Cospri's Malice - Embrace it

This is for my own personal reference: I started writing this thread at 10:38pm and finished at 5:32am. From 5:32am until 6:21am was spent "proof-reading" and fixing grammar/spelling errors. Nearly eight hours were spent on this thread, three more than Cospri's Will.

Hello everyone, alongside the Atlas of Worlds update (patch 2.4.0) I'm happy to announce Cospri's Malice will be added to the core game. It is not exclusive to the Essence League, I just want to address this now as their was some confusion regarding Cospri's Will and Prophecy League since both used the word 'Council', but they were not related.

In this thread I am going to over the considerations I made during the design process; skill choices, base item, passives, auras, uniques, and in general what items would synergize as a whole. Additionally how and if the end result should favour a particular section of the skill tree, life, or energy shield base based builds. When I going over these designs choices it's extremely likely I'll ramble on a bit so feel free to skip ahead if and when I get off topic.

Additionally do not expect my grammar/spelling to be perfect. I'm attempting to write this thread before 12am hence the starting/ending times at the very top for my own personal reference. Just under two and a half hours sounds like a lot of time until you start going through months and emails and attempting to fully explain each and every choice you made and some that were never discussed with GGG during the design process.

Finally before we get started --- I will try to section off specific topics so you can skip ahead and I will include a clearly marked tl;dr near the bottom so you can skip ahead and just see the mods without having to read this wall of text. It's also worth noting I may have managed to delete about the first months of emails/sent received, so once again I'll have to summarize a fair bit like I did with Cospri's Will.


On June 2nd, 2016 following the reveal of Cospri's Will on May 25th I decided I wanted to design a follow-up Cospri's unique. One of the main contributing factors here was the amazing response I got to Cospri's Will. It's hard to describe how it felt to get that good of a response, the simplest way to put it was pure elation.

Finding Inspiration - I'm not particularly original

Something I need to stress from the very start is that your design is ultimately up to GGG's approval. If they don't like it, it won't be added to the game, additionally there are certain modifiers/mechanics that aren't possible (on Dodge, on Evade, negative Max Life mods can permanently brick CI characters), and don't bother bringing up a skill you don't already have access to because the answer is almost guaranteed to be no. RIP that idea.

However, if your idea is to somehow modify an existing skill you may be able to work something out. Jorrhast's Blacksteel is the best example I can give of this. Unique's granting skills are always specific to GGG.

Cospri's Malice much like Cospri's Will is the bastardization of a few different ideas.

  • To start I love uniques with Chaos Damage conversions. Voltaxic Rift was my favorite unique prior to it's nerf in 2.3.0, something I'm still a bit salty about. I even went so far as to make my divination card, Anarchy's Price specifically for a Voltaxic Rift as this was prior to unique drop rates being lowered with Act 4s release (patch 2.0) and almost no one was corrupting them and at 20-25 Exalts for a 4-link trying to get +1 arrow was astronomically expensive.

    The Consuming Dark is another of my favorites. You might notice though, there's no cold variant. Where's the direct Cold > Chaos conversion? Sure Pyre + Consuming Dark works, but that's a roundabout solution and so I discovered my starting inspiration for Cospri's Malice.

  • Both the Voltaxic Rift and Consuming Dark have a particular gimmick, if I was going to compete I also needed one. The Voltaxic Rift has the innate ability to shock with Chaos damage, and The Consuming Dark allows your Chaos Damage to poison without the use of the support gem or another item that makes your Chaos damage poison. This is important because Chaos damage doesn't innately poison enemies, you need to use an item/gem/passive that allows you to poison to receive that additional benefit.

    I'll be honest here, I'm not particularly original so I decided the best idea would be to look over the extensive list of uniques already in the game. In particular I was looking at uniques that were very popular and powerful. 1000$ it a lot of money to me, so don't want to waste it designing an item that would considered 'vendor trash'.

  • Cast on Crit, I love CoC (KappaPride). Not really, I actually hated this gem for the longest time. I was calling for it's cool-down to be nerfed to 500ms back in the Act 4 Beta, but obviously that didn't happen. Ultimately my opinion changed regarding this gem after I tried it out in a CoC+Consuming Dark+Pyre+Binos build. There's something to be said for the way CoC builds play. They're just inherently fun, but also inherently extremely strong.

Regardless of this fact I knew a CoC nerf was on the horizon and something had to be done! I could save CoC! ....?

So it was decided, my weapon would be a Cold > Chaos Mjönler, because why not. The thing is though, you can't just create a unique that's essentially a copy of an already existing one. GGG likes to use the term 'design-space', basically the tl;dr here is they can be similar, but they also need to be distinctly different. That is to say they need to function differently. I can't just create a cold version of Lightning Coil for instance and say "but it's Cold themed so it's not the same thing" because it is unless you're willing to go one step further and add more modifiers to separate the two.

Determining a Base Item

I didn't want to use a Bow or Dagger base item as the two pre-existing Chaos conversion uniques do, so I started exploring the various base items. One of thing I took into consideration when doing this was how the Consuming Dark and Voltaxic Rift are used. One is used for Bow and Spells skills and cannot be used for Melee Skills, while the other can be used for Melee skills and Spells but not Bow Skills. I'd like to say I figured out a way to create a unique that can use Bow and Melee skills, but I'd be lying. That's one concept I'm going to leave up to GGG to figure out.

So I ended up deciding Melee and Spells would have to work. Since Daggers were off the table I started going over the possible options. I knew I wanted the end result to encourage Critting without outright giving you all the tools needed to have a extremely high Crit chance. Basically I wanted you to devote yourself to Critting otherwise you'd end up with a noticeably weaker build.

Staves looked to be a very likely candidate; they have reasonably good crit chances, and many have block implicits which is a nice extra bonus. Maces as a consideration were shortly live, ultimately I felt I would be encroaching on Cameria's Maul and Mjölner. Axes and various Two-Handed weapons were considered but I ended up going with Swords as the weapon type.

Not just regular swords though, Thrusting Swords. You might be asking, what's the difference? In terms of what skills they can use, nothing. However, One-Hand Thrusting Swords have an additional +1 weapon Range over One-Handed Swords and they have much better implicits.

I knew Cospri's Malice was to be a end-game item so I looked at the highest level required Thrusting Swords without repeating stats excluding implicits. What I mean by this is that Tempered Foils and Harpy Rapiers are essentially the same item, just with different Physical damage rolls, implicits, and requirements to be used. It's the Crit chance and attack speed I was focusing on. Don't question my logic, just trust me on this one. ✔✔✔

Anyway, I knew I needed to strike a balance between Crit chance, Multi from the implicits, and attack speed so I ended up choosing theJewelled Foil as my base item. I also chose the base item as it was extremely thematically appropriate with my initial set of suggested modifiers and idea for 3D art.

As a funny side note, Jewelled Foils were not going to be base in the first email I sent. However, I changed this at the last second since Jewelled Foils are simply a superior base item for the end result. I was going to suggest Cospri's Malice use the Midnight Blade base.

Skill and Unique Interactions

Auras & Curses

Cold spells in particular suffer from the lack of a good aura. That is to say, there isn't an aura that increases the amount of cold damage you deal. Hatred only adds Cold damage to Spells and Attacks that deal Physical damage. If you do not deal Physical damage this aura literally does nothing you. It's worthless. However, both Anger and Wrath increase the amount of damage you deal with Spells. Wrath gives a hefty More multiplier and Anger a generous amount of Added Damage to Spells.

This presented somewhat of an issue. Let's be honest, you're not going to run a Consuming Dark build or Voltaxic build without your respective aura are you? Hell no. Those are some of your best damage sources available to those build types and the lack of a cold variant meant I need to compensate elsewhere to be on par with those builds. Herald of Ice would be a helpful tool in combating this difference in power levels, but ultimately I knew it wouldn't be enough.

The only, and I use this term very loosely, useful aura for cold skills is Haste. Extra attack and cast speed, yay. On the bright side we at least have two decent options for scaling our damage via curses; Elemental Weakness and Frostbite.

Aside from this you have your utility curses for generating charges, leech, etc.

Attack and Spell Gems

I'll be honest, I spent very little time going over the Attack gems. It was fairly apparent there are few good Melee Cold skills a Sword could use. The noteworthy ones are Frost Blades and Ice Crash. Because of this I knew I couldn't make the end result dependent on using a Cold Skill.

Cold Spells on the other hand offered a lot of promise. They also directly inspired the key modifier on Cospri's Malice along with two additional modifiers which when combined greatly increase the potency of this weapon. There's even a very good reason to dual-wield them.

Getting back to the Spells, I spent a few hours looking at a wide variety of Cold Spells and Skills not just in PoE but also in other games like League of Legends, DotA 2, Skyrim, Diablo 1/2/3, even Runescape (an old favorite of mine). Mmmmm Ice Barrage. Best god damn spell ever.

Anyway it became fairly apparent game devs aren't particularly original when it comes to Cold related skills/abilities, and to be fair they are somewhat limited in their options. Most mainly go for some type of Chill (a slow), Freeze (holding in place), or a include a different debuff of sorts (i.e. reducing the rate at which something recharges or draining a stat).

In PoE the most readily available 'gimmick' is chill. Vortex chills enemies within its AoE, Arctic Breathe and Arctic Amour spread Chilled Ground, Frost Bomb reduces affected enemies Life Regen and Cold Resistance, etc. So having a modifier that interactes or provides a benefit against Chilled enemies was my best option.

Interactions with other Uniques

Uniques and how they're used together are an extremely important part of PoEs success (IMO). They open a vast variety of new build options, same intended and expected, others eh not so much: example one and example two. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

One of the cool things that can be done with Cospri's Malice, although maybe not suggested, is converting 100% of your Lightning Damae to Cold with two Call of the Botherhood rings. Optionally you can use just one and have a 50/50 Cold & Lightning, that's up to you.

Touch of Anguish provides some interesting benefits when combined with Cospri's Malice. From chaining skill an additional time, to increased Cold damage, there's definitely some potential for the two to be used together.

Voidbringers have some syngertistic mods. If you're going to play an ES based build I would highly recommend these gloves. Everything but the 80% increased Mana cost of Skills is highly beneficial. For Life based characters Maligaro's, Shadows and Dust, or Facebreakers are your best friends.

I'm not going to go over the full list of possibilities because frankly I simply don't have the time and the list will be out-dated in 24 hours when Atlas of Worlds releases. So embrace your inner snowflake.

The Passive Tree & Ascendancies

This where things start to get interesting. We're a Sword/Melee/Dual-Wield build and we need Crit, for spells too. Possibly AoE, possibly Life, possibly ES, and possibly Armour/Evasion. What I'm trying to say is, there's a wide variety of ways you can build around this item. As I hinted earlier Elemental Overload is even an option, potentially even Elemental Equilibrium. In short here's a cheat sheet for all of the passive nodes I'd consider relevant: passives (this excludes Life/ES nodes).

For Ascendancies there's a lot of different options and I can assure you people will create combinations of Ascendancies and passives tree I haven't taken into consideration. However, with that being said your four most likely choices will be Elementalist, Assassin, Trickster, or the Ascendant.

Each will offer you distinct benefits:
  • Elementalist the highest amount of increased elemental damage you can get the most amount of AoE possible from Pendulum of Destruction - outside of Slayers of course.
  • Assassin the best chance to Crit, but about half of the nodes provide no other benefit at the moment.
  • Trickster offers an excellent amount of extra attack speed/survivability & the ability to ignore your Mana costs for movement skills (Walk the Aether - this node is particularly for Cospri's Malice). When combined with movement skills.
  • The Ascendant can combine the benefits of different classes (+1% Base Crit from Assassin, etc.) and min-max your available amount of passive points by starting elsewhere on the tree. Opting to have multiple starting locations on the passive tree is particularly useful if you want to grab every AoE node. The Ascendant also offers very significant attribute nodes which play a valuable role in just equipping Cospri's Malice.

V1 - The Mjol-Chaos-Ner - I couldn't come up with a better name

Now that I've gone over all that boring crap let's get into the interesting details.

We've already covered that Cospri's Malice intends to encourage Critting, be a Cold > Chaos conversion unique, has certain synergizes/reasons to to Chill enemies, has a Trigger mechanic, is a One-Handed Thrusting Sword and has certainly powerful synergies when dual-wielded. Aside from that I frankly don't remember at this point so I'm just going to cut to the chase.

Here is a rough version of the initial set of mods I suggested - unfortunately I don't have the exact list as I accidently deleted about the 1st months of emails, blah blah blah fml.
  • 35% of Cold Damage converted to Chaos Damage
  • +1 Frenzy to Maximum Frenzy Charges
  • 10% Chance to Gain a Frenzy Charge on Killing a Chilled Enemy
  • 15% Chance to Cast Socket Cold Spells on Melee Critical Strike
  • Cannot Deal Fire Damage

There may have been one or two additional mods, I honestly don't remember it's been nearly three months.

As you might expect with Chaos conversion uniques being nerfed within the week this idea didn't go particularly well. It wasn't even that the item has Chaos conversion that was the problem, but rather as a whole it's trying to do to many things. Naturally of course, I went back and forth with Nick/Tom suggesting various ideas, but the main thing to take away here is that the Cold > Chaos was going to be dropped and we'd move forward with unified set of mods based around Cold Damage.

V2 - Cospri's Malice Reimagined

As I've already said Nick's suggestion was to move forward with a unique unified around Cold Damage thus foregoing all Chaos themed mods. I was very against this idea at first, however it grew on me and I agreed to move forward under that basis. I did have one major stipulation though, if I wasn't happy with the end result we'd be revisiting the idea of a Cold > Chaos conversion unique.

Coming up with ideas for Cold themed mods was very difficult for me. Some ideas I had come up with included granting access to the Frozen Swarms (Roaming stackable AoE Degen) skill simply weren't an option. This is a monster specific skill granted by Avian Twin Talismans and there are three viarants; cold, lightning, and fire.

Unfortunately as I said before if players already don't have access to a skill don't bother asking.

Various other ideas were thrown around including but not limited to the following:
  • X% - Y% Increased Spell Damage when in Off Hand
  • Deal no Non-Cold Damage when in Off Hand
  • X% - Y% Less Maximum Energy Shield when in Main Hand
  • X% - Y% of Cold Damage Leeched as ES when in Main Hand
  • +X to mana cost of skills
  • Herald of Ice Mana reservation reduced to 0%
  • Frozen Enemies Spread Chilled Ground on Death

And the list goes on and on. Eventually we agreed upon a list that pleased both parties, but I had one extra important requirement for Cospri's Malice. I felt there needed be to something to help reign it in a bit. This mod would also serve as nod to Cospri's Will and it's Chaos themes. An Intelligence requirement - 257 to be specific.

I'm not going to spoil the other modifiers until the final section, "V3 - The Finalized Version", so if you're not interesting in reading about the flavour text and art skip ahead to that section.

Art & Flavour Text


The artwork for Cospri's Malice was a case where I knew exactly what I wanted going into things. I had even gone so far as to specifically pick the Jewelled Foil base item as it played into my original idea of a Chaos themed unique and ultimately my plan for an Amethyst inspired blade. Something I took into consideration here is that Chaos Golems are made of what appears to be Amethyst. Additionally Amethyst rings are a thing.

However, since the scope of modifiers changed so much throughout the design process I decided the artwork needed more of an icy look. Very chipped and rough. Additionally I requested purple hues be used as a homage to the Chaos mods of Cospri's Will. The final major thing I wanted was a Cross-Guard that looked similar to ivory (elephant horns). Why I'm not entirely sure, but I liked the idea and it stuck with me, so yeah.

The final artwork ended up as below:

Flavour Text

Flavour text is an important part of every unique item. It sets the tone for an item and often tells an important story. I knew with Cospri's Malice I wanted to really go above and beyond what I'd done for Cospri's Will in this aspect. Funnily I ended up starting with some flavour text I intended to use on Cospri's Will.

I am the howl in the wind,
The Chill across your skin.
Let fear take hold,
And death wash over you.

While that accurately captured the the cold-blooded side I so desperately wanted to depict I just wasn't happy with it. It just didn't feel right. So back to the drawing board I went. Flavor text is something I've taken very seriously - online thesaurus became my best friend and worst enemy while trying to come up with something I was happy with. Literal hours were wasted trying to find different words to say the same thing just so the flavour text didn't come off and being too generic or corny.

Eventually I came up with the following:
Breathe deep, my child.
Let the frigid air engulf your soul.
Embrace the eternal cold,
And it will embrace you back.

TL;DR - V3 - The Finalized Version

Please note the 'Cast a Socketed Cold Skill on Melee Critical Strike' was a typo/error and has since been corrected to 'Cast a Socketed Cold Spell on Melee Critical Strike'.

This image contains randomized values for the following mods:
  • Adds X to Y Cold Damage to Attacks
  • Adds X to Y Cold Damage to Spells
  • X-Y% Increased Attack Speed

As far as I know the value ranges for these mods are as follows:
  • Adds (80 to 100) to (160 to 200) Cold Damage to Attacks
  • Adds (40 to 60) to (90 to 110) Cold Damage to Spells
  • 8-14% Increased Attack Speed

Additionally the cool-down for triggered skills is 100ms and the order of socketed gems affects the order in which they are triggered. What this means is if you socket multiple Cold Spells they will cycle between being triggered start the top of the bottom working down.

F.A.Q. - I'll get around to updating this later

  • Q. Who is Cospri?

    A. Eventually I'll get around to writing lore I feel to be appropriate on this matter. I should stress Cospri is not an official character created by GGG, however if and when I get around to writing the lore I will do my very best to take every pre-existing piece of lore into consideration. When I'm happy with it I will present it to GGG and if they're interested they can adopt it in whatever fashion they find appropriate if at all.

  • Q. Can I make a Cospri unique too?

    A. At this time no. Cospri's is a character of my creation and unless GGG was to adopt him at a later date this could cause some very serious issues regarding appropriate mods and theming at a later date.

  • Q. Can I create a Divination card for a Cospri unique? Specifically Cospri's Malice or Cospri's Will or one that will award one of the two?

    A. If someone is interested in creating a Divination card for a Cospri item you are free to do so (updated as of May 17th, 2017).

  • Q. Any specific drop restrictions?

    A. To the best of my knowledge, no. I didn't discuss any specific drop restrictions with GGG however I know Cospri's Will requires an item level of 68 to drop so hopefully that will also be the case here. I also cannot speak to it's rarity as that information isn't discussed with players anymore.

  • Q. Can I trigger Cospri's Malice with an attack from a different weapon?

    A. No, the trigger mechanic for Cospri's Malice is local just like Mjolners. This means any attacks with another weapon cannot trigger it under any circumstances.

  • Q. Is the 60% Increased Critical Strike Chance Against Chilled Enemies a global modifier or local?

    A. It is a global modifier.

  • Q. How does Cospri's Malice interact with skills such as Molten Strike, Lightning Strike, Frost Blades, Wild Strike, and Spectral Throw?

    A. Okay, first off Spectral Throw. Since Spectral Throw isn't tagged as a Melee gem it cannot trigger Cospri's Malice at all. As for Molten Strike, Lightning Strike, Frost Blades, and Wild Strike each skill has a Melee hit component that can trigger Cospri's Malice. However, all of the projectiles created by these skills are not classified as Melee and therefore cannot trigger Cospri's Malice.

  • Q. How does Lacerate interact with Cospri's Malice when Dual-Wielding?

    A. Assuming you land a Critical Strike you will trigger a spell from both your Main Hand and Off Hand. However, for both to trigger you'll need to hit an enemy with each swing.

  • Q. What is the internal cooldown of Cospri's Malice?

    A. Originally (patch 2.4) the cooldown was 100ms, however in patch 2.5 this was changed to 250ms.

Used in the following Build(s) of the Week(s)

Season 6 - Episode 7: Maddognils' the Freezerator

Let the testing begin!
Designing Cospri's Will:
Designing Cospri's Malice:
Iron Heart & Iron Fortress too!
Last edited by LostArtz on May 17, 2017, 5:03:06 AM
Last bumped on Mar 13, 2017, 5:03:03 PM
Cool read.
Yo gimme dat login prio.

Harvest sucks! But look at my decked out gear two weeks in!

Labyrinth salt farm miner.
Mjolnir cold edition.

Cast a socketed cold skill on melee critical strike

should be changed into:

Cast a socketed cold spell on melee critical strike

To prevent confusion and bring it in line with the Mjölner affix.
OR is it intended that other Melee Skills like Frost Blades can be socketed and autocast? I doubt that.
Last edited by RedStreakyCat on Sep 1, 2016, 9:43:02 AM
Very cool unique! The only little disappointment I have is that it doesn't seem to share a common theme with the other Cospri unique.
Tonexus wrote:
Very cool unique! The only little disappointment I have is that it doesn't seem to share a common theme with the other Cospri unique.

I'll get around to it eventually.
Designing Cospri's Will:
Designing Cospri's Malice:
Iron Heart & Iron Fortress too!
Oh boy... what should I say?
I wet my pants.

Great read here and an absolute amazing Unique!


One of the cool things that can be done with Cospri's Malice, although maybe not suggested, is converting 100% of your Cold Damage to Lightning with two Call of the Botherhood rings. Optionally you can use just one and have a 50/50 Cold & Lightning, that's up to you.

erm, CotB converts Lightning to Cold, not Cold to Lightning. you may fix that :)
█▀▀▌ █▌█▀▀▀ █▀▀▌█▄░▌
█▀▀█ █▌▀▀▀█ █░░▌█▀▌▌
█▄▄▌ █▌█▄▄█ █▄▄▌█░█▌
Last edited by eviL_Bison on Sep 1, 2016, 9:44:55 AM
It's a very interesting piece (Flavour text is beautiful) and I look forward to tinkering with the numbers, but I also have a question: With the "melee" requirement and the high weapon range, are you thinking there'll be a good range of delivery skills, or are you okay with this focusing on skills like Cyclone and Reave that play to high attack speeds and large areas of effect?
eviL_Bison wrote:
Oh boy... what should I say?
I wet my pants.

Great read here and an absolute amazing Unique!


One of the cool things that can be done with Cospri's Malice, although maybe not suggested, is converting 100% of your Cold Damage to Lightning with two Call of the Botherhood rings. Optionally you can use just one and have a 50/50 Cold & Lightning, that's up to you.

erm, CotB converts Lightning to Cold, not Cold to Lightning. you may fix that :)

Whoops, LOL.
Designing Cospri's Will:
Designing Cospri's Malice:
Iron Heart & Iron Fortress too!
Nice to know you got some inspiration from Runescape's Ice Barrage (Over a decade veteran of RS and loved the shit out of it, just couldn't care to play anymore with membership price hikes and didn't play enough to make the membership bonds worth it, using most of my GP made just to break even.)

Gives me a pretty good idea on what to try to combine the two Cospri's Uniques even though I am crap at theorycrafting.
"It's all clearer now
And I hear her now
And I'm nearer to
The Salvation Code"
Nice unique!

The one thing i want to ask (in general for other items as well, but maybe you'll know)

In the added damage roll, are the low and high ends rolled separately? I think it is right?

so if you somehow, (somehow seriously) roll a max min and a min max, will it just say "Adds 100 cold damage"?

Curiosity ;)

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