[3.15] Coldslinger | Vortex | Creeping Frost | League Start | SSF | CI/LL

3.16 changes:
-Huge buffs across the board for this build.
-Removal of Elemental Overload; however, the increase in DoT damage to Creeping Frost/Vortex is plenty enough to offset this nerf.
-Need to wait for POB to update the mana reservation calculations.


This build focuses on Cold DoT (damage over time), where it uses the combination of two cold DoT spells for the main damage: Vortex and Creeping Frost. However, instead of the traditional, clunky self-cast, it utilizes two separate Spellslinger setups to launch out Frostbolt and Creeping Frost. When Vortex is self-cast while there are frostbolts on the screen, it will consume the Frostbolt to dump a Vortex there. Turns out, you can cover your map in about 3-4 attacks. There are two variations: CI and LL. Both can complete all endgame content, but there are varying levels of investment required.



TLDR:
○ Put Vortex on LMB. Attack on RMB. Attack. Profit.

League Starter POBs for 3.15:

Starter CI Occultist, Level 95: ~550k shaper dps (Hypothermia needs updated): https://pastebin.com/GVhtuVbA

Endgame POBs for 3.15:

○ LL Occultist, Level 96: 2m shaper dps (Hypthermia needs updated) https://pastebin.com/sCdhKQQU
__________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents
○ About This Build
○ Changelog
○ Videos
○ Leveling/League Start
○ CI Starter
○ LL
○ FAQ (post #2)

About This Build:
○ Vortex cast speed is instantaneous, so it can be held down while moving, attacking, and using movement skills without feeling clunky. Because of this, Vortex is not linked with Spellslinger. Instead, it is put on LMB to constantly cast while moving, but it's also a good idea to put it on a hotkey for when you want to be stationary.

○ When Vortex is held down while attacking, it will launch Frostbolts and Creeping Frost because of the link to Spellslinger. Vortex has a direct interaction with Frostbolts and will cast on up to 5 Frostbolts at once. A Frozen Trail jewel is utilized to send out a total of 3 Frostbolts for the Vortex to cast.

○ This guide is designed to be a progression, but you can skip to whichever variation you have currency for. In terms of progression: CI league starter -> LL.

Changelog
○ 7/22/21- Pretty major overhaul from 3.15 nerfs. Too much to list.
○ 4/17/21- Added a leveling progression tree
○ 4/4/21- No major changes for 3.14.
○ 4/11/21 Updated Flow of Guide and added FAQ section.
○ 4/10/21 Updated PoBs in anticipation of 3.14 (unless there are some major tree differences, it's unlikely to change). Specced out of Elemental Equilibrium since it does not mesh well with most peoples' playstyle.
○ 1/20/21 Optimized trees up to level 100.
○ 1/12/21- Updating for 3.13
○ 10/25/20- No major update with new 3.12 gear/gems. No noteworthy alternate quality gems except maybe Divergent Determination + Grace. Everything is up to date.
○ 9/22/20- Updated LL build
○ 9/20/20- Modified leveling progression based on feedback received.
○ 9/17/20- Updated POB for league start. Other POBs will be updated once league launches/POB is updated for the nerfed Spellslinger.
○ 7/7/20- Added experimental POBs that use WoC for -25% cold resistance.
○ 7/1/20- Further optimized the min/maxed endgame build. Now utilizes both Enfeeble and Temporal Chains, with Malediction being picked up instead of Vile Bastion.
○ 7/1/20- Added a "Mega budget" version to CI PoB.
○ 6/22/20- Wintertide is awful for this build. Do not use it.
○ 6/19/20- Updated league starter for 3.11. Will need to playtest Wintertide to see if it's worth it.
○ 4/16/20- Looks like GGG is keeping their "fix" (nerf) to the Cold Snap + Spellslinger interaction in patch 3.10.1d hush-hush. This is a buff.
○ 4/9/20- Added Deathless Shaper Video
○ 4/5/20- Updated PoBs, now using the new jewel clusters! (thanks to Soyaro for suggesting to look into the jewels). All versions now use Rime Gaze.
○ 3/29/20- Optimized low-life version with discipline/reservation nodes. Working on CI variation, but similar change there.
○ 3/22/20- Original


Videos
○ (OLD) 1/13/21- [3.13] CI Moderate budget Setup (6L): https://youtu.be/d2oz2ydQe9M
○ (OLD) 1/13/21- [3.13] CI Extreme Budget Setup (5L): https://youtu.be/sbGzM9qXVAQ
○ (OLD) 4/9/20- [3.10] Deathless Shaper: https://youtu.be/g1QEZPi7kYs


Fastest Leveling/League Start Progression

○ Tree progression: prioritize % reserved mana nodes first, % damage nodes second, and %ES nodes last. I'd recommend to start the league as follows:


○ From here, continue along the normal progression of the tree, prioritizing % reserved mana and % damage nodes first:


○ ES items scale incredibly disproportionately through the acts, so you won't find any decent ES gear until maps. Once you transition to CI, respec the points mentioned in #1.

○ Gear Progression: Use any wands with high % spell damage, % cold damage, or % cold damage over time multiplier. For armors, prioritize flat life/flat ES.

○ Act 1:
-Grab Freezing Pulse and link it with + Added Lightning Damage + Added Cold Damage. You can opt for Creeping Frost later.

-Grab Orb of Storms or Frost Bomb. Link it with Arcane Surge + Added Lightning Damage.

-Buy Power Siphon to be used later on with the Spellslinger setup (until you get Frenzy).

-Buy Lesser Multiple Projectiles to be used in the Frostbolt setup later on. Don't use it now (put it in alternate weapons or open gem slots to level as you progress).

-Buy Vitality and use it as soon as possible. Buy a white/blue Amber Amulet if you need more Str. The amount of regen this provides early on is amazing.

-Grab Creeping Frost and begin using it with Arcane Surge + Efficacy. This is very important to do, or else your Creeping Frost will be way under-leveled by the time you should use it.

-Buy Efficacy and link it to Creeping Frost + Arcane Surge.

-Grab Flame dash and link it to Arcane Surge for more damage when you swap out Arcane Surge for better gems in your damage setups. Keep this Arcane Surge at level 4 or lower.

○ Act 2:
-Continue using Creeping Frost.

-Grab 2x Controlled Destruction + 2x Elemental Focus. Link them as necessary with Creeping Frost or just level them.

○ Act 3:
-Grab TWO Spellslingers as soon as you can. If you don't already have Vortex yet, temporarily link: Spellslinger + Arc + Added Lightning Damage + Controlled Destruction for the first setup. For the second setup, link Spellslinger + Wave of Conviction + Controlled Destruction (ideally Added Lightning to apply Lightning Exposure) + Elemental Focus. Drop Vitality until you have enough mana reservation to use it (keep it in an alternate weapon or open gem slot to level still). You'll only have enough mana to use two 4L Spellslinger setups, do not try to link more than this. Spellslinger will trigger both spell setups with one attack. These two setups will be used until you have Vortex.

-With the Spellsinger mana nerf, I'm not sure how well you'll be able to sustain cost. If you can't sustain it, drop 1 Spellslinger setup or reduce the amount of supports in it and grab Clarity.

-Use the Power Siphon or Frenzy you got earlier to trigger your Spellslingers (this does not need to be linked).

-After you complete "Sever the Right Hand", you'll have the option to grab a Vortex, grab it. Now the magic begins.

-Link Vortex + Controlled Destruction + Elemental Focus + Efficacy. DO NOT link Vortex with Spellslinger. Put Vortex on your left mouse button, so that it triggers automatically when you move. You can also put it on another button to manually trigger it.

-Now it's time to swap around the Spellslinger setups. For the first setup, link: Spellslinger + Frostbolt + Lesser Multiple Projectiles. For the second setup, link: Spellslinger + Creeping Frost + Controlled Destruction + Elemental Focus. These will later get swapped out for Bonechill + Inspiration once you get them.

-Add Vitality and Clarity back in if you have the mana.

-Buy Frostbite, but don't use it (put it in alternate weapons or open gem slots to level as you progress).

-Buy Discipline, but don't use it since you probably don't have the mana (put it in alternate weapons or open gem slots to level as you progress).

○ Act 4:

-Grab a Hextouch support and link Power Siphon or Frenzy + Hextouch Support + Frostbite.

-Buy Bonechill Support when possible in the Creeping Frost, swap out the Elemental Focus in Creeping Frost.

○ Act 5:
-MAKE SURE YOU GRAB FROZEN TRAIL. THIS IS MANDATORY. Put your Frozen trail gem in the jewel socket by Glancing Blows. One you have this jewel, remove the Lesser Multiple Projectiles from the Frostbolt setup.

○ Act 6:
-Complete Lily's quest so you can buy any skill gem you want. Buy Inspiration and Swift Affliction. Add in Inspiration and Swift Affliction if you have a Tabula (doubtful you'll be able to afford the mana cost though).

-Buy Inspiration from Lily and swap out Controlled Destruction with Inspiration in the Creeping Frost. This is to reduce the mana reservation cost and overall cost.

-Buy a second Inspiration and link it into Vortex, this will help with mana cost problems. Replace any of the other support gems with this.

○ Act 7:

-Around this time, you should have enough mana to reserve Vitality or Clarity again. Prioritize whichever you need first- mana if you're feeling like you can't sustain the Spellslinger cost or Vitality if you feel like you're dying too quickly. Who knows, maybe it'll be both.

○ Act 8:
-The chaos degen in Doedre's Sewers is abysmal. If you haven't by now, put in Vitality. I'm serious... make sure you do, or you'll have a bad time. Use a mana flask if you have to drop Clarity for this.

-MAKE SURE YOU GRAB CONQUEROR'S EFFICIENCY. Socket it in the available jewel socket near Elemental Equilibrium or the left side of the tree.

-Add in Discipline when possible- swap out Vitality if you need to (but only after you pass Doedre's Sewers).

○ Act 9:
-Nothing of note here. Continue.

○ Act 10:
-Smack Kitava in the face with your balls.


[Outdated- Use POB] League Start CI Version (Cheap)
Gear and Gem links
○ Helmet:
Spellslinger + Creeping Frost + Bone Chill + Hypothermia. At league start, just use a rare or regular Rime. Once the league is a few days/weeks in, grab a corrupted +2 cold, projectile, aoe, or duration.

○ Chest:
Vortex + Efficacy + Elemental Focus + Swift Affliction + Controlled Destruction + Inspiration. This is the priority of gems, inspiration is necessary to minimize Vortex's mana cost (which is pretty hefty). Just hold your Vortex key while you run through maps and attack, this will litter the ground with Vortices. Use an Incandescent Heart asap, it's insanely cheap and a free 25% less elemental damage taken. Incandescent Heart -> High ES + resistances rare.

○ Wand:
Cold Snap, Frost Bomb, and Steelskin. Only use an Imbued Wand, or a wand with 1.5+ APS, elsewise it will feel incredibly clunky! Prioritize +1 to all cold spells, as this will scale globally with all of your damage spells. Ensure it has "Trigger a socketed spell when you use a skill" or an open suffix to craft it on. % Spell damage, % cold damage, % area damage, or % cold damage over time multiplier is icing on the cake but not required for endgame.

○ Shield:
Spellslinger + Frostbolt, Discipline. Ideally, you're going to want a %ES on block, but that'll be hard to come by during league-start. A good alternative is Aegis Aurora. Do not link Discipline to the Spellslinger setup. Prioritize %ES on block -> ES -> +1 to level of cold spells -> resistances -> % spell damage.

○ Rings:
Prioritize resistances -> flat ES/% ES -> attributes -> % faster start of ES recharge.

○ Gloves:

Power Siphon + Hextouch Support + Frostbite + Elemental Weakness. Prioritize ES -> resistances -> +% cold damage multiplier.

○ Boots:

First 2L: Flame Dash + Arcane Surge (level 4). Second 2L: Vitality + Stone Golem. Prioritize ES -> movement speed -> resistances.

○ Amulet:

Prioritize +1 to level of all cold skill gems/+1 to level of all intelligence skill gems -> % increased ES -> resistances -> attributes. If you're looking for the most damage and an empty wallet, you can opt for +1 to cold gems, +1 to int gems, or +% cold damage over time multiplier. Anoint "Command of Steel" or "Tranquility" if you have the cash.

○ Belt:
Grab a Bated Breath at league start, but prioritize a high ES, % ES Recovery Rate, and % ES Maximum Energy shield belt.

○ Flasks:
#1: Quicksilver
#2: Rumi's Concoction
#3: Cinderswallow Urn
#4: Sulphur flask
#5: Utility flask. This can be Quartz/Basalt/Jade/Granite/Resistances

○ Jewels (one Frozen Trail is required, but another is really nice for additional clear speed):



Bandits, Ascendancy, Skill Tree, and Pantheon
○Bandits: Kill all

○Ascendancy: Void Beacon → Frigid Wake → Vile Bastion → Malediction

○ Tree Level 86 [League Start - CI]: http://poeurl.com/dfO4

○ Major Pantheon: Your choice

○ Minor Pantheon: Soul of Gruthkul


[Outdated- Use POB]- LL Version
Gear and Gem links


○ Helmet:
Spellslinger + Creeping Frost + Bone Chill + Hypothermia. At league start, just use a rare or regular Rime. Once the league is a few days/weeks in, grab a corrupted +2 cold, projectile, aoe, or duration.

○ Chest:
Vortex + Efficacy + Elemental Focus + Swift Affliction + Controlled Destruction + Inspiration. This is the priority of gems, inspiration is necessary to minimize Vortex's mana cost (which is pretty hefty). Shavronne's required.

○ Wand:
Cold Snap, Frost Bomb, and Vitality. Only use an Imbued Wand, or a wand with 1.5+ APS, elsewise it will feel incredibly clunky! Prioritize +1 to all cold spells, as this will scale globally with all of your damage spells. Ensure it has "Trigger a socketed spell when you use a skill" or an open suffix to craft it on. % Spell damage, % cold damage, % area damage, or % cold damage over time multiplier is icing on the cake but not required for endgame.

○ Shield:
Malevolence + Zealotry + Hatred. Prism Guardian Required.

○ Rings:
One ring must have an open socket to fit in Discipline. Prioritize 1 socket ring -> resistances -> flat ES/% ES -> attributes -> % faster start of ES recharge.

○ Gloves:

First 2L:Spellslinger + Frostbolt,
Second 2L: Flame Dash + Arcane Surge (level 5). Only link Spellslinger to Frostbolt, do not link Spellslinger with Arcane Surge or Flame Dash. Prioritize ES -> +% cold damage multiplier -> resistances.

○ Boots:

Power Siphon + Hextouch Support + Frostbite + Elemental Weakness. Prioritize ES -> movement speed -> resistances. Rainbowstrides are a great option if you don't want to shell out a ton on good rare boots.

○ Amulet:

You can throw in a rare amulet or Presence of Chayula, depending if you want to cap off chaos resistance. For a rare, prioritize +1 to level of all cold skill gems/+1 to level of all intelligence skill gems -> % increased ES -> resistances -> attributes. If you're looking for the most damage and an empty wallet, you can opt for +1 to cold gems, +1 to int gems, or +% cold damage over time multiplier. Anoint "Tranquility" if you've got the cash, but "Command of Steel" is a great alternative.

○ Belt: Use a crystal belt with high flat ES, % Maximum ES, and % ES recovery rate.

○ Flasks:
#1: Quicksilver
#2: Rumi's Concoction
#3: Cinderswallow Urn
#4: Sulphur flask
#5: Utility flask. This can be Quartz/Basalt/Jade/Granite/Resistances

○ Jewels (required):

A large cluster with % cold damage, the lowest # of passives, and at least 2 notables should be your target. Preferable notables are % cold damage over time multiplier, Prismatic Heart, or Disorienting Display. The LL variation requires one medium jewel to have Self-Control on it- this is to reduce the Discipline reservation cost. The other medium can be % damage over time multiplier with Vile Reinvigoration and Brush with Death (or whatever you have is fine). It also requires at least 2% total reduced mana reserved corrupted modifier from jewels (just get 2 corrupted Frozen Trails) to get enough reservation.


Bandits, Ascendancy, Skill Tree, and Pantheon
○Bandits: Kill all

○ Tree level 96 (LL): http://poeurl.com/dfW9

○Ascendancy (if you want to cap chaos resistance, recommended): Void Beacon → Frigid Wake → Vile Bastion → Malediction

○Alternate Ascendancy (if you want Profane Bloom Pops): Void Beacon → Frigid Wake → Vile Bastion → Profane Bloom

○ Major Pantheon: Your choice

○ Minor Pantheon: Soul of Gruthkul
Coldslinger: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2797749
Last edited by Clydehart on Oct 15, 2021, 8:36:05 AM
Last bumped on Oct 15, 2021, 3:43:28 PM
Frequently Asked Questions:

○ Is this a good league starter?
-Yes. The league starter version is meant to be a great mapper and can do T16 maps with junk from the ground but is not the best bosser.

○ Is there a life POB for leveling?
-Just grab 5-10 life nodes on the tree as you're progressing through the acts. Respec them once you have enough ES to swap to CI (> 3-4K). Even in SSF, you should be able to get about 4-5k ES pretty comfortably by the time you hit yellow maps.

○ How is leveling with the build?
-Up to level 28, leveling sucks. After you get the Spellslinger setups going, it's the smoothest experience you'll ever have. Just pick up any decent % ES, life, and resistance items you can find while progressing. Reference the League Start/Leveling section for specifics.

○ Is there a life-based Occultist version?
-You can certainly build it with life instead of ES, but I wouldn't recommend it. ES has a larger EHP and Occultist synergizes extremely well with ES. If you're dead set on life, I'd recommend going with Trickster and hybrid.

○ How does this compare to self-cast?
-On average, the damage is the same with an equivalent amount of investment, but self-cast has a higher ceiling (just by nature of not having to reserve mana for the Spellslinger setups). You can always use this version as a league starter and swap to self-cast once you have better gear going- the swap is extremely painless (the trees are very similar). Be warned though, numbers won't take into account the playstyle, which is by far the most important thing of a build.

○ Which version should I play?
-The guide is meant to be a progression from a fresh league start -> LL. With the damage nerfs, it will be very difficult to bring CI to endgame bossing, but T16 maps will be just fine (bosses will take a bit still).

-The LL version has a ton of damage at the cost of sustainability (it has to use Wicked Ward and it doesn't have % ES on block).

○ Is the guide min-maxed?
-The guide is min-maxed for the average player and will allow you to jump into T16 maps with the League Start version and up to 100% delirious maps with the LL. It has a really good balance between offensive and defensive, but you can always lean towards your preference.

○ Is Elemental Equilibrium (EE) worth using?
-EE gives about 30-40% more DoT damage, but only if you play correctly. With EE, you have to be cautious in littering the ground with Vortex, as that will cause EE to backfire and reduce your damage. The idea is to refresh Vortex rather than spam if you're using EE. For the majority of players, EE will not mesh well with their playstyle so I removed it from the build. As an alternative, you can use Malachai's Artifice with Storm Brand to target apply EE, which is a massive increase in damage. I don't like pressing more than 1 button, so it isn't for me.

○ Are there any alternate quality gems worth using?
-There are no build defining alternate quality gems and a level 21 Vortex and Creeping Frost is significantly better than a level 20 alternate quality gem. Phantasmal Frostbolt is pretty interesting but entirely unnecessary.

○ Can we use 2 Frozen Trail Jewels?
-Yes. The increased projectile speed is very nice for clearing, but not necessary.

○ Should I use Frenzy or Power Siphon?
-This is entirely personal preference. Frenzy will feel a lot smoother, but Power Siphon will technically be stronger on bosses due to culling strike.

○ What will you be playing on league start?
-I'm always baited by the new skills and interactions... so I will be Explosive Concoction Scion or Spectral Helix (good ol' hammerdin!).
Coldslinger: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2797749
Last edited by Clydehart on Jul 23, 2021, 2:28:41 PM
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Coldslinger: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2797749
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Coldslinger: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2797749
HI,I have been play this build ,and i like it ,ty
I have a question here , why do you link cold snap with Efficacy not Hypothermia?

"
lengzhou112 wrote:
HI,I have been play this build ,and i like it ,ty
I have a question here , why do you link cold snap with Efficacy not Hypothermia?



Glad you like the build! The helmet is a shaper helmet, with the affix "Socketed Gems are Supported By Level 16-20 Hypothermia." This allows you to utilize Efficacy. If you don't have a helmet with this mod, it's definitely better to use hypothermia than efficacy for the benefit of Bonechill!
Coldslinger: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2797749
I'm excited to see there are some others experimenting with Spellslinger+Cold, Good Work! I actually attempted a low-life crit cold build first. I didn't have the attack/cast speed to really push the damage. I wanted to hear your thoughts on two things I'm struggling with.

- How has your survivability been in red tier maps? I'm at 7K ES, but I do not have the Sorrow of the Divine. I've really struggled and I feel like a stiff breeze will take me down.

- I noticed that in your Low Life version, you only run Malevolence on Blood Magic. That means you have ~50% of your HP available for another aura. Why do you only have that one on blood magic?
"
Dekunuts wrote:
I'm excited to see there are some others experimenting with Spellslinger+Cold, Good Work! I actually attempted a low-life crit cold build first. I didn't have the attack/cast speed to really push the damage. I wanted to hear your thoughts on two things I'm struggling with.

- How has your survivability been in red tier maps? I'm at 7K ES, but I do not have the Sorrow of the Divine. I've really struggled and I feel like a stiff breeze will take me down.

- I noticed that in your Low Life version, you only run Malevolence on Blood Magic. That means you have ~50% of your HP available for another aura. Why do you only have that one on blood magic?


Blood magic gives you a high multiplier 100%+ until like lvl 18-19 so you can't even use malevolence with it until then as it will reserve over 100% of your life.
"
"
Dekunuts wrote:
I'm excited to see there are some others experimenting with Spellslinger+Cold, Good Work! I actually attempted a low-life crit cold build first. I didn't have the attack/cast speed to really push the damage. I wanted to hear your thoughts on two things I'm struggling with.

- How has your survivability been in red tier maps? I'm at 7K ES, but I do not have the Sorrow of the Divine. I've really struggled and I feel like a stiff breeze will take me down.

- I noticed that in your Low Life version, you only run Malevolence on Blood Magic. That means you have ~50% of your HP available for another aura. Why do you only have that one on blood magic?


Blood magic gives you a high multiplier 100%+ until like lvl 18-19 so you can't even use malevolence with it until then as it will reserve over 100% of your life.


As Hydras said, BM has a ridiculously high multiplier- so only one aura.

In terms of survivability- it's been okay, but I still struggle with T16s and Delirium (mostly because of on-death effects. I'm like a bug attracted to a bright light when it comes to on-death mechanics...). I recently tuned the build a little, to allow for the use of discipline- which has now put the CI variation up to about 8.8k ES and low life to 7.8k ES. The single, most powerful item to boost survivability is a watcher's eye with % faster start of ES regen while using discipline (brings the regen timer from 1.5s to 1s). In specific to your build (looks like you have a trickster variant), you'll need to heavily invest in hybrid gear or bump up your evasion much more to make the perfect form worth it.
Coldslinger: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2797749

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