[3.6-3.7 HC] Trickster DOT totems. 400-500M xp/hr+ Deathless Uber Atziri/Shaper Videos

"WTF, trickster TOTEMS?" Yup. And one of my strongest builds yet. Read on.

I finally have this build in a state where I feel it is worth sharing. Fastest leveling I have ever done (though the good racers are surely faster than I am). Makes 90 in 24 hrs play time while messing around with trades and side quests. Makes 92 in 24 hrs played with a little bit of focus. I suspect someone actually try-harding could do even better. It has also allowed me to do my first deathless uber-atziri run [video below].

It can be started very cheap and can get to red maps with minimal gear, but scales up sufficiently to complete endgame content and delve down below 240 (T16 equiv).

[3.7 update] Having reviewed the 3.7 Patch notes, this build looks to have been left largely unaffected. Specific thoughts on these are in my post on page 3 of the comments.

Basic Overview:

Trickster uses two soulrend totems for fast clear, switching to 1 soulrend + 1 essence drain totem and adding in your choice of 2 wither or blight totems for bossing. Sustain comes primarily from trickster's ascendancies patient reaper (1) and ghost dance (2) with added speed and defense from escape artist (3) and additional damage at the end from prolonged pain (4).

But wait a sec (ask a lot of folks) doesn't patient reaper only grant recovery on kill? And aren't your totems doing all the killing?

That would be true if you were using totems that killed your enemies with hits. But our totems kill the enemy with DOTS. And a DOT damage kill -always- counts as the kill of the character, not the totem. What you end up with is excellent passive sustain that keeps running as long as your totems are doing the killing. This allows a playstyle where you quicksilver/phase run through most maps, stopping only to place a totem or two once per screen or pack, resulting in very fast xp. Using MOM, we end up overall with a comfortable 8k+ EHP pool, with our defenses augmented by dodge, spell dodge, a little block, ghost shrouds, and around 20k evasion with flasks up.


1. Deathless Uber Atziri run https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbhrrjsCuIE

2. Deathless Shaper https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm-9DGUAsh4&t=6s

3. 3rd Uber Izaro fight (short) https://youtu.be/JzBBx2Hc_Lg

Explanation of links:
(Build functions with 2 wands and 6L body or 6L staff and 6S body. Slightly different set ups depending. Note that it is possible to 5L blight if you go with Allelopathy gloves (in which case add controlled destruction), to 5L Soul rend with Elder boots that grant spell totem (in which case add cont dest/void manip) Note that we do not actually run grace as an aura. Vaal Grace is simply an additional periodic burst of defense.

6L: Soulrend>Spell totem>>Efficacy>Controlled Destruction>Void Manipulation>Swift Affliction

4L:Flame Dash>Inc duration>Arcane surge>Faster Casting

3l/4l: Phase Run>Vaal Grace>Increased Duration>(Efficacy)

2L/3L CWDT>Immortal Call>(purifying flame)

4L: 2 options A: Wither>Spell totem>Multi totem>Faster Casting
B: Blight>Spell totem>Multi totem>Increased AOE

4L: Essence drain>spell totem>Efficacy>(Controlled destruction/void manip)

1L: (Essence Worm): Malevolence

Explanation of Gear

Jewels Not Pictured:
1. Rain of Splinters
2-4. 3 jewels with a total of 25% totem elemental resistance (Ideally also with life/res if possible) to cap totem res.
*5. If you are using blight, you will want the spreading rot threshold jewel.


Weapon: Can choose between 2 wands with a 6L chest or 6L staff with 6S 4L/2L chest. My testing indicates that it is MUCH easier to get a decent pair of wands and a useable 6L than to craft a staff that actually provides higher dps than the wands. That said, at the top end, higher dps is possible crafting a staff and this allows a wider choice of less expensive armour, but be prepared to spend many, many aberrant fossils creating the staff.

To be more specific, you want these stats on your weapons:
1. Despair on hit (comes from aberrant fossil craft) only needed on 1 wand if using wands.
2. Non ailment chaos damage multi (think of it as crit multi for DOTs.
3. Spell damage/chaos damage/dot damage (if wands, these are optional for staff)
4. Plus gem levels (staff only, makes up for missing category 3)

Tip-top end would be a staff with Despair on hit suffix and +2 chaos gem levels, solid NACDOTM, and Spell/chaos damage prefixes. Definitely possible, but getting all four mods together with decent numbers is challenging. Aberrant fossils provide the craft. Use with any combination of metallic, corroded, and Aetheric to improve odds but add expense. (6 dark mage cards will get you a "starter" 6L staff, but it will only be ilvl 55. Ilvl 78+ is optimal for crafting. Until wealthy, I recommend sticking to wands and finding a reasonable eva/es or eva 6L.

For leveling, at lvl 28 grab the wands you can find with the best NACDOT multi, desp on hit if you can, and spell/chaos/dot damage
You can use those with a tabula until well into red maps.

Armour: Level with a tabula. Ultimately you want to prioritize life and evasion if using rare armour (as evasion also adds ES). Hybrid armour eva/es is an equally good, sometimes superior choice. For uniques there are many options, but my favorites are cherrubim's malefisance (for extra offense) and atziri's splendour (for even more sustain).

Gloves: level with asenath's gentle touch (for temp chains on hit) At endgame, you may find better gloves corrupted to grant temp chains on hit that you can switch to, but don't underestimate Asenath's. Because we use MOM and because of the way patient reaper recovery works, we really are tri-brid life/mana/es for our ehp. Asenath's is perfectly reasonable into the endgame for this build.

Allelopathy is a reasonable alternative if using blight totems, but EHP will suffer significantly compared to asenaths. Also, since you are unlikely to find these corrupted with temp chains on hit, you will probably need to give up the second curse. You would trade the three nodes used to get that curse for an extra jewel socket to place spreading rot. Not having temp chains will incrementally increase the speed of the game, though whether this is problematic is a matter of taste. If you go this route prior to your final ascendancy, it may also reduce the effectiveness of your soulrend. (Without temp chains to extend the debuff effect of soulrend on mobs, you'll want to be sure that the cast time of soulrend is faster than its duration. Depending on whether your wands/staff have increased cast speed, this may not be true until after your final ascendancy.)

Note on temp chains: It really is valuable in this build as it is doing double duty. Its defensive use is obvious, but it also increases the effective duration of all of our DOTs and debuffs by 40%. This has great offensive utility, particularly early on before the duration of our soulrend naturally exceeds its cast speed (post final ascendancy).

Rings: Add essence worm at lvl 38 to use malevolence. For your other ring, prioritize life and res/mana/es. Add craftable shock nearby mobs with focus if you can fit it in.

Boots: life/res/movespeed. Inherent spell totem from elder boots is a late game bonus.

Helm: prioritize ES/life. Because of escape artist ascendancy, high ES will grant significant evasion, which synergize with our recover when hit from ghost dancer.

Ammy: life/res/mana/es. If you can get a +1 curse corruption, you can save those nodes on the tree. For purposes of this build, when you evaluate an ammy you can consider that corruption as roughly equal in value to 100 life +/-.

Jewels: Rain of splinters is key. You can sub LMP/GMP for void manipulation until you get ROS, but the dps increase from freeing up a link with ROS is big.
For late game, you will want to make sure your totems have capped ele res. To avoid needing to path to the totem clusters other than ancestral bond (which would be inefficient) you will need 25% totem ele res, which can be gotten across three jewels. Prioritize life/your own resistances as secondary stats.
If you are using blight you will also want the spreading rot threshold jewel.

Flasks: a stibnite of warding (particularly chemist's) allows us to navigate cursed maps without being ele res overcapped. Jade flask (good place for heat affix) combines with stib to up evasion significantly which helps sustain when combined with ghost dancer ascendancy. Other flasks are standard. Staunch, douse and adrenaline being my top picks for most situations.

Optimal ratios for life/mana/ES/Evasion. And defenses generally:

When using MOM, you will want to take life and mana nodes in a way that keeps your mana pool at close to 43% of your life pool. This is because they will be removed in a 30:70 ratio--roughly 43%. 5k life and 2150 mana is very attainable by endgame.

Secondarily (if possible) to take maximum advantage of ghost dance, you will want an ES pool that is about 5% of your evasion (counting active stibnite and jade flasks). This is because for the first three hits every 3 seconds (ghost shrouds regrow at 1/second) you will then automatically recover your full ES pool, due to the ghost dancer ascendancy. I have found that 1k ES and 20k evasion is very reasonable to attain by endgame.

The end result is a base EHP pool a little over 8k for purposes of any single one-shot mechanic. This is enough to be safe from most non end-boss wind-up mechanic one shots (which can all be avoided with practice), unless you are running multiple damage/crit mods. For general mapping, that EHP pool combined with Evasion, Dodge, spell dodge, an extra 3k es every three seconds (when facing multiple hits) and the recovery on kill from the totems makes the build plenty tanky enough for HC T16 mapping and deep delving.

Pastebin/Skill Tree:

Kill all

Ascendancies in order:

Patient Reaper
Ghost Dance
Escape Artist
Prolonged pain


Brine King, Ralakesh*

Note on these choices: While there are other pantheon choices that appear to offer more utility, I have found that the most danger to this build comes in two forms: Chain stuns when out of position, which are handled by Brine king (infrequent due to all our evasion and dodge but happens when you become careless due to feeling immortal . . . ask me how I know . ..) and offscreening packs of corrupted bloodline mobs. Remember that the totems DOT kills count as yours? This is where that counts against us, because we get all the stacks of corrupting blood from the whole pack at once, often while we are distracted by other things and have no idea we engaged an offscreen bloodline pack at all. This can cause your ehp to drop very quickly. Ralakesh slows this down sufficiently to give more reaction time. I did not ever die to this mechanic, but I found mapping more comfortable with the Ralakesh pantheon. Ymmv. If you happen to get a jewel corruption that gives immunity to corrupting blood or a watcher's eye that avoids bleeding with malevolence, pick whatever other minor suits you best. If you have better self control in your positioning than I do, you may also be able to get away without Brine King. In that case I recommend Lunaris for the dodge synergy upgrade.

Leveling Advice:

1-28: My favorite fast early leveling these days is frostblades>ancestral call>pierce>onslaught, with vaal double strike to make bosses easy. Use with 2 screaming eagles, Ondar's gloves and a Karui ward ammy to make this part of the game fly by. Proceed on the tree directly to ancestral bond. You should get there right around lvl 28, but do not take it until you are 28 and have your spell totem and soulrend gems. (Likely lvl 31 if ssf, as you will need library access to get the spell totem)

28-30: Start by switching out to your wands. From 28-30 you will be on a 4L for soulrend. Grab MOM for 1 point, but don't take the nodes behind it yet (they are overkill at this stage) If you have rain of splinters, grab the socket to place it now and use soulrend>spell totem>void manipulation>controlled destruction
If not, sub LMP for void manip for now, but get ROS asap. If you have asenath's touch and a wand granting despair on hit, head next toward the extra curse node up top. If not, grab the four dot/chaos nodes to the right of your starting area. (Get the extra curse node as soon as you have both curses on hit) You can also set up your 4L essence drain totem at this point. Don't worry about extra projectiles (if you don't have ROS), as this is extra damage for bossing only. Because of the way DOTs work, multiple totems of the same type wont stack damage, but totems of different types will. When bossing at this level use 1 soulrend totem and 1 essence drain for maximum effect. When generally clearing, 2 soulrend totems is best. Don't worry about blight/wither until 38.

31-37: If you have a tabula, you can add efficacy and swift affliction to your setup at 31. After the four DOT/chaos nodes to the right of trickster, grab the small adjacent 3 node totem damage cluster that ends with some extra placement speed. This is both good damage and quality of life at this stage.

38-68: At 38 you can equip the last of your gems and the build really kicks into gear. You will now choose whether to run wither or blight in your multiple totem setup. Which you choose is deeply a matter of taste. I've tried both and I havent made up my mind yet. Wither provides a more consistent hinder of less power and doesn't add damage beyond the debuff (which is still very strong). Blight is shorter ranged and thus less consistent against mobile enemies. It also requires the use of a threshold jewel to be worth using, taking a slot that would otherwise be more ehp. In exchange it provides a stronger hinder and significant extra damage when you can apply it. If you are less experienced, wither is recommended for its easier interface. My current Favorite is Blight with inc AOE, but I go back and forth.

As far as the tree is concerned, path next through the Life/ES nodes up through the big chaos damage wheel. Follow this by heading over to grab dodge and spell dodge, then I usually finish getting the damage nodes first, then life nodes and mana nodes (starting with the ones behind MOM) as needed to keep the mana/life ratio close to 43%.

Upgrade your gear as you go to keep resses capped (temporarily crafting res into your wands can really help while leveling). Don't worry about essence worm yet. If you can afford to equip it at 38 while capping resses great, but its not really needed for extra damage until maps at the earliest. Equip essence worm for the free malevolence when it is comfortable to do so/you can afford it.

I usually do my first ascendancy around 38, second around 50, third whenever I hit 3k ehp, 4th when I hit 5k ehp. Rule of thumb for this build is around 1k EHP for norm. 2k for cruel. 3k for merc, 5k for uber.

69+: At 69 you can equip a hubris circlet with decent ES/life and it becomes worthwhile to do your merc ascendancy, which will give you a significant eva bonus from this. This is also a good time to look for a better 6L chest if you can afford it. Continue to fill out your tree with life and mana, focussing on that 43% ratio. Upgrade gear as you go. At lvl 70, if you can buy a lvl 20 soul rend and essence drain, do. If it's your first character of the league, don't worry, the gems will level fine in the ordinary course of maps. If you have lvl 18+ gems uber lab is hysterically easy once you are at about 5k ehp (life+mana+es). Regular Atziri also highly doable at around this stage if you are comfortable with the fight.

Also at 69 you will have the option to equip allelopathy gloves to go with a 5L lvl 22 blight. Assuming that you wont find a pair corrupted with temp chains, it is recommended that you make this gear switch after your uber ascendancy (if you do it at all). If you go this route, you will respec the three nodes used to get an extra curse for an extra jewel socket where you can place spreading rot. This trade off is discussed more under gloves in the gear section.

Late endgame: If you know the fight, Shaper and low red elder
are reasonable at around 7k ehp (imo). Might wait for a full 8k plus for T15 elder/uber elder/uber atziri. Ymmv quite a bit here depending on your experience in the game and with these fights in particular. Good piloting is a pre-req for the late endgame fights, even with a good build.

Here's hoping some of you enjoy the build. I've had a blast with it. Likely to use it as a starter for next season, depending on the patch notes.

I'll try to be around to answer questions.

Last edited by Orion72 on Jun 10, 2019, 11:06:04 PM
Last bumped on Jun 15, 2019, 9:00:48 AM
The guide is looking very polished, I have to try this out!
If you're reading this you're reading this.
How is the single target? How did you get more then 3 totems for the Wither?
Single target actually quite good for a clearspeed skill. Take a look at the videos of Shaper and Uber Atziri to get a sense if it.

Wither is linked to multiple totems support, which increases the totem cap by 2 for the linked skill. Ancestral bond gives the second base totem. This lets us have both 2 soulrend (or 1 soulrend & 1 essence drain) and 2 wither (or blight) active at the same time.

Last edited by Orion72 on May 27, 2019, 10:55:10 PM
LOVE LOVE this build, I was ED/CONT and switched :) I 6 linked my Splendour, this was a great pick for armor as we get the 100/100. Dispair on hit wand is very expensive, bad to have it on gloves or a ring?
Glad you are enjoying it. Despair on hit wand is actually a pretty easy craft with aberrant fossils. Relatively common. Nothing wrong with having it on a ring though if that is more convenient, though we would prefer to use that suffix for the shock nearby enemies craft. As for the gloves, we need temp chains on hit there. I spose someone could get a lucky corrupt on Asenath's that gave despair on hit also, but I imagine these would not be cheap. On the whole, you are probably best off crafting a wand with aberrant fossils.

Last edited by Orion72 on May 21, 2019, 12:14:54 PM
Think this can work as Occultist? I mean, different armor pick, but man the Profane Bloom fun !!!
It's not that you couldn't build it as an occultist, but without patient reaper you wont have nearly the same level of sustain. I might try occultist for fun if I was playing sc, but I don't think it would be as strong in an hc build.

That said, I believe these guides are only ever meant to be jumping off points. If you feel inspired to try out a variation as an Occultist, go for it! If it works out (or doesnt) I'm always happy when people report back their experiences by posting in the guide thread. We all may learn something valuable.


(edit) Just finished running a test of similar build with Occultist. Damage was excellent (unsuprising) but the tankiness/sustain was just not comparable, imo. Would not recommend.

Last edited by Orion72 on May 27, 2019, 10:39:53 PM
Very interesting build. I was playing a arc totem build back when they released the soulrend spell, and i was thinking on building some hierophant with it, i had no idea Patient Reaper works with totems using dot, and your build looks much much better than what i had imagined in doing myself. Would be of great help if you create and share with us a path of building link for your build, using your current gear, so we could see the actual numbers of it. Congratulations on the guide as well, very good sir, ty!
IGN: EduCaraDura
Pleased that you are interested. Sorry pastebin wasn't up sooner. It is in the guide now and below:

Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/cEcDM08x


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