[3.6] Frosty Duelist - Dual Wielding Frost Blades


Rewrote for 3.6 but need new videos and to make a couple of pics for section on playstyle, aside from that all ready to go :)



Tombfist got nerfed but still best in slot (about 3% less damage)

Offering of the serpent gloves - Gives a significant drop in dps but overleech is also very powerful, definitely something to consider

Hatred - Very rough calculations seems like a buff about 11% more damage

Loreweave has max resists of 78% so we take 10% more elemental damage :(

Circle of Guilt - Synthesised Iron Ring with dual mods
Herald of Purity has increased Buff Effect
increased Physical Damage while affected by Herald of Purity
is op and will beat mark of the elder

Implicit/Enchants - There is a pair of boots shown with 'onslaught' as an enchantment or implicit, depending on how common it is, what else it affects etc it may be worth doing and use a stygian vise rather than perseverance (have to wait and see)

Varunastra - Perandus isn't a zana mod so is likely to be expensive and probably not a good league starter


I was inspired by Enki's Arc Witch guide https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1147951 so decided to rewrite the guide. This makes for a long guide but it should answer most questions.

I've dropped scion back to the bottom, I havent played a scion since 3.3? and it really needs an overhaul which I dont have time for, maybe in a couple of weeks



There is now a levelling guide through the first 10 acts in the 4th post of this thread

I love the frost blades mechanic and have tried for a balanced build that can do all content, has good clearspeed and decent boss killing ability. It is not a tank build and it wont facetank high level bosses but can take a few hits and then kill them.

Levelling is easy, you get frost blades in act1 and from there are progressing your build. With this build I have completed all 40 challenges in each of Harbinger, Abyss, Bestiary, Incursion and Betrayal leagues.

Uber lab is easy and can do a full party carry at high levels.
Atziri is not hard but needs care because of reflect.
None of the Guardians or other map bosses are a problem.
I can do Shaper deathless but the best I have done for Uber Elder is 2 deaths (Tsplodey has a video on page 41 of deathless uber elder with this build).

I consider it a medium-high price build and have run with final budgets of 300-400 chaos to over 40 ex. It does scale very well and you can have a good time and keep upgrading as you get more money.

I use it as a league starter every league but it uses yoke of suffering, perseverance, tombfist etc. These are not easily available on day 1 and can be expensive at first. It is fine if it takes you a week to hit lvl 90 etc but not great if you want to reach high levels on day 1.

Thanks to all the people that have helped along the way!



Frost Blades has an initial melee hit with homing projectiles flying out from behind the hit enemy into other nearby enemies. The idea with the build is to scale the melee hit as much as possible and pretty much leave the projectiles to be whatever as they are strong enough to kill minions and trash. This gives us a good melee hit for bosses with projectiles taking out the minions.

Pic with ruthless / pic with ancestral call

It's not a tank build so being mobile and positioning are factors (Sounds more complicated then it is but you get used to it quickly and we have enough defences to take a few hits so doesn't have to be precise). It has pretty good range (about 2-3 times most melee skills and about half of bow attacks) so we get a fair bit of flexibility in where we are.

Basically for positioning we want to whirling blades to the edge of mobs and fire into them rather than jumping directly into the middle of a mob :).

As we get stronger / OP we can tank or just flat out destroy all the lower level bosses. High end bosses have a gem swap :( and always need to be mobile.

For bosses I generally drop a frostbomb and a totem at their feet, hit my flasks then fire for a few seconds and whirling blades to a new spot where I fire again for a few seconds and then move again. Basically staying mobile move-fire-move-fire...
(Even though it isnt a decoy totem a lot of bosses will go for that rather than the character).

pic here

I drop a frostbomb and totem on the top right hand side of his circle just before he finishes rising. He then jumps/attacks towards it and I whirling blades back to lower left hand, hit flasks and fire at him. When strong enough this will wipe him out otherwise need to start moving and fire.

Firing towards top right means that other minion stuff is less likely to be hit so more keys are available.

need new videos
Izaro https://youtu.be/kIUWA2tLqF4
Sorry didnt note what stage the build was. I got an acceleration shrine which made me op but there is always some nice buff in the darkshrines. It still wasn't all that quick a run though :) Izaro at 2:50, 8:50 and 11:40

Another lab run with the end game gear (kills at 1:20, 3:35 and 6:00)

Pretty simple, progress as normal and before entering atziri's room remove multistrike and ancestral call (swap for ruthless and maim). In the split stages attack whichever is opposite the one with reflect shield.

Doesnt really need any specific strategy, frostbomb, totem and fire. Keep a totem up while during the portals stage and use the projectile spray.

Shaper and Uber Elder - Same as most builds, check youtube etc for general strategies and page 41 for Tsplodeys uber elder



Need new videos

Not real exciting but some videos :)

From 3.2
Sunken City t15 https://youtu.be/Yr2NB4H07oA
Elder Guardians on t16
Chimera t16 (starts part way as I forgot to push start :)




Swords vs Claws

I like swords :) and so have nearly always used them. I have run the build a few times with claws and they are extremely viable (many people prefer them).

In general rare swords generally have more damage then claws because of the crit multiplier but claws cost more (and rare gemini claws also require higher intelligence). However claws have life gain on hit which can make a big difference, especially when there are big mobs around.

The touch of anguish claw was designed for frost blades and adds chaining. It is powerful until late game but crits not longer auto freeze so our freeze chance is a bit lower (about 30%) which is still ok. Rare claws are less common and are in higher demand so cost a lot more. While it can be done much cheaper, I generally work on 3-5+ ex for an end game sword and I would expect 6-10+ ex for a claw that gives similar damage.)

Varunastra is another very real option (The original idea for the build was using these :). However they require their own tree (in the tree section below). Damage is good and ends up similar to scaeva/claws etc, scaling beyond that becomes a bit more problematic. The biggest problem is with their availability in that they drop from 'the formless sea' card or from cadiro. If cadiro isnt a Zana mod for the league it can be weeks before they are readily available. So not a league starter.

(Varunastra is really where Scion shines and the split tree works fantastic for her giving her a lot more damage. If you play Varunastra then seriously consider running as a Scion).


Using my gear from 3.5. DPS is Shaper DPS with everything is turned on in POB (so all flasks, ailments mods etc so a peak value that is theoretically possible but unlikely).

There is also flexibility in the tree to increase/reduce damage and defences especially with fire resistance node / cloth and chain etc. Dps could be also increased by using vaal haste

Sword defenses
Life - ~5800-6000
Evade - 39%
Phys Dam Red - 61%
Block - 25%
Movement - 56%

Claw & Varunstra defenses
Life - ~5600-5800
Evade - 38%
Phys Dam Red - 58%
Block - 17%
Movement - 55%

Scaeva + Paradoxica - 3.37 Mdps
Dual Paradoxica - 3.8 Mdps
3-4ex Rare + Paradoxica - 4.18 Mdps
2 x Perfect Touch of Anguish - 3.07 Mdps
5-6ex Rare Claw + Touch of Anguish - 3.32 Mdps
2 x Varunastra - 3.18 Mdps



You will need Path of Building, especially for end game weapons. Please don't just grab the POB link and go! What is best in slot and why it is used is explained in the guide.

I use "is shocked" for yoke of suffering in POB's configuration tab.
POB puts it at 50% (the max for shock), when it is really 0 on first hit then 20-50% based on how much damage the hit does. So the reality is less damage than what POB shows

Swords - https://pastebin.com/vnQG7SJf
Claws - https://pastebin.com/EdLAKgEk
Varunastra - https://pastebin.com/1njfyC5S




Once you have Worthy Foe from the lab, Accuracy no longer helps after the first hit as enemies cannot evade so increased accuracy on the implicit of some swords isn't providing us any advantage.

Main Hand
Scaeva with 3 green sockets.
I always grab one of these at level 60. The three green sockets adds a lot but is a pain, however for their cost they are brilliant.

Second sword
I usually go a semi-decent rare sword (around 200+ pdps with crit multiplier etc can often be found for under 50c however in 3.5 we got the Paradoxica


A well rolled one of these in fantastic. For the mods, obviously increased physical damage but also blind is really nice. Increased attack speed, crit chance and crit multiplier if nearby seem strongest to me

The safehouse upgrades (Hillock's I think) can apply to them so they can be quality 28 (+ quality from mod if they have it to take them to quality 43ish) which boosts them a bit more.

The two above cost me about 20-30 chaos each and I easily did Shaper with them.

In path of building you can change 'attacks with this weapon do double damage' to 'attacks with this weapon do 100% more damage' to get accurate figures


The wasp's nest at level 60 are very good but you will want to change to Touch of Anguish at lvl 68 and late game you will want to look at rares.

These were designed for frost blades and when coupled with ancestral call provide great clearspeed. With how many attacks per second we have it is enough (just not quite as good as other weapons).

Another options is that many People will give up some Dps to run one 'BloodSeeker' Claw as it gives instant leech for its hits.


Late game weapons
You probably wont be end game boss farming but any of the above weapons will take down shaper, guardians etc if you have good experience with that boss. (In Harbinger before the buffed ascendancy changes Asardial completed everything using 2 x Ahn's Might (which are outclassed by the others) in Abyss and I completed 30 guardian kills and 37 challenges before bothering to replace the scaeva so look at your other gear first.)

Anyway when you are ready you will need POB! as crit chance, crit multiplier, extra damage as cold etc all come into effect without increasing the swords dps (the above sword is 288 pdps but will easily beat most 450 pdps swords).

Sadly both pricing and availability fluctuates a lot.

When you are ready look for physical dps (pdps) being over 250+ as well as

Gain % physical damage as extra cold damage (this is OP even with max now at 20% if you are in standard legacy ones go to 40%)
Crit multiplier - definitely not less than 25% (preferably 50+ if it doesn't have extra cold) (rapiers have a max of 73%)
Elemental damage with attacks is also a very nice bonus after the above two mods.
Crit chance - I'd avoid crit '5' and more crit chance is nice but less important than others




%more, extra damage, %increased and adds physical damage are our strongest mods, then crit multiplier and elemental damage with attacks etc

There are a number of items like triple watcher's eye jewel, elder crafted amulets etc that can be very powerful (and expensive :). They can be great but I cant rely on more than a few being available and don't want to recommend 100ex items.

Cold damage vs physical damage

We are 100% cold damage. Critical strikes give 100% chance to freeze with the freeze time dependent on damage vs monster life. We average 40+% crit chance (60-70% with diamond flask) so 'chance to freeze' isn't very important.

We have a lot of physical damage modifiers which get applied before cold conversion so adding phys damage is important. We get some boost from added cold but it is a lot less important. Fire and lightning only get a few modifiers (increased elemental damage) so these provide limited benefit.

Bleed and poison don't work for cold damage so aren't any good for us.

Quick look at damage types
I took my lvl91 tree in 3.2, turned off everything, removed all gear and added a redbeak with default values (DPS 4537). I then added a ring with only 1 mod being the max t1 roll for each damage type
adds 9-15 phys damage = +2931dps
adds 22-40 cold damage = +1920dps
adds 25-45 fire damage = +706dps
adds 7-72 lightning damage = +798dps

so despite the numbers being smaller, physical damage ends up way more powerful. Taking it further with my gear and everything on. The same ring phys gives +184k, cold +71k, fire +40k and lightning +45k


The Belt

As always insane crafting can beat it but Perseverance belt. Unfortunately we can't use it until late in game but with Fortitude it will give permanent onslaught! which is 20% attack and movement speed (and the attack speed makes whirling blades faster). (there is no visual indication of onslaught with the belt but take it on and off and you can see it is working)

Cowards legacy - Makes you count as low life but adrenaline triggers when you reach low life so you would have to swap it in and out so not worth it - Thanks to A7X89 for pointing this out



You want the frost blade damage enchant!!!
(You have about a 1 in 1000 chance of getting and specific helmet enchant so don't try and get it yourself)

The two most popular are

Starkonja's - great balanced helm. Has no movement but has damage and life (ends up about +250-300 more life).

Devoto's devotion provides chaos resist, movement and damage. It's the cheapest one but you will really want to stack more life on other gear. I usually keep one of these for late game lab runs.

they do roughly the same amount of damage so it is really life and evasion over speed and armour.

3.5 Saw a number of rares with nearby enemies have -%9 cold resistance. Nearby in this case is about the screen and ends up with roughly the same amount of damage as Starkonjas or Devotos. They are expensive (I paid 4 and 6 ex) but big benefit is the amount of life they can have (The one above ends up adding about 500 life on its own, the other I had was higher but didnt havent the regen.


Lightpoacher - I was very keen on it for a while but now heading back towards the others (particularly Starkonjas which ends with about 6-8% more evasion than Lightpoacher). It needs the extra investment of jewels but can end up with the most damage and has some nice resists. The spirit burst looks good but even with end game gear doesn't do much. The life recovery is nice in mobs but less useful in boss fights.

Rat's nest will provide more damage than Starkonjas or Devotos and still provide a movement boost but again no life.

I retested Abyssus (I hadn't used it since legacy). It added about 50% more damage which is massive but so was the extra damage taken :).
It's not my thing but it is definitely viable, although you are well into the glass cannon category and will want to know the boss fights extremely well. I'd also suggest dropping some dps from the tree for more life and investing in a taste of hate.



I run a rare armour with around 100 life until around level 90 when I can afford better. My preference is loreweave or Belly of the Beast but it does come down to personal preference as there are so many good choices.

Daressos adds charges, The Shroud of the Lightless has lvl 20 ele penetration, perfect form gives arctic armour, Lioneyes vision gives the projectiles pierce etc etc.
A shaper/elder rare with regain 5-6% of life on kill can bring in 250-300 life on every kill which is pretty serious and works well for general mapping and bosses with minions (elder guardians and shaper dont have minions so loses appeal here)

Belly of the beast adds a few hundred more life as well as resists (I used it from legacy to abyss leagues).

Loreweave armor which comes from a vendor recipe of any 60 unique rings.
Added physical damage is the most important factor but it also has elemental damage, crit chance and +max resists etc.
Get 78% elemental resists . The max resists are a hard cap so ruby flasks etc wont increase resists however 'reduced maximum resistances' map mods etc also have no effect!



Tombfist Gloves - Tombfist gloves with a murderous eye jewel to get intimidate

Nerfed for 3.6 (no longer have attack speed) but still the best. Obviously 2 sockets are better, but 1 socket a good jewel is still excellent
For the jewels get life and adds physical damage or adds physical damage with swords and preferably crit multiplier or other mods (fire damage here can give ignite for yoke of suffering).

If you got 'first to strike, last to fall' in the ascendancy then these are still good but you can also get either shaped gloves with faster attacks and blind or spiked gloves with life, attack speed and added phys damage. (Maligoro's virtuosity will beat a lot of spiked gloves and are cheap but don't have life so are another trade-off).



2 x Fight for Survival threshold jewels - these need nodes with 40 dex in their radius but those dex nodes don't have to be allocated so they work fine for us. Try and get 14-15% cold. These can be corrupted for increased crit chance or increased damage both of which add a little more dps

For the other sockets +%max life and preferably two forms of crit multiplier (either global, dual wielding, one hand, with cold, with elemental, or melee). Melee and Cold Skills are the cheapest others are expensive so it is also worth a look at watcher's eye for one socket. Leo's syndicate exalt slam is nice for these and abyss jewels.

Watchers eye with damage penetrates 14-15% resists while affected by hatred is powerful. With only that one hatred mod they are sitting at 30-40c a few weeks into the league. Crit chance with hatred is about the same for dps but more expensive. Two hatred mods is seriously expensive and doesnt actually provide a huge amount more.

Abyssal jewels are not as strong in the tree as 2 x crit mult + life but worth a look. Choose a combination of crit multiplier, life, added phys or added phys with swords.


Bubonic trail and inya's epiphany are both good but I have always had to go rare to get the resists especially as boots are also a good place to get some chaos resistance (or intelligence)

Bubonic trail means stacking a lot of resists on the rings which cuts the damage of the rings so it really needs to be the expensive 2 socket version to be worthwhile.

Regardless of what you use make sure you enchant your boots! (about 1 in 13 chance so can be done yourself).
'increased attack and cast speed if you have killed recently' adds a lot and lasts 4 secs and a lot of bosses have some minion around to give us the boost (although not many for shaper and parts of elder).
Extra leech or extra regen are also both very good and probably better for shaper fights.



1st ring
Curse with assassins mark or warlords mark is very viable here. Assassin’s is cheaper than warlords and adds a lot of dps because of the power charges. Warlord’s adds endurance charges so some more defences.
Get life on it as well! and preferably adds physical damage to attacks.

2nd ring
Get life, adds physical damage and elemental damage with attack skills.
You will probably need intelligence (or you can get it on your boots) and fill in any resists you need.

Attack speed, crit and %cold damage are very nice and can make a significant difference.

Mark of the elder adds a lot of dps with the assassins mark shaper ring in other slot. However I have never managed to balance the resists enough to use it :(

The taming is nice but not that great especially with the cost.



Yoke of suffering.
Has some very nice resists but no life and very little int so we lose a point in picking up int on the tree However it makes our crits shock which is massive (shock amount varies between 20% and 50% more damage).

Monsters also take an increased 5% for each ailment (chill, freeze and shock). Adding a little fire damage somewhere can also ignite which adds another 5% so it is easily possible to get 20% although you wont always have it.

Until level 70 use a standard rare amulet which can be a great place to stack intelligence. Look for adds phys damage (15-26 is the top), life and high % crit multiplier.

Other uniques - Aul’s with hatred is great but expensive and there isn’t anything we can do with the extra mana to make up for shock. The Halycon can be beaten pretty easily. The Pandemonius adds blind which is a great defense against non spell casters but doesn't compete with the shock and bonus damage from the yoke.



Over a third of my dps and a lot of defences comes from the flasks so I keep them running almost constant

DPS Flasks. These stats vary a lot depending on the various aspects of your other gear (crit chance etc) but as a very rough guide. (They do boost each other so atziri's and taste of hate will do more if they are all active).

Diamond Flask +860k
Lion's Roar (24%) +800k (and 21% phys damage reduction!)
Atziri's (18/15) +380k
Taste of Hate +462k

Wise oak isnt as strong as these and need to balance resists. I leave taste of hate until last (and have done some leagues without it)

as well as these I run 1 life flask of staunching
The price of Atziri's makes it a no-brainer.
Lion's roar is fantastic for its armor, damage and knockback (I consider this essential). You can get a diamond from a levelling quest and it can be rolled to remove curses. I will use a sulphur or quiksilver flask rolled to stop freezing until I get taste of hate (which actually sucks as an antifreeze). I will keep this around for swapping back in for uber elder.


Gear Check

just a quick list if you are looking at your gear and wondering what to do next.

Life on everything possible.
Seriously! Rings, jewels, boots, everything expect yoke and weapons should have life. By level 90 should have a minimum of 5000 life with a loreweave / rare armour and closer to 6000 with belly of the beast.

Resists are capped.
Helmet Enchant!
Gems at 20/20 (and the right gems :)
Rings with adds physical damage and either 25% elemental damage (opal) or high elemental damage with attacks, its even better if you can add attack speed, increased cold damage or critical strike chance as well
Perserverance Belt
Weapons - Well rolled Scaeva, Paradoxica, Touch of Anguish or very good rares
Gloves - Tombfist with murderous eye jewel that has adds phys and life
Flasks - Lions roar, Atziris and Diamond, flask of staunching
Yoke of suffering (preferably a small amount of fire damage somewhere to ignite and get the extra 5%)
Boot Enchant



6 link -> frost blades, multistrike, elem damage with attacks, melee physical damage, hypothermia and then a swap of ancestral call and ruthless

gem swap of these two

Gem Swap :(
Ancestral Call significantly increases clear speed but there is significant cost to single target damage so adds a gem swap for high end single target bosses (with my end game gear I only swapped for T15 bosses and above). Give it a try if you don't like it just leave ruthless in :)

5 link- drop hypothermia

Hypothermia gives more damage against chilled enemies than maim. So our first hit is essentially with a 5 link to cause the chill with our 2nd hit doing more damage. Because of the loss from that first hit it takes around 4-5 hits for the extra from hypothermia to equal maim.
I ran 10 hydras with my end gear comparing to maim (next best) and found I killed hydra about 10% quicker with hypothermia.

Maim maim is the next best gem for the 6link and is available early and can easily be used as an extra gem while leveling (until multistrike is available etc).
If you are going to do atziri kills level a maim gem in a 2nd weapon (X) so that you can swap it with multistrike as needed.

Level 21 - Frostblades gets an additional projectile at level 21 (from 7 to 8) and a little more dps. It's noticeable especially with ancestral call but really isn't a high priority.


There is a fair bit flexibility of what goes where (boots, helm etc) and some optional empty sockets to allow for variation etc

3/4 link - Whirling blades, faster attacks, blood magic.
optionally add culling strike at Q20 to get cull and 10% attack speed.

Blood Magic - Pretty minor but with no extra mana on my gear I found that I run out of mana for whirling blades when doing long runs and backtracking etc (fighting is not a problem because of the leech). Without vaal pact you can put blood magic on the whirling blades as the regen easily covers it.

2 link - Immortal Call & cwdt
If you have a 3rd socket add increased duration / molten shell etc etc Dont put frostbomb in here though, it is too powerful to be left to chance.
We dont have endurance charges so it only lasts .4 seconds but that will actually make a difference with packs like porcupines.

Totem - Vaal Ancestral Warchief, Elemental Damage with Attacks, Melee Physical Damage and Culling Strike.

Warchief has less overall damage than protector but has splash built in and gives bigger hits (so good for freeze, shock etc). The Vaal version is extremely nasty as it is suicidal, does a lot of damage and has culling strike.

All the rest - hatred, herald of purity, ice golem, blood rage and frost bomb

These are all really important but they dont need support gems so can go in anywhere.

Frostbomb - It is really powerful but mostly for bosses and chests. You wont have enough intelligence to fully level frost bomb but it doesn't matter as it's real bonus is the -ve resist

Empower Tried getting Herald of Ash in with hatred and purity but with even enlighten I just didn't have enough mana. However Empower lvl 3 with herald of Purity and Hatred will give more damage than an extra herald.

You could add culling strike to herald of purity for the minions.

Vaal Haste can be a nice boost, especially for bosses (I keep forgetting that I have it :) and key bindings are a problem so I consider it a low priority.




Conqueror then Worthy Foe -> these two are OP, especially can't evade which means we dont have to worry about accuracy

Then Unstoppable hero and Fortitude

I love permanent fortify especially with the belt to get permanent onslaught so we both move and whirling blades faster. Some people are really not keen on it but for my playstyle I die a lot less with permanent fortify so I choose this every time.

However Adrenaline is crazy - in real terms over 20% extra damage but only when you reach low life.
It can be procc'ed with blood magic, blasphemy and a curse but is a pain and takes 3 sockets


Tree & POB


Sword Tree
This is my 'regular' tree. It gives us a great balance of offensive and defense, lots of regen and enough resists so that the rest of the gearing is easier.

POB - https://pastebin.com/vnQG7SJf

Poeplanner for tree

Claw Tree

Claws - https://pastebin.com/EdLAKgEk

POE planner - https://tinyurl.com/ybbock7m

Take the vitality void leech until you get the leech from Soul Raker in the claw nodes, then take Vitality void off. (acrobatics is 1 point if you want it)

Varunastra tree

Varunastra - https://pastebin.com/1njfyC5S

POE planner - https://tinyurl.com/y7ebl74b


Notes for all trees
Fire resistance near Scion - I always end up taking this off during late game.
Mana flows - I take this early and remove it later (level 50-60 ish)
Cloth and Chain - I put this back in but it is optional. It does make gearing easier and adds 3-4% evade chance and 3-4% phys damage reduction.
Vaal pact - needs only 1 point - use it if you like (life regen is now about 7.4%)
Acrobatics is 2 points for swords or 1 for claws if you want it
I put point blank back in this time to give the projectiles a boost :)



There are no real build defining choices so personal preference. When I remember :) I hit 'y' and change them for the map

Soul of Arakaali - Thanks to Chris for his observations that after capturing "herald of thunder" (not the skill gem) when someone hit us and immortal call procs blood rage will stop for 0.4 seconds so we benefit from the "50% increased Recovery of Life and Energy Shield".

Soul of Solaris is great for maps with increased critical strikes and I often leave it sitting on this.

Minor: Generally I use 'soul of tukohama' for the regen or 'soul of gruthkul' so that anything that hits me has less attack speed.

Change to Soul of Ralakesh before doing the lab, makes a massive difference

Alira - crit multiplier gives us more damage than any other option. Resists are always nice to have, especially at an early stage and allows more life/damage on other gear.




Sorry Scion needs a major reworking with unnatural instinct and might of the meek etc I'll get to it in a week or two

Swords POB https://pastebin.com/e5NCRXD4
Varunastra POB https://pastebin.com/SrFfdujX
Claws https://pastebin.com/DDgvfSRa

Follow the assassin through to being to able to start in shadows area
on uber lab go with 2nd ascendancy that you have chosen (slayer/inquisitor/etc)
Scion gets power charges through the assassin tree so should use frostbite.

Scion was great until the Champion ascendancy rework and is still very usable just nowhere near as powerful in comparison.

With the incursion end game gear (that got 4.78M Shaper dps) she would do 3.47M. That is choosing slayer as second preference to get over leech and cull. Some of the others such as Inquisitor and Juggernaut would get a little more damage. With claws she has a similar drop in Dps.

However with Varunastra she would a little more than the Duelist and get the 2nd ascendancy on top. With my max gear she pulls 3.23M. Personally this is the way to go for a Scion or Varunastras

Last edited by WildWombat on Mar 21, 2019, 2:25:25 AM
Last bumped on Mar 13, 2019, 3:08:19 AM
Why do you use two swords? Isn't the sword + shield better? After all, the damage comes from each sword in turn. Or just because of the increased attack speed why dual wielding? Then in my opinion it is better to use a shield and improve survival. How do u think?
Last edited by Spooneer on Jun 1, 2017, 5:47:35 AM
Wiki: "Whenever the player equips two one-handed weapons of any type, dual wielding grants the following stats:

10% more Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
15% additional Block Chance while Dual Wielding
20% more Attack Physical Damage while Dual Wielding"

I guess thats it )) Or ... ?



Sorry I hit the 50000 character limit on the main post so moved the levelling guide to here

I ran up a SSF character and noted what I did at each step. It is a bit mana starved for the first few acts. I overlevel and it varies each time I play, mostly due to what gear I have (int/dex etc), but following this should see you through to act 10 without too many problems.

This is for both claws and swords until act 8 when the tree is different depending on which one you are using. Separate trees are shown for last three acts

If it is your 2nd character for a league etc some items of note are

Level 1 - Last Resort Claw / Wanderlust Boots / Goldrim hat / blackheart rings
Level 5 - Karui Ward Amulet
Level 10 - Princess Saber - fantastic sword until the low 30's
Level 20 - Belt of the Deceiver
Level 21 - Maligaro's Virtuosity Gloves
Level 27 - Lion's Roar Flask
Level 34 - Ewar's Mirage is good for main hand
Level 36 - Tombfist gloves
Level 43 - Daresso's Passion / Ornament of the East
Level 60 - Scaeva[/b] / Starkonjas
Level 66/68 - Paradoxica / Touch of Anguish
Level 70 - Yoke of Suffering
Level 78 - Perseverance belt

There is a vendor recipe to get a weapon with (40 to 69%) Increased Physical Damage by selling x 1 Weapon + 1 Blue or Rare Rustic Sash + a Blacksmith's Whetstone. This is extremely useful throughout the story.

I am assuming you have the perfect amount of sockets and the right colours even though I never do!
Very early I will find any two weapons with 3 sockets and put them in my weapon swap (II)(x) slots so that extras gems can go in there and are levelling or I will just hold on to them until later.



We are looking for any item that we can use with 3 linked sockets that are Green-Red-Red (GRR) and some boots with 10% movement speed.
When possible find or get from Nessa 2 x iron rings, a rustic sash and a lapis amulet.

Get the sword & double strike at the start as well as chance to bleed from the chest
Kill Hillock and in town get frost blades (FB) and put it in with chance to bleed.
Check Tarkleigh for any boots with movement speed and if possible get an iron rings from Nessa.

Exit town, go through to the Coast Waypoint, then tidal Island and kill Hailrake. In town get a Quicksilver Flask.
Get ancestral call and ruthless gems (onslaught is also possible if using a tabula).
Put ruthless in with FB (in 3 link or take out chance to bleed if still have 2 link). Personal preference but I dont like ancestral call at this point as we only have a little damage and I will just put it to level until I have at least a 5 link.

Go to Mud flats and then clear the fetid pool. In town get ancestral protector
Back to the mud flats, get the glyphs and enter the Submerged Passage. Look for the Flooded Depths and kill the Dweller of the Deep. Get Skillpoint in town

Go back to submerged passage, then through ledge and climb, getting the waypoints and freeing Navali.
Enter the Prison and then in town get maim (put in with FB and ruthless) and get melee splash to go with ancestral protector
Complete the Trial of Ascendancy in Lower Prison
Kill Brutus and go through to prisoners gate and then on Ships Gravyard.
In town get whirling blades.

Go to Ship Graveyard Cave, get the Allflame, kill Fairgraves and get a skillpoint
Go through the cavern of anger and kill Merveil

Frostblades -> Ruthless -> Maim
Whirling blades
Ancestral Protector -> melee splash

Passive Tree

Level 14


During this act you will get to the first jewel socket on the tree. Hopefully you have had a chaos orb drop by the time you reach that point. If so grab a 'fight for survival' jewel with 14 or 15% cold damage from poe trade (even on day 1 they can usually be had for 1c). If you haven't got any chaos yet leave the jewel socket until you have one.

Once in town, enter the Old Fields and look for the Den. Kill the Great White Beast and get a second Quicksilver in town or a rustic sash
Continue to the Crossroads, get Waypoint and enter Chamber of Sins. Complete the trial of ascendancy on Level 2 and kill Fidelitas
In town get blood rage, herald of purity and optionally herald of ice or ash
Go back to the Crossroads, enter Broken Bridge and kill Kraityn
Go back to Crossroads again, enter the Fellshrine Ruins and then Crypt. Complete the Trial of Ascendancy in the Crypt
Back to town, enter Riverways and get the Waypoint
Go to the wetlands, kill oak and get waypoint
Go to the Western Forest, help Alira, kill Captain Arteri and unlock passage. ‣ Look for the Weaver's Chambers and kill the Weaver.
Go back to act 1 and get a point from Bestel

Back in Act 2 (I never have enough or the right sockets here)
get 'faster attacks' and culling strike for whirling blades (cull is low priority).
'melee physical damage' and 'elemental damage with attacks' - put these in with frost blades (put ruthless and maim in weapon swap to level)
Preferably get another 'melee physical damage' and 'elemental damage with attacks' as well as a culling strike for the totem (these wont all fit but we will want them later)

Make your way to the Ancient Pyramid and kill Vaal Oversoul

Frost Blades -> Elemental Damage with Attacks -> Melee Phys Damage -> (+ Ruthless/Maim/Ancestral Call if you have 4 link)
Whirling Blades -> Faster Attacks -> Culling Strike
Ancestral Protector -> Melee Splash -> (unlikely to have 4 link for totem but have Melee Physical Damage, Elemental Damage with Attacks & Culling strike leveling or in storage.
Blood Rage
Herald of purity
Optional Herald of Ice/Ash

Passive Tree

Level 25 tree



We get ancestral warchief and replace ancestral protector during this act. We actually want Vaal Ancestral Warchief which takes corrupting the warchief with a vaal orb. I have always waited and bought a quality 20 version when mapping, however my SSF char found one with no quality and I found it very powerful early on, so if you have a vaal orb you could try your luck :)

Look for a 4-linked GRRR item (Hargan can also sell them)

Kill the Blackguards in City of Sarn and enter town
Go to the Slums, enter Crematorium, finish Trial of Ascendancy and kill Piety
Get Hatred (replace herald of ice) and the Sewer Key in town

Go back to the Slums, enter the Sewers, get Waypoint, find the three busts and get skillpoint in town
Go through to the Marketplace Waypoint and finish Trial of Ascendancy in Catacombs (optionally pickup the decanter spiritus for fairgraves quest)
Enter the Battlefront, get Waypoint, Ribbon spool and kill Captain Aurelianus
Go to the Docks and get Thaumetic Sulphite (optionally talk to Fairgraves)

Go back to Battlefront, enter Solaris Temple and talk to Lady Dialla
Destroy the Undying Blockade in Sewers
Enter Ebony Barracks, get Waypoint and kill General Gravicius
In town get ancestral warchief and replace Ancestral protector as well as remove melee splash (these two are no longer needed).

Enter Lunaris Temple, kill Piety and get Skillpoint in town

Get Imperial Gardens Waypoint, finish Trial of Ascendancy and optionally get plum for fairgraves.
Go to the Library and do Siosa's quest
Get frostbomb
Get hypothermia for main attack (just put it to level unless using a tabula)
Get fortify and blood magic for whirling blades (this makes 4 gems for WB so probably wont have sockets leave one out)

You can now do the first labyrinth but it is easier to wait until the next act.

Enter the Sceptre of God and kill Dominus

Frost Blades -> Elemental Damage with Attacks -> Melee Phys Damage -> Ruthless/Maim/Ancestral Call. (hypothermia and any others unused levelling)
Whirling Blades -> Faster Attacks -> Fortify -> Blood Magic (put culling strike to level)
Ancestral Warchief -> Melee Physical Damage -> Elemental Damage with Attacks -> Culling strike
Blood Rage
Herald of purity

Passive Tree

lvl 35 tree


We can use non unique boots with 20% movement speed.
It is often worth replacing your weapon before the labyrinth and end of the act.
If you have 2-3 chaos you can sometimes get a cheap low level 5-link from trade during this act (although it can wait until later).

Enter the Dried Lake, kill Voll, get ice golem in town
Enter the Mines, free Deshret's Spirit in Level 2.
Progress to Crystal Veins and get Waypoint. Get skill point in town.

Go back to Crystal Veins, enter Kaom's Dream and kill Kaom
Now enter Daresso's Dream and kill Daresso
Get multistrike put this in (FB -> Melee Physical -> Ele Damage with Attacks and Multistrike)
Get Cast when damage taken and immortal call (you can put other spells in with these two if you wish - see the section on gems).

If you havent done it yet go back to act 3 and complete the first Labyrinth (Read up on the Lord's Labyrinth and Izaro to get an idea what's going on) After finishing the Labyrinth, ascend to champion

If one of your flasks isn't 'of staunching' to stop bleeding it is a good time to get or roll one now.

Kill Piety in Belly of the Beast, and finally Malachai in the Harvest

Frost Blades -> Multistrike -> Elemental Damage with Attacks -> Melee Phys Damage -> Ruthless/Maim/Ancestral Call. (hypothermia and unused others levelling)
Whirling Blades -> Faster Attacks -> Fortify -> Blood Magic (culling strike to level)
Ancestral Warchief -> Melee Physical Damage -> Elemental Damage with Attacks -> Culling strike
Blood Rage
Herald of purity
Ice Golem
Cast when damage taken -> immortal call

Passive Tree

Level 41



Hoping for a five link to drop :)

Kill Overseer Krow and enter town
Find the Miasmeter in Control Blocks and kill Justicar Casticus
Get Silver Flask and Skillpoint in town to Replace one Quicksilver Flask

Make your way to Templar Courts, kill Avarius and get a fight for survival jewel in town

Get Ruined Square Waypoint and optionally kill Utula (although we dont want any of his rewards)
Finish the quest in Reliquary and get Skillpoint in town
Look for the Sign of Purity in Ossuary
Kill Kitava on Cathedral Rooftop

You will suffer a permanent -30% resistance penalty after this fight

Frost Blades -> Multistrike -> Elemental Damage with Attacks -> Melee Phys Damage -> Ruthless/Maim/Ancestral Call. (hypothermia and unused others levelling)
Whirling Blades -> Faster Attacks -> Fortify -> Blood Magic (culling strike to level)
Ancestral Warchief -> Melee Physical Damage -> Elemental Damage with Attacks -> Culling strike
Blood Rage
Herald of purity
Ice Golem
Cast when damage taken -> immortal call

Passive Tree

Level 46


We lost resistances at the end of the last act. Fire resistance is important in this act so if possible craft or replace gear to improve fire resistance.

Clear the Twilight Strand to unlock Lilly as Skillgem Vendor
Get frostbomb if you didnt get it from Siosa
Optionally do Bestel's quest in tidal island

Get to Mud Flats and kill the Dishonored Queen
Enter Karui Fortress, kill Tukohama, use Soul of Tukohama on the pantheon. Get Skillpoint in town
Finish Trial of Ascendancy in Prison and kill Shavronne
Enter Prisoner's Gate, kill Abberath and get Skillpoint in town
Get Riverways Waypoint
Enter Wetlands, kill Puppet Mistress and get Skillpoint in town
Light the Beacon and kill the Brine King
Use Soul of the Brine King for now

We have all the gems now to take us through the whole game. Now it is just levelling them and putting them in place.

Passive Tree

Swapped mana flows for cloth and chain, really comes down to how much mana you have for when you do this
lvl 52




Find the Silver Locket in Broken Bridge and get a diamond Flask in town
Enter Crossroads, get Waypoint then enter Crypt through Fellshrine Ruins
Finish Trial of Ascendancy and find Maligaro's Map
Go back to Crossroads and enter Chamber of Sins
Kill Maligaro in Maligaro's Sanctum
Finish Trial of Ascendancy in Chamber of Sins Level 2 and enter the Den
Make your way to Ashen Fields and kill Greust, then get Skillpoint in town
Stay with tukohama (but change to ralkesh whenever doing the lab)

Get Northern Forest Waypoint and enter Dread Thicket
Collect all Fireflies and kill Gruthkul, then get Skillpoint in town
Use Soul of Gruthkul or Tukohama
Find Kishara's Star in Causeway and get Skillpoint in town
Get the Vaal City Waypoint, enter Temple of Decay and go back to town
Finish the second Labyrinth and get Shaper of Desolation
Get back to the Temple of Decay and kill Arakaali use Soul of arakali

Passive Tree



Very optional (some people dont like doing it) but from Harbour bridge items that drop are level 60 so can be used for the chaos recipe. By doing it unidentified, I have the money to buy the gear I want.

If using swords we can use a scaeva at level 60, buying a cheap one and using it the main hand with three green sockets is very worthwhile.

Enter the Toxic Conduits and kill Doedre
Go for Quay first, find Ankh of Eternity, kill Tolman and get Skillpoint in town
Kill the Gemling Legionnaires in Grain Gate and get Skillpoint in town
Enter Solaris Temple, get Sun Orb then optionally enter Solaris Concourse and get Waypoint
Go back to Doedre's Cesspool and go for the Grand Promenade now
Get Bath House Waypoint and finish Trial of Ascendancy
Enter High Gardens, kill Yugul and get Skillpoint in town
Enter Lunaris Temple through Lunaris Concourse and get Moon Orb

Go to Harbour Bridge and kill Solaris & Lunaris
Use Soul of Solaris

Passive Tree


lvl 63


Find the Storm Blade in Vastiri Desert and speak to Petarus & Vanja in town
Look for a blocked entrance in Vastiri Desert
Go to town, talk to Sin and then to Petarus & Vanja
Kill Shakari and get Skillpoint in town
Get Foothills Waypoint, enter Boiling Lake and get Basilisk Acid
Enter the Tunnel and finish Trial of Ascendancy
Get Quarry Waypoint, enter Refinery and get Trarthan Powder
Go back to Quarry and kill Garukhan and get Sekhema Feather
Go to town and give the feather to either Tasuni or Irasha, get Skillpoint
Enter Belly of the Beast and kill the Depraved Trinity

Passive Tree


Sorry forgot to note what level I was at the end of the act

ACT 10

I usually buy a very cheap corrupted 6 link with either 4R2G or 5R1G sockets (on day 1 they can often be had for around 15 chaos) before the end of the act.

Go left on Cathedral Rooftop and kill Plaguewing
Get Sulphur Flask in town
Go back to Cathedral Rooftop
Now go right, enter the Ravaged Square and go south
Enter the Control Blocks, kill Vilenta and get Skillpoint in town
Optionally find the Teardrop in Reliquary
Go back to Ravaged Square and get its Waypoint in the upper part
Enter Ossuary, complete Trial of Ascendancy and get Elixir of Allure
Get to Desecrated Chamber through Torched Courts and kill Avarius

Personally I like to do the third labyrinth at this point as we lose another -30% resistance after Kitava again.

Enter the Canals and make your way through the feeding trough to Kitava, kill him and save the world :)

Passive Tree




If you want an idea of the order in which I take the tree then it is here

The order of the tree varies a bit each time I do it so this image is a bit different from the story walkthrough above as I used to take fatal blade before weapon artistry and finesse etc although it really doesn't matter a lot which you do it for that part.

There is always juggle between getting damage (the best defense is a good offence) and life so you are not a glass cannon. No matter how I do it, with whatever weapons and classes etc, there are a number of weak spots, particularly around the mid 70s (I think it is actually more to do with gem levels at this point but I am not sure).

I worked down to the jewel socket and put in the first fight for survival and the life next to it. I then work across to the right picking up the life (2), leech (3), life (4) and winter spirit (5) through to the next gem (6), leaving most of the other nodes. I had a nice jewel drop so picked up the socket (8) but if you havent got a reasonable one, then leave to later.

I then worked through to strong arm (7) and back up to the big life at (9) and then got the jewel and resists at (10). I then intersperse getting more life from (9) with more damage at 11 and 12, I then work through to 13 and again mix damage and life with those marked 14. I then finish off with those marked (end).

Claw and varunstra tree is different but core and starting is the same, start working up to claw nodes after (10)

Sometimes I take mana flows early and then taken it off later, which is what I showed in the walkthrough guide.

Late game, I almost always take off the fire resistance node at the top under the scion. Sometimes I use cloth and chain other times not (at the moment I am keen on it again for the easy gearing and 3-4% extra evade and phys damage reduction.

Last edited by WildWombat on Mar 9, 2019, 2:03:57 AM
Whos is General Playing for all Content? Breach/Atziri/Mapping?

i play a Swort-Crit Gladiator

its not Bad only sucks its Phy Dmg from Uberlab :(
freeze is based on singleplayer monster hp even in grps
Played a lot more different chars and learn't since writing the original :)

The biggest difference from the original is the Perseverance belt. This belt is just about made for the champion ascendancy as it gives onslaught when you have fortify, so we gain permanent onslaught with more attack speed and movement (now 81%)

It also adds damage based on armour and evasion so a jade flask adds a nice dps boost as well as evasion. I'd also now look more at armour / evasion mix body armour rare rather than straight armour (or lightning coil becomes an obvious choice for a unique).

I also found a good pair of spiked gloves will outperform the atziri's but lose instant leach and intelligence (but cost 10c rather than 10ex :)

I'd also put culling strike on the totem and golem

I was going to try this in 3.0 as there doesn't seem to be any changes although the availability of varunstra may wipe it out, will have to see...
moved up to the top and deleted
Last edited by WildWombat on Aug 11, 2017, 1:01:47 AM

Still on act9, lvl63. But has been way too easy to get here. Very good clear speed. I'm using decoy totem to avoid being hit by bosses and its doing very well. Still haven't got a 5 or 6L. Even with 4L the build (even incomplete) is already awesome and easy to play.

Well done!
Last edited by Fabriciocovero on Aug 8, 2017, 10:10:16 PM
Glad you like it! :)

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