[3.0] [Sab] Skeleton Trap Dark Pact Miner


Dark Pact, the new Chaos skill introduced in 3.0, had really intrigued me with its Cast on Skeleton mechanic. However, its immense self-target multiplier (and extra AoE) combined with the Summon Skeleton changes (only 1 summoned per cast) meant that the skeleton focused builds I was hoping for never became super relevant. Furthermore, I'd never played a trapper/miner before, and the new armor Tinkerskin seemed somewhat interesting, if not terribly exciting.


Our build focuses on instantly summoning as many skeletons as we possibly can using Summon Skeleton + Trap + Cluster Trap + Multiple Traps . All the less damage modifiers absolutely gut our skeleton damage, but we don't care because we aren't a minion build. This trap setup is combined with Dark Pact mines along with the Saboteur Ascendancy for mine damage and trap QoL bonuses. This build isn't focused around any single unique, though there are some uniques that are fairly useful and one that is highly recommended (Tremor Rod).

Defensively, we're a hybrid setup with both Life and ES (~4k HP and 1.5K ES at the time of writing this), getting chaos resist on gear to survive chaos damage that bypasses our ES pool. We combine this with the Smoke Clouds from Saboteur ascendancy + Jade/Stibnite flasks for another defensive layer (we don't have much eva, but the cloud still helps).


Leveling is somewhat of a chore, I recommend getting either a lifesprig or a +1 fire scepter from recipe and firestorm-ing your way for convenience, or using Fire Trap + Flame Totem + Fire Nova Mines (once you get them) if you're planning on picking trap/mine nodes early on. A tabula helps, but imo Fencoil/Tremor Rod are more convenient and let you survive longer.

PoB build link: https://pastebin.com/4ZJ5SuQu (Level 83 with nice gear and 6L). If you're wondering how such little dps is possibly okay, please remember we deploy 11 mines and 8 skeletons, not just 1 mine and 1 skeleton, and we detonate mines twice (Tremor Rod) or get +2/+3 chaos staff if we skip on the Tremor Rod.

PoB app source: Path of Building is a free tool that allows you to simulate gear, leveling trees and various in game scenarios to more efficiently theorycraft your build. Made by a fellow exile, you can find a link to it on his own thread here: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1716360

Current Character: https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Reizen/characters/MarquisDSade
If link doesn't work, look for "MarquisDSade" in my character list.


Gems are listed in descending order of priority.


Dark Pact Mines: Dark Pact + Remote Mines + Minefield + Added Chaos Damage + Void Manipulation + Decay / Controlled Destruction

Summon Skeleton Traps: Summon Skeleton + Trap + Cluster Trap + Multiple Traps + Minion Life + Trap Cooldown


CWDT setup: The standard Cast When Damage Taken + Immortal Call setup is functional, though I'm not using one personally, relying on kiting to survive.

Discipline + Clarity (+ Enlighten): Discipline for ES, clarity to sustain mines for a little longer and enlighten when you can afford it to reduce the reservations.


Summon Stone Golem (the regen and taunt are nice)

Flame Dash + Faster Casting (you have no attack speed, so this beats leap slam).

Spell Totem + Wither + Faster Casting
Spell Totem + Detonate Mine. You'll need Vaal Clarity to sustain this one.



Free Remote Mines! You lose upfront dps, but the free 7th link and double detonate more than make up for it. 4 link is serviceable, 5 link is good and 6 link is luxury.

Free Traps! Again, allows you to run a pesudo 5L Summon Skeleton trap setup without much investment, letting you focus on getting 5L Tremor Rod and 5L Tinkerskin first.

Tinkerskin is really useful, and is one of our primary recovery mechanics since we're hybrid characters. Yes, the ascendancy might make you question the efficiency of it, but you mostly don't care because you throw your traps right into mobs, ensuring you get the most life/ES you can without delaying Skeleton spawns. If you're using Tremor Rod and Deerstalker, you don't even need links on this. Once you can 5 link it, you can change your boots to:

To be able to wear these, you want at least 4 link or 5 link Tinkerskin so you can put the skeleton trap setup on it (easier to color). This is worn only for the +1 skeleton and minor chaos res. The inc Str gives negligible HP, since we don't stack much of it.

Our other recovery mechanic, only works for life, but since our mines cost quite a significant amount of mana, its a really good source of life recovery for hairy situations where you still want to put down the dps.

Cheap unique helm for free life, mana and resists. Also makes your golem live a little longer. Not important at all, I'm planning on getting a Brine King's Crown later for mana regen and freeze immunity.


The build unfortunately isn't the fastest, thanks to being a miner. The way it usually works for map clearing is as soon as you see a pack near the edge of your screen, setup mines (usually 6 are enough) and toss your traps towards the pack. As soon as the traps pop, detonate your mines and move on. You can also skip skeleton traps entirely if its just a white/blue pack, the detonate (2x if Tremor Rod) will take care of them.

For bosses, you want to start of with skeleton traps -> place mines -> more skeletons -> detonate to prevent the boss from aggroing you and giving you more space and time to work with. Wither Totem or Detonate Mine Totem + Vaal Clarity works too.

For those times when you find yourself on low life, you have one of two options to heal back up (outside of life flasks) - if you have packs around, start tossing traps willy-nilly. You'll usually get a significant boost from this. If there are none/you want max possible recovery, cast something once (so you aren't on full mana) and then pop Zerphi's Breath and start dropping mines for around 600 HP per cast or Traps for 400-500 HP per cast. If used together, these make you surprisingly resilient.


I still need to six socket and at least five link my tinkerskin so I can switch to Alberon's Warpath. You'll note I have a TON of chaos res on jewelry and gear, this is to cap chaos res so that our hybrid setup is actually efficient (plus, none of the offensive mods on jewelry except spell damage even help our case). As for future upgrades - I need to get a crystal belt with Life/ES/Res (expensive), Boots with Regen on Hit enchant (expensive since we want it on unique boots), Dark Pact Helm enchant (you want the 40% damage, expensive).



This build isn't complete yet - I need to resolve a few outstanding issues, that being of mana regeneration and clear speed (a dagger + shield + Carcass Jack would work, but they'd put a lot more stress on gear for dps, namely a six link chest/carcass). As it currently stands, playing without a quicksilver flask feels way too slow.

Furthermore, the highest tier map I've completed so far safely (at level 72) is a Tier 12, and the boss took more time than I'd like (Skeletons died near instantly, so I had to time my detonations carefully). This is probably going to become worse as it goes on, and I'm not sure timing your trap and detonate should be the default solution.

Any suggestions to improving this guide, be it in the presentation or the build itself are very much welcome. This is my first guide, and my first time playing a Saboteur, so I'm not sure it's a very good one.



  • Finalize Gear
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    Last edited by Reizen on Sep 1, 2017, 12:51:05 PM
    Last bumped on Sep 20, 2017, 10:55:17 AM

    I'm going for a similar idea as regards the use of skeletons for dark pact. Especially with the skeleton MTX it makes for a unique playstile. As far as my trial i have come to the same conlclusion that skeleton traps is the most versatile way to quickly get the skeletons.

    On interesting unique for this is Kongming's Stratagem wich creates smoke coulds on trap trigger. Less dps then tremor rod but more safety.


    Since the elemental penetration node (Explosive's Expert) from Sab ascendancy is useless, I plan on taking Blinding Assault which gives 25% to create smoke cloud on being hit and 25% to create smoke cloud on hit, which hopefully will be alright for evasive purposes. I'm not investing too much into smoke clouds, however, since our base evasion on a hybrid build (Life + ES) isn't too stellar, and instead relying on fortify, Zerphi's and Tinkerskin for suitability. That said, Kongming's + spell crit dagger (or spell crit shield + spell crit dagger) will give you much increased crit and mobility, so it's a viable option.
    Very clever. Good job.
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