[3.6] Blight Cast while Channeling Soulrend Trickster - SSF and Uber Elder viable

Welcome to my guide, Exile.

In this guide, I will present you a well-rounded and budget-friendly caster build that uses multiple spells, dealing Chaos damage over time, whilst being flexible enough to provide both good clear speed as well as great single target damage.

About this build

Pros / Cons

+ Very Budget-friendly (SSF-viable)
+ Great survivability (Mind over Matter, Acrobatics, Phase Acrobatics, Trickster Ascendancy)
+ Good clear speed and single target damage
+ Can run all map mods
+ Uber Elder and other endgame bosses viable
+ Can be used as a Magic Find character

- Damage over time cannot naturally leech
- Blight requires a close-range playstyle, making it more dangerous than other spells
- No corpse removal, making Corpse explosions (e.g. Porcupines or Vaal Detonate Dead) dangerous

How does this build work?

The build revolves around the combination of the Damage over Time skill gems Blight and Soulrend to achieve a combination of close-range single target damage and long-range map clear. We combine the two gems with the help of the support gem Cast while Channeling, to automatically cast Soulrend as we are channeling our Blight. We support this with the Trickster Ascendancy, that allows us to get a lot of bonus damage over time, charge generation as well as synergy with Mind over Matter to bolster our defenses.

Path of Building

The Path of Building build contains levelling skilltrees for every 20 skill points (change the display in the bottom left of the skill tree), all skill gem combinations as well as multiple Equipment sets (change the display at the top). The equipment will sometimes have additional notable mods in their mod description that can increase the build’s potential but are by no means necessary.

If you have access to Leveling Uniques, use them to speed up the leveling process.
My recommended starter setup is consisting of:
Tabula Rasa, Goldrim, Wanderlust, Lochtonial Caress, 2x Lifesprig, Karui Ward, 2x Doedre’s Damning, String of Servitude (with All Elemental Resistances) and 3 Quicksilver flasks.

When you enter Lioneye’s Watch, grab Explosive Trap and Freezing Pulse. Use Explosive Trap to kill monster packs whilst running past and use Freezing Pulse for tougher encounters.
If you already have a character in the league, grab an Onslaught support and link it to Explosive Trap. If not, grab Onslaught support after the Mercy Mission sidequest in the Tidal Island zone. Also get a Blight gem and level it on the side to have it available at a higher level.

At Level 4, pick up Frost Bomb and link Onslaught to it. Use it to kill packs whilst running past and to debuff tougher monsters’ Cold Resistance to increase your Freezing Pulse damage output.

At Level 8, pick up Added Cold Damage and / or Added Lightning Damage and link it to your Freezing Pulse to increase your single target damage.

At Level 10, pick up Flame Dash for mobility, Clarity for easier Mana management and Wither to increase your single target damage with Essence Drain at Level 12. If you have another character in the league already, you can also get a Spell Totem support to make a Wither Totem.

At Level 12, get Essence Drain and Contagion. Link Void Manipulation and use them as your main damage source. If you have the possibility, link Onslaught to it to increase your speed.

How does this skill combo work?

Essence Drain is a projectile spell, that inflicts a heavy damage over time effect on the enemy it hits. Contagion is a large area of effect spell, that inflicts a weaker damage over time effect on all enemies caught inside. If an enemy affected by Contagion dies, it will spread the debuff to other nearby enemies. If that enemy was also affected by Essence Drain, it will spread Essence Drain to nearby enemies as well.
First use Contagion, then hit one enemy with Essence Drain to make it spread to everyone and quickly clear packs of monsters. For tougher opponents, use Essence Drain and Wither (Wither is a stacking debuff that increases the Chaos damage the affected enemy takes). Whenever the guide tells you to link gems to Essence Drain and Contagion, Essence Drain links take priority over Contagion in case you don’t have enough links. Think of Contagion as a vehicle for Essence Drain.

At Level 18, grab Faster Casting and link it to your Flame Dash. Get Controlled Destruction and link it to Essence Drain and Contagion. If you have open links, you can also link Faster Casting to them.

At Level 24, pick up Malevolence to increase your overall damage output and Despair as a curse for tougher enemies.

At Level 28, we switch to Blight and Soulrend. Since we don’t have access to Cast while Channeling yet, we use the two skills in two separate setups.
Blight is for single-target damage, Soulrend is for pack clear.

Blight – Controlled Destruction – Infused Channeling – Void Manipulation

Soulrend – Controlled Destruction – Lesser Multiple Projectiles – Void Manipulation

If we have spare links, you can add Faster Casting to Blight.

At Level 31, we get Efficacy and swap out Void Manipulation for Efficacy in both of our 4-links.
If we have spare links, we can add Swift Affliction and Void Manipulation.
We pick up Blasphemy support as well.
If you can manage your mana with just a mana flask, disable Clarity and use Blasphemy + Despair. Otherwise, just keep Despair as a normal curse.

At Level 34, we pick up a Lightning Golem to boost our overall Cast Speed.

At Level 38, we pick up Greater Multiple Projectiles and Cast while Channeling.

We swap out Lesser Multiple Projectiles for Greater Multiple Projectiles for our Soulrend.

If we have a 5- or 6-link available (e.g. Tabula Rasa), we can now use this setup:
Blight – Cast while Channeling – Soulrend – Greater Multiple Projectiles – Efficacy – Controlled Destruction

If you don’t have a 5 or 6 link available to you, you can either try running the same combination without Efficacy and Controlled Destruction OR keep using them in two separate 4-links:

Try both out and pick whichever you prefer.

If you have a spare 3-red-link and have access to another levelled character in the league, you can get a Cast when Damage Taken – Immortal Call – Increased Duration setup to mitigate more damage.

From this point onwards, most of the content should be smooth sailing. Keep upgrading your gear and flasks if needed.

In Act 5, get the Spreading Rot Jewel from the quest Death to Purity to increase your damage further.

If you get a decent 1-handed weapon and spirit shield, you can use Shield Charge + Faster Attacks + Fortify to move around faster and gain Fortify to mitigate more damage.

Bandits, Ascendancy & Pantheon

For Bandits: Kill everyone and get 2 skill points.

Ascendancy order: Patient Reaper -> Prolonged Pain -> Weave the Arcane -> Swift Killer

Once you get Weave the Arcane, you should skill Mind over Matter and take the mana nodes behind it. With Weave the Arcane, you can quickly regain mana you lost from Mind over Matter by spamming the startup animation for your Blight. Spam-click the button for your Blight and you should recharge your mana in no time.

Major Soul of the Brine King (for the Stun immunity)
Minor Soul of Shakari (upgraded for the Poison immunity)
Minor Soul of Tukohama (for the damage mitigation whilst channeling)


In general, the equipment part of the build leaves a lot of room for customization, as it requires barely any unique items.
For your armour, primarily look for high +# to Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances. You can add offensive stats or bonus mana (for Mind over Matter) to the mix if you feel comfortable with your defenses.
Generally speaking, Armour and Energy Shield bases won’t do much for us, since their values get reduced due to Acrobatics, but getting the right colours on Evasion items can be tricky. Keep that in mind.
Synthesised item bases with good implicits can be amazing, too, if they fit our build.


There are two main ways you can play this build.

Dagger/Sceptre + Shield – Faster movement, less damage, higher HP pool, cheaper

Staff – Slower, more damage, more sustained regeneration, more expensive

I’d generally recommend playing with the Shield version until you can get a nice Cast while Channeling Shaper Staff.

1-handed + Shield

Heartbreaker is a budget weapon for 1c, but you can use any Dagger/ Sceptre (to be able to use Shield Charge) or Wand (gives more DPS but you lose Shield Charge) that gives you decent stats. Look for Spell Damage and Cast Speed (and on Wands Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier. Maximum Mana is nice, too.

Notable bonus mods:
Veiled +#% Damage over Time
Veiled +#% Chaos Damage
Aberrant Fossil Curse Enemies Hit with Level 10 Despair on Hit (drop Witchfire Brew)
Shuddering Fossil 10% chance to gain Onslaught on Kill (Drop Silver Flask for clear)

On your shield, you want to look for Maximum Life and Spell Damage. Cast Speed, Maximum Mana and Elemental Resistances are nice as well.

Notable bonus mods:
Shuddering Fossil 10% Chance to gain Onslaught on kill (Swap out Silver Flask for Clear)
Shaper base +#% to maximum Resistances (Cold, Lightning, All)
Elder base +#% to maximum Fire Resistance


Shaper Staves can roll the mod "Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 20 Cast While Channeling" that allows you to effectively get a 7-Link for your Blight / Soulrend setup. There can be better staves than this, but a Multi-modded Staff with CwC is a great start.


Look for Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances.

There aren't any outstanding enchantments for any of our skills, so I'd advise getting the "150% increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Lightning Golems" enchantment to get bonus cast and attack speed to increase your clearspeed and overall DPS.
Alternatively, grab any enchant for Blight or Soulrend that you deem nice to have.

Possible Alternatives (not tested yet): Hale Negator, Lightpoacher

Notable bonus mods:
Aberrant Fossil -#% Chaos Resistance to nearby Enemies

Body Armour

Budget Version:

Rare Body Armour:

Look for Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances.

Possible Alternatives (not tested yet): Cloak of Defiance

Notable bonus mods:
Veiled mod +#% Spelldodge


Look for Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances. Maximum Mana is nice to have.
Fingerless Silk Gloves are a great item base for bonus Spell Damage.

Notable bonus mods:
Elder base +#% Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Shuddering Fossil +#% increases Cast/Attack Speed if you hit an enemy recently


Look for Movement Speed, Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances.

Two-Toned Boots can give us bonus resistances, if needed.

Possible Alternatives (not tested yet): Bubonic Trails, Atziri’s Step

Notable bonus mods:
Elder base +#% Spelldodge
Shaper base +#% Attackdodge


Essence Worm is mandatory for the current state of the build.
Essence Worm allows us to run Malevolence without reserving 50% of our Mana (which would counteract our Mind over Matter playstyle). It increases every other Mana reservation though, which is why we will use a Witchfire Brew (Unique Flask) to curse enemies with the Despair curse instead of running it as a Blasphemy Aura (which would again reserve more mana).

For the other Ring, look for Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances. Maximum Mana is nice to have.

Notable bonus mods:
Veiled +#% increased Damage
Veiled +#% increased Chaos Damage
+#% Cast Speed
Shaper base +#% Spell Damage


Look for Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances. Maximum Mana is nice to have.
If you can, get offensive stats like Spell Damage or Cast Speed.

Possible Alternatives (not tested yet): Impresence (Chaos version)

Notable bonus mods:
Elder base +#% Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Aberrant Fossil +#% Chaos Damage


Look for Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances.

Stygian Vise can net you an extra Abyss Jewel slot. Otherwise Leather Belts are a fantastic choice.

Possible Alternatives: Bisco’s Leash

Notable mods:
Veiled +#% Damage
Aberrant Fossil +#% Chaos Damage


Having 2 Spreading Rot Jewels makes the use of a Wither totem nearly obsolete, unless we have fights in which we can’t facetank or stand still too much. You can probably drop these, if you want to push your DPS higher and regularly use Wither totems for boss encounters. I keep these in for mere QoL.

In general, normal Jewels are better for this build than Abyss Jewels, as there are very few Abyss mods that synergise well with it.

For normal Jewels, the most important mod is “+#% to maximum Life”. Get as many damage modifiers in addition to that, as you can. These include:
+#% Spell Damage (while using Staff / Shield, depending on setup)
+#% Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
+#% Cast Speed
+#% increased Damage over Time

For Abyss Jewels (e.g. if you have a Stygian Vise), the most important mod is “+# to maximum Life”. The damage mods here include:
+#% Cast Speed
+#% increased Damage over Time while using Staff / Shield (depending on your setup)
+#% increased Damage over Time if you’ve Killed Recently

An expensive, but very worthwhile investment would be a Watcher's Eye with "+#% increased Non-Ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier while affected by Malevolence"


Always get Bleed, Freeze and Curse immunity on your Flasks to avoid unnecessary deaths. I personally prefer Anti-Bleed on my Life Flasks and Anti-Freeze on my defensive Flask but do it as you see fit.

If you dislike Instant Life Flasks, get an Eternal Life Flask. In this case, get either the “Bubbling” (50% instantly recovered, 135% increased Recovery Rate, 50% reduced Amount Recovered) or a “Catalysed” (50% increased Recovery Rate) Prefix as well as the “of Staunching” Suffix (Removes Bleeding and grants Bleeding Immunity during Flask effect).

Witchfire Brew. This Flask is one of the two only necessary Uniques for this build. It gives us more survivability with its Smoke Cloud (blinding enemies, making them miss) as well as with the 100% increased Evasion and it increases our damage output by giving us a Despair Curse Aura and increased Damage over Time during the Flask effect.

This makes us go fast. Nuff said.

This increases our damage output and general speed.

Pick one of the two. Both give us more defense. Basalt gives us flat damage mitigation, Quartz a dodge increase. I personally run around with the Quartz Flask more nowadays, since the Phasing portion makes Delving a lot easier.

Gem setup

Damage dealers

1-handed + Shield setup

Vaal BlightCast While ChannelingSoulrendGreater Multiple ProjectilesEfficacyControlled Destruction

The first 4 gems are the staple for AoE clear.
Efficacy and Controlled Destruction offer us the most bonus damage to both Blight as well as Soulrend.
If you need more single target damage, swap out GMP for Void Manipulation (or for Efficacy / Controlled Destruction if running on fewer than 6 links).

Staff setup

Vaal Blight – (Cast While Channeling provided from Staff) – SoulrendGreater Multiple ProjectilesEfficacyControlled DestructionVoid Manipulation

Swap out Greater Multiple Projectiles for Swift Affliction if you need more single target damage (usually not necessary).

Since we have a second 6-Link available to us due to using a staff, we can supplement our single target damage AND gain a lot of life leech from an Essence Drain setup.

Essence DrainEfficacyControlled DestructionVoid ManipulationSwift AfflictionEmpower


1-handed + Shield setup

Shield Charge - Faster Attacks - Fortify - Culling Strike (with Quality)

Only use Culling Strike as a 4th link, if you have quality on it. Only qualitied Culling Strike grants an increase to Attack Speed).

Flame DashFaster Casting

We don’t have any mana cost on our movement skills since we use Weave the Arcane, which unfortunately disallows us from linking Arcane Surge to our Flame Dash for an overall DPS buff.

Staff setup

Either use

Leap Slam - Faster Attacks - Fortify - Culling Strike (with Quality)


Flame DashFaster Casting

For your movement.

Only use Culling Strike as a 4th link, if you have quality on it. Only qualitied Culling Strike grants an increase to Attack Speed).

We don’t have any mana cost on our movement skills since we use Weave the Arcane, which unfortunately disallows us from linking Arcane Surge to our Flame Dash for an overall DPS buff.

I am still not decided on which option I like better. Leap Slam grants us Fortify (more damage mitigation), whereas Flame Dash is slightly quicker, but runs on charges (bad if you need to backtrack a lot). Leap Slam also uses more links, so you could potentially run more links for a Wither Totem.

Since we are constantly casting and Frenzy Charges are a big DPS boost for us, Phase Run felt very bad for our build.

Auras, Golems, defensive setups and more


Socket this into your Essence Worm so you don’t reserve any mana with it. Increases our overall damage output by a lot.

Cast when Damage Taken (Level 3) – Immortal Call (Level 5) – Increased DurationVaal Righteous Fire
Make sure Vaal Righteous Fire is a high enough level to NOT proc off CWDT. Increased Duration and Vaal RF can be as high as you can level them.
Immortal Call gives us a short window of physical damage immunity and Vaal Righteous Fire gives us a burst of Spell Damage against bosses.

Summon Lightning Golem
Gives us Cast and Attack Speed, allowing us to deal more damage and move around quicker. Socket it wherever you find space.

(Optional) Wither Totem
WitherSpell TotemMultiple Totems / Faster CastingIncreased Duration

Usually not necessary, since you will apply Wither with your Blight automatically, but it can help in tougher fight like Shaper or Uber Elder, where you want to have additional uptime on your Wither to increase your damage output. Socket it in, if you find space for it. Multiple Totems or Faster Casting are interchangeable.

I will come back to finish the guide at a later point when I find the time for it, though this should cover the most important parts of the build.

Most of this information will also be in the Path of Building pastebin (including a Magic Find version of the character). If you have any questions or criticism, feel free to post them in this thread. The build in general is very flexible and can easily be modified into an ES/Evasion Hybrid with Ghost Shrouds or into a MoM/Eldritch Battery build. Take your own spin on the build and post your results here!
Last edited by seekerxdante on Apr 1, 2019, 9:33:02 AM
Last bumped on May 22, 2019, 8:33:58 AM
How would you say this build is VS say the just Soulrend version of Trickster? I am thinking this would be "clunky" Because you have to stand to cast?
With a level 20 Cast while Channeling, you will proc your Soulrend every 0,35 seconds. Unless you invest heavily into Cast Speed, Soulrend has a fairly long Cast time already. I don't find the playstyle to be clunky at all, quite the opposite. You can stop the channel at any time and don't have to wait for any animation to finish playing. This also means you can utilize it to regain a lot of mana you lost with Mind over Matter by spamming the startup animation together with your Weave the Arcane ascendancy passive.

I tried normal Soulrend and preferred the CwC version. A few friends of mine also made the switch to Blight CwC Soulrend, as it's the best single-target chaos damage option out there atm.
Last edited by seekerxdante on Apr 1, 2019, 9:12:00 PM
Hi, thank you for the Build.
Please check your Path of Building, it seems to be buggy.
(If i select a tree above level 20 it doesn't show the set points)
It's working fine for me, even if I make a new build and import the link from this post. Have you updated your Path of Building? Maybe older versions won't work, because of the reworked wheel in the Shadow area that connects to the rest of my nodes.
Well, today it works... maybe PoB made an update.

Just curious, doesn't the spreading rot jewelst require to have 40 int allocated to have their full power?
This is the best guide/PoB combo I have seen to date. Cheers
Arunderan wrote:
Just curious, doesn't the spreading rot jewelst require to have 40 int allocated to have their full power?

No, the key difference is the wording on the Jewel you're looking at. If it says that the stats / nodes need to be ALLOCATED within the radius, then you'd be right. Spreading Rot just says that it needs the Intelligence to be in the radius, but not allocated. That's why it still works. You can check by hovering over the Jewel once you placed it. It will tell you about all the stats it actually grants you.
Ah, i see. Many thanks :)

And yes, great guide. Thanks for it :)

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