[3.20] Poison Blade Vortex Trickster | Crafting and Leveling included in pob notes


Poison blade vortex assassin might be dead but that doesn't stop us cause trickster is unaffected by the withering step changes and comes with higher defence and damage compared to its counterpart.

Still somewhat work in progress since i need to update guide and leveling more, add gameplay etc.

Special thanks to Hexey for helping me out with theorycrafting the build.

-Fast mapping.
-Possible as a league starter.
-Decent amount of endgame upgrades to work towards.
-Can do some bosses with practice.

-Needs strength/intelligence from tree or gear as you get closer to endgame setup.
-Somewhat limited methods of recovering life as a spell caster.

Gear (Ignore gem links)


Double elevated Hubris circlet for increased mana reservation efficiency and damage is the helmet of choice (crafting included in pob notes).

Allocate the notable "Charisma" and get Enlighten lvl 4 as soon as possible to fit all auras.

the mana reservation efficiency node before notable "Influence" could also be allocated early on to help with mana reservation.

Until you can afford it use Goldrim or any rare helm with life and resistances.


The recently buffed Cospri's will is a very compelling option for the chest slot especially if you can get one thats double corrupted for +4 levels etc.


Explode from Asenath's gentle touch for faster clear speed, make sure to allocate whispers of doom from skill tree or acquire Cospri's will to be able to double curse after adding these to the build.

Until you can afford Asenath's gentle touch use either rare gloves with life and res or The embalmer.

If you can get a pair of Asenath's gentle touch with the vaal implicit "Curse enemies with despair on hit, with #% increased effect" you can free up one ring slot for more damage.


Fill boots with res, life or whatever else you need, evasion base is preferred.

Searing exarch modifier "Drops brittle ground while moving, lasting # seconds" increases crit chance to anything standing on it and is very easy to make use of as a Blade vortex character.

Lab enchant 80% chance to avoid being stunned if you've killed recently makes a noticeable difference and i recommend getting it once you got a good pair of boots.


Any belt with as much life and res as possible. stygian would be best base type and getting strength if possible helps with gearing.


Early to midgame use a rare amulet with life, resistances, attributes or +1 to skill gems. Anoint Toxic strikes to help cap chance to poison.

Ashes of the stars is the endgame option giving damage along with other bonuses to every active skill gem, Max reservation efficiency combined with Enlighten lvl 4 can be used to fit Herald of Purity and anointing corruption instead of toxic strike for further damage.


First ring should be a rare ring with "+# life gained for each enemy hit by your spells" and as much resistances and life as possible. If you cannot afford this yet get one without life on spell hit but it makes a huge difference.

For the second ring you want one with "Curse enemies with despair on hit, with #% increased effect, along with anything else you might need life, attributes etc.

If you happen to get a pair of Asenath's gentle touch with the vaal implicit "Curse enemies with despair on hit, with #% increased effect" you can drop the despair on hit ring for a Circle of nostalgia or circle of guilt depending on heralds in your build or a rare ring with damage modifiers.


Two Cold iron points for most damage. damage over time is the best corrupt.

Weapon swap

Sinvicta's Mettle allows you to gain free rampage by weapon swapping to the axe and killing one enemy then swapping back to your cold iron points.

Main setup. Instilling and enkindling are both fine, i prefer mine automated.

An alternative to jade flask in the main setup, compare these 2 in your own pob to see which provides the highest ehp for you.

Another alternative to bottled faith or atziri's promise if you are struggling against certain ailments


Get as much resistances/strength on these as possible to make gearing easier.

Overwhelming malice is first priority. Second would be grim oath and for the third one Wicked pall, Unwaveringly evil also works as a last resort if there is nothing else but doesn't come with the skill effect duration. Two notable clusters are okay to begin with and are cheaper.

Large cluster should also not have more than 8 passive skills since you will end up wasting skill points on any with more than that.


For mediums get Circling oblivion and flow of life.

For passive skills no more than 4 or 5 so no skill points are wasted.


Get one with surging vitality for regen and one with Sublime form and mana reservation efficiency.

These should have no less than 3 passive skills.

"#% to Damage over Time Multiplier while affected by Malevolence" adds lots of damage. "Damaging Ailments you inflict deal Damage #% faster while affected by Malevolence" is a cheaper option. Any other malevolence, grace, determination or precision modifiers on top of that is also good but gets way more expensive.

Forbidden flame and flesh allocating either Opportunistic, Noxious strike or Toxic delivery can be pricey but adds a nice chunk of damage.

If using stygian vise get Phasing on kill, life, res and/or damage on abyss jewel.

Gem links


Determination - Malevolence - Vaal Grace - Enlighten lvl 4


Quality on Blade Vortex does not matter since it doesn't give enough to increase radius unless you are using Ashes of the stars.

Blade vortex - Unleash - Deadly ailments - Void manipulation - Lifetap - Unbound ailments


Vaal Blade vortex - Awakened unleash - Awakened deadly ailments - Awakened void manipulation - Lifetap - Awakened unbound ailments

Anywhere they fit

Wither - Spell totem - Multiple totems

You can drop wither totem setup after getting Anomalous Withering step + ashes of the stars since these alone would apply enough wither stacks on everything.

Anomalous Withering step - Divergent Plague bearer - Awakened enchance lvl 5 - Increased area of effect.
Use normal versions until you can afford alternate quality and awakened versions.

Whirling blades - Faster attacks

Defiance banner

Immortal call lvl 3 - Cast when damage taken lvl 1

Leave Cast when damage taken at lvl 1 and Immortal call at lvl 3 or so that it triggers when around 25% of your health is lost.

Extra options

Dash - Second wind For bosses or getting over ledges.

Frostblink or Flame dash are two other options for bosses or getting over ledges.

Portal from personal experience i can say it definitely casts a portal and is nice to have.

Increased duration and/or Void sphere lvl 3 can be added to Cast when damage taken setup if they fit.

Enduring cry bit of life regen to help with staying alive if there is room for it.

Blood rage can be used if you want more damage but personally i don't like it cause of the degen it adds, could upgrade to anomalous variant for frenzy charge generation on bosses.

Awakened enlighten or another Enlighten as just stated above could be used to possibly fit more auras like Precision for damage or something along the lines of Vitality or Discipline to make use of Watcher's eye modifiers.

Pantheons / Bandits / Ascendancy

Bandits : kill all or help Alira for early game regen/resistances.

Ascendancy : Polymath > Escape artist > Spellbreaker > One step ahead.

Pantheons : Lunaris for mapping, Solaris for bossing.

Lesser pantheon : Gruthkul for mapping. Ryslatha for bossing.

Path of building (leveling/crafting included in pob notes)

Path of building : https://pastebin.com/E4bdw7gL

Make sure you are using the Community fork of path of building for it to work.



Coming soon

Trade links

Clusters info
Make sure the clusters are chaos damage or damage over time before buying.

Large cluster
Medium cluster
Small cluster
Life on hit ring
Despair on hit ring
Watcher's eye
Circle of nostalgia
Circle of guilt

I appreciate any feedback and will try to help out if i can
Last edited by hackergooby on Dec 24, 2022, 6:53:45 AM
Last bumped on Apr 8, 2023, 5:14:25 PM
I like it, especially the defenses on this build look amazing while still keeping a very good budget. Gonna try it on friday, thanks for the build. :-)
"The Hate continued exactly as before, except that the target had been changed." ~ Orwell, 1984
I'll start this too, thank you for the update!
great build
Hey just looking over the PoB, as im curious about trickster blade vortex as a tankier option compared to playing an elemental one cold conv last league. Some ive seen using pretrified blood with energy shield for the defense + evasion. Any reason you think that would be better or worse over life + evasion that you have here?
agm_ultimatex wrote:
Hey just looking over the PoB, as im curious about trickster blade vortex as a tankier option compared to playing an elemental one cold conv last league. Some ive seen using pretrified blood with energy shield for the defense + evasion. Any reason you think that would be better or worse over life + evasion that you have here?
They all seem to be scaling the actual hit from blade vortex itself so damage would be instant, sources of leech would be stronger and they benefit from sources of spell damage like pain attunement more.

As for petrified blood it makes you low life for pain attunement etc, allows for more auras to be reserved and part of the damage you take to your life comes as a degen which i assume can be reduced with heart stopper and lethe shade.

Meanwhile this build scales poisons for damage over time which we apply with blade vortex to kill things instead of dealing all of our damage from the blade vortex hit itself.

So things like leech and spell damage don't make a lot of sense here. But we can make up for not having leech with life on hit from ring or life/es on hit from watcher's eye, leech does sound stronger for bosses tho since life on hit is not that effective against single target.

Haven't tried out any other version of bv so it's hard to say which one is superior, both should have no problem with mapping fast and seem to have good defences.

I might have to look into petrified blood if this build could benefit from it but atm im constantly crashing so its kinda turning me off from playing.

Tldr : hard to say which one is better since i only play the poison variant. petrified blood version deals instant phys/chaos damage while this version deals damage over time through poisons, both seem good for fast mapping while petrified blood version is possibly better for bosses thanks to leech.
You also have crashes between teleports to the location?
I've league started with this build and I have to say: It's truly as good as the pob promised, and it is very powerful, unlike a lot of builds posted here in the forums. I love the tankiness that we get from the choice of ascendancy points and the damage is very good.

Early: Went caustic arrow. I played it a couple of leagues ago and it was decent. But nowadays it feels pretty bad in the campaign. For leveling during campaign I would recommend going for cold dot/lightning skills since these are performing the best currently. Perhaps spec a bit differently and then respec later.

Mid: For mapping a +2 bow with caustic arrow is pretty powerful. If one manages to get a decent +1 amulet or even +3 bow, I believe caustic arrow can carry with the current tree up to red maps without problems. For clear I think caustic arrow performs even better than bv, if you get pierce (I got it from quiver).

Mid-end: In red maps I swapped to bv to get more damage, I also got asenath's and clusters. Having easily 1mil dps (below 1 divine of budget lol) and having 30k evasion.

A few additions/tips:

An first decent helmet can be crafted using eldritch currency and a good base. Find a hubris circelet with locked health/es/rarity/res on the market. Then buy some essences of loathing, deafening if possible or shrieking. Usually after slamming 2-5 you will get a decent helmet. Then roll ~50 icors untily you hit reservation on the implicit. And you get a similar helmet quite a bit cheaper (of course with a bit less res eff).

Also I am currently using these boots (beacon of madness):

Once you unlocked the one-step ahead ascendancy one can easily use the madness aura during whole mapping session and enjoy extra strong explosions. Certainly an interesting option, because we are very tanky anyway. And if it gets too rippy you can always turn it off. I usually proc it before expedition or monoliths and so on.

Also trying to fit purity of elements into the build (currently not using determination), but lacking the reservation efficiency, since don't have enough icors currently. But perhaps in the future.

Thanks for the build, I'll try to farm bit more currency, and try to gear up to fully unleash the potential of this amazing build.

"The Hate continued exactly as before, except that the target had been changed." ~ Orwell, 1984
JIusyara wrote:
You also have crashes between teleports to the location?
No, my entire pc freezes at what seems like random times while playing. Have not had this issue in the past and it's only happening with poe.

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