[3.4] Trickster Flicker Strike / Cyclone - Cheap and Fast League Starter

Nothing has changed for us with 3.4.
You could try to swap Herald of Ash with Herald of Purity, to see if it will give us better damage.

This is my first ever guide and a first ever attempt to touch some of the endgame such as Elder, Guardians and Red Shaper.

I never had plenty of time to play Path of Exile and I didn't have it in incursion either. As a result, I didn't accumulate massive amounts of currency or even spent enough time upgrading my gear. But, even with this small amount of time that I had I still was able to kill Guardians and achieve blazing fast clearspeed for up to T15 maps with the playstile that I love and enjoy. I was surprised with how well-rounded the built turned out and how enjoyable it was to play with it, so I decided to share it.

I would appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you for reading.

This build's base is coming from poebuilds's Trickster Flicker so the idea is not original in any way.
Another honorable mention - Ruichu, who helped me with the survivability.

Build Idea
Idea is not new to anyone - Flicker Strike skill is an instant teleport to the nearby enemy with the relatively powerful hit afterwards. Skill cooldown is 2 seconds, but it could by bypassed by spending a frenzy charge. If we have endless frenzy charges we could flick forever, but where do we get them? Build enabling unique and cheap sword Terminus Est will grant us a frenzy charge on each Critical Strike! We pair Flicker Strike with Multistrike, so we have three attempts to land a critical strike during a given Flicker Strike skill usage. We crank up Crit Chance and Crit Multiplier on the passive tree and gear and we use Trickster ascendancy to gain extra Chaos Damage and unique "movement skills cost no mana". In this build we actively use three skills: Leap Slam with Fortify for movement, Cyclone for tough and evasive bosses and Flicker Strike for everything else. All three of these skills are the movement skills so they are free! This allows us to reserve 100% of our mana for Arctic Armour, Hatred and Herald of Ash.

Who is this guide for
* Casual and novice players who don't have much time for the game - you would find quite a few of explanations in this guide that are not really news to anyone who is playing the game for the long time
* For the rebels like myself who refuse to do meta :)
* People who like melee and skills like Flicker Strike and Cyclone
* People who refuse/don't have time to level multiple characters for various purposes (Uber Lab farmer, map farmer, boss killer, etc.). This character will allow you to map very fast and wihtout too much gear you could use the same character to dive pretty deep into the content.

Pros and Cons

+ Not a meta build
+ League starter
+ Satisfying playstile on both bosses and maps (shreds through unid corrupt maps all they way to T14 with no problem)
+ Evasive \ Top bosses are tackled with Cyclone
+ Enough defenses to tank quite a bit of content - see detailed breakdown in "What I Killed" section
+ 6100 HP, 40% Attack Dodge on lvl 91 (could go up to 50% Attack Dodge and 30% Spell Dodge on lvl 95)
+ Saw the dodge number in the pro above? Add 10% to attack and spell dodge while you have energy shield for up to 60% attack and 40% spell dodge on lvl 95! Courtesy of the Trickster's ascendancy.
+ Strong Life Leech with Vaal Pact
+ Modest budget - see detailed breakdown in the "items with budgeting numbers" section
+ Good scaling after campaign
+ Shines on T3-T9 starting from lvl 75 - could be a mindless map farmer if this is your thing
+ Simple to play, not a lot of skills/recasts to joggle with, only four flasks

- Not the meta build and not the top tier DPS
- Evasion based, low armor (although tankiness is there, see the videos)
- Without extra currency Shaper run will be painful, if possible at all
- No Phys Reflect maps
- Some bosses require to swap four gems to Cyclone
- Can complete Uber Lab, but definitely not an Uber Lab farmer (see details in "Uber Lab Notes" section)

Uber Lab Notes
I have completed my first Uber Lab (ever) from the first attempt with this build around lvl 75. It was however not a walk in the park and Darksrhine buffs helped me a lot (to be fair, Izaro dropped four keys too). If you are lvl 85-90 you could farm the Uber Lab with ease and Izaro will be dead in milliseconds, but for the quality of life on traps you would need to do some tricks (that are practically making this build not an Uber Lab farmer):
Trick 1: swap flasks to life flasks (not reliable but free option)
Trick 2: For each Uber Lab run budget three Orbs of Regret to remove Vaal Pact (and respec Vaal Pact back each time before the fight with Izaro). You would need a source of regeneration and I found that ring swap into a pair of these would make the quality of life just amazing:

without any extra skills and items these two rings combined would give you 160 life a second regen on lvl 80, this is fantastic for traps. Use those rings to traverse the Labyrinth but don't forget to put your regular rings back for the Izaro fights.

I personally don't like Uber Lab runs much so I didn't miss the opportunity to do this type of content. But, if you are looking for a mindless Uber Lab Farmer, trickster on Flicker Strike probably is not the first choice anyways, right? :)

What I Killed

Note on video quality - those are simply to show what the playstile looks like on Guardians, I did not rerecord these videos to make them look any better nor did I talk or put a fancy music on. If I would see feedback for this guide - I might try to improve.
Nothing impressive to report there for anyone who plays this game 30+ hours a week.
I've played much less than that and during the Incursion League did the following:
* Atziri (need to learn her mechanics, not a single run was deathless)
* Uber Izaro with four keys (first and only attempt)
* Red Tier (T12) Elder - not deathless, was my first run and I was still learning the mechanics
* Guardian of Phoenix [video] - I died a lot as this was my first Phoenix run and I underestimated myself and value of ignite immune flasks
* Guardian of Chimera [video] - Deathless from the first ever attempt
* Guardian of Hydra [video] - Deathless under vulnerability from the first ever attempt
* Guardian of Minotaur [video] - I died a few times as it was my first ever attempt
* Countless T13+ unid corrupted maps - Deathless
* Twinned T13 rare map - deathless
* Twinned T14 rare Colosseum map - died there but could've been more careful

Items with budgeting numbers

When I was looking at many other guides I saw the word "budget" in the title, get excited and then see the items with double corruptions on the character. You would notice that my char does not even have an enchant on the helmet. This is not because the enchant is not needed - because I haven't bought it yet :)
Base setup - we use this setup for everything except for the special cases (see the notes below in this section)
Build enabling Terminus Est, the 6L version cost 6-8ex (like any other 6L item). When you will be buying it, please make sure that both flat damage bonus and Critical Chance bonuses are as close to their maximum values as possible. This build's DPS scaling is very limited because we have to use this unique sword and the higher the damage roll we will get on it - the better. Ideally you want to aim for 259%+ damage increase and 70%+ critical chance increase

This is my current helmet. I can't recommend abyssus because I don't like the glasscannon playstile, but if you like it - this may be an option for you. The only other two helmets in this slot that I could recommend are Starkonja's Head and Devoto's Devotion. Starkonja will give you huge survival boost and Devoto is good for cyclone for tough bosses. I was playing with Rat's Nest and its critical strike chance boost was exactly what I needed for this build. 10-20c cost for a good rolled Rat's Nest without enchant.
Standard Rings with life and resistances. I went a little fancy here and got an elder ring that gives curse on hit. Before you will say that it is a very expensive item - price check it, I bought it around 30-50c which I don't consider expensive for the quality of life that it gives. Here is what you do if you don't get this ring - drop Arctic Armour and run a three link HeraldOfIce-CurseOnHit-Assassin'sMark. More about that in the Gems section. Price for two rings 40c without Elder ring and 70c with Elder ring.
I used a talisman from the Temple of Azoatl. You could buy any amulet with good crit multiplier. life and resistances. I bought my talisman for around 30c. Now, before you say that there would not be any more talismans in 3.4 - yes, you right, but I don't even use this talisman for guardians - read further for the Tricks section in the "Items with budgeting numbers" section. You could also use Bisco's collar.
Nothing to say about this belt, I think I paid 10c for it. If you want to upgrade, and elder belt with "Increased Life Recovery" bonus will be a great boost to Life Leech and survivability.
Nothing to say about these gloves either, I think I paid 10c for it.
This is something I got lucky with the drop. You see that they have unique Incursion mode with 11% dodge. Now if you just swap them with the standard 30% move speed, life, resistances boots we would lose 11% dodge and we would go on lvl 90 from 40% to 30% (from 50% to 40% if you are counting Trickster's ascendancy in) - I view it as a slight decrease in quality of life, but not significant one. Their market price is around 25-70c last time I checked.
Ok, this is the second most expensive item in the build and unfortunately I can't recommend not to use it. I bought mine for 180c. Second best choice is Belly of the Beast, but when I am swapping it in POB in my character I am going from 6150 to 5350 - this is too significant to ignore. I have tried perfectly life rolled Loreweave in POB and that would drop the life even further to 4900, which is an unacceptable level (despite Loreweave's unique property of frozen increased cap resistances, which are extremely powerful).
Nothing special to say about jewels, I think they total 90c.


Those are pretty standard, nothing to mention here.

Some extra items for special cases
You would not believe me, but each one of these cost 10c. I use them for bosses with heavy elemental damage, such as the Guardian of Phoenix or The Eradicator. We turn off Hatred and use built-in auras in these amulets which gives us two things:
1) we receive +5% to the resist cap to the element of the boss' damage type that boosts us to 80% of the elemental resistance. This is very important and despite number 5 seem small, it really gives us 25% elemental damage reduction. Here is how it works. In PoE endgame map system's elemental damage is scaled with the idea in mind that the character would not have anything else other than 75% resistances. You always should aim at 75% resistances to the elements. With this, if you would receive a 10000 of incoming damage, you suffer only 2500 of it with 75%. But, if you receive 5% bonus to the maximum elemental resistance, you would suffer only 2000. You are mitigating extra 500 damage with those 5% resistances and 500 damage is 25% of 2500 of potential incoming damage with default 75% resistances.
2) we use one of the best in slot amulets for cyclone and this comes handy because we use cyclone for bosses

Rings that I talked about in the Uber Lab section. If you planning to run Uber Lab from time to time, you should get a pair, they cost 1c a piece. I would not worry about not having extra resistances or life, just swap your regular rings back for Izaro fights (and don't forget to Regret Vaal Pact to get the benefit of the regeneration!)

Some ideas on how to scale the damage and character further if you have unlimited time and currency

* First recommendation - get the resist-closing gear with Tier 1 life rolls
* Invest into expensive corruptions like +1 frenzy charge
* Get a cyclone enchantment on the helmet (you could see that I don't even have one)
* Replace one of the flasks with the Taste of Hate - that will boost both DPS and survivability
* If you replace all three jewels with +7% life, boost life rolls on your other gear (by means of buying more expensive versions with tons of life without sacrificing the resistances and some offensive rolls) - you could get a 6L Belly or Loreweave with very good rolls (both much more expensive than Kaom's Heart) and put Ancestral Protector there. But you have to like the totem placing playstile, I don't like that and this is why Kaom works perfectly for me
* Buy Atziri's Disfavour 6L and put it on swap with cyclone setup, that way facing bosses is a single key press instead of a four gem swap. This sounds cool, but please remember that this build has a lot of skills revolving around frenzy charges and critical strike chance, as soon as you swap you won't benefit from Frenzy Charges, so this is a very questionable idea. A different build will suit the Disfavour Cyclone combination better.
* Try to have some fun with dodge and crank it up to the max of 75%

Total Build Cost and Tips for the Money Making
All items linked above (without the gems) cost around 6-8ex for the sword and 500c for everything else. If we assume the cost of 1ex to be 80c, then the price for this build is around 1000-1150c. Is it alot? I don't know. For me this is a very modest number and it is close to what I could reasonably farm by mid-league playing relatively small amount of time.

If we use 5L Terminus Est, then the budget will drop to around 500c. Fun fact - 5L terminus on bosses would have the same DPS as this build as I am proposing to use Fortify. You could drop Fortify, use 5L and be a little bit more careful.

I want to share a very good currency farming guide that I have largely used this league and could confirm that it does help quite a bit. I don't agree with everything in it but I did list for only 5c this league. I am planning to continue doing this.

Gems and Links

Flicker Strike: Our main damaging skill.
Melee Physical Damage
Melee Splash
Increased Critical Strikes - 20% quality on this gem is the first quality that you want to get. This is our main Intelligence requirement. Depending on the crit chance rolls that you get, you may want to try not to level it all the way through if you could sustain the flicker even without it. That will allow you to save on the intelligence requirement on the gear or on the tree (I chose tree option).
Damage on Full Life (6L)

Vaal Cyclone: Our boss killing skill, requires same link colors so we could swap.
Melee Physical Damage
Concentrated Effect (you may want to consider keeping increased critical strikes - I found that sometimes my cyclone radius is a little bit smaller that I want with concentrated effect)
Damage on Full Life
Fortify (6L)

A standard setup with four links and an Ice Golem autocast, I find this very convenient:
Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 1)
Immortal Call (lvl 3)
Increased Duration (lvl 20)
Summon Ice Golem (lvl 3)

If you don't have the shaper's ring for Assassin's Mark:
Curse on Hit
Assassin's Mark
Arctic Armour
Hatred (Does not have to be linked)
Leap Slam
Faster Attacks
Herald of Ash (Does not have to be linked)

If you do have a shaper's ring for Assassin's Mark:
Gloves - 4 sockets, no links required
Arctic Armour
[open] - you could put any gem for lvling and resell here
Leap Slam
Faster Attacks
Herald of Ash (Does not have to be linked)

Note on Vaal Cyclone
I found this skill a very fun one to use but as the bosses get tougher and tougher vaal cyclone gets more and more dangerous to use. I recommend not to use Vaal Cyclone on bosses that are knockback immune (because Vaal Cyclone sucks enemies in with the same mechanic, if we can't do it - we spin in place without damaging anyone and without leeching) and on bosses that use teleport-like mechanics. To be safe I'd recommend to avoid using Vaal Cyclone altogether on the T13 and up.

How do we play (key bindings, etc.)
* My flasks setup for the following keys: 1,2,3,4,`. "`" binds to the instant life flask.
* Shift rebind to space for "attack in place"
* No separate key for movement
* Flicker strike for the left mouse
* Leap slam for the right mouse

In hideout we turn on Hatred, Herald of Ash and Arctic Armour

In the non-boss encounters we run around \ leap slam around, then once we found enemies we hit keys 1 2 3 4 simultaneously to activate utility flasks and hit left mouse button with spacebar until we flick our way to victory... Try it - it is very satisfying and addicting.
We watch our health and ready to hit "`" if things go sour (on this build they do rarely).

On bosses: we swap four gems to turn us into cyclone. We do have a luxury of constantly running the Surgeon's Stibnite Flask due to the insane amount of critical strikes that we deal (even with Cyclone), so remember to keep it up.

For the simple answer I recommend Soul of Solaris and Soul of Garukhan, remember to fully upgrade them. For top tier encounters you may want to review the relevant guides out there.

Skills and Pastebin
Lvl 91 Pastebin
Lvl 100 Pastebin

Skill Trees
Lvl 90 skill tree
Lvl 100 skill tree

Pastebins have Herald of Ice in Gloves and show -25% mana reserved, just unselect Herald of Ice. Optionally you could swap Arctic Armor with Herald of Ice if you would like more DPS.

Congratulations on making it this far and thank you for reading! If you would decide to try this build out - let me know!

Please post any questions or comments, if there would be some interest for the build - I would love to continue building this up.
Last edited by Zaknafeyne on Sep 29, 2018, 3:14:07 AM
Last bumped on Sep 30, 2018, 8:31:29 PM
Okay, first thing, why is there VP on a trickster?... it has god regen, you can just use the worm flask for regen on killed recently, and you also have a loreweave in the pastebin.

Interesting concept though mind you, may try this and post feedback and edits i do to the tree.
Versuvious wrote:
Okay, first thing, why is there VP on a trickster?... it has god regen, you can just use the worm flask for regen on killed recently, and you also have a loreweave in the pastebin.

Interesting concept though mind you, may try this and post feedback and edits i do to the tree.

Thanks for the feedback! Corrected the Pastebins.

Which regen are you referring to, Patient Reaper? I've not experimented with it. Ghost Dance could be swapped for Patient Reaper (will lose much needed 10% dodge), but Patient Reaper requires some sort of DoT damage. There is some poison in this build (two sword nodes in the bottom right wheel on the skill tree), but with only 20% chance. Will work on mobs, but won't reliably trigger on worms...

I am trying to picture the top boss scenarios without VP and with patient reaper on worms and I think it won't work reliably enough. Would work perfectly for regular mobs though.

Thing is, this character has 0 problems with regular mobs and if I only could change something I'd try to improve the quality of life on bosses.

But, removing VP would grant ability to farm uber labs.
cant open the passive skill tree =(
can't open it either.....
MitWitz wrote:
cant open the passive skill tree =(

Thanks for the feedback! I have added just the skill trees as separate links to the "Skills and Pastebin" section of the guide.

I can't reproduce the problem that you are describing with pastebins, I could import them into Path of Building version 1.4.108 with no issues. If you will tell me what are you trying to do, what do you expect to see and how what you actually see is different from what you expect to see, I will be able to help further.
How to use skill with out mana?
team121212 wrote:
How to use skill with out mana?

You would use all movement skills for free due to the Trickster's "Weave the Arcane" passive skill.

Cyclone, Flicker Strike and Leap Slam - are all movement skills.

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