[3.5] Freezefinder - Blade Vortex Tank (ICE)

About Me
Hi Exiles I’m Matt, also known as Sanjakimo.
I play one character a league, and enjoy all the content the game has to offer so in turn my builds are approached that way.

My Other Builds
Pyrophant - Battle Mage (Fire) - In development
(Waiting to see what the 3.6 slef cast changes are, build still needs more work too, been busy)

Build Criteria
I regard Min-Maxing as finely tuning a character as a whole, a balance of offence, defence and Utility. Packaged in a way that feels smoothe to play, and hopefully also having it's own sense of uniqueness and theme.

Here are the criteria I use for game content.
* Able to have reasonably fast map clear of at least 1 layout type up to and including T16.
* Able to Farm The Eternal Labyrinth quickly and efficiently consistently deathless.
* Delve to 600 comfortably consistently deathless.
* Able to farm all Shaper Guardians consistently deathless.
* Able to farm all Elder Guardians consistently deathless.
* Able to farm Shaper, Elder & Uber Elder consistently deathless

Here are the criteria I use for character gearing.
* Characters comes online no later than 91 - additional skill points after this point are spent towards more jewel sockets.
* Synergy and efficiency. Look for synergy on items / passives / ascendancy / skill selection….. and cosmetics.
* The build should be self sufficient, meaning it can level, get into maps and progress through all content until it’s final form.
* Avoid awkward gearing scenarios where one resist or stat is so out of balance that it requires ugly and inefficient and/or expensive passive or gearing strategy.
* Character identity and theme. I enjoy my builds to feel individual, and have a theme and feel about them that gives them their own identity.

* * * * * Freezefinder Build Guide * * * * *

1.0 - Fleshing out basic build guide concept.
1.1 - Updated Weapon choice due to shaper stick nerf.
1.2 - UPDATED gem links.
- Removed Clarity from build.
- Removed Enlighten from build
- Further Supported Bonechill (107% Inc Chill)
- Updated PoB
1.3 - Had time to format and fix the monumental amount of grammatical and spelling errors, apologies if this has been annoying as I am pretty heavily dyslexic and it is very difficult and extraordinarily time consuming for me to pick out the errors manually.
1.3 - Removed Mind barrier nodes, uneccessary and full Inc. duration nodes adds smoother overall playstyle.
1.4 - Rebranded

Gameplay Videos


The skill tree, choice of gear and organisation of stat rolls has been set up in such a way that the build requires no stat rolls on gear besides the Pandemonious amulet.

I would always encourage people to test the build with the gems, gear and tree exactly as it is before deviating away from it if they so choose.

Character Strengths

*Great League starter
*very tanky and consistent.
*Great Boss Killer, even earlier in league.
*Scales into all End Game content
*Great Lab runner
*Great Delver

Character concept
The character concept was to utilise the pathfinders bonuses to elemental damage and additional physical damage as elemental to scale the Blade vortex spell. In addition to this scaling we receive elemental immunity, increased flask effectiveness and increased flask charges gained Vs enemies with an elemental status effect allowing us to scale our defenses via specific flask and gear choices.
We use the Winter Spirit nodes + Hrimsorrow gloves to attain 90% physical to cold conversion and scale the majority of our damage as cold on the tree.
The build is constructed around "The perfect Form" body armour, we are able to leverage the free arctic armour, and through our flask choices in conjunction with a total of 56% increased flask effectiveness we are able scale our evasion rating through the 'Evasion rating is increased by uncapped cold resistance' mod with minimal need for investment from the tree.
Alongside this, with the very high block values achieved in the build utilising Rumi's Concoction in conjunction with Daresso's Courage, we can circumnavigate the block penalty from Acrobatics and still achieve an ultimately 'Free' 30% spell dodge.
Alongside all these defensive benefits we are able to further supplement our defenses via the Pandemonious, providing permanent blind of chilled enemies. With heavy investment of cold damage, % chill effectiveness and % chance to freeze coming from our skill and gear choices, ascendancy and gem links, we have a consistent way to keep all enemies chilled and/or frozen effectively.

* * * * * Character overview * * * * *

750k SDPS at entry level gear.
1.3 Million SDPS at top tier gear and corruptions.

Physical Damage Hit Mitigation:
30% Physical taken as cold - 36% Reduced cold damage taken.
Arctic Armour (Conditional - 13% Less physical hit damage when stationary)
Physical Damage Smoothing:
15k Evasion Rating (49% evade)
Permanent Blind Vs Chilled (74% Effective Chance to evade)
6K Armour (34% reduced)
Physical / melee Damage Avoidance:
60% Block
75% Block (Reactive after blocking a spell in combat)
Physical DoT (None Hit):
Vulnerable - Use caution
Corrupted blood - Danger!

Elemental Damage mitigation:
Immunity to Elemental Ailments
36% Cold damage reduction
21% Fire damage reduction (with wise oak balance)
21% Lightning damage reduction (with wise oak balance)
Arctic armour (Conditional - 12% Less fire hit damage when stationary)
Elemental / Spell Avoidance:
46% Spell dodge
15% Spell Block
35% Spell Block (Reactive - after blocking an attack in combat)
65% Spell Block (Conditional - Low Life)

Chaos Damage Hit:
Vulnerable - Use caution
Chaos DoT:
Vulnerable - Use caution

Miscellaneous Defences
20% Chance to Freeze
55% Chill effectiveness (On BV)
Corpse Shatter

* * * * * Attacking our weaknesses* * * * *

As you can see from the overview, the character has an array of physical and elemental Defences. However there is less room on gear and opportunity on our tree to cover our weaknesses, damage over time. This is due to the fact we are an evasion based character archetype with overall lower health values than strength archetypes, and less access to %regen on the tree, we can however mitigate these shortcomings in a different way, the Pathfinder way, flasks!

In conjunction with 56% increased flask effectiveness, the nodes 'Profane Chemistry and 'Herbalism' cluster give us 70% increased life recovery from flasks and 20% Increased life recovery rate.
With the 50% increased recovery rate mod on a Catalysed Eternal flask that's 70% + 70%, on a flask that can store 3 uses.
This provides a solid defence against Corrupted Blood as well as other aggressive degens.
I would still always advocate a 'Cannot be affected by Corrupted blood' jewel corruption in late game gearing.

Importantly:This combination enables us to be able to regen tank the Elder's Drain attack in the Uber Elder fight and other aggressive degens.

In Delve, Incursion and now the Syndicate encounters, chaos damage is both prevalent and intense with clear indication from GGG that chaos damage is here to stay as something we need to have answers to on all characters types.

There are the new +Chaos / Elemental resistance crafts which can be used on jewellery when balancing resists for wise oak, or even dedicating a suffix on rings and belt for a flat % Chaos roll at the cost of a damage roll on belt.

Chaos Damage
With a flask swap from ‘The Wise Oak’ to Atziri's Promise in conjunction with the ‘Soul of Arakaali and Shakari’ pantheons, we are able to achieve substantial chaos mitigation.
This takes us to around 20% positive chaos resist with no other sources of investment at the cost of some fire and lightning mitigation, and some evasion rating.
It’s worth noting that the exact choice of Life flask, the Herbalism and Profane Chemistry nodes are an important part of our chaos and degen mitigation in general and should not be overlooked even if less apparent visually when looking at a on paper stats.


Soul of Arakaali
This covers some our of weaknesses to chaos, as well as providing a 50% increased recovery rate buff when we need it most after taking DoT damage.
We can't keep it triggered indefinitely like some other builds, and I personally think the investment to do so on this build would be too high, but the point is it covers one of our defensive weaknesses.

Soul of Lunaris
Again a great pantheon that further bolsters our strengths rather than cover our weaknesses. Gives us further projectile and spell avoidance and some move speed for mapping.

I switch between these 2 depending on the content I am doing.

Soul of Shakari
Poison immunity, reduced chaos damage taken, and reduced caustic cloud damage, all of which are great for this builds defences.

Soul of Tukohama
This again has a lot of synergy with the builds play-style. It allows us to stand still and turret making sure we gain the advantages from Arctic Armour and helps mitigate 'Physical damage' including DoT's, more %life regen which is sparse this side of the tree.
This is my preferred minor Pantheon on the Uber Elder fight.

* * * * * Final Gear, Accessories & gem links* * * * *

Here is the final setup for the build, the gem setups remain consistent throughout.

The items slots that the gems are socketed into are deliberate, and the specific rolls on each item slot has been indicated in brackets use these rules when looking for upgrades for each slot.


Gear & How to prioritise rolls
Helmet [Rare Evasion base] - (Life Roll / Cold Resist Roll)

Body Armour [The Perfect Form]

Gloves [Hrimsorrow] - (%Life Corruption)

Boots [Atziri's Step] - (%life & %mana Leech Enchant)

Belt [Rare Stygian] - (Life Roll / Fire resist Roll / Lightning resist Roll)

Weapon [Doryani's Catalyst] - (Uncorrupted)

Shield [Daresso's Courage] - (Uncorrupted)

Amulet - [The Pandemonious] - (Uncorrupted)

Ring 1 [Crafted Opal] - (Life Roll / Fire resist Roll / Lightning Resist Roll = OPEN SUFFIX)

Ring 2 [Crafted Opal] - (Life Roll / Fire resist Roll / Lightning Resist Roll = OPEN SUFFIX)


(No longer Mandatory but achieves 50% flask effectiveness)
With the new belt craft available In Betreyal that can cover it's previosu role.
However with the new changes to elemental flasks there are no longer specific break points, each % of flask effect scales the builds elemental defenses, Physical mitigation, damage and move speed linearly. I personally like it.

60% Increased cold Damage > #Added Cold Damage > %Cold Penetration
In regards to the %physical to cold conversion variant, even with a 30% role taking the build to 100% conversion and freeing up 1 point from the passive tree to be reallocated, it's still better to get the damage variants.
The build is also so very well kitted out with penetration to the point where we are reaching diminishing returns comparative to the other options, a 15% cold penetration role still falls behind the damage variants however this may not be the case at lower gear levels.

Priority list
* +to maximum life
* %Increased mana regeneration While moving (x1)
* +Physical damage to spells while holding a shield
* +Cold damage to spells while Holding a shield)
* +Physical damage to spells
* +Cold damage to spells
* %Conditional Mods - Damage on kill / onslaught on kill

We have nearly 200% Life scaled from tree, Pandemonious and Hrimsorrow gloves are missing life roles so attaining as much flat life from jewels is the preference in regards to efficiency.



Situational (Swapped with Wise Oak)


The quicksilver Warding flask is definitely best practice, however the adrenaline flask is another option for those prioritising move speed.
Atziri's flask should be readily used as a swap out with The Wise Oak on any high chaos damage encounters or environments.

* * * * * How to Deal With Any Mana Issues * * * * *
With Blade Vortex being such a mana intensive skill, it' important to have ways to deal with it's costs, I initially did this via clarity, but this created requirements for Enlighten later on and overall created more issues than it solved.

When first entering maps or even earlier during levelling there are some definitive ways to deal with any mana issues the build may have until higher gear levels where 10 stacks can be sustained from Arcane surge, the 2 mana clusters we take on the tree and a 1x %mana regen whilst moving roll on an abyss jewel.

Cold Snap socket group

By swapping out the hypothermia gem, we can socket the mana leech gem. This basically turns the hit portion of our cold snap into a mana heal at the cost of some of the multiplier from our Bonechill.
It's important to remember there is still a hit portion of Vaal Cold Snap that enables us to replenish mana via expending Vaal souls.

Another option is to utilise a hybrid flask, it should still be Catalysed and staunching and is still affected by the Herbalism and Profane Chemistry nodes. It will however not provide enough regen rate in the late game to tank powerful degens, including the Uber Elder drain.

Warlord's Mark is a great levelling curse and another early gearing option to solve any mana issues as well as providing additional defences through endurance charge generation.
Because we utilise a lot of Str nodes from the tree and achieve 155 strength, we are able to maintain the strength requirements for this gem throughout the levelling process too.

Lastly, we have a decent amount of prefix flexibility on rings and jewels if needed too. A +Mana roll on a ring or jewel can also add a lot to quality of life for mana sustain as we scale a decent amount of %mana from tree.
I would not suggest looking for %Mana regen roll on rings as it is a suffix and we are already competing heavily on our available suffix's in gearing.

There are a lot of options.

Gem and Gear Choice Reasoning

Blade vortex
I choose to use a normal Blade Vortex over the Vaal version as gem level is important for Blade Vortex damage and attaining a level 21 Blade vortex is significantly easier than finding a Vaal version with 20 quality.
Arcane surge is actually best for DPS as well as providing the needed mana regen and cast speed.
Cold penetration is used for freeze and chill consistency on less favourable map mods and is best for DPS on high resist targets such as Shaper or Uber Elder.

With the nodes Primal Spirit and Druidic Rite on the tree, alongside Arcane Surge, we are able to sustain 10 stacks comfortably.

Hatred scales more of the baseline physical damage from blade vortex into cold damage, which we then further scale from tree. It also gives us access to the hatred watchers eye options.

Herald of ice socketed with CoH and Frostbite into a Doryani's catalyst really adds to the map clear speed of the character.
Arctic armour, has no mana reservation with The Perfect Form, so we can even supplement the frozen trail with increased duration at no extra reservation cost. Alongside Cold Snap it's another way to ensure our target's are always chilled.

Having a ranged spell that supplements the damage of our main skill is really effective. Cold Snap can act as a ranged AoE Freeze and gives us options in handling the chaos zombies in delves or other scenarios where our mobility could be compromised.
It enables us to generate frenzy charges to increase damage and also bolster the duration of Phase run too.
It gives us a bullet proof way of applying chill with chilled ground and comes with a built in +19% Increased effect which we can now scale up to 107% increased chill effect from the skill tree and gem links, which acts as a direct multiplier for our cold damage from Bonechill.
The faster casting gem really enables cold snap to be played with the build smoothly.

With Frost bomb having a fast cast time at baseline, socketing it into our shield allows the player choice of using a higher level one for reliable manual placement, or to use a low level version in the trigger range of CWDT to automate its use.
I prefer to have manual control but it's nice to have the option.

Vaal skill
Vaal Cold snap is a PBAoE that circulates around the character, effectively stacking it's DPS on top of Blade Vortex, it also enables us to generate frenzy charges on single target for a short period of time as well as having 100% chance to freeze.
I prefer to use Vaal cold snap over Vaal Blade Vortex as it's much easier to get hold of a level 21 Blade Vortex gem, with gem levels being very important for damage.
Vaal righteous fire is a fine damage increase, but with cold snaps utility in the build and now with Bonechill acting as a more multiplier, I don't think it's as good.

Doryani's Catalyst is amazing for this build, and with the Shaper phys -> elemental mod nerfs, I have actually promoted it to BiS.
The 0.2% leech is a nice quality of life bonus, as well as additional cast speed and local attack speed for shield charge. The level 20 elemental proliferation is great for our HoI + CoH + Frostbite socket group and supplements the builds clear speed noticeably.

Prioritising only cold resist and life on the helm slot allows us to fossil craft our own helmet later on using a cheap [Pristine Fossil + Frigid Fossil] combination that gives us access to the -9 Nearby enemy cold resist mod.

The reason Cold Snap is socketed into this slot is because if you use the fossil craft method to craft your helm on a Shaper base, the Shaper Gem rolls work very well with this skills effectively giving you a chance to craft a pseudo 6 link in the process if you are lucky.

With Hrimsorrow, Pandemonious and now our Helm craft all giving us %Cold resistance, our Fire and Lightning resists are lagging behind so this is why I have dedicated rings and belt to those rolls (+open suffix in late game).
This fundamentally makes low level gearing very cheap, later on the open suffix will also become important for using master crafts to balance the Lightning and Fire part of The Wise Oak for damage mitigation.
You don't not need to think about balancing cold resist as it will always be highest with taste of hate active however I would always have cold resist above lightning and fire at baseline.

Daresso's Courage is important for the build, it gives us 20% global physical which in turn scales our Blade Vortex, is an evasion and armour base, both of which we scale off the tree, provides very reliable reactive block and spell block buffs that work well with blade vortex due to it being a 'melee range' spell, as well as providing the very important 120% block recovery implicit to give us full block recovery.
With an effective evade chance of 74% Vs blinded targets, investing any further into evade felt like a poor investment.
With evasion based avoidance being entropy based in this game, even with extremely high values your character WILL get hit eventually. This was a further reason to use Daresso's courage as the block check occurs after evasion, and is non-entropy based.
So even if our evasion fails we have a baseline 60% block and reactive 75% chance to block melee hits, was well as a 35% reactive spell block chance and even up to 65% spell block if on low life AND 46% spell dodge. Pretty powerful.

* * * * * Skill Tree Progressions * * * * *

Bandits: Kill ALL
Ascendancy: Natures Boon > Master Alchemist > Nature's Adrenaline > Veteran Bowyer

In regards to Min-maxing if you take the build further than 91:
You are able to spec out of the 'Agility' node at level 93 and the first additional gem socket you should get at this point is the one above Herbalism as the pathing allows us to meet Dex requirements.

Here are the trees.

Level 65 Tree - End of Act 10 & Entering maps

Level 85 Tree - Low to mid tier maps

Level 91 Tree - End Game

Level 96 Tree - Min Max

!!Important Note in regards to Min Maxing at this point!!
You can only spec out of the 'Agility' node after you have specced the 2 dex nodes en-route to the jewel socket above Herbalism. you also NEED to have The perfect Form equipped whilst doing this as the %dex boosts your ability to meet it's own requirement.
The minimum role of 5% increased dex is enough as long as your pandemonius Implicit dex value is of at least 26.

Build Variant NOTE:
I have actually run and tested 7k EHP MoM variant of this build using the Aul amulet (Which does have nice synergy with Pathfinder).
The problem lay in the fact that even though the effective HP pool was higher, it was less consistent as if 2 large successive hits were taken it tended to result in death, all be not a common occurrence.
In extensive end game testing environments it was less tanky and consistent than this life variant, required even further investment from the tree at the expensive of damage and lost Pandemonious Blind.
It complicated gearing further by requiring Clarity, Enlighten AND a Clarity Watchers eye, making cost of entry astoundingly higher comparative, and from a functionality point of view was just a worse build overall, so I will not be covering it.

Path of Building + Resources

My Twitch - https://www.twitch.tv/sanjakimo
The Character - https://tinyurl.com/y98u8fys
My final build - https://pastebin.com/j1RqGaD9 (Bonechill multiplier is currently NOT calculated by PoB for none DoT)

Levelling - http://www.filterblade.xyz/#OTyNW6FTj8pQ
End Game - http://www.filterblade.xyz/#3xHEAkgeCGGw (Updated 20/01/2019)
Last edited by mfeeney87 on Feb 21, 2019, 5:49:42 PM
Last bumped on Mar 20, 2019, 9:54:48 PM
* * * * * Levelling Section * * * * *

This section has been heavily contributed to by RthoThePotato, providing some great initial gear choices and leveling options.

* * * * *Early cheap gearing options and leveling setups* * * * *


The Princess Sabre is a perfect pickup at level 10. It's socket colours are perfect for a curse on Hit, HoI Warlords Mark set up, and works well with the build converting up to 30% of our physical spell damage into cold, it's perfectly usable up until Doryani's Catalyst acquisition.

Belt Of The Deceiver is another nice pickup available at level 20. It provides solid life and all resist roll as well as global physical which in turn scales our blade vortex.
The strength Implicit also ensure it's easy to maintain the strength requirement form Warlord's Mark during the leveling process.

The Gull is a great early pickup only requiring level 38, it supplements the builds clear speed whilst accumulating currency and provides easy colour for the helm sockets.
It also fits the gearing policy of having life and cold resist, so transitioning into a crafted helm will be annoyance free.


They hybrid catalysed flask gives a further option to handle any manna issues, whilst still gaining the benefits of the 'Herbalism' and 'Profane Chemistry' nodes for a solid amount of life recovery.

The Basalt flask act's in place of our Taste Of Hate
It still gains solid mitigation from the 56% increased flask effect.
Ideally you would want to roll one with 23%+ reduced charges use as this allows the flask to store 2 uses. At this point suffix choice is preference, I prefer Freeze / Chill until the Master Alchemist ascendancy cluster.

The Stibnite flask acts ince place of our Rummi's Conncoction.
It provides additional melee avoidance and I prefer an 'Of Warding' roll for protection against curses at early character and gear levels.

The Atziri's promise acts in place of our The Wise Oak.
This flask provides a great damage boost and will still be useful for the build in end game situations where there is heavy chaos damage.

Good luck and I hope everyone enjoys the build as much as I did
Last edited by mfeeney87 on Dec 12, 2018, 6:01:18 PM
Will there be a "guide" before league start?:P

Hoping so!
Prodigypt wrote:
Will there be a "guide" before league start?:P

Hoping so!

Yup, going to iteratively update the post as I construct it and then refine it later. I'm busy with work this week unfortunately but will make sure the basic concepts are up for Launch.
Last edited by mfeeney87 on Dec 5, 2018, 5:13:56 PM
is interesting
how to leveling?
bv with rider ascendancy?
Is there any videos?

EDIT: nvm that reddit thread has one.
Last edited by ŠaltasVolfiukas on Dec 6, 2018, 9:50:54 AM
SaveYou wrote:
is interesting
how to leveling?
bv with rider ascendancy?

In progress, I'd probably just go herald of agony pathfinder to keep it simple for newer players, but I am NOT an elite leveller. I level 1 character a league then spend the rest of it in end game.
How is this build with reflect maps?
Evultoad wrote:
How is this build with reflect maps?

It's a 90% cold comversion build, reflect maps are mostly a no - however you CAN commplete them with hatred turned off, making sure taste of hate is up, and Soul of yugul pantheon if you get an unlucky Vaal.
Last edited by mfeeney87 on Dec 6, 2018, 12:02:04 PM

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