[3.3] Whispering Ice Trap Fire Conversion Saboteur

Hello, and welcome to my build guide!

This is my first attempt to design and write a guide, so forgive me if I leave anything out, I'll try to include as much as I can. Feel free to ask any questions.

This build is not intended to be a league starter, nor have I had enough courage to test if it is HC viable. The items also cost me around 2.5ex (hey it's a lot for me), so if you are poor like me and on a tight budget, you might want to look elsewhere.

This build revolves around casting the Ice Storm skill granted by The Whispering Ice as a trap ability. We stack a ton of INT and then convert that INT into HP via the Mask of the Stitched Demon. Slavedriver's Hand rounds out the build by buffing all of our traps and give them Blood magic.

As a saboteur, we can play rather safely due to the nice defensive buff their ascendancy provides. The damage is rather nice, and survivability is good too. However, it is not the fastest build, and struggles against large damage strikes that it can't mitigate with its regen or an immortal call.

Build Breakdown:
I designed this build around the Staff, The Whispering Ice:

This unique staff grants the skill, "Ice Storm" which acts like a cold version of Firestorm, while slowing enemies in the area. Whispering Ice also has the benefit of increasing its' dps by 1% per 10 INT that you have.

I have always liked the idea of Whispering Ice, but I was never really able to make a build work; It always seems that I sacrificed too much in order to stack enough INT to get the dps to adequate levels. That is, until the 3.3 Incursion League brought with it two new items that really brought the build together:

Mask of the Stitched Demon feels like it was designed for use with Whispering Ice. The Mask converts all of the INT which we want to stack for Whispering Ice into HP, while simultaneously converting our ES into life regen. The loss of ES hurts, but the Mask alone can add 1.5k hp or more to your lifepool and a good 150+/s HP regen. Worth it, in my opinion.

Slavedriver's Hand does multiple things for the build: it gives all of our traps Blood Magic, which completely solves any mana problems we might encounter, increases the AOE of our traps, converts cast speed into trap throwing speed, and adds a chance to gain power/frenzy/endurance changes when our traps get triggered. Truly a great all-around item. One of the more expense items to obtain, as trappers are incredibly powerful this league.

Astramentis is a great item for this build as it gives us a huge amount of stats and all but negates any requirements for gear/gems.

We will want two Fertile Mind jewels and one Brute Force Solution jewel to help increase our INT even further.

One great thing about all of these items is that you can equip them relatively early on to help you level, instead of waiting until late game to actually get a taste of your build.

Leveling Skilltrees
www.poeurl.com/bYnZ - Early Leveling
Level with traps like any other trapper. Arc traps are very strong until you are able to equip your Whispering Ice. If you have a Fertile Mind jewel, socket it near the Shadow starting area.

www.poeurl.com/bYn1 - Mid-game Leveling
Spec into Acrobatics and Phase Acro at some point once you feel like you could use the added defense. Socket another Fertile Mind Jewel south of the first one. Once you can equip Slavedriver's Hand, start using a stone golem to counteract the loss of life from the blood magic.

www.poeurl.com/bYn3 - End-Game Transition
Respec out of the Shadow's starting trap/mine nodes and take the INT instead. Pick up EO and Avatar of Fire. Socket a Brute Force Solution near the Templar area.

I'll be adding a POB later.

Ascendancy Order
Perfect Crime --> Pyromaniac --> Born in the Shadows --> Explosives Expert You could take Chain Reaction instead of Explosives Expert as they feel about equal in terms of DPS. I prefer the added Ele Pen, myself.

Kill all. None of them offer anything useful for us. Alira could work if you feel like your resists are lacking, but the crit-multi doesn't help us much.

Situational. None of them are super necessary, so pick whichever ones you feel give the biggest benefit to your playstyle.

Gems and Links

Your staff will be your main six-link. Try to get one with as high of a % INT roll as possible, as this will substantially increase our DPS and HP:

6L - Trap Support, Trap and Mine Damage, Cluster Traps, Cold to Fire, Fire Penetration, Elemental Focus.

A good thing about Whispering Ice is that the sockets do not need to be linked in order for Ice Storm to gain the benefit of the gems. However, crafting three green sockets will be costly, so we will be utilizing the Vorici method.

First, use Vorici to craft at least two green sockets. Next, use Vorici to craft three sockets onto the item; if you do not get a green socket, craft back down to two sockets. Keep doing this until you get the required color. Craft four and three sockets until you get the desired color. Repeat for the 5th and 6th sockets.

4L - Bear Trap, Increased Duration, Vaal Righteous Fire, Efficacy
Bear trap is for single target and boss damage. I'm still testing the Vaal RF, so take with a grain of salt. The added spell damage seems nice if you can mitigate the loss of life. Don't use regular RF, duh. You can put a golem here if you want, instead; Stone or Chaos works best. Flame is nice too.

4L - Orb of Storms, Arcane Surge, Increased Crit, Combustion
This will apply ignites to your targets and reduce their fire resist even more while giving you the Arcane Surge buff. Keep Arcane Surge at Level 7.

4L - Flame Dash, Vaal Grace, Purity of Elements, Enlighten
Purity of Elements is here to solve our glaring resists issue, as we are using a ton of uniques with no resists. Grace and Vaal Grace will increase our survivability substantially. Flame Dash for movement.

Other Useful Gear
The following gear is entirely optional. Resists are a bit of a problem, so don't go overboard unless you have some god-like rings to cap your resists. Since INT scales not only our damage, but also our HP, try to get at least some INT on each non-unique piece of gear that you can.

Kaom's Heart. I don't have one because I am poor, but this is the ideal chest for this build, if you can obtain one, as the raw life and fire damage will benefit both our offensive and defensive. We also don't really need another 6L, so the loss of sockets is no concern. A good life/resist chest can be used instead.

Cyclopian Coil is a very good addition to the build, as the added stats and damage are huge benefits.

Sin Trek Can be an effective pair of boots until you find a nice rare to fix your resists.
Last edited by Spreckles on Jun 14, 2018, 1:12:59 AM
Last bumped on Jun 19, 2018, 1:06:48 AM
Hi, I am currently also making my own take of the whispering ice hp-based build.
I did not expect that there were others making this build too. Just thought I'd let you know before I started making my own guide. I will refer to your guide on mine as well.


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