaos Damage
Chaos Skills have (21–23)% increased Skill Effect Duration

+(33–40)% to Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Both of these mods are prefixes and can be gotten from Unveiling 2-handed bows. They are extremely strong and would be a good replacement for the elder Vicious proj mod only about 20-40k dot dps difference.


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. In betrayal there is a new Elder suffix mod for up to 16% to Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier.
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 Mar 17, 2019, 3:14:54 PM
Last bumped on Mar 19, 2019, 11:38:36 AM
Last edited by JakoSmako on Oct 22, 2018, 4:34:35 PM
-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
enasniddg77 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.

demondied1 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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