[3.8] Semanari's Cast on Crit Bladefall Cobra Lash Assassin | Amazing map clear | Shaper Down

9/11/2019 update: Leveling guide, updated skill tree, build video, new gear
9/12/2019 update: Shaper kill, small PoB update to add Herald of Purity for builds with Curse on Hit Despair and slight tree changes
9/12/2019 update: Added pantheon & anoint choices, consolidated leveling trees
AKA "why does this build work help please I don't understand it I need an adult" because I accidentally threw this build together as a meme and it's actually been really decent. I'm clearing T15s with it right now super easily at level 88 and I was doing earlier red maps with no problem with a 5L Dendrobate (I have a 6L now) so the gear is not awfully expensive, maybe a tiny bit for a league starter (even though I league started with this) because you REALLY REALLY need a 5L to get going (cast on crit on a 4 link is awful) but after that it's smooth sailing.
This is my first build guide so it might be a little sloppy, but here's the basics of this build
Cobra lash is wack
Poison is wack
Bladefall is wack
Bino's Kitchen Knife is wack as hell
So is Taproot I guess but not really, it's kinda ancillary
You're using evasion
Like really dude?
5k life and evasion
Doesn't really kill bosses well without gem swaps (will explain in detail below) Path of Building is a liar sometimes...

So what exactly does this build do?
It casts Bladefall on crit. With Cobra lash. yeah. So because Cobra Lash starts with a base +5 to chains, every time you hit an enemy it can crit a maximum of 6 times. And every time you crit it casts bladefall? Why bladefall? Because bladefall is wack, it's got some pretty cool base physical damage and it hits people a lot and does big aoe. And since this build has a bunch of leech from a dagger notable and also the classic Life and Mana Leech Node™ when you're casting bladefall on crit you're not doing nearly as much of your damage as chaos damage from your poisons and it sustains a lot better. So that's how you clear maps, run around and cast bladefall on crit. I also use a Whirling Blades + Nightblade combo which is pretty much Shield Charge + Fortify for stupid evasion builds like this one. Procing nightblade as much as possible is insane, I died like 4 times on a t14 because I kept trying to take it slow and then got sick of it and started charging headfirst into packs again with nightblade and elusive is very cool. This build does not do well being slow and standing in one place, it's very easy to die (obviously, it's low life evasion) so just play fast.

The Build
Path of Building

All the rares in this build are kinda unoptimized as you can see - you probably want steel rings over diamond rings by endgame but they're just not available to me right now. This isn't a good build to tell you exactly what rares to use, you kinda gotta use game knowledge.


I helped Alira, the reses are nice and so is the crit multi. It's a crit build after all.


Assassin -> Unstable Infusion -> Deadly Infusion -> Noxious Strike -> Toxic Delivery
Getting the crit chance online ASAP is HUGE for this build, and even more-so is your uber lab. Toxic delivery is wack but the build doesn't clear well at all without crit. Mistwalker is a kinda interesting alternative option but you get elusive with Whirling Blades anyway so whatever
Feel free to pick whatever pantheon you like but I prefer Arakaali for major god, Ryslatha for bossing and either Ralakesh for anti-bleed or Soul of Shakari since I never have soft cap chaos res.
Ambidexterity is the go-to anoint for this build. SUPER cheap, really good dps and saves 4 points. Even cheaper than that, Gemini is a good early game get. Whispers of Doom and a curse temp chains on hit glove implicit is INSANE dps since it makes your poisons last way longer, but this is way more expensive than either of the two above options and is around 30% dps inc vs 10% from ambi, so it is a huge upgrade and definitely worth it for endgame.

Gear & Links


What I consider Necessary Gear:
Dendrobate (5L+)

Bino's Kitchen Knife

Maligaro's Cruelty

Dendrobate is really nice for this build, all the buffs to poisons and reses help the build along really nicely, especially for bossing.
Bino's kitchen knife is essential for blight content more than anything else. It's a free throw one cobra lash clear an entire line of enemies with the poison spread. REALLY good dagger too, the extra DoT and crit multi and crit chance are all amazing, it's just a little pricey early league, at least when I bought mine. It pairs well with taproot giving Bladefall extra poison chance but the taproot isn't super necessary, Bino's is the driving force. Taproot is super cheap anyway, so you should pick it up for offhand, or early game leveling.
Maligaro's Cruelty is omega cheap. I got mine with 8% max life for 2c on day 1, just go buy one it's super good. The power charges aren't that relevant since we're already a crit assassin and generate them ourselves, but the frenzy charges and extra damage and duration is huge.

Update 9/11/2019 - New gear

I corrupted myself some Embalmer with Curse Enemies with Level 11 despair on hit. These are your by far best in slot but they're kinda expensive to get regularly, 3ex from what I last saw. This means that instead of running Despair + Blasphemy I'm running Herald of Purity (since this build DOES hit a lot, making added phys awesome) and finally reworked some of the links in my Starkonja's to give me enough mana to consistently cast my Cobra Lash more (not having enlighten kinda sucks with this build ngl).


Other than that, got some pretty good steel rings (strength on rings is actually a requirement to level Steelskin to 12 for the CDWT setup), but I would love to get one that gives me int as well so I can level my Wither up to full. That's about it as for new gear, everything else stayed pretty much the same. I also realize I never linked my jewels. These are generally some pretty decent jewels I found, you just want max life and increased damage. Path of Building thinks that using Abyss jewels with crit multi and added phys damage are way better though, and it's probably right.
Link Prioritization

A nice tip is that since we're swapping out Cast on Crit and Bladefall for Vicious Projectiles and Vile Toxins for bossing (it's way more single target dps) phys reflect, put those on either the bottom or top two links of your chest.
It's pretty important you get a 5L going as soon as possible since having nothing but cast on crit, bladefall and GMP linked to Cobra Lash isn't great damage.
You should prioritize:
Cobra Lash -> GMP -> Cast On crit & Bladefall (need them at the same time obviously) -> Unbound Ailments -> Deadly Ailments

Obviously you don't need to gem swap but if you do, CoC + Bladefall should switch out to Vicious Projectiles & Vile Toxins. I recommend ONLY doing this for bosses, it makes mapping MUCH harder, most map bosses will get bodied by your normal CoC + Bladefall setup, but stuff like uber elder, shaper, etc. you should be using vile toxins and vicious projectiles. ONLY use Vile Toxins + Vicious Projectiles to do phys reflect maps. Phys reflect maps are still awful to do for this build but they're POSSIBLE with this switch.

Whirling Blades
Whirling Blades -> Faster Attacks -> Nightblade -> Blood Magic

You could actually swap blood magic with fortify just to be a little tankier, but you end up getting screwed on maps with no mana regen so I use blood magic.

Do as I say not as I do. my auras setup in my gear section is super scuffed, mostly because I can't be bothered to buy an Enlighten.
This build uses Blasphemy + Despair, Malevolence and Precision. You can slap them all with an Enlighten and also run something like Flesh and Stone, but this build kinda has shit strength and it works literally fine without the enlighten.
Other Stuff
Cast When Damage Taken -> Summon Ice Golem -> Withering Touch -> Vaal Ancestral Warchief
There are two very distinct ways you can do this setup. I'm a lazy asshole so I cast Ice Golem when damage taken. The proper way is in the PoB, listed as
Summon Ice Golem -> Blind -> Withering Touch -> Vaal Ancestral Warchief

Why blind & withering touch? Free dodge and also extra chaos DoT without having to constantly use your totems, and also a bit of crit from the golem and dps from the warchief on bosses.
Spell Totem -> Multiple Totems -> Wither
Wither applies a debuff that makes people take more chaos damage or something. It's cool, use it on bosses to make them take crazy poison dps.
CWDT -> Steelskin -> Inc Dur.

it's whatever. I didn't even run a CWDT setup for half this build and I was like "damn I want to put things in my knife because my Bino has had nothing socketed in it this entire time". Put whatever you want in place of steelskin, my friend recommended it over Immortal Call since the IC nerf, I honestly would have used Molten Shell or something stupid.


Obviously if you're using this as a league starter it's impossible to do early levelling with Cobra Lash & Cast On Crit since you need a minimum of 4 links to use it. I would recommend using Cobra Lash + Lesser Poison (or poison, when you get to it) + unbound ailments to start out. As for the skill tree, the most important things to get first are the "Stabbing Thirst" nodes just below Coordination by the start of the shadow tree. It's free early game sustain and helps a lot. From there go ahead and grab Assassination, Fangs of the Viper, Blood Drinker, Depth Perception and Revenge of the Hunted. You should by now have enough base life and crit chance to switch over to Cast on Crit pretty easily, and if you still feel your crit chance is too low you can rush True Strike early, but I like to go for Adder's Touch and Fatal Toxins first. Do not take Perfect Agony from the start, you do WAY more damage with your phys instead of poisons until you start critting more often and get the poison chance built into some of the nodes. Here are some PoB links that help you get a good idea of what you should have at early levels (assuming a few bonus passives). As for gear, dual wielding Taproots is perfectly fine at early levels but Bino's really makes this build pop. Same with Dendrobate, just use whatever you want while leveling but it's way cheaper to get a 5L Dendrobate than a Tabula, and is probably more DPS. Otherwise I didn't really use any other uniques to level this character since this was my league starter, and I only got those after I farmed Blood Aqueducts for some humility.
Some individual trees if you want to use them but you can switch to them from the main PoB link by switching the tree with the drop down at the bottom--
Level ~20:
Level ~40:
Level ~60:

My Gear & Gear Tips

Like I said above, Dendobate & Bino's are must-have. The rares are pretty much up to you. I'm using really really cheap rings, added phys damage seems to be really good for this build so I'd prioritize steel rings once they become available. Some of my gear is kinda expensive (like the belt and boots) but they're really just making up for my shit taste in rings. Really basic stuff, you want life and reses (duah), Starkonja's is amazing for this build since it gives great evasion, a ton of life and crit chance all the good stuff you want in a build. Just look at some of the stuff in the Path of Building for a better idea of where to go with rares, mine kinda suck. The flask setup I have is pretty optimal, Sin's Rebirth is a massive get and Atziri's promise is nice. Diamond flasks are for obvious reasons really good for this build, and just the classic spread of debuff removal you need for mapping.

9/11/2019 Gear Update

I corrupted an INSANE The Embalmer to give me curse enemies with Despair on hit. That means that I'm now using Herald of Purity instead of Despair + Blasphemy. The added phys damage from Herald of Purity has been insane (bladefall and chains makes this build hit A LOT), but this is in no means necessary for the build to thrive. I also tidied up my Starkonja's links, having Enlighten is huge for this build since Cobra Lash costs a lot of mana, endgame I'd suggest crafting some steel Elreon rings as well as using enligten, it'd make the build a lot more consistent.
I also realized I forgot to talk about jewels. I think the best jewels for this build are added phys damage + crit multi abyss jewels, the DoT jewels are nice and all but added phys damage is insane for this build, so I'm probably going to try switching to using them where I can buy them over regular jewels on the passive skill tree. Pretty sure the BiS jewel is still a Watcher's Eye with Precision crit multi and Malevolence deal damage faster. I saw one go up today and I'm pissed because the dude already sold it.

9/12/2019 Gear Update

I got Fortify boots so now I get Fortify + Elusive from Whirling Blades. It's a slight bonus but worth it, probably wasn't worth the loss of movement speed in hindsight but I'm too cheap to buy ones with move speed, I might change the life to a MS craft. I also changed my steel ring craft to give a little more damage, I'm really not sure how much better it is with this craft, I'm probably going to replace it with an added damage sooner or later, just trying this one out.

9/12/2019 gear update
This is it. The big one.

With Maligaro's Cruelty applying an additional curse it means I can now switch from the Herald of Purity setup to Blasphemy + Temporal Chains. I also swapped out my Atziri's Promise for a Witchfire Brew, which means that enemies around us should take a level 21 Despair (which is basically not possible for this build due to int constraints) AND a level 20-21 temp chains. Good shit. I'm going to try it out right now, should be a massive DPS upgrade for single target specifically, which is where this build fails the most.


Showing off clear on a shaped t15 Primordial Pool (one of my favourite maps to do with this build)
T15 8-mod Canyon + Breach almost crashing my computer and killing me
Pillars of Arun - one of the hardest unique maps possible for this build
Shaper Kill
If you want to see more of this build and probably others I make, check me out on Twitch; I'm probably going to start streaming a lot more
More videos to come

If you have any questions like if there's anything I didn't explain well enough in the guide feel free to leave a reply down below. Sorry if the guide is kinda scuffed, I'm still trying to learn how to use these forums properly so if there's any suggestions to make the guide look better let me know. Thanks for reading this, and good luck Exile
Last edited by Culmoor on Nov 4, 2019, 5:20:51 AM
Last bumped on Dec 22, 2019, 6:09:40 AM
Do you stream or can post a video online to see how this looks ingame?
I'm working on some videos right now of me doing some T15 and T16 maps
Can you please add some leveling progression. Thanks!

SimplPrimate wrote:
Can you please add some leveling progression. Thanks!

Just added leveling progression and a video of the build!
Culmoor wrote:

SimplPrimate wrote:
Can you please add some leveling progression. Thanks!

Just added leveling progression and a video of the build!

Thank you very much, just an FYI in case you did not know, you can add your leveling trees to the main POB.
Works very well so far (Lv 55), though I bought 2 Widowmakers at Lv 44.
Also, what Anointment do you recommend? I was considering Cloth and Chain for the start since it's cheap and gives free evasion and ele res.
xotica wrote:
Works very well so far (Lv 55), though I bought 2 Widowmakers at Lv 44.
Also, what Anointment do you recommend? I was considering Cloth and Chain for the start since it's cheap and gives free evasion and ele res.

Ambidexterity is my go-to right now, SUPER cheap (like 5-10c) and a ton of dps, but Whispers of Doom might be better (but I think ambi is practically on par) if you get an Assassin's mark curse on hit ring. Obviously, that's super expensive and endgame so just go with Ambidexterity.
SimplPrimate wrote:

Thank you very much, just an FYI in case you did not know, you can add your leveling trees to the main POB.

Just did that, I didn't know that actually! I haven't really used build guides too often and when I do I kinda just always look at the max level build, so I didn't know you could embed multiple trees. Still keeping the other links because why not but I added the trees to the main PoB.
Just leveling this build, lvl44 with widowmaker, and its fun so far.
But how do you get all the int for binos?
I dont see any on your equipment and there is not enough on the tree.
So i planed to get 2 of the 30 int nodes.
I am to lazy to trade for rings with int...

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