[3.1] Ezio's Crit-Ele Blade Vortex Ascendant/1.1M+ DPS/600k+ Shaper/5k+ Life - Cheap League Starter

All info is in the Path of Building file.

Hello everyone and welcome to the build guide – this is my first guide, and hopefully it is satisfactory (please provide some feedback!) Also, do forgive if I am unable to provide a character profile that showcases this build, as unfortunately I deleted the character after it RIP’ed in Mayhem HC. Recently re-leveled this character in 3.1 ASC, and it is more then effective at clearing all of the content. I ended up re-speccing the character into another build I wished to try, but it melted all content I tried. I am confident in saying it can handle most things with little issue.

I ran this build in SC for 3.0 and Turmoil, and used it for my first excursion into HC during Mayhem, and I can vouch for the build’s effectiveness – while it may not have the best clear speed, nor be the fastest boss killer, it is still a solid build with decent survivability.

All information regarding the equipment and skill tree can be found in the PoB pastebin, but I will summarize most everything in this guide.

PoB link: https://pastebin.com/F5PZiCqm

With recent testing in 3.1, this build is most certainly viable for the new league! Enjoy dem shatters, Exile!


• Good damage
• High Crit Chance (PoB is saying 90% or greater)
• Consistent ailments, such as shock and freeze, because of conversion and Heralds
• Life Leech that doesn’t rely on Vaal Pact – while you will still die if not careful (this is not a face tank build – use some common sense) you have enough to deal with the occasional hit. We use Whirling Blades as our movement skill to provide a quick way of avoiding most forms of damage. Considering the changes to VP for 3.1, casters are going to have to up their dodge-game A LOT.
• Either way, the vast majority of enemies are either frozen or chilled from your crits, so most trash mobs shouldn’t even be a problem.
• Cheap to gear – perfect for league start. While we use several uniques in the build, none of them are necessary. Should you have them, however, I consider them BiS.
• At the end of the day, you know what you’re here for – HoI is BaE. Thunk. Boom. Tinkle. SHATTER.
• Build IS hardcore viable. Take out a few damage nodes, and add around 1-1.5k more life. You can probably do with less crit, as 90% w/o a Diamond Flask is pretty overkill.


• No VP – try not to stand in Shaper’s beam, eh?
• Blade Vortex – the AoE hurts.
• Blade Vortex – will have to keep them up, as I haven’t added any increased duration. On the plus side, we have very good cast speed.
• Hillock is SOOO much slower with Spectral Throw :P
• Hardcore can still be a bitch.


Haven't figured out how to link my image of the Tree. Will update once I have. For now, PoB.

The Gem Links

Supplement as desired (immortal call, etc.), but the main gem links are:

Blade Vortex – Increase Critical Strike – Added Fire Damage – Physical to Lightning – Controlled Destruction – Spell Echo

Herald of Thunder – Curse On Hit – Warlords Mark – Elemental Weakness

Herald of Ash – Herald of Ice – Blood Rage

Whirling Blades – Faster Attacks – Fortify – Blood Magic

Summon Flame Golem

The Gear

You want your main weapons to have spell damage and spell critical chance, and as such I found Divinarius to be perfect. In PoB, I have also included a “twink” dagger that could net the build nearly 3-400k more damage, but these cost several Exalted Orbs on poetrade, and as such they weren’t in line with “budget league starter.” If you have the currency however, they are an enormous DPS boost. The main thing that makes them better then Divinarius is the crit multi – that’s where the extra damage is coming from.

I went with a rare helm. Life and resists are priorities - If possible, get the Blade Vortex damage helm enchant.

Body armour is a Carcass Jack, primarily because of the Increased AOE, damage, and life, as well as the fact that it being a Dex/Int chest will make getting the right color combination easier.

Gloves can be a rare, but BiS is Hrimsorrow. The conversion to cold adds quite a chunk of damage, but if you are lacking life I would recommend ditching them for something with those stats.

Boots are just rare boots – can be uniques, but I felt I needed the resists more then I needed 5-10% more movement speed.

We need a Dex amulet for gem costs. Try and get something beneficial like crit multi or spell damage on it as well.

Rings can be anything needed to shore up resists – I believe my actual char was using Two-Stones, but Diamond are somewhat nicer because of the crit chance. If resists are lacking though, grab some good triple res Two-Stones.

Although I haven't updated the PoB link, a Stygian Vise with a nice flat spell phys/ele jewel is godlike, and boosts DPS even more.


Nothing too fancy needed – just a decent Diamond for crit (not really needed once we hit 90%), a Sulphur for just MOAR POWAH, and an Atziri's Promise because that shit is OP. Otherwise, your typical no-bleed/shock/freeze/ignite/*insert other annoying ailment here* will do nicely.


I’d prioritize going into the witch area first, then grabbing that sick rectangle of life behind scion, then ticking off the extra crit and phys over by shadow. The ascendency is not set in stone, but I find that Assassin is a duh and Inquisitor is just fantastic for crit. You COULD hit Slayer for the life leech QoL treatment, but eh.

I’m a simple man. I grab some uniques, and don’t swap a damn thing out ‘till I hit A10. I found out rather quickly that this mentality does NOT work in HC, but here are some tips for leveling the build.

Lifesprigs. Use ‘em. Two of ‘em. If you find some daggers with spell damage, then use those so you can have Whirling Blades, but otherwise these little faerie-boi looking things will hold their own for quite some time.

Tabula. ‘Cuz 6 link.

Goldrim. ‘Cuz res.

Wanderlust. ‘Cuz being frozen is really fucking annoying.

Hrimsorrow can be used really quick because of the level requirement.

Otherwise, just rares and things you pick up until you hit maps and decide to buy/*sacrifice your soul to RNG god man for* some good stuff.

Gems? The vast majority of this is available before you leave Act 2, and the other stuff is easy to pick up along the way. Just slot them in as you get them.

If you need instructions on how to get to level 12 to use BV, use magma orb or spark or something easy and cheap. That'll get you there with little to no problem.


Just kill them. Not like anyone’s going to miss them.
If you really feel like betraying the local folk, help Alira for crit multi and res.


Straight up simple. Hit BV. Build some stacks. See enemy. Whirling Blade into enemy. Boom, pow, whiz-bang, BIG SHATTER. Wash, rinse, repeat. Oh, hit Blood Rage occasionally for dem frenzies.

Big Boi Boss man? Run Circles, Whirl around, and FFS don’t facetank. This isn’t your grandad’s ES/Ghost Reaver/VP heaven/hell type ordeal (although it looks like that may be coming back slowly >.>). If it looks like they might try to hit you, MOVE.


I’ll try and look in on the thread occasionally and answer any questions. Anything I consider particularly pertinent or important I will throw in this section.

Hatred vs the Heralds: Fairly simple, Hatred is better for boss DPS and the Heralds excel at mapping - as I found I wanted more clear speed then I really needed more boss deepz, I stick with the Heralds. However, mix and match to taste.

How do you have soooo much crit oh mah gawd 0_0: Four words. Scion crit is nutsy.

If you feel I can improve on something in the build, or in the guide, please reply telling me what it is 😊


Last edited by Ezio1302 on Jan 28, 2018, 11:23:53 PM
Last bumped on Jan 28, 2018, 11:16:02 PM
For those who want to look at a character utilizing the build, it can be viewed here: https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Ezio1302/characters

Character is HellaciousRain - as of this moment, its not quite done with Act 3, but I intend to work on it whenever I get time.

Edit: Character no longer exists, re-rolled to try something out and it backfired - currently no intentions on re-leveling it again.

Last edited by Ezio1302 on Jan 28, 2018, 11:25:09 PM
After a quick read of the patch notes, it appears this build will go unscathed for the time being! According to other posts, however, it seems GGG are going to be actively changing things as the league progresses - as such it could possibly still get hit, and mid-league to boot.

As far as I am aware though, at the moment nothing will be changed. As such, I do believe this build to be a viable starter for 3.1.

Last edited by Ezio1302 on Dec 6, 2017, 2:41:52 AM
hello Ezio,
I feel like trying Spectral Throw again and in ssf, I will follow your build by looking at your profile,
thanks for doing the work for me, it looks really good
Thank you for checking out my build! Have fun :)

A quick recommendation - as you conveniently saw, I started the league out as ST, and to make things easy here's the handy dandy PoB file :)

PoB: https://pastebin.com/g8V6Kukp

Although the damage may seem low, keep in mind that PoB calculates ST odd - it doesn't account for the fact that it can hit 3-4 times per volley, which basically means triple the DPS shown - also, my single target is frankly crap, so I would recommend in the late game trying to get one of those new shaper/elder rares with good prefixes and running molten strike or another single target skill. Other then that, although I haven't gotten to maps yet I expect it to clear like a beast - ST always does.

I would make a forum post on it, but to be honest ST is a topic that has been covered extensively, and I am in no way bringing anything new to the table.

Edit: To make your single target skill easier to carry around without robbing any of your other gem setups, I'd recommend trying to find a claw (if possible, not entirely sure yet) with the shaper/elder mods, and then putting that on weapon swap. That way, if you come across a boss, you just tap X and annihilate them :)
Last edited by Ezio1302 on Dec 10, 2017, 11:03:41 PM
Why not use Hatred and Herald of Thunder instead of all the Heralds?
Last edited by faensteffen on Dec 13, 2017, 2:39:57 PM

The idea behind using all of the Heralds is for the on kill effect, not so much for the damage - running Hatred and HoT did have more damage, but it was (in my opinion) not a significant enough amount so as to convince me to not utilize the helpful pack-clear from HoA. However, if I wanted to make this build even more effective against bosses, I would switch to Hatred as HoA isn't as effective on single target.

Hope that explains my reasoning :)

Ezio1302 wrote:

The idea behind using all of the Heralds is for the on kill effect, not so much for the damage - running Hatred and HoT did have more damage, but it was (in my opinion) not a significant enough amount so as to convince me to not utilize the helpful pack-clear from HoA. However, if I wanted to make this build even more effective against bosses, I would switch to Hatred as HoA isn't as effective on single target.

Hope that explains my reasoning :)


Great, thanks :) and nice build btw, running it in SSF Abyss.

Last edited by faensteffen on Dec 14, 2017, 3:48:37 AM
Thanks! Give Elder the ol' business for me - I've been so busy, I'm not even at maps yet -_-

Hi, Ezio could you add a step-by-step skill tree point allocation for each leveling phase?
Because for me as a beginner is hard to know when I should stop on the witch side and go for the Life rectangle.

Ex:Tree at lvl 20
Tree at lvl 40
Tree at etc.

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info