3.7 Rusty Poisonous Steel (Lancing Steel Pathfinder Poison build) 2.6 M shaper dps

3.7 changes:

Packed together in single post in page 7 [with updates following]:
Click here

To put it short: The build got buffed:
* Passive tree have two new nodes "Poison you inflict deal damage 5% faster"
* Flat physical damage on skill, so it got crazy scaling.
* Potential 2.6 million shaper dps

But also nerfed:
* "monster can only get hit by one projectile"
This will change setup for faster clear speed to:
6L: Lancing Steel - Vile Toxins - Withering Touch - Void Manipulation - Deadly Ailments - Unbound Ailments

3.6 changes

-- No meaningful change in passive tree, same pathing with very tiny change with introducing new 'resourcefulness' notable.
-- Dual curse (Despair + Temporal Chains) is more viable than ever. Though Impresence still BiS Amulet.
-- "Spreading Rot" damage modifier is gone, a nerf to our burst damage of Vaal Blight. We didn't rely on it so much though, poison dps builds up slowly (at least 6 seconds constant attacking endgame bosses. Think of it as the spoin-up time of a minigun)
-- This change allow us to get rid of Wither Totem, and use Vaal Blight/Blight Totem instead to apply both. Freeing up more sockets.
-- New aura "Malevolence" is going to be another buff, if mana reservation isn't overkill.
-- New ring "Circle of Nostalgia" shall allow us to support Herald of Agony probably for maximum dps.
-- Onslaught setup on a secondary skill is now viable for bosses.

Lancing Steel attack modifier isn't that great, but it really shines for its ability to shotgun bosses with more than 3 projectiles (up to 7 if you are really that skilled).

With 5 projectiles fired by default, you can invest your whole five supports for pure poison damage. And with Pathfinder and poison nodes from tree, you get solid poison duration of over 6 seconds, and can stack up 40-50 poisons on bosses.

This is my highest level character so far in PoE, and the one with most achievements. I could clear every map with it in previous league, and make Uber Lab runs trivial. Shaper was doable, but survivability can get the better of it it sometimes.

And it sometimes crash instances[not anymore! 3.7], but other than that, it's a solid build, if not "meta".
3.5 Betrayal introduction:
Rather than putting together a build guide that focuses on end-game gearing and skills, I wants to put more of a diary to record my progress and findings as I explore the couple new Steel skills coming in Betrayal league. I'm not long experienced player, but I think I understand enough about mechanisms needed for this build to work as league starter.

Big part of my motivation to make this build, is inspired by @Angry_Roleplayer 's Toxic Rain Pathfinder Build, which is the build I played in last month of Delve league. It's very solid damage dealer, with good survivability, and more forgiving at poor connection/lag/delay conditions. Since I have bad connection in peak times of the day, it's easier to throw something and move away, while I still leech during lag spikes. I killed atziri with +500 Ping, so it fits the formula, and should give me easier times, especially with reflect immunity.

As I progress through the new league, I'll add more posts about my progression and current stat of build. And hopefully some people will find it interesting and try it.

Diary: (List of discussion posts)

T12: https://youtu.be/Yu7HiMBwpV4
T16 (Hydra): https://youtu.be/gtQ00hWslZY
T16 Minotaur: https://youtu.be/FaIYZxbZ8Co


Lancing Steel is a projectiles skill, which fire a good number of projectiles per attack. The theory is: increasing number of projectiles to shotgun bosses while keeping good clear speed with pierce. Poison with Shotgunning + Attack Speed + Pathfinder means greater number of poison application, increasing damage immensely.

How does Lancing Steel works?
First you must have a melee sword or axe, as the skill swings them to fire one main projectile towards mouse direction. After very short delay, 4 more projectiles appear from both sides of your character, and shot forward.

You have a huge advantage with Lancing Steel as you can actually control the spread of the projectiles. Aim right next to your character, and your projectiles spread in wide angle, covering almost whole screen in front of you. The angle of spread become smaller as your aim go further from your character. Aim almost half the way between your character and the edge of screen, and all your projectiles go side by side in parallels. Intensely shooting small area with all your projectiles as shown in the illustration below:


Please notice that this image shows only the angle of the spread, not the actual timing of the skill. Because Lancing Steel shoot projectiles at various milliseconds delays, not at exact same millisecond. So it's more skin to:

Which is important for "Cast on Critcal" builds. But here in our build, it means we can press our mouse button to swing our sword, and then move away without waiting and the projectiles will shoot on their own. The good thing about this is: Being able to shoot, whirl, shoot, whirl, without worrying. The monsters are being attacked by lancing Steel even during the animation of your Whirling Blades, which make the build feel very much smooth (Assuming you have no LAG!)

Here's pic from official release video to show it live:

The control over spread makes the skill more flexible for larger packs and single target, and allowing for shotgunning. Especially with the fact that adding more projectiles don't make the spread wider if you keep aiming further away from your character. That's important to keep in mind.


Unlike Toxic Rain, the physical attack damage of your weapon matter, not only projectile numbers and attack speed. Which means you need good two weapons all the way from start while leveling to finish. If your damage drops significantly at 3x or 4x or at any point, seek to upgrade your weapons, both of them. Also, using fancy unique with additional projectile and low dps like 'Ewar's Mirage' for anything but early leveling will cripple your damage.

On top of that, Lancing Steel have only (Attack, Projectile) tags, meaning our poison will scale by some modifiers and not others. So look for:

Projectiles number, Attack speed, Poison duration, Poison damage, chance to poison (capped at 100%), Attack skills deals increased damage with Ailment, flat added physical damage, all chaos damage modifiers, Damage over time, and accuracy. And to a lesser degree crit chance and multiplier, though these need specific conditions to work.

On addition to these, we have all the nodes of sword, one handed melee, and dual wielding in the tree. These where we get most of our damage.

Pros & Cons:

* None to minimum performance impact on low end computers.
* Most forgiving on bad connection with lag spikes.
* Hit & run build, encouraging fast and enjoyable pace while clearing.
* Have all the different kind of nodes available, allow picking best and most efficient ones.
* 100% uptime for flasks.
* Cheap to moderate unique items. With upgrade potential for rich guys.
* Immune to reflect at endgame (Almost!)
* Can go Dual curse.

* Main defense is RNG based. Shaper and tougher content can be Tough.
* Need more Int & Strength via items.
* Poison damage is hard to scale at early levels.
* Require constant upgrade to both weapons during leveling.
* Knowing when to swap supports can be elusive.
* Actual dps never show on character sheet, it needs PoB.

Flasks as main tool for Pathfinder:

As Pathfinder allow 100% uptime for all our flasks. Using both
to make poison benefit from Crit Multiple modifiers to skyrocket damage even further, and leech from chaos damage.

Witchfire Brew can be used from level 48 instead of Blasphemy+Despair, saving your mana to reserve something else.

Add Quicksilver with freeze immunity, and Life with Bleeding immunity, and you have full five flasks.

The expensive "Dying Sun" is our endgame flask though, and as you have no slot for it, it must replace "Witchfire Brew" once you get enough "Reduce Mana reserved" modifiers, and/or get the expensive amulet "Impresence" to use Despair freely.

Key active skills:

Lancing Steel/Herald of Agony/Herald of Purity/Despair/Whirling Blades/Summon Ice Golem/Wither/Vaal Blight

Support gems priority for Projectiles Scaling (Early starting tree):
Slower projectile
Vicious Projectiles
Pierce (replaced once we get the pierce node from tree)
Damage on Full life

Support gems priority for Projectiles+Poison Scaling (mid game):
Vicious Projectiles
Void Manipulation
Lesser Poison (Replaced once we get Fatal Toxins wheel from tree)
Maim (Replaced as we get 'Innsbury Edge' for weapon)
Damage on Full life
Added Chaos damage (Get it as 5th link, or even 4th if you are confident and have the currency to buy)

Support gems priority for Endgame pure Poison:
Vicious Projectiles (Will be replaced once we stack so many poisons with good duration and attack speed plenty from skill becomes hindering)
Void Manipulation
Added Chaos damage
Damage on Full life
Unbound Ailments
Vile toxins
Deadly Ailments (Replace Damage on Full life)

For more info: A brief on every choice of support gems

Skill Tree:

My level 90 character in 3.7 (Legion):
PoB link with leveling trees: https://pastebin.com/ckwBTWJ9

Betrayal 3.5 Tree:

My actual lvl 92 character from 3.5 (Betrayal) with 730k shaper dps :

23 Points: Finesse-Aspect of the Panther-weapon Artistry-Toxic Strike Wheel-Heart of Oak-Primal Spirit-Ballistic Mastery.

43 Points: Herbalism-Brutal Blade-Swagger-Fatal Toxin Wheel-Piercing Shot
== Now you can replace pierce for more important supports ==

70 points: Acrobatic-phase Acrobatic-Aucity-Dirty Techniques wheel-Ambidexterity-Golem's Blood.
== Around this point we will be doing Cruel lab and getting "Nature's reprisal" which will help immensely to sustain Virulence charges, and start shaping the build into real poison stacking.
== Gradually, Projectiles hits will be insignificant, and we can switch to more ailment/poison supports.
== Once we have enough currency, we should get "Spreading Rot" and slam it in the slot above Blood Drinker on Top Right of tree. It's great debuff for bosses as long as we use Vaal Blight.

From here, we go Fatal Blade, and the rest of life and crit nodes, and add some sockets if we have good jewels. Adding accuracy is also an option to counter all the dropping of accuracy in late levels.


Major: Soul of Lunaris
Minor: Soul of Gruthkul

Minor: Soul of Yugul (If you still do significant portion of your damage as physical in early/mid game)


Some of my leveling gear:

Then two of:

My (lvl 84) items for Mapping/Atziri

Lvl (+90) endgame/Guardians

Alternative Dual curse setup (Despair + Temporal Chains):

* Scaeva/Innsbury Edge/Beltimber Blade/Ahn's Might/Dreamfeather all are good uniques and can be dual wielded in diffrent combinations.
* Ahn's Might need 213 STR, but it's pretty rewarding. Though crafting can be stronger.
* Corrupted 6L chest with 4G2B or 4G1B1R can be a cheap option at start of league. It will be cheaper than tabula plus having some stats/res/life.
* Belly of the Beast/Loreweave/Dendrobate are all viable, depends on how you prioritize defense and offense.


* Use one handed thrusting sword as a base. (best is ilvl +83)
--- I use "Jewelled Foil" , because attack speed is better than crit chance/multiplier.
--- No need for "Shaper" or "Elder" items. Though you could get some interesting/useful mods if you have the currency to pursue them.

* Quality it to 20%

* Use single socketed resonator with (Perfect Fossil) as many times as possible to get best quality (+28% is good, +26% is ok. Reroll if you have smaller number)

* Use 3 socketed resonator with (Aberrant + Corroded + Serrated Fossils) until you get this mod:
-- "60% chance for Poisons inflicted with this Weapon to deal 100% more Damage"

* Check that you have two of these other Prefixes/ or have only one, with one prefix open for crafting:
-- Adds (47–72) to (98–123) Chaos Damage (Best prefix)
-- #% increased Physical Damage
-- Adds # to # Physical Damage

* Check that you have at the very least two of these Suffixes (You might get three easily with these fossils!)
-- #% increased Attack Speed
-- #% increased Poison Duration
-- #% chance to Poison on Hit (This will save you one or two passive points in tree)
-- #% increased Damage with Poison
-- Curse Enemies with Level 10 Despair on Hit
-- +#% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier

* If you still have open mod, craft one of these, depending on recipes you have unlocked so far (they sorted by order of importance, though some are more expensive than others. Some of the mods further down in the list is only effective if you have other 5 existing mods aligned perfectly for maximum dps):
-- Prefix: (100–129)% increased Physical Damage
-- Prefix: (86–105)% increased Physical Damage/(18–20)% chance to Poison on Hit
-- Prefix: (86–105)% increased Physical Damage/(18–20)% chance to Blind Enemies on hit
-- Prefix: Adds (13–17) to (26–30) Physical Damage
-- Suffix: (13–16)% increased Attack Speed/+(13–18)% to Quality
-- Suffix: (16–20)% increased Attack Speed
-- Prefix: Attacks with this Weapon Penetrate (14–16)% Chaos Resistance
-- Prefix: Hits can't be Evaded
-- Suffix: +(161–250) to Accuracy Rating/+(16–18)% to Quality
-- Suffix: (6–7)% chance to deal Double Damage
-- Suffix: +(26–30)% Critical Strike Multiplier while there is a Rare or Unique Enemy Nearby

Now you end up with some weapons like this:

If you don't have the currency to spend (say while levling), you can satisfy with any weapon that have the "60% chance for 100% more dps" and crafted "100% physical" , it will still be better than most uniques.

HOWEVER! Don't get fooled by perfectly rolled physical weapon which doesn't have the 60% more poison dps mod! Things like T1 %physical, T1 +hysical, T2 AS is perfect, but not for our build. So if you roll something like this: don't reroll it, but rather Sell for good money, and work on another sword.

Other note is: You don't need ilvl 83 very early in the league while it's very expensive. The 60% chance to deal 100% more dps is our greatest source of damage, and it's (ilvl 1) delve mod .. so any weapon can roll it.. what will matter is the other rolls will be a bit lower, but it could pass.
Last edited by givemelight on Sep 1, 2019, 2:27:14 PM
Last bumped on Sep 24, 2019, 4:57:09 PM
I'm not a poison expert at all, but what is the reason for going PF over assassin?

I think Toxic rain fits PF better than assassin because she gets 50% AOE. But for lancing/shattering, PF will not get any AOE bonuses.

The more hits u can get in per second, the better assassin becomes over PF because of increased poison duration.

Hollyphantom wrote:
I'm not a poison expert at all, but what is the reason for going PF over assassin?

I think Toxic rain fits PF better than assassin because she gets 50% AOE. But for lancing/shattering, PF will not get any AOE bonuses.

The more hits u can get in per second, the better assassin becomes over PF because of increased poison duration.


Master Toxicist
* Poisons you inflict during any Flask Effect have 40% chance to deal 100% more Damage
* You lose Virulence 50% slower

Nature's Boon
Flasks gain 3 Charges every 3 seconds
20% chance for your Flasks to not consume Charges

Basically this: Infinite Flask charges. So:
* 40% of all poisons are 100% MORE.
* Coralito's Signature (which is the biggest single damage source in build) up 100% time.
* Free despair buff allowing me to support Heralds without worrying about reserved mana. Supported Crawler do very decent damage when at full stacks, and add more poisons by itself. (It attack with up to 120% Attack Speed and 760% increased phy damage at lvl 20 gem, and up to 160% AS and 800% increased phy damage if lvl 21 gem).

True I can't fully exploit Crawler with Dual-wielding and having to put main attack on chest. But Crawler on 4L Emblamer is as good as 5L which is enough. lvl 4 empower is even more powerful than anything, but that's not league starter.

If all of this is not enough to compensate the lose of around 100% poison duration from Assasin, then maybe Assassin is better. Either way, I'm not looking for highest damage ever, just something I can start the league with and enjoy while having options to upgrade later. (Actually Cast on crit Lancing/shattering steel probably better than this by a mile or two, but my PC and Internet connection will not forgive me for doing this to them :( )

On the other hand, I'm theorizing about good way to support Herald of Purity in this build, but still struggling. So suggestions would be most welcome.
Thanks for writing this post. I think grelwood shank might be a great unique for this build. What do you think?
How you get poison chance - i only see a 10% chance to poision node in the tree - how you get more since you are speaking about 100% chance

edit: oh i found it xD
Last edited by Phiro on Dec 6, 2018, 11:25:29 AM
So the skill gems info finally got released: Here.

Couple thoughts on skills:
* Shattering Steel have lower base damage (49% at lvl 20), But 100% more damage as it travel further.
* Lancing Steel have 80% base damage, and 4 additional projectiles (total 5).
* Quality of Shattering Steel give better impale effect, quality of Lancing Steel give better chance to impale.
* The only important part from above is the projectile number which affect a poison build, so my plans lean more to use Lancing Steel.
* Shattering steel have AOE tag, while Lancing lack it. I didn't build around AOE anyway, and "Nature's reprisal" from PF support only chaos skills anyway. So this build have minimum AOE at all cases. We might be at disadvantage with shattering, but lancing would scale better with other modifiers.

* War banner have only two benfits: Increased accuracy + Adrenaline for 1-2 seconds when placed. It's also easier to get charges while clearing, harder at bosses. Though you should reach bosses with it charged already and ready to be used.
* Dread banner have two advantage: less enemy accuracy + Stronger version of Fortify for 1-2 seconds when placed. It's also harder to charge, as it charge only when you impale, and we do't have that big chance anyway.
* Both banners seems minor, and I'd say we have better chance using other aura/buff/stronger heralds. But should give them a try once or twice and get to you with feedback anyway.

Multiple Totem:
* I'm debating if this will be better than "Faster Casting" to support (Wither + Spell Totem). Not 100% sure it will work anyway, but would be alternative approach.
* It open up another option: Ancestral Protector + Multiple Totem. It could be used to block many projectile spells/attacks I think, and Attack speed is always good (maybe while leveling). Though it's still inferior to Wither at end game.
kaixiang94 wrote:
Thanks for writing this post. I think grelwood shank might be a great unique for this build. What do you think?

Thanks for your interest in the build, and your feedback.
I don't know if Point blank affect poison (it probably doesn't), but other mechanism "Iron reflexes" sound counter productive?

Either Grelwood or Beltimber, both are made rarer this league, and certainly more expensive. I don't think getting them will be that easy for league starter.

Phiro wrote:
How you get poison chance - i only see a 10% chance to poision node in the tree - how you get more since you are speaking about 100% chance

edit: oh i found it xD

Last edited by givemelight on Dec 6, 2018, 12:10:14 PM
As someone who has a lot of experience with Poison builds, i just wanted to say that assassin is probably the right option to go with. You also dont really need to change the skill tree that much and it will boost your dmg and survivability. PF i found is only really winning over Assassin if you go for Big Hit Poisons or you need some heavy flask upkeep, but coraltos and atziris dont really need taht much upkeep. The % to get double poison damage can also be achieved fairly easy with a cheap fossile crafted sword or axe and supported by a lycosidae. But rather than that, this seems to be a nice idea and i hope to see some more updates on how this build plays.

GL Exile
Interesting build. I love poison builds and am thinking of trying this out. What bandits are you picking?
M_E_L_K_O_R wrote:
Interesting build. I love poison builds and am thinking of trying this out. What bandits are you picking?

PoB link, if you are referring to OP, shows kill all.

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