[3.20] Ephemeral Edge Flicker Strike Trickster - Super tanky mapper

Hey folks! This is my first post to the PoE forums, and it's to share with you my most successful build to date - a super tanky mapping character that uses the reworked Ephemeral Edge, along with Trickster's natural tankiness, to map quickly, do decent single target damage, and live through just about all of the weird situations flicker strike tends to put you in.

before I get to explaining, if you're just here for the POB/videos, let's get that out of the way.

POB with lots of detailed notes and three different budget levels: https://pobb.in/GckiFxzZ4Jm5

If you're unfamiliar with Pobb.in, it's great! It has the full POB code there so you can import and look around for yourself, but it also gives you a very nice preview if you don't want to do that. You can also see the notes right in there.

Note that if you use the POB and want to play around, there are three different trees/skills/items sets. Make sure they match! All of them should be 'budget', 'current', or 'aspirational/maximum damage' at the same time to get an accurate picture of each 'setting'. It defaults to "current", which is where my own personal character is right now, as of the time of this post.

Current level 100 character in SC trade Sanctum league:

https://poe.ninja/challenge/builds/char/Dreadmaker7/ImmortalFlickerMapper

Video collection:

Spoiler


Conqueror map showcase - Not gonna lie, I basically never record myself playing PoE, and you can tell I was a little nervous for this - it was the first thing I recorded. I completely ignored altars, missed stuff trying to go fast, and generally looking sloppy. But, you get the general idea of a 98% quant delirious map here, and a particularly uncharitable one - 100+% extra damage as fire, 42% life as maximum ES for monsters, monsters gain endurance charges. Notice too that I stand in an explosion from a chest, and yes it hurt, but I instantly was topped back up and good to go. I picked this to show it can handle tougher content, not necessarily to show off "smooth".

Pure Uul-netol breachstone - because people will ask, I did this because I had it on hand, and I was out of Chayulas. The chayulas look pretty much identical - pure breachstones are _very_ easy. This is more how your average map looks in terms of 'smoothness'.

The Hidden - Turns out Tul kills totems with his vortex, which slowed down that last kill a bit. Otherwise, though a bit of a softball invitation at only 55% quant, this was smooth.

Sirus - Great fight except that I ate the "you go real slow now" beams at the end, and the final phase took a long time as a result.



Build Rationale and Pros and Cons:

Spoiler

I love flicker strike, and always have. But, anyone who knows flicker knows that it has a habit of killing you real quick in some circumstances, because you can't super control where you're going. This league, I wanted to make a version of flicker strike where you basically didn't need to worry about that, and you could just take whatever abuse and be totally fine.

Originally I was looking at energy blade so that I would be forced into really high ES on a CI build, but then I found the new Ephemeral Edge, which is almost identical to energy blade for our purposes, without the downside of cutting your ES pool in half. After all - 20% of 100% is the same as 40% of 50%, so I went with the option where you get to keep your ES pool.

I'll explain more about the offense and defense later, but let's look at pros and cons for now:

Pros:

- Super Tanky. On my current setup, I have 1.2 million eHP in POB; even the budget version has 600,000+
- Elemental ailment immunity, reflect immunity, stun immunity
- 100% movespeed or so
- It's flicker strike, which means most of your mapping life is spent zoomin' and feeling incredible
- Great at maven invitations (though not maven herself), pure breachstone farming, simulacrum farming, or anything in that genre
- Can get started quite cheaply - really just need an aegis aurora and the ephemeral edge

Cons:

- It's flicker strike, which can give some folks headaches.
- It's flicker strike, which means that it straight up can't do maven (the beams murder you on the brain phase because of the no regen)
- The budget version will have a tough time on single target DPS - this is fixed with investment though
- Crucially, Sanctum is in hardmode while playing flicker. again, fixed with high investment and lots of DPS, but you will certainly struggle on sanctum before you have enough DPS due to the lack of being able to effectively dodge while doing damage. Better than many melee skills though because of the inherent 'slipperiness' of flicker bouncing all over the place.
- The upper end of the build can get expensive - Awakened multistrike, Oriath's end, +1 max frenzy implicit ring, double-elevated gloves, etc.



Defensive layers - how are we tanky?

Spoiler

The tankiness is coming from Aegis Aurora combined with Iron reflexes, along with Trickster's built in ES leech. Between those things, along with the large ES pool, the build is very hard to die with - You've got 100,000 armor, 50/50 full block, and high resistances, plus beyond getting 2,000 ES back whenever you block because of aegis, you're constantly leeching 2% of the damage you do, and it's like slayer overleech, so it is *always* present. We are also of course CI, meaning that we're totally immune to chaos damage.

On the QOL side, we're completely elemental ailment immune thanks to stormshroud and two chance to avoid shock affixes on boots and the helmet (or alternatively, on an abyss jewel). Additionally, we're stun immune due to the unwavering stance implicit on synthesized boots, which I've found is really important when playing vaal flicker, because one single stun in the course of your vaal flicker and the whole thing is cancelled. Especially for single target, that's a big deal.


Offensive layers - how are we getting damage?

Spoiler

Ephemeral Edge adds maximum lightning damage, and so in order to capitalize on that, we've completely thrown crit out the window, and gone for Resolute Technique, Precise Technique, and the lightning mastery which makes your non-critical hit damage lucky. This actually accounts for about a quarter of our DPS on my current POB setup!

For damage multipliers, we have awakened lightning penetration giving us lightning exposure, which is applied at -18% because of a mastery; we have intimidate on hit on gloves, which is another 10% increased attack damage taken on enemies, and we have pen + damage on a watcher's eye. Beyond the 40% more damage from precise technique and the 33% more damage (currently) from the polymath ascendancy node, the rest is just scaling flat damage from maximum ES on ephemeral edge, and wrath.

Finally, a note about Frenzy charges: You might wonder how we're handling frenzy charges on a flicker build that isn't using one of the common frenzy-gen tricks, and indeed, we don't really have any tricks! The flicker gem itself has a 20% chance to gain a frenzy charge on hit, and the sword mastery has an 8% chance on hitting a unique. Additionally, we have the node that gives us 25% chance to get a frenzy charge (and an endurance charge) on block. Beyond that, though, if ever we run out, we have the frenzy skill linked to culling strike, which I use to finish bosses anyhow, but can very quickly get us back to max charges. It's extremely rare you need to use it, especially in mapping, given that if you jump into a pack, you have not only 4 chances with awakened multi-strike, but also those 4 chances multiplied by all of the mobs you hit with splash. The net result is that I jump into a pack and I'm basically at max charges.




Budget: How much am I paying to play this thing?

Spoiler

Getting this build off the ground is relatively cheap - about 5 divs or so at current market prices. In order to get started, I would suggest the following:

- Aegis Aurora
- Ephemeral Edge, ideally with the resolute technique corruption
- Level 3 enlighten (4 is _much_ better if you can get it, but not strictly necessary)
- 6-linked bronn's lithe
- Shavronne's revelation ring

That's it! The bronn's lithe can be a little tricky because it requires 4 off-color sockets. The easiest way to do this, IMO, is to craft 3 red sockets on your bench, and then hit it with vorici in betrayal. As long as even one of your green sockets turns white, you're all set!

From there, your next upgrades should be awakened gems: Specifically elemental damage with attacks and lightning penetration will make a huge difference because that gives you exposure and reflect immunity.

Beyond the basics, the build has many expensive upgrades that can take you to basically "as much investment as you want". Currently, I'm a little over 80 divines in, although at current market prices, it would be closer to 100, I think. The biggest spends are OPTIONAL, but they do make a nice improvement when you get them. The three biggest offenders are:

- awakened multistrike
- Oriath's end
- +1 max frenzy implicit ring

These are luxury items, and you DO NOT need them to play the build.

All other money is spent on crafting. You will see in my POB that the double-elevated gloves are expensive to make, for sure, and of course the helmet and boots can basically always have higher rolls and be better, so they will take as much re-rolling as you want them to.



Leveling/when can I switch?:

Spoiler

I levelled this character as a poisonous concoction build, and switched to flicker right around early maps, around level 70 - as soon as I could equip the aegis aurora. Frankly, that might be a bit *too* early, but it did work for me.

Notably this was NOT my league-starter - it was my second build of the league, and I'm not sure I would recommend this as a league starter. With low investment, your bossing won't be great, and given at the start of the league you want to be killing bosses for voidstones, you'll be slower there for sure.


Pantheon/Bandits:

Spoiler

Bandits: Kill them all
Pantheon: You'll want Abberath as your minor for the burning ground immunity. Major is up to you, but you don't actually need brine king because we're already stun and freeze immune, so whichever of the others you feel makes most sense works great! Honestly, not too important overall for our build.


Map Mods to avoid:

Spoiler

There's only three!

- Enemies steal Frenzy charges on hit (this is impossible and feels terrible for flicker)
- No leeching - the hardest part about this is actually the mana, which normally we leech. If you swapped in an enduring mana flask, maybe, but honestly - not worth it.
- No regen - this is the same, but much easier, than leech. The annoying bit is mana. Although you do leech mana, this will prevent you from flame-dashing between packs smoothly. If you never use your mobility skills and only attack, you'll be okay, but a mana flask can help here too. Honestly, though, I just roll over this one, because I can't be bothered to swap flasks.

Everything else is good.

monsters get %increased phys as extra [element], particularly when combine with reduced armour and block chance can be a little rippy, but honestly it's not really noticeable most of the time.



Crafting/Item discussion:

Spoiler

I've included all of this directly in my POB guide! Please do check it out right here: https://pobb.in/GckiFxzZ4Jm5

If you scroll down on pobb.in, you can see the notes there, but also within POB if you check it out. I have detailed notes on the gear choices for each of the items there, and rather than re-write it out here, I'll just direct you there!



Closing Thoughts

This build is really special to me - it's the first ever character I've gotten to level 100, and it's easily the best build I've ever personally built from the ground up. I'm a serial build-creator - I rarely follow guides from others, and have been making my own (usually terrible) off-meta jank ever since I started in 3.11. I love making weird POE builds, and when they work, the level of satisfaction is through the roof. I completely love this character, and I'm thrilled with how well it has performed so far. I really hope that if you give it a try, you end up liking it just as much as me! If you have any questions, let me know, and I'll be happy to help.

Thanks for reading, and good luck out there!
Last bumped on Feb 4, 2023, 1:32:35 PM
Reserved for future use.
Hello,

Your build look fun, wanna try it, but the frenzy charge generation is really enought? I'm a bit scared about that.
"
Aphasi4 wrote:
Hello,

Your build look fun, wanna try it, but the frenzy charge generation is really enought? I'm a bit scared about that.


Hey there!

In short, yes, it is enough. If you look at my conqueror map showcase you can see if you look closely that I'm on max frenzy stacks on pack number 2, I think, and basically it never changes throughout the map. In mapping, that tends to be the experience - you just never have to think about it.

For bossing, check out my hidden showcase, or sirus. What you'll see is that before I start "doing damage", I spend a second or two using frenzy on the boss to build to 9 charges, and then I basically don't need to worry about it again after that. With awakened multistrike in particular, that problem totally disappears; without awakened multistrike, it might start to go down a little over the course of the fight.

BUT - And this is key - one of the reasons it's very much not a problem this league is vaal flicker strike. If ever you get low on charges, vaal flicker will put you right back up to max, just like that. When I still only had regular multistrike, if ever I was starting to lose steam on a boss, vaal flicker not only did a good chunk of damage, but also got me back up to max charges.

So between all of those things, Frenzy generation really hasn't been a problem.

One really big thing, though, is that the gem needs to be a 20% quality vaal flicker. The 20% quality gives you another 5% chance to generate a frenzy charge on hit, which really matters. Once I got one of those, it made all the difference.

Good luck!
Hey,

I've recently respecced a character of mine to your build- I feel like the survivability is good but the damage is lacking. Could you take a quick look at my profile and see what my trickster is doing wrong? I'm still leveling gems and changing out flasks, idk how big an impact that would be having.

Thanks!
Hi,

I'm early in the build and still need a lot upgrades but it looks really promising.
Finally found a tanky build i like to play this season.
Notes in POB are really usefull.

Do you swap damage on full life with melee splash for mapping before the flask?

Thanks for sharing your build.

Edit: i didnt saw tribal fury it's ok )
Last edited by Aphasi4 on Jan 2, 2023, 11:46:47 AM
"
Zenlon wrote:
Hey,

I've recently respecced a character of mine to your build- I feel like the survivability is good but the damage is lacking. Could you take a quick look at my profile and see what my trickster is doing wrong? I'm still leveling gems and changing out flasks, idk how big an impact that would be having.

Thanks!


Hey there! Thanks for giving it a try :)

So, here's the big answer: You need to get resolute technique in there somehow. I've done it with a corrupted ephemeral edge, but you can do it through a lycia's invocation, too, on any old sanctified relic. The thing is, you have 71% chance to hit. If I add RT to your sword, it ups your DPS by about 400,000 - bringing you up to 1.3 mil or so. That's a HUGE increase that you'll feel.

Also, you should get rid of the +1 strike from your gloves, and swap that to %chance to intimidate on hit. You don't need additional strikes with anointed tribal fury! Intimidate gives you 10% MORE damage, which would bring you up (with RT) to right about double where you are right now.

From there, it's just overall improvements. Your gems aren't levelled, you're lacking the awakened gems, your gear isn't bad, but it could use a bunch of work, of course - so it's just incremental improvements :) Big ticket and easily fixable thing, though - get resolute technique somehow. Super, super important!


I took the liberty of 20% qualitying and leveling all of your gems in POB, as well as adding RT to your weapon, and turning on intimidate, and just those things made your DPS 2 million (without any of that, it's about 800,000). Probably, you'll feel that :) That's without any awakened gems or anything. So basically, just play a bit more, level some more, and for sure get resolute technique!
"
Aphasi4 wrote:
Hi,

I'm early in the build and still need a lot upgrades but it looks really promising.
Finally found a tanky build i like to play this season.
Notes in POB are really usefull.

Do you swap damage on full life with melee splash for mapping before the flask?

Thanks for sharing your build.

Edit: i didnt saw tribal fury it's ok )


Yes, you got it haha - tribal fury is anointed. But, for your information - I'm probably going to try at some point, now that I have the flask, to take that off, and see how it feels. I kinda suspect that it won't feel very good, and I'll want to keep it there, but just in case I do want to give it a shot, because it would open up another thing to anoint, and there are a ton of options I'd rather have than melee splash.

Now that I have so much damage, it's possible that the play could be to actually anoint something else, and swap in a melee splash gem for, say, damage on full life, when mapping. Then, swap it back in for single target. It's something to play with, for sure.

But yes, for basically the whole build up until you have "lots of damage", whatever that is to you, the goal would be anointing tribal fury and just calling it a day.

Really glad you're trying it and liking it, and I'm really happy the notes have been useful!
Hey man glad to see you made your build, I managed to switch yesterday to the build on a semi budget setup (missing the big 20 div+ pieces, watcher eye, flask, awakened multi), but it maps without any issue so far.

I would say how do you go about getting precise technique relic, seems hard to do with this build. It doesnt seem too good for sanctum because of the nature of flicker and resolve.

Other than that right now I just want more damage so next imma get awakened multi strike to sustain frenzy better and do harder content given dps seems a bit low still, but aiming for those 13m.
"
Jukuma wrote:
Hey man glad to see you made your build, I managed to switch yesterday to the build on a semi budget setup (missing the big 20 div+ pieces, watcher eye, flask, awakened multi), but it maps without any issue so far.

I would say how do you go about getting precise technique relic, seems hard to do with this build. It doesnt seem too good for sanctum because of the nature of flicker and resolve.

Other than that right now I just want more damage so next imma get awakened multi strike to sustain frenzy better and do harder content given dps seems a bit low still, but aiming for those 13m.


Precise technique is 30c on poe trade.

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