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

2023-01-13: Full update for 3.20. New curses, gems, jewels, relic, PoB data, videos and play style notes. Added a detailed step by step gearing guide.

This is the Trickster version of the Ice Dancing Queen. The main Ascendant version can be found > here <. They have similar damage output with some minor differences in the build features. The main feature of the Trickster version is ES overleech that makes him extremely safe. And he also has evasion. This is by far the tankiest version of the build.

Demo video: T16 mapping on a budget
Demo video: Uber pinnacle boss

See the Ascendant version for more information about gear, gems, jewels, etc. as well as more videos.


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, AoE freeze, Chaos Inoculation, Block, Evasion, ES overleech, ES and mana recovery on kill, 2 curses, Elemental Overload, Arcane Surge.

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

Use the Community version of PoB.

3.20 Leveling trees

3.20 Budget version

3.20 High End Full Build (read Notes in PoB!)

In 3.20 (or later, if Sanctum is added to the core game) you can get Elemental Overload on a relic and save 3 skill points.

3.20 High Budget Full Build with Hatred


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) Opportunistic or 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 Yugul and get them fully upgraded.


1. Clarity
2. Discipline
3. Purity of Elements
4. Aspect of the Spider
5. Hatred (a high budget option).


!!! 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. Steelwood Stance (Teal, Teal, Azure) - a major defensive feature.

If you are just starting and can't afford Golden Oil yet, grab a cheap 30 Int node (Clear, Clear, Amber).


There are way too many random mods. When you get anything useful, buy an Elemental Overload invocation and free up 3 skill points.


Arcane Surge Support 20/20, ideally 21/20, x2
Ball Lightning lv 1
Bonechill Support 20/20, ideally Divergent
Cast When Damage Taken Support lv 1
Cast When Damage Taken Support lv 20, ideally Anomalous 20/20
Cast While Channelling Support lv 15-16
Clarity lv 20, ideally lv 21
Cold Penetration 20/20, ideally Awakened
Concentrated Effect Support 20/20
Cyclone any lv
Discipline lv 20
Elemental Focus Support 20/20, ideally Awakened
Elemental Proliferation Support lv 20, ideally Divergent 20/20
Frost Bomb lv 1
Frostbite lv 20, ideally Divergent 20/20
Frostblink lv 20
Hextouch Support 20/20, ideally Awakened
Hypothermia Support lv 20, ideally Anomalous 20/20
Immortal Call lv 6, ideally Anomalous 6/20
Increased Duration Support lv up to your Str, 20q
Inspiration Support 20/20, x2
Intensify Support 20/20
Punishment 20/20, ideally 21/20
Purity of Elements lv 20, ideally Anomalous 20/20
Vortex lv 1, ideally 1/20

Phantasmal Wave of Conviction 8/20
Enlighten lv 3, ideally lv 4
Culling Strike lv 1
Hatred lv 20, ideally lv 21
Frost Shield lv 20
Vaal Righteous Fire lv 20

Sockets and Links


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

For map clearing: Cyclone - CwC lv 15, Inspiration, Arcane Surge, Elemental Proliferation (5S), Hypothermia (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, Arcane Surge, Concentrated Effect, Elemental Focus (5S), Cold Penetration (6S). No links required.

You can kill most bosses even with your AoE freezing staff that you use for clearing the map. But they die a lot faster with a dedicated single target setup.


This build does not need 6L, although it can use one.

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

2L: Vortex - Bonechill
Optionally, add Culling Strike for bosses until you get it on a 6L chest.

4L: CWDT - Immortal Call lv 6 - Increased Duration - Frost Bomb lv 1
Eventually replace Frost Bomb with Phantasmal Wave of Conviction 8/20 for a more efficient application of Cold Exposure (note that it must be Phantasmal and 20q).
Do not place this link into the item with Aspect of the Spider. ID will increase its mana reservation!

Place in any free sockets: aura gems, Frostblink, 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.

A flask with extra resists and evasion is great for doing maps with Eater or Exarch influence where the altars can lower your resistances.

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

Play Style

Cyclone and Frostblink through the map, freeze everything. Drop Vortex on packs and rares to make them take more damage via Bonechill.

For the boss, switch to the single target staff and melt it. Use Frostblink to move without interrupting your casting and losing Intensify stacks. Use Vortex when near the boss for extra damage and culling. Use Frost Shield for extra mitigation.

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

Bind Cyclone to the right mouse key. 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 and Vortex on trash mobs. 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). For example, in the first phases of the regular Maven encounter you can stand in the center of the arena, target the Maven when she becomes targetable, and just hold the button. Icestorm will follow her no matter where she goes, and you can easily sustain any damage while leeching.

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.

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 a big hit, CWDT triggers Immortal Call and Phantasmal Wave of Conviction. Their mana cost is pretty high. At the same time, Mana Mastery recoups 10% of the damage taken as mana. You can get even more mana recoup on the Watcher's Eye and switch the Mana Mastery to Clarity mana reservation efficiency for more free mana.

Check the gem levels in the CWDT - IC - ID - PWoC link. The amount of damage that triggers CWDT should be at least 10x bigger than the sum of the mana costs of IC and PWoC (check their actual tooltips in game). I typically level CWDT to 20 but keep IC at lv 6 and PWoC at lv 8.
Last edited by Kelvynn on Feb 6, 2023, 7:13:01 PM
Last bumped on Mar 25, 2023, 6:05:43 PM
Leveling Guide (3.20)

PoB Leveling trees

See the Ascendant guide for details.
Last edited by Kelvynn on Jan 5, 2023, 6:58:31 PM
Gearing Guide (3.20)

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.

Sell random magic and rare junk for Transmutation and Alteration shards until you have 2 Alteration orbs and 1 Augmentation orb (buy it for 4 Transmutation orbs if needed).

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

And then upgrade them at lv 15 and 20.

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

Make a couple of wands with added elemental damage of any type.

Recipe: Magic wand + Ruby/Topaz/Sapphire ring + Orb of Alteration = +ele dmg to spells

Use any essences you find to make random 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. 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 for the Cyclone-CwC staff and makes a small difference for self-casting.

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.

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). Color them RRRB using Jeweller orbs. Start with 2R, then keep adding and removing the 3rd socket until you get R, and finally add and remove the 4th socket to get a blue one.

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.

You want to get an empty suffix. Use the Spite essences until you get one. Then buy Fenumus and craft Aspect of the Spider. If there is an empty prefix, craft anything useful, like ES or armor.

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).

Hit it with Eldritch currency to get any useful blue and red mods.

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 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.

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.

What you want is 45+ Int, 200+ ES, no influences, 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 of 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 Steelwood Stance.

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. Body Armour

You want the Crusader 12% Int suffix, plus either a high flat Int suffix or an empty suffix to craft 6% Attr, or ideally both. On an item with good ES and Evasion. Trickster gets 1 extra ES per 6 Evasion on the body armour, so just look for 600+ total ES (i.e. ES + Evasion/6).

Crafting it is very hard after the Harvest nerf. I don't know how to do it currently, therefore it's the last slot for the endgame upgrade. You can farm the uber pinnacle bosses with just a high ES/Evasion regular chest that has a good Int suffix and an open suffix for the 6% Attr craft. And then just buy the Crusader one when you have enough currency.

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.

Use Jun missions to get 28q for the chest, helmet and gloves (Hillock in Fortification) and white sockets for easy gem swapping if there is a use for that in the current league (Vorici in Research).

Divine all %Int mods to the max value.

Buy Enlighten for more free mana, awakened and alternative quality gems (see Gems).

Buy a 3-mod Watcher's Eye with Clarity Mana-to-ES, Clarity Mana Recoup and another useful mod.

Buy Forbidden Flesh/Flame jewels for the cheapest of your Ascendancy nodes (usually Heartstopper) and add a 5th Ascendancy.

Buy a Megalomaniac with 2 good mods (Cold to the Core + something else good) if you can catch one, they are extremely rare. Or an Emperor's Wit (don't bother with Emperor's Mastery, 1% Int is totally not worth the price).

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

13. Really High End Stuff

Craft a good helmet on a lab enchanted base with 30% MRE for Purity or Hatred.

Anoint Charisma.

Buy Enlighten lv 4 and add Hatred.

Buy a Watcher's Eye with Hatred Cold Penetration and Clarity Mana Recoup (and something else useful if possible).

Get even more damage with Opportunistic on the jewels.

Last edited by Kelvynn on Jan 20, 2023, 2:14:08 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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