[2.5] CI Trickster Wither + CWC + FireStorm Chaos/DoT [Atziri/Uber Lab Viable]

After having a lot of fun with a CWC build and reading up on a few others I wanted to try what I learned with a Shadow since I've never played one.

Firstly, I want to give credit to Mathoddie for his Elementalist CWC Scorching Ray Whispering Ice build which was a blast to play and got me interested in CWC. I also want to give credit to Minimized for his CWC Wither Firestorm Occultist build posted on Reddit. I can't call this my own build since I borrowed heavily from Minimized's hard work - I just made a few changes and picked a Trickster instead of an Occultist. Probably not the smartest idea, but hey that's half the fun when you play PoE.


Before you read any further you should know that I did this build in Standard since I'm a wuss and I hate playing in leagues with crappy gear. That being said this build should be viable for Breach as there are a few gear nerfs to consider, but nothing too terrible.

How does this build work?


Simple. You use Wither with Cast While Channelling to rain Consuming Dark converted Firestorm hell down on your enemies. With a dual curse Blasphemy setup using Warlord's Mark and Temporal Chains you get leech and endurance charges while your enemies are slowed to a crawl with the Wither/TC combo. For added DoT I've been experimenting with some nasty CWDT surprises when your enemies close in and surround you.

The Swift Killer Ascendency passive allows easy Frenzy charge build up from regular mobs (6 in total) and this gives a nice damage boost and combined with Atziri's Promise flasks and Elemental Overload, the chaos and DoT will stack up for a lot of DPS.

This build starts life based then switches to CI later on, I personally switched at level 68. The Shade Form passives provides a huge boost to our ES and we also get enough stun protection on the tree to keep us channelling like a boss. The only other thing you have to worry about is being frozen, but a good flask or the Auxium belt will take care of that.


+High ES pool - can easily hit 10k even with mediocre gear.
+Fairly tanky with a combination of ES regen plus life leech from Warlord's Mark and Atziri's Promise flasks as well as fast ES recharge.
+Able to start mapping in low 60s and complete Uber Lab in low to mid 70s.
+Able to complete end game maps easily (Shaper viability TBD).
+Good DPS - destroys bosses quickly.
+Free frenzy charges from the Swift Killer ascendancy to stack even more DPS.
+Reflect is a joke, even reflect maps with -resist are no problem.
+You get to play as a Trickster instead of a sissy Occultist.


-Susceptible to stuns and perma-freeze if precautions are not taken.
-Can have trouble with mana regen, but is easily fixed by proper gear.
-Needs Strength from gear to compensate for low amount from tree.
-Nerfs to Consuming Dark and Energy from Within jewels will make build a bit weaker in Breach League.

*Note: I will do further testing with two nerfed Consuming Darks to see how the build fares with 60% Fire to Chaos damage conversion and post the results here. I think it may be worth it to avoid using an Infernal Mantle, but hey, maybe most people don't hate them as much as I do!

Status and Updates:

1. Completed Uber Lab at Level 74 (tried it at Lv 71 and died at Izaro's final phase, argh).

2. Defeated Atziri at Level 75.

3. Only died twice getting to Merciless (that's a record for me!).

4. Have done no deaths of end game maps, including T15s and T16 Minotaur Map.

5. Did deathless Minotaur kill at level 83, just stood and face-tanked him, pretty easy stuff.

6. I've removed Vaal Pact and made some changes to my tree. This gave me more AOE for my curses, 400 more ES and 4.5% regen. It also finally gave me a reason to use The Sorrow of the Divine unique flask which saved me 3 points on the tree and gives me about 1200 regen if I stay on the Consecrated Ground, and about 625 if I am not on it. This doesn't sound like much...but with the leech from Atziri Promise flask and Warlord's Mark (non VP) that little bit of regen is a life saver when I'm waiting for my ES to recharge, especially after being hit. Now that maps can roll leech nerfs as well as regen, I think I'm going to stick with this for a while.

Stats at Level 74:


*No Flasks, Elemental Overload or Frenzy charges active*

When Flasks, Elemental Overload and Frenzy charges are up the Damage Per Use jumps to around 5,000. I'll provide another screenshot documenting this later

Level 75 Passive Tree:

Level 82 Passive Tree:


Level 84 Passive Tree (redesigned with some regen and no VP):



I'm going for more defense with dual curses, regen and extra flask ability. DPS is decent but could be better...hopefully grabbing the chaos damage nodes as I approach level 90 will help with that.

My Gear at Level 75:

My Gear at Level 82:


As you can see my gear is not the best but my current ES with Discipline is 13,500 and it jumps up to almost 20k when Vaal Discipline is active. I self crafted the boots and gloves and had to buy a Crystal Belt because Rngesus hates me. With really good ES gear I bet the total ES could go well beyond 15,000.


This build uses two Energy From Within jewels for a nice ES boost, which were unfortunately nerfed in 2.5.0 but are still viable in my opinion. If you play Standard you can get the better ones, but they will cost a lot more.

My variation of this build only uses 4 jewel slots - two for EFW and the other two can be whatever you may need - but getting to 155 strength can be tough with this build so you may want to get some of that from your jewels. The most important attributes to look for are Chaos Damage, Increased Damage and Area Damage. ES and ES recharge are nice too if you can get them.

My current Jewels:



Since changing my tree I've made good use of The Sorrow of the Divine unique sulphur flask. I've never had a use for one but this amazing flask saved me 3 points on the tree and it feels like a poor man's recovery flask. Getting a little damage boost plus 1200 ES regen/sec if I stay on the Consecrated Ground is quite nice, especially during boss fights. If I can eventually essence craft a good Marble Amulet I can squeeze in a little more regen as there isn't any more within range on the tree.

I've also added Aquamarine and Stibnite flasks which I've never used before (even when I played a Pathfinder) and besides the freeze and bleed removal these flasks are awesome. The combination of Wither, Temp Chains and Chilled Ground really slows enemies down and the Smoke Cloud and blind effect is just gravy. With careful rationing you can have them up when needed and the last flask slot can be a Basalt, Quicksilver or Rumi's depending on the map mods or your play style. Although I love darting around with a Quicksilver flask...Whirling Blades does the job better and lets you use another flask which is a much smarter option.


Normal: Kill all for +1 Passive Point

Cruel: Kill all for +1 Passive Point

Merciless: Help Kraityn for +1 Frenzy Charge

Gem Setup:



Warlord's Mark
Temporal Chains
Enlighten (Level 3)

Physical Damage Mitigation

Immortal Call
Inc Duration
Vaal Discipline (very important as a last line of defense)

Extra CWDT/Golem/DoT

Flame Golem
Discipline **Moved here to allow for Enlighten on my head piece since I removed some mana reserve reduction from the tree.

*This is of course optional and open to change, I just happen to like CWDT and the effect of Vortex when enemies surround at hit you provides chill and more DoT, especially when combined with Contagion.


Whirling Blades
Faster Attacks


*Again, this is optional, but I like the extra DoT from Desecrate and it gave me an opportunity to use my Tombstone Desecrate effect that I got from a mystery box. The triple effect of Contagion, Desecrate and Vortex all hitting mobs that surround you works pretty well for me.

Body Armour:

Wither (keep at Lev 1 to keep mana costs down)
Cast While Channelling
Void Manipulation
Concentrated Effect
Elemental Focus/Increased Duration*

*I've been using Elemental Focus here as it does more pure DPS, however Minimized's build uses Inc Duration and after testing both setups I'm not sure which is better. However, having a red socket gives you the option to put in a Life Leech gem for bosses...but the mana cost will be much higher and mana regen is a precious commodity with this build. I'm now using Inc Duration as I've found that the leech from Warlord's Mark isn't all that great and putting in a LL gem really helps.

I'm also realizing that the Occultist is a much better choice for this build since the Trickster gets a lot of attack and cast speed that is useless with CWC. However this build was all about learning...but despite this it still works pretty well. I will eventually create an Occultist version and then compare the two.

More to come...
Last edited by SasoriOtoko on Dec 23, 2016, 2:07:58 AM
Last bumped on Apr 13, 2017, 10:24:44 PM
Added Bandits and a little more info. I'm realizing that picking a Trickster over an Occultist was a bad choice, but I'm still having a lot of fun.
vaal skill linked with codt? why no a skill that codt can trigger?
You mean the Vaal Discipline? That's to take advantage of the Increased Duration that Immortal Call also uses. Great for boss fights.
Hi, iam going for a occulist, is the build still viable with the nerfed consuming dark?
and in occulist acendery iam going for the dual curses or?
Hey there, Minimized's original build on Reddit was with an Occultist - it used two 30% Consuming Darks and Infernal mantle for a total of 75% fire to chaos conversion. Occultist is vastly superior to Trickster for this build...I just wanted to try out a Shadow and had most of the gear laying around.

Check it out here:


My version has worked pretty good...it can facetank the Minotaur with ease and I've taken out the Phoenix as well...but I screwed up my Atlas with legacy maps so I've been unable to unlock the other Guardians...I'm not sure if my version is Shaper viable but hopefully I can find out eventually.
Hi buddy, nice to know this build, I optimized it to my favour, but 1 thing I have to ask because I do not understand the whole mechanics. How do you have DoT with this build? Does crit chaos dmg automatically cause DoT?
loki1706 wrote:
Hi buddy, nice to know this build, I optimized it to my favour, but 1 thing I have to ask because I do not understand the whole mechanics. How do you have DoT with this build? Does crit chaos dmg automatically cause DoT?

You don't understand that the unique dagger causes chaos dmg to poison on hit and poison does not require "crit" to be applied?
I represent only myself, my own thought and believes. I am individual, not a representative of the community.
I am not speaking on behalf of someone else and I don't get offended by things that have nothing to do with me.

Merciless: Help Kraityn for +1 Frenzy Charge
this does not compute. i must be daft i can't see how you generate frenzy.... unless it's the ascendacy then i'm dumb :)

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