[3.24] Ice Dancing Queen - Icestorm/Cyclone/CI - Viable For Everything

2024-03-28: Updated for 3.24. No major changes.

This is the Trickster version of the Ice Dancing Queen. Over the years, as the game has been changing, this build has been played as: Ascendant, Elementalist, Inquisitor, Berserker, Occultist, and now Trickster. I've been using this build to do 40/40 challenges on my own merit in many leagues, it's my go-to build to get things done.

The main idea is to be tanky and mobile enough to faceroll everything in your way. No boss is too hard, most are too easy. All maps with most any mods are a joke.

Demo video: Mapping with low budget
Demo video: Deleting uber bosses with high budget


Build Theory

This build is based on The Whispering Ice unique staff. Icestorm damage scales from Int, therefore Int is the main stat.

The build is immune to all elemental ailments, corrupted blood (optional), and all forms of chaos damage. It is extremely tanky and leechy. It can ignore most map mods and do virtually any mod combos with minimal adjustments.

Key mechanics: Int stacking, cold damage with a lot of resist penetration and crits, Chaos Inoculation, ES overleech, ES and mana recovery on kill, 2 curses, Block, Evasion.

The actual DPS of this build is hard to calculate because Icestorm mechanics are very different from other skills. It takes a couple of seconds to stack up. Without going into complex math, the DPS of Icestorm on a stationary target is about 23 * Average Hit.

Is this a good league starter?

The answer REALLY depends on your personal play style and league goals.

Leveling with Icestorm is super easy. But it's not the fastest way to move forward, there are MUCH faster builds. It uses cheap leveling uniques. But they don't become widely available until a few hours after the league start.

If you want to race through the Acts and into the maps as soon as the servers unlock then this is not something this build can do. But if you are in no hurry, or starting late, then sure enough, this build is a cheap and easy way to cakewalk through the storyline and start mapping. It doesn't require any expensive gear or 6L items even for the endgame content.

PoB data


Kill them all.


1. Heartstopper
2. Escape Artist
3. Soul Drinker
4. Polymath

5. High end options with Forbidden Flesh/Flame:
a) if you intend to farm Uber Sirus: buy Heartopper jewels and allocate One Step Ahead on the tree;
b) Ambush and Assassinate for more damage; can replace Heartstopper with One Step Ahead too, although it's less safe.


Early on go with Brine King and Ralakesh to deal with stun and bleeding.

Once you have Divine Vessels and appropriate maps, switch to Solaris and upgrade it. Use Yugul for curse and reflect maps, Ralakesh for bleed-heavy league mechanics.


1. Clarity
2. Discipline
3. Purity of Elements
4. Hatred

Hatred is added after taking Sovereignty and anointing Charisma. Enlighten lv 4 can replace Charisma (if you can afford it).


!!! This is an Int stacking build. It scales from Int in multiple ways. Other than the build-enabling weapon and very special boots, every single piece of gear must provide a high amount of Int. Do not neglect Int on your items.

There is a detailed step-by-step gearing guide 2 posts below this one.


You have 2 items that can be anointed: amulet and The Stampede boots. Anoint them with:

1. Tranquility (Golden, Golden, Azure) - a huge damage boost.
2. Charisma (Golden, Golden, Opalescent) - lets you add Hatred.

While you are still leveling and can't afford Golden Oil yet, grab a cheap 30 Int node (Clear, Clear, Amber) and Steelwood Stance (Teal, Teal, Azure).


Ball Lightning lv 1
Bonechill Support lv 20
Cast When Damage Taken Support lv 1, x2
Cast When Damage Taken Support 20/20
Cast While Channelling Support lv 15-16 (do not level it past 16; because math)
Clarity lv 20, ideally lv 21
Cold Penetration 20/20, ideally Awakened
Cold Snap lv 1, ideally 1/20
Concentrated Effect Support 20/20
Cyclone any lv
Discipline lv 20
Energy Leech Support 20/20
Frostbite lv 20, ideally lv 21
Frostblink lv 20
Hatred lv 20, ideally lv 21
Hextouch Support lv 20, ideally Awakened
Immortal Call lv 6
Increased Critical Damage Support 20/20, x2
Increased Duration Support lv up to your Str, 20q
Inspiration Support 20/20, x2
Intensify Support 20/20
Power Charge on Critical Support 20/20, x2
Punishment 20/20, ideally 21/20
Purity of Elements 20/20
Unbound Ailments Support lv 20, ideally Awakened

Frost Shield
Culling Strike
Vaal Righteous Fire

Sockets and Links


Carrying two staves and swapping between them with X is the best setup.

For map clearing: Cyclone - CwC lv 15, Inspiration, Power Charge on Critical, Increased Critical Damage (5S), Energy Leech (6S). Cyclone must be linked to CwC. You don't need to link anything else. Icestorm automatically uses all support gems in the staff. Keep CwC at lv 15-16 for math reasons.

For single target: Intensify, Inspiration, Power Charge on Critical, Concentrated Effect, Increased Critical Damage (5S), Cold Penetration (6S). No links required.

You can kill most bosses even with your map clearing staff. But they die a lot faster with a dedicated single target setup.


This build does not need 6L.

5L: CWDT lv 1 - Ball Lightning lv 1 - Hextouch (20/20) - Frostbite (lv 20) - Punishment (lv 20)

Important: CWDT and BL need to be lv 1, do not level these gems! Hextouch can be any level, 20/20 is highly recommended. The curses must be lv 6 or higher, level them up. This setup will not work with low level curse gems or high level CWDT/BL. You want this link to trigger as often as possible, so CWDT must stay at lv 1. Curses lower than lv 6 will get triggered by CWDT directly, apply to a small area and eat all your mana.

If you don't have a 5L chest yet, drop Punishment.

If you do get a 6L, can add Culling Strike.

Gloves, boots, helmet

4L: CWDT lv 1 - Cold Snap lv 1 - Bonechill - Unbound Ailments

Optionally, use Culling Strike for bosses until you get it elsewhere (instead of Unbound Ailments).

3L: CWDT - Immortal Call lv 6 - Increased Duration

Place in any free sockets: Frostblink, aura gems, etc. Make sure not to link the aura gems to any supports that can increase their mana cost.


I highly recommend these flasks (or similar):

If you get your resists right, The Wise Oak provides a solid damage bonus (and a bit of defense). Atziri's Promise is good for damage too. Rumi's is great for block and phys mitigation - important defenses.

Yugul Pantheon mitigates 30% curse effect on you. A flask with high enough curse mitigation takes care of the other 70% and lets you ignore curses.

Corundum base gives you additional protection from stun while mapping. Diamond base is always good for a crit build.

Triggering automatically (with Instilling orbs) lets you clear maps without ever worrying about flasks.

Play Style

Cyclone and Frostblink through the map.

For the boss, switch to the single target staff and melt it. Use Frostblink to move without interrupting your casting and losing Intensify stacks.

Important: make sure to check the option "Always Attack without Moving" for Frostblink and Icestorm on your skill bar (for both weapons).

Bind Cyclone to the right mouse button. This will make you a one-button auto-bomber. You can clear the entire map with one hand by holding that button if you feel too lazy to hit Frostblink. Bind Icestorm to that button on the boss staff.

Name Locking: if you target a boss, press the Icestorm button and hold it - it will keep targeting that boss and casting Icestorm on it no matter where it moves (or you move). The boss can be completely off screen but you will keep casting Icestorm on it as long as it stays namelocked (example: video).

Frostblink is an instant skill that doesn't interrupt channelling. Use it to dash while cycloning, or to move around the boss arena while namelocking the boss.

You can facetank and outleech anything that does not 1-shot you.

Polymath and Soul Drinker allow you to do pretty much any maps with any mods. The only one that needs something special is Elemental Reflect. You can use a cheap Watcher's Eye jewel with anti-reflect Purity of Elements mod if you really have to do an ele reflect map.

If you follow this guide, don't neglect to gear properly and don't replace key mechanics with things that "look better" to you, then you will be virtually unkillable in maps.

Conversely, if you are dying a lot in maps - then you are either not using the correct items, links, skills or auras, or you are making custom modifications to the tree without understanding the consequences. Re-read the guide and follow it. Or un-private your profile and ask what you are doing wrong in this thread.

Mana Sustain

Trickster has unlimited mana for mapping thanks to the Polymath node. However, tanking a hard hitting boss may drain all your mana if you have a wrong CWDT setup or no mana recoup.

When you take damage, CWDT links triggers Immortal Call and Cold Snap. They have a decent mana cost. Depending on the boss and map mods, your mana regen may not be enough to counter this, and your Icestorm casting may stutter or stop completely.

You must have some form of mana recoup. You can get it on the Watcher's Eye jewel or craft it on the rings (unlocked by unveiling veiled rings).
Last edited by Kelvynn on Apr 14, 2024, 7:06:17 PM
Last bumped on Apr 17, 2024, 11:59:14 PM
Leveling Guide (3.24)

PoB Leveling trees

Remember to complete side quests that give +skill points.

A1: Dweller of the Deep ('the Granddaddy crab')
A1: The Marooned Mariner (Fairgraves)
A1-2: The Way Forward (the seal in Western Forest)
A3: Victario's Secrets (platinum busts)
A4: An Indomitable Spirit (Deshret)
A5: In Service to Science (the Miasmeter)
A5: Kitava's Torments (the Reliquary)
A6: The Cloven One (Aberrath)
A6: The Puppet Mistress (Ryslatha)
A7: Queen of Despair (Gruthkul)
A7: Kishara's Star (the Causeway)
A8: Love is Dead (Tolman)
A8: The Gemling Legion (the Grain Gate)
A8: Reflection of Terror (Yugul)
A9: Queen of the Sands (Shakari)
A9: The Ruler of Highgate (Garukhan)
A10: Vilenta's Vengeance (Vilenta)

You can level to lv 33-38 any way you like. There are many good ways.

I typically start with Stormblast Mine and switch to Icicle Mine at lv 12. Support it with Added Lightning Damage, Added Cold Damage, Increased Critical Strikes.

Get Frost Bomb and Frostblink early in Act 1. Support Frostblink with Arcane Surge (keep the level low to trigger from 1 cast) and Added Lightning or Cold (depending on the socket color you find).

Grab Clarity in Act 1, Herald of Ice on Act 2.

Frostblink on cooldown. Frost Bomb on packs. Don't bother stopping to kill everything. What dies along the way is good enough. Kill rares and bosses with mines.

Use any essences you find to make wands. Keep the ones that get +ele dmg to spells.

If you still don't have The Whispering Ice at lv 38 (like on day 1 of a new league) you can proceed with Eye of Winter - Unleash until you get it.

As soon as you obtain The Whispering Ice (and lv 33) - start using Icestorm.

Self-casting setup (lv 33+):
Inspiration, Arcane Surge (stay at lv 4), Concentrated Effect, Cold Penetration (4S), Power Charge on Critical (5S). No links required.

Auras: Clarity, Purity of Elements. Drop Herald of Ice. Around lv 45-50 as you get more mana, add Discipline.

At lv 38 you can start channelling Icestorm via Cyclone while moving.

Cycloning setup (lv 38+):
Cyclone - Cast while Channelling, Inspiration, Concentrated Effect, Power Charge on Critical (5S). Cyclone needs to be linked with CwC.

Other useful skills:
CWDT lv 1 - Frostbite lv 5 - Frost Bomb lv 1.
CWDT lv 1 - Cold Snap - Bonechill.

In Act 6-7 take the Brine King and Ralakesh pantheon powers.

Switch to CI in Act 7.

Get another staff if you can and make a single target setup for deleting bosses as you take crit nodes and power charges on the tree:
Inspiration, Intensify, Concentrated Effect, Power Charge on Critical, Cold Penetration (5S).

Do the labs as soon as you can. Trickster Ascendancy: Heartstopper -> Escape Artist -> Soul Drinker. Do the 3rd lab before killing Kitava.

Keep leveling in maps and adding more useful nodes until you are ready to switch to the cluster tree. Follow the gearing guide.
Last edited by Kelvynn on Mar 28, 2024, 3:44:38 PM
Gearing Guide (3.24)

Note: disregard any gems shown in the sockets of the linked items. Gems and links can change depending on the league.

Lv 1-32

Day 1 Gear

You only care about the boots and wands. Can use random rares in all other slots for life and resistances.

If Tarkleigh doesn't sell 10% ms boots, make them yourself. Any white boots will do. Stats don't matter, you just want ms. You get a Quicksilver flask from the Medicine Chest quest.

Recipe: White boots + Quicksilver flask + Orb of Augmentation = 10% ms boots

Sell random magic and rare junk for Transmutation shards until you have 4 Transmutation orbs. Use them to buy an Augmentation orb for the recipe.

Further upgrade the boots at lv 15 and 24.

Recipe: N% ms magic/rare boots + Quicksilver flask + Orb of Augmentation = N+5% ms boots

Use any essences you find on wands. Keep the ones that roll +ele dmg to spells.

Twink Gear

Lv 33-70

At lv 33 you switch to Icestorm.

Self-cast until lv 38, then Cyclone-CwC. Or just keep self-casting it until the end of the campaign for higher damage (but less smooth play style). Any %Int is fine. 4S is fine. More sockets make it all trivial.

Switch to these uniques by lv 37-39:

Use rings and amulet to cap resists (on top of Purity of Elements), preferably with additional Int on them. If you already have Astramentis, use it too.

Beginner Mapping Gear

Keep the belt, boots and amulet from leveling. Get the rares for body armour, helmet, gloves and rings. They all MUST have 40+ Int.

Body armour is your biggest source of ES. Remember that Trickster gets 1 ES per 6 Evasion on the body armour, so 300 ES + 1200 Evasion is actually 500 ES (and still 1200 Evasion).

Try to get a decent amount of ES on the helmet too.

Gloves and rings are just there to give you Int and resistances.

Upgrading the Staves

You need 2 staves for mapping: one with Cyclone-CwC for clearing and one with self-cast for bosses. The end goal is to have them both 6S and 18% Int. Cast speed doesn't matter.

Upgrade your staves one step at a time. Don't ruin the ones you have. Buy another one and roll it until it's better than what you have. Remember that the item needs to be ilvl 50+ to be able to roll 6 sockets with Jeweller obrs.

Main Upgrade Path

1. Boots and Amulet

The first two items you should get after the beginner mapping gear are Astramentis and The Stampede. The amulet solves all your stat issues and gives you a ton of damage. The boots have an incredible QoL value. And they are both anointable. Steelwood Stance on the amulet (teal, teal, azure). Any cheap 30 Int on the boots (clear, clear, amber).

It is often cheaper to buy 3 The Polymath cards than the amulet itself. Check the current prices.

In some leagues Astramentis is too expensive early because it's used in some meta/streamer builds. You'll do just fine with a rare amulet or talisman that gives 90+ Int and enough Str/Dex for the gems.

If you manage to get a decently high (70%+) CDR on the boots, you won't have to upgrade them ever again. When you can afford 2 Golden oils, anoint them with Tranquility (golden, golden, azure). Get 3 red sockets using Jeweller orbs. Start with 2R craft, then keep adding and removing the 3rd socket until you get another R.

2. Belt

Buy a synthesized %Int belt. It should be ilvl 74+ to have a chance of decent Str or resist mods, and a 13-15% Int implicit. Scour it. If the implicit is not 15% use a Blessing orb. Use 4 Intrinsic catalysts for 20q (and 18% Int). Use a Deafening Essence of Spite to get the top Int suffix. Craft anything useful depending on the empty affixes.

It's worth buying two bases and re-crafting one when you need different resists or Str later on without ruining the one you are using.

3. Gloves

On the gloves you want 45+ Int, two good resist mods (or 1 resist and 1 empty suffix to craft the other), and 100+ ES.

Use any Eldritch currency to roll %Inc Damage per 100 Int (blue) and Unnerve on Hit (red).

4. Body Armour

What you want is 45+ Int, 300+ ES and 1200+ Evasion. The more the better. But no crafted prefixes. And an empty suffix to craft 6% Inc Attributes (unlocked by unveiling body armours with a Hillock veiled mod).

Make it 6S and dump Fusing orbs on it until you get a 5-link. You might even get lucky and 6L it (to add Culling Strike to the curse link).

Use red eldritch currency to get increased effect of non-curse auras. Use blue eldritch currency to get 1% less damage per N Int.

5. Budget Jewels

Buy two 8-node Cold clusters ilvl 68+ and alt/aug spam them until you get Cold to the Core. It will be easier to hit if it's ilvl 68-74 (but the prices may vary). Regal them for another random mod.

Buy two Split Personality with Int/anything. This will allow you to switch to the cluster tree for a big power spike.

Buy and vaal Natural Affinity until you get Corrupted Blood immunity. Or at least buy a corrupted rare jewel with that mod and some Int until later.

Buy a Watcher's Eye with Clarity mana recoup and anything else useful for Clarity, Purity of Elements, Hatred or Discipline.

6. Rings

All upgrades to this points can be bought for Chaos orbs. Save your Divines to buy %Int rings as soon as you can afford them. You can typically buy them for 1 Div early in a new league, but they always rise to 10+ Div in a matter of weeks. This is by far the best investment of any Divine orbs you find in the first days of a league.

Warning: Prices wary from league to league. If the %Int base is already 3+ Div by the time you make your first couple of divines then just skip this step and go with decent rares (45+ Int, lots of resists) or maybe Le Heup corrupted with %Int. Get back to doing this later when you can afford it.

You want the rings to be ilvl 74+ to have a chance of rolling good stats and resist mods. And you want to buy 3 of them, so that you can re-craft one every time you upgrade something else and need to adjust your resistances or Str/Dex. After completing your endgame gear, you can sell the 3rd ring for 10+ Div.

7. Helmet

You need an ilvl 75-79 Hubris Circlet base. Craft it with Deafening Essence of Spite.

Alternatively, try to buy an ilvl 75-79 helmet that's good enough. Possibly annul an unwanted mod and craft one that's good.

It must not have any influences or be fractured or synthesized.

What you want is 45+ Int, 200+ ES, no influences/synth/frac, ilvl 75-79, all 3 prefixes taken, and an empty suffix. If these conditions are met, a Hunter's Exalted orb will guarantee the %Int mod.

8. Good Clusters

Cold to the Core + Blanketed Snow, preferably with some resists and/or stats. Crafting these requires too much luck or currency. It's cheaper to just buy them.

Split Personality with Int+ES.

9. Amulet

%Int and Damage per Int are the two key mods. With some stats on top. This is a big damage spike, but you lose a lot of Str and Dex from Astramentis. You can use lower level red and green skill gems to require less Str and Dex. You can also craft Str on the belt and Dex on rings.

Depending on the current price of the Awakener's orb, you can choose to craft it yourself or just buy it.

For crafting, you need two ilvl 80+ amulets: one Shaper and one Crusader. The damage/Int mod on the Shaper one is pretty common, you can just buy one that already has it. Or you can alt spam it. The Crusader amulet will be your main base. Choose one with an implicit that gives you the stats you will need after replacing Astramentis. Scour the base, make it 20q, then alt spam the T1 %Int mod.

Very important: each amulet must have only the desired influenced mod and no other Shaper/Crusader mods! The Shaper one must have "The Shaper's" dmg/int prefix and no "of Shaping" suffixes. The Crusader one must have the T1 %Int suffix "of the Crusade" and no "Crusader's" prefixes.

Right-click the Awakener's orb, left-click on the Shaper amulet first, then left-click on the Crusader amulet. You will get a dual influenced amulet with the two desired mods plus random others. You may get lucky and roll a good stat suffix. Or an empty suffix to craft more stats. Finish crafting it with whatever makes sense depending on the empty affixes. Anoint Charisma.

At this point you can farm uber pinnacle bosses. Depending on the knowledge of the fights, experience and skill, of course.

10. Good Gloves

On the final gloves, you want T1 Int, 175+ ES and two good resist mods. Crafting all that is hard, but they are not very expensive and can be typically bought for 2-3 Divines.

When you have the gloves that won't need further upgrading, craft the high end boss damage/Int Eldritch implicit (5% instead of the cheap 3% one).

Use Grand or Greater Eldritch Ichor to get the 4% dmg/Int mod "While a Unique Enemy is in your Presence" (not the generic 4% dmg/int one). Use Exceptional Eldritch Ember to get a random high tier red implicit.

Now you need to upgrade your blue implicit to Exquisite (5%) using Orb of Conflict. Every time you use one, it randomly upgrades the tier of either the red or the blue mod and downgrades the tier of the other one. It's weighted towards upgrading the one that's lower - this is why you need the Exceptional red one.

With a good roll: your blue mod gets upgraded and the red one gets downgraded. Use another Exceptional Eldritch Ember to get a new random high tier red mod.

With a bad roll: your blue mod gets downgraded and the red one gets upgraded. Use another Orb of Conflict to fix that and get back to the previous step.

There are multiple tiers of eldritch mods with the same value. For this one, Greater, Grand and Exceptional tiers all show as 4%. Hold the Alt key to see the actual tier.

Eventually you will get the Exquisite (5%) blue mod. Use cheap red currency to roll the Unnerve mod, any tier will do.

11. Good Body Armour

Upgrade to body armour with better stats. Once you get a really good one, get an Exquisite blue eldritch mod the same way as on the gloves. And a good red mod.

12. High End Stuff

Craft or buy a better helmet (9-10% Int, 300+ ES, and a resist mod).

Balance your resists for The Wise Oak (remember that you can switch them around with the Harvest currency).

Get the base ES close to max values on the chest, helmet and gloves with Sacred orbs.

Divine all %Int mods to the max value.

Buy Forbidden Flesh/Flame jewels for Ambush and Assassinate.

Buy Rational Doctrine for a nice damage upgrade from Profane ground.

Buy Enlighten for more free mana, awakened gems (see Gems). Enlighten lv 4 let's you anoint Whispers of Doom instead of Charisma and save 4 skill points.

Look for a Watcher's Eye with Hatred Cold Penetration, Clarity extra ES, and a 3rd useful mod.

Finally, buy an uber amulet with %Int, %Attr and Dmg/Int.

The Ultimate Upgrade

The Simplex Amulet is the final upgrade for this build. It will cost more than the rest of the gear combined and add about 30% more damage.

This is completely optional. You can farm all endgame content and uber bosses without it. This is a luxury "OP" item.

The base itself can be very expensive (50+ div depending on the league). You can craft the 2-mod version of the amulet (without +19% Attr) for a few more divines and keep the imprint created in the process. This is already a very nice upgrade, about half as powerful as the final item.

Later on, you can finish the craft and unlock its full power when you have the bugdet for it.

> How to craft the Simplex Amulet < with about 100 div using meta crafting
New in 3.24: > How to craft the Simplex Amulet < with about 40 div using beast crafting

Last edited by Kelvynn on Apr 12, 2024, 4:58:15 PM
Great Job! I waited for this "live"))!!
I really wanted to try new Trickster, but didn't want to let go of Icestorm.

Thank you for making this decision the easiest I've ever had in any league.
Is overleech really going to be that helpful? You only get to overleech for approximately 5 seconds which is too low to make it thru invulnerability phases?
Interesting, Was going to do the usual scion whispering for 2nd char but if this goes well might give it a roll for variety :)
Larloch1821 wrote:
Is overleech really going to be that helpful? You only get to overleech for approximately 5 seconds which is too low to make it thru invulnerability phases?

There withering jar is one of possibilities
Larloch1821 wrote:
Is overleech really going to be that helpful? You only get to overleech for approximately 5 seconds which is too low to make it thru invulnerability phases?

Some bosses like to do a few more hits before switching phases while already invulnerable (e.g. Izaro, Aul). And 5 sec should make a difference at Uber Eater or Uber Sirus too, even though that won't cover the whole phase.

Mobile/teleporting bosses also make your leech very uneven. You are vulnerable when chasing them. Overleech will help.

But the bosses are only a part of it. In regular mapping, when moving from pack to pack, you will be covered for the brief period when you are no longer leeching from the previous pack but Icestorm hasn't landed on the next pack yet.

It should also help with lab traps and burning ground.

I remember playing a Slayer back in the day. Overleech felt really good. It should be great on a Trickster now too.
Last edited by Kelvynn on Aug 18, 2022, 7:38:28 PM
Larloch1821 wrote:
Is overleech really going to be that helpful? You only get to overleech for approximately 5 seconds which is too low to make it thru invulnerability phases?

There withering jar is one of possibilities

Right. I used that for Uber Sirus on the Occultist. It heals about 25% of max ES.

While not solving the whole issue, another defense mechanic should definitely help. Trickster should be the best boss killer of the 3 versions, in theory. With overleech, evasion and the rotating 40% less damage. And he can afford a socket for Frost Shield too.
Last edited by Kelvynn on Aug 18, 2022, 7:42:48 PM

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