[3.3] 2100 Int Whispering Ice Trapper

A few people have asked what I played for my incursion starter build and I haven't noticed anyone else doing the whispering ice trapper this patch so sharing what I ended up with

I enjoyed playing this character although duration skills seem to be weak for the incursions which reward upfront damage more then damage that ramps up. I full clear most but sometimes you stay behind a bit too long to make sure everything died and waste time. Stationary targets with high HP like atziri or elder are more what whispering ice is all about

It can't compete with the clearspeed of the arc traps which is the current go to but WI does still have the easy 9k ES and 10% less damage taken from Sab so it felt pretty tanky. Its not my top build but did prefer this trapper to any selfcast or CWC icestorm character I have played in the past

I always look to defenses first and I want to get as much ES as possible without needing to take any inefficient clusters which for a whispering ice character usually means INT. I get around 2.1k before it starts becoming less effective then taking separate damage and ES nodes.

Stacking Int improves icestorm damage and duration, possibly the duration was overkill as after the advanced traps support I have a 6 second storm which is really more then you need. The additional mana/mana regen is needed to be able to comfortably spam the traps which also makes high int more appealing



Typical Int/ES focused uniques. Gloves are the weakest link but it does take a very top tier rare to beat them. One of the "traps throw an additional trap" ones seem best but I never found one with good ES and didn't want to drop survivability.

I put empower in the helm as I got a bad resistance roll on the chest and needed a bit more from purity of elements. Empower also gives about 200 bonus ES through discipline. Herald of ice was the other option.

I would get another 5% more damage if I swapped controlled destruction into trap and mine damage but even at a vorchi bench 3G3B has a 439 average chrome cost while as 4G2B costs 1,975 chromes. I used cold to fire while leveling as 2G3B1R is easy to get

A 18% increased Intelligence String of Servitude costs 1 alc and gives +1.3% ES at the cost of 1.3% dmg. Ultimately its cheaper and probably better since sab already gets ignite and shock immunity from its ascendency


4 rares with +% to all elemental resistances and then Int, damage etc
Easiest place to cover missing resistance

4x Brute force solution
1x Fertile Mind
Another 2 of either Brute or fertile for the top sockets converting a +30 node

Skill Tree/Pastebin



Its strange that Alira was the bandit to help even while not being a crit build. The resistances and mana regen are both needed and are worth the 2 points.

Random things I tried and decided against

Avatar of fire
I was going to try this as herald of ash is significantly better then herald of ice for WI and thought about using bear trap with combustion support. Ignite doesn't benefit from increased duration so the buff didn't last long enough and the downsides were that CWDT frostbomb and atziri's flask could no longer be used along with cold to fire being a low damaging support. In the end just wasn't worth it

Bear Trap
I used this all through leveling but always found that I forgot to use it or threw it and missed or that if I just threw a few WI traps it would be dead anyway. Seems like a decent option just not one I ended up using

Arcane Surge
Same as bear trap really. Good buff, annoying to maintain

High Explosives
Very good node but a bit out of the way. I pathed around the other side of the jewel a few times to make it closer but it was only a little bit more damage then other options and then didn't get Fangs of the viper. Getting as much movement speed as possible is what makes running with a staff not feel bad

Shavs has really bad ES. Whenever I planned around this item and still wanting to hit 9k I needed to cover resistances and ES nodes and ended up with about the same damage but not immune to chaos damage. Temple is filled with chaos damage so CI is simplier.

This option seems more appealing if you have a mana = ES clarity watchers eye jewel but even then there is many ways of cutting ES for more damage.

I didn't slot in a curse because I thought I'd be able to corrupt either ele weakness or temp chains on hit onto the gloves. I went through many pairs of bricked gloves with no result. Probably should have just added one into CWDT setup


Last edited by WaffleT on Dec 29, 2018, 11:32:04 AM
Last bumped on Jul 8, 2018, 4:42:57 AM
Thanks for the guide! I've been wanting to try something like this for a couple of leagues, and now is probably the best time. As I'll play this in HC I'd probably want to go crit though for the freezes. I don't know if you have any suggestions on how to alter the build to accommodate this, but either way I appreciate the good info you have provided :)
For some reason the pastebin link doesn't show anything for the skill tree in PoB.
Also why do you have two Disciplines?
Last edited by alantrik on Jun 10, 2018, 2:14:12 AM
alantrik wrote:
For some reason the pastebin link doesn't show anything for the skill tree in PoB.
Also why do you have two Disciplines?

I just tested and it worked fine for me. Imported a full build with a tree, item gems etc

I was leveling another copy to vaal and hope for lvl 21
Heya, this build looks great already in CI, was wondering if you might have like a leveling guide for life before transitioning into CI?
Hey I posted a similar build in the main Shadow forum recently, though instead of CI, I decided to use the new Incursion helmet:

It adds about 1-1.5k HP with the amount of Int we stack. Thoughts?
Hey, before league started I almost went this route for league starter. decided against because of the colors for the staff I wanted were 4g2b. I like your take on the build and I have a few constructive critiques if you're in for a long-ish read. :)

I was looking at your PoB and...why are you using Advanced Traps? Ice Storm has no cool down (YAY NEW TRAP SUPPORT) and if you wanted to extend the duration you would be better off using Increased Duration Support (Still bad imo).

I can see wanting the extra throw speed, but traps have an intrinsic .5s arming time.

Hypothermia Support would be an extra 40% more damage than what you have currently (Enemies are always chilled thanks to chilled ground) This would also give some nice shattering/freeze effects without going crit. bonus: don't even need to change colors :D

Staying on the conversation of Gem choices, this may seem odd, but I don't actually like Conc Effect in this setup overall. The cool thing with traps is how much overlap you can get with them and Conc effect lowers that. This is my personal take and is definitely not necessarily 100% correct.

I think, if given the option, I would go for Trap Damage (Extra green socket, yuck). Obviously that's a stretch though. Have you messed around with INC AOE? =)

Something else of note: not getting High Explosives Noteable because of accessibilty/efficiency is understandable, however I'm pretty sure Clever Construction is basically mandatory for trap builds.
Having our traps destroyed before they arm due to random AOE damage is a huge loss of DPS+Consistency. Also effects our regen since those traps destroyed aren't triggered.

I also have no clue how you manage stuns as CI. Personally, Brine King never feels good enough. For personal preference on this, i adjusted your tree to take unwavering Stance (you were practically there as it was.) for stun immunity+Changed Ascendancy Born in the shadows (blind does nothing with Unwavering...) to Explosives Expert.

As for gear choices, the only piece I don't like are the gloves. Kalisa's is definitely good for this style build, has int, extra crit for EO procs, okayish ES.....

But Shaped Trapper Gloves with high es+Int would be a minimum 25% more DPS.

For example:

These are what I use on my LL Arc trapper.

What we want here is the Trap Support/Throw and Addition Trap

Cluster traps let's us throw 4 traps. Traps have a .5s arming time. So that's max 8 storms per second.
With shaper gloves we get 5 traps per throw=10 Storms per second

That's 25% MORE Damage overall.
That being said good ES trap gloves are expensive+hard to find. I crafted mine myself. You would also want int on them for max value.

Last thing:
Upgrades are expensive/hard to find, but something like Cyclopean coil is cheap and easy(ish) to get 4-6% Increased int Corruption. Even ES% or All Res Corruption would be a huge boost. Get a combo of 2 of them for max value.

Perandus rings can get the same extra %int boost, obviously more expensive though. my recommendation: look to buy them or double corrupt in Temple.

I made some adjustments to your PoB to reflect the above points.
TL:DR Version:
- Swap advanced Traps for different support. Trap damage/Hypothermia come to mind
- If you can get 4G2B on Staff (try vorici jeweller method) I would use Trap Damage over Conc Effect for better Storm overlap and therefore more overall damage
- Get Clever Construction, and if you hate being stunned (like me) Get unwavering stance. (Then swap Born in Shadows to Explosives Expert bc blind is useless with Unwavering)
I have made changes in your tree to reflect my personal preferences/recommendations. (see PoB below)
- Change Gloves to Rare Shaper with Throw Additional trap: this is 25% more dps. Can be pricey, either to buy or self craft, but definitely worth it.
- Get INT%/other useful Corruptions on everything (Rings, belt, and possibly neck) but, ESPECIALLY the belt. it's a cheap item, get a good corruption or double corruption on that thing. All res/int%/ES%/Skill Duration are all excellent possibilities.

PoB with suggested changes

Note: with my changes you get about 6k more average damage (with Conc effect still) but about 600 less es without making the corruption upgrades.
But...you're immune to stuns and your traps won't randomly die before triggering. So yay.

Thanks for posting this guide. It's always cool to see new Whispering Ice builds (one of my personal favorites).
Spreckles wrote:
Hey I posted a similar build in the main Shadow forum recently, though instead of CI, I decided to use the new Incursion helmet:

It adds about 1-1.5k HP with the amount of Int we stack. Thoughts?

It doesn't add HP it removes all ES and then gives you a bit of HP.

Honestly I think the item is kinda just bad. On this character I got 9k ES and 2150 INT for damage, plus normal damage nodes.

Life however doesn't scale well with Int, plus it removes the mana and mana regen so then you end up with half the life pool, lower damage and more mana problems.

Long post happy to discuss why I made each choice.

"why are you using Advanced Traps?"
This support gem is mostly for clearspeed. The difference between throwing a trap in 0.28 seconds and 0.34 seconds is HUGE. I tried swapping it out for Trap and Mine damage and every single time I didn't last half the map before I swapped back.

This build doesn't hit the trap throwing speed threshold where you are throwing traps before the old one can activate unless you are on a target who is moving away from your trap in which case that one never triggered anyway and replacing it is perfectly fine. Someone on redit crunched the numbers on how much throwing speed is too much and I was well under that threshold. Possibly this would be different with the throw +1 trap gloves but I think the math I saw before said it should still be fine.

If you calculate DPS including traps thrown per second and storm duration then Advanced traps also gives the biggest DPS boost. This isn't practically the case in all situations as many things die or change phases before the storms finish but these are also DPS stats that need to be factored in

"Why no clever construction"
Its a DPS downgrade to take those nodes over other options. My traps activate whenever I need them to so their naturally immunity time seemed fine and that it didn't need the extension.

"Conc effect and increased AOE"
Ice/fire storm both scale poorly with AOE generally. The bigger their general radius the less likely that each individual icicle will hit the target you want it too. This could be an exception for the trapper as the traps thrown are in a wider area then when casting the spell manually. This could be worth testing but swapping out concentrated effect into a green gem means 4G2B which as you mention is a real pain to get

"Shaped Trapper Gloves"
I did mention in the post that gloves like these would be the thing to look for. This was my league starter and I got it to 91 and did all the content very early. I was looking at the market but no gloves above about 60 ES were there and I didn't need damage at the expense of too much ES. Those gloves look good and the kind of thing I was looking for

"Corrupting with +%Int"
I agree this is the league to get those upgrades. There is a few coils in the market with decent enough rolls to beat mine starting at about 3ex. Pretty much every other upgrade will be more cost effective to do first but if you have the watchers jewel and all the other gear and are still playing the character then those upgrades would be worth chasing

"Stun immunity"
Having really fast throwing speed and large evasion means you won't be interrupted by stuns very often which is usually the bad part of stuns. The free blind from Saboteur is not a small part of its defenses, getting unwavering stance cuts evade chance by 62%. I never died to stun but there was situations where having that 62% evade chance saved me from death
Last edited by WaffleT on Jun 14, 2018, 11:35:13 AM
Sweet responses. I will go in order :P

Advanced Traps:
I do not have the play experience with the throw speed on Ice storm, I can see using it for map clearing, but I think I would rather use Hypothermia for Freeze/Shattering and on hit damage. It's true the duration cannot be overlooked, but Icestorm gets so much duration that it begins to lose it's value. This mostly pertains to moving targets/map clearing.

My trapping experience with my LL Arc Traps is that it's never been an issue with throw speed. And I'm using a Scion of all things! :P Bottom line, I think Icestorm does enough damage in 90% of cases for the damage to not really matter vs trash where AT is helping your clear speed. But for bosses (guardians, Elder, Shaper, and Atziri come to mind) I would swap for DPS support.

Clever Construction:
I'm not super familiar with the intricacies of trap mechanics, so if it feels okay then I will take your word for it. :) Mostly I have had issues with traps dying while leveling prior to this node. Feels bad and I'm not sure how it would translate into the end game, especially with Sabo Chain Reaction Ascend. I'm sure the downsides I mentioned are mostly conditional. (Fast AOE hits)

Conc/Inc AOE:
Icestorm/Firestorm do typically scale poorly with more AOE...for single target. It can be hard to find the best balance of AOE for max dps because some bosses move around a lot and leave the AOE and it does less overall dps, but would do more to something like Atziri Split Phase.

That being said, with traps, getting some aoe or swapping out of Conc effect, will allow for more storm overlaps and (theoretically) more total dps from overlapping storms and bigger aoe coverage for faster moving targets.

Stun immunity:
I mentioned this as a personal preference. I HATE being stunned ever. It's actually a big reason I went with scion over sabo for my Arc Trapper, I was CI initially and used Occultist Ascend to get stun immunity.

But yeah, if you have decent Evasion the Blind defensive layer is massive. And if that+Brine King works, it works. I do like me some Soul of Arakaali+Blood Rage CWDT ES Recovery though. :) If you can slot in Grace Aura you can make your Evade chance even higher. Combo that with Grace Movement Speed Watcher's Eye for better mobility.

I would have to actually make this build to be able to provide better feedback as I'm pulling from past WI builds and my present knowledge of trap mechanics rather than hands on experience with this specific build.

Keep up the good work! How far have you taken this into the end game? I saw the hydra video. have you done Shaper/Uber Atziri/Red Elder/Uber Elder at all?

Keep up with the good work. :)

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info