[2.0] Ice Ninja - Cast on Crit dual dagger (added FP variant and new video)

It’s been a long time I want to make this build, but it wouldn’t been possible before the 2.0 patch. The Ice Ninja is a melee ranger with high attack speed, 90+% accuracy rating and 90+% crit chance to proc massive cold damage by using Cast on Critical Strike with Ice Nova + Arctic Breath or Ice Nova + Freezing Pulse.
Her defenses are a huge freezing ability, coupled with great evasion (25 000+), Acrobatics node and two defensive curses (Enfeeble and Temporal Chains).

Gameplay video

Arctic Breath variant

Orchard double boss
[boss fight at 4:00]

Jungle Valley
[boss fight at 4:12]
(full cleared with 2 increase dmg mods, -60 chaos resistance and no amethyst flask :-))

[boss fight at 8:23]

Poorjoy's Asylum 2.0
(the new Poorjoy's Asylum hurt a lot)

Freezing Pulse variant

[boss fight at 5:27]

Pros :
- fast and stimulating gameplay
- freeze and shatter almost all mobs
- fast clear speed
- both powerful against pack mobs and single target
- high mobility
- no problem with mana

Cons :
- vulnerable to physical spells (I don’t like you Academy boss)
- requires some flask management for maximum efficiency
- not insanely expensive, but not cheap either
- cannot do blood magic maps
- ele reflect maps are doable with a surgeon's sapphire flask, but it's really dangerous
- not recommended for hardcore


- a high crit / high attack speed dagger. This is your main weapon
- Rat’s Nest
- Ungil’s Gauche as your offhand weapon
- at least one jewel with the mod “+2 mana gained for each enemy hit by your attacks” (2 are better)
- one of those three items : Doedre’s Damning, Windscream or a corrupted amulet with “enemies can have one additional curse”
- a 6L body armor, in preference Lightning Coil for endgame (5L should be OK but your clear speed will be decreased a lot)


With this build, you can reach 90+% crit chance without any power charges.
The skilltree will give you 650% crit chance, Ungil’s Gauche an additional 90%, Rat’s Nest at least 70%, a quality CoC gem another 20% and your Ice Golem 30%. Your amulet and your rings will provide you the missing crit chance you need to attain 90+% chance to crit. (You can use Maligaro’s Virtuosity but it would become problematic to maximise your resistances.)


Our main attack is :

Double Strike (lvl5 max) + Multistrike + CoC + Arctic Breath + Ice Nova + Ice Penetration

Double Strike + Multistrike combo will deliver 6 hits per attack, casting up to 12 spells per attack (in practice, with a level 20 CoC gem it will be rather 6 spells per attack in average).
When dual wielding, Double Strike have also the particularity to use only your main weapon. So we can ignore the shitty base stats of Ungil’s Gauche.
We use Arctic Breath as a massive DPS dealer and Ice Nova as a crowd control skill.

How to sustain mana ?

Your main attack will hit up to 6 times and cost you a total of 21,17 mana with Double Strike lvl5.
With 2 jewels “+2 mana gained for each enemy hit by your attacks” (or 1 jewel and the node Spirit Void in the skilltree) and 90% chance to hit, you’ll gain in average 21,6 mana per attack (4 x 6 x 0.9^6). So basically, your main attack will sustain itself.

Besides, a surgeon's hybrid flask will help in 'no mana regen' maps.

Freezing Pulse variant

You can replace Arctic Breath by Freezing Pulse. FP give a better DPS, but have slightly less crowd control than AB and its chilling ability.

Our Secondary attack :

Whirling Blades + Curse on Hit + Enfeeble + Temporal Chains

It’s your mobility and protection skill.
Enfeeble and Temporal Chains are the more useful curse for the highly evasive Ice Ninja. They allow you to face tank hard-hitting bosses and dive into the pack mobs.
Enfeeble will greatly reduce damage dealt by cursed ennemies (and greatly reduce the chance to hit of your opponents), while Temporal Chains has wonderful effects on chilled/frozen enemies (additional slowness and increase duration of the chill/freeze effects).

Our main buff :

Herald of Ice + Hypothermia + Frost Bite + Enhance

Hypothermia and Frost Bite applie only on HoI’s on-kill effect. It’s a quite good crowd control, which provides you with frenzy charges.
HoI’s quality is global. The combo quality HoI + enhance is a huge boost for Arctic Breath and Ice Nova.

The other gems :


CWDT + Arctic Breath + increase AOE + LMP/GMP
I let the CWDT gem at level 7 and AB at level 10, but do as you prefer.

Vaal Grace + Increase Duration
An additional layer of protection against tough enemies. Vaal Grace + acrobatics will give you 75% dodge chance and 64% spell dodge.

Summon Ice Minion + Minion Life/Minion and Totem ele Res

I use a portal gem in my last slot, but you can do as you want.


Normal : Oak / 40 life
Cruel : Kraityn / 8% ias
Merciless : Kraityn / frenzy charge or Eramir / 1 skill point

passive tree

The ideal skill tree (reached at lvl90 or 91 depending your merciless bandits reward)

If you have only 1 jewel “+2 mana gained for each enemy hit by your attacks”, you can temporarily use the Spirit Void node located in the south east of the tree.

the equipment

Main weapon :
Fast dagger with high crit chance.
Increase spell damage / crit multi / flat dmg (cold in preference) are good affixes.
Try to have at least 1.5+ APS and 8+ crit chance.
In standard you can find a dagger with those caracteristics and 60%+ spell dmg for 1~3ex.

Offhand :
Ungil’s Gauche
+90% global crit chance and 19% total block chance while dual wielding (25% if legacy). We don’t care about the other stats.

Body armor :
6L evasion armor (if you only have a 5L, drop the Cold Pene gem). I strongly recommend a Lightning Coil for the physical damage reduction.

Helm :
Rat’s Nest

Gloves :
Rare gloves with life / res
Another good mods are attack speed, flat dmg, evasion, accuracy and intelligence

Boots :
Windscream or a rare boots with life / res / movement speed
Another good mods are evasion and intelligence

Belt :
Cold Doryani’s Invitation or a rare belt with life / res

Amulet :
A rare amu with life / res / crit chance
Another good mods are cold dmg+%, spell dmg+%, flat dmg (cold in preference) evasion and intelligence. If the amulet is corrupted with “enemies can have one additional curse”, it’s the jackpot.

Rings :
Doedre’s Damning and/or rare diamond ring(s) with life / res
Another good mods are accuracy rating, attack speed, flat dmg (cold in preference) evasion and intelligence.

Jewels :
2 jewels with “+2 mana gained for each enemy hit by your attacks”
Another good mods are life, attack speed, cold dmg, crit chance, evasion, accuracy, resistances…

Flasks :
Flasks are very important in this build. Try to have all your flasks with the surgeon’s mod, for literally permanent flask effect. A jade flask, a flask with the staunching mod and a life flask are mandatory. A mana/hybrid flask will help you in no mana regen maps, a quartz flask of heat is the best when opening a strongbox… Chose as you wish and don’t hesitate to rotate your flasks depending of the maps.

Beware, it can be tricky to find your gears, especially in temporary league !
You have to max your resistances and aim for 90+% crit chance. You also need at least 300 accuracy on your gear (the more the better). If you want to use a Ice Nova gem at lvl20, you need 31 additional intelligence (the 30 intelligence node east to Vaal Pact can help you, at the cost of 1 skillpoint). Or you can chose to not maximise your Ice Nova.

the gear used in the videos

Last edited by Yggdrasil_57 on Aug 15, 2015, 6:41:41 PM
04/08/15 : added 2 videos of gameplay

09/08/15 : added 2 new videos. Residence Dominus and new Orchard map double boss :-)

15/08/15 : added a new video of Necropolis map. Still need to edit the topic for Freezing Pulse variant.
Last edited by Yggdrasil_57 on Aug 14, 2015, 4:16:26 AM
thx for this one. very easy to play and upgrade. btw. how much is your dagger worth ?
Last edited by xedimo on Aug 9, 2015, 1:30:47 PM
Very interesting build! How does it perform against heavy physical damage bosses, like Colonnade boss?
What about bosses like map Merveil?

Thx for reading guys.

@xedimo : it's an old dagger. I paid it 6ex long time ago and crafted it myself, so it's difficult to estimate its actual price.
You can find pretty good daggers (1.5+ APs, 8+ crit chance, 60%+ spell dmg) for 1~3ex in standard. Try to aim at least for these values if you're low budget.
I'll specify this point in the guide.

@mAydie : heavy hitting bosses are always pieces of cake for high-evasion characters. Don't forget to cast vaal grace before the fight, drink your jade flask, curse them with enfeeble and you can facetank them as you like.
You'll be hit from time to time (not every boss fight, but occasionnally), but as long as you can survive 1 hit, you'll have plenty of time to resplenish before the second hit.
(that's why enfeeble and Lightning Coil are really useful, in order to survive the one occasionnal big hit). I just added a double boss orchard video, this should be a good exemple.

Merveil is usually easy with this kind of permaflask :

The fight is a lot less static than against a heavy hitter. You'll have to move when she casts a geyser under your feet, depending of the mods.
I'll record a Necropolis video soon.

Last edited by Yggdrasil_57 on Aug 9, 2015, 7:10:33 PM
Alright, started one in Tempest! :)
Hello, the gameplay video got my adrenaline rushing just watching, and so I am currently trying out this build on a new ranger character - hopefully it'll work out for me.

Also, leveling the character (currently 26) feels like it could be a bit inefficient with the lack of early phys nodes and crit chance and all of that; so I was wondering if you would consider adding a sort of leveling/midgame guide to suggest how people should level (i.e. elreons, cleave, certain uniques, etc...), and when exactly people should start switching towards that CoC spec and all.

Again, thanks for the guide.
Well, I can't say much about levelling cause I just respecced an old character.
You're right, ranger is not the fastest character for levelling, especially if you don't have good low-lvl stuff at your disposal.

In PoE 1.3, going CoC wasn't a good idea before reaching lvl mid 60~early 70. But CoC gem changed in 2.0, it became much more low lvl friendly and you should be able to go full CoC earlier in the game.

If I had to start an Ice Ninja from scratch, I think I would start with any melee evasion build, then switch to CoC only when having 90% chance to hit / 75% crit chance / and at least a lvl11 CoC gem. Under these values, the character would probably feel sluggish/not fun to play with.

However, it's just an estimation. The only way to know is to experiment. So don't hesitate to share with us your progress and your comments. I can update the build with a levelling section based on players feedback.
I tested a variant with Freezing Pulse instead of Arctic Breath.
Freezing Pulse is really cool against lone powerful ennemies, and is more appealing visually.

I recorded a video with a Merveil fight in Necropolis, to illustrate the use of a perma sapphire flask and... I forgot to bring my sapphire flask. :-)
(I was wondering why Merveil hit so hard in this map, before realising my carelessness)
Anyway it was an entertaining fight against Merveil with frenzy, 33% increased cast speed and increased AoE geysers. I strongly recommend watching this video if you want to see the ice ninja in a dynamic gameplay.

merveil fight with FP variant
HI, really like your build, gonna try it out! Btw, can you post your stats please? would like to see your stats

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