[3.16] ShakCentral's Cold DoT For Everyone

     Are you looking for a build with a good mix of damage and defensive layers? Do you want to breeze through maps, crush your favorite content, and farm end-game bosses? If so, you're in the right place! Whether you want a league starter that's SSF and Hardcore viable, a build that scales well with investment, or simply a "chill" build with very low item requirements, you'll find what you need inside!

Discover how to:

✔️ Level quickly and safely without any required items

✔️ Craft your own items and save a lot of currency

✔️ Transition to Chaos Inoculation or the powerful Low-Life version

✔️ Crush end-game bosses while avoiding all of their moves

...and more!


After launch, Wintertide Brand looked viable for faster clear. I planned out an update and I'm happy to say that Cold DoT is faster than ever! Apologies for the update delay; I wanted to ensure the new version and passive Tree were finalized. I'm working on updates currently, and most current info is still accurate. Check out the new PoB below!

Wintertide Vortex PoB (version 1.2): https://pastebin.com/payiC4fL

3.15 and Older Updates

❄️ 3.15 tl;dr : Global damage, flasks, and mana nerfed. Cold DoT is still great.

❄️ Re-wrote and re-sectioned almost 80% of the guide. Most sections were moved and organized.

❄️ Edited entire guide for clarity and brevity.

❄️ New sections: Crafting, Anoints, Catalysts, Corrupts, Progression Guide, FAQ.

❄️ PoB: Added colored Notes, leveling trees, separated PoBs into Low-Life and CI.

❄️ Filters created and added to my public profile. See section 2.6.

Shameless Plugs

The guide has grown beyond the forums into an awesome community! Find us here:

❄️ Click here to join the Discord! This is the best place to be. We have a large group of helpful, skilled players. The latest info usually hits Discord first.

❄️ I stream Tue/Thurs/Sun at 8:30pm EST. Catch me live at twitch.tv/ShakCentral!

❄️ My YouTube has videos on Cold DoT, crafting, SSF progression, and more.

❄️ My "To-Do List" contains plans for all of my PoE content. Click here to view.


About the Author

I started playing PoE during open beta in 2013. I played off-and-on for years but have played PoE almost exclusively since 2018. I recently became a Twitch Partner and love streaming and helping new players get into the game as smoothly as possible.

I enjoy spellcasters and fondly remember endlessly farming Dried Lake with Vaal Spark in 2016.


The guide is dedicated to Enki, whose Arc guide gives me endless inspiration.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction to Cold DoT
 1.1 - What is Cold DoT?
 1.2 - Why Play Cold DoT?
 1.3 - Pros & Cons
 1.4 - Path of Building (PoB) Codes
 1.5 - Videos

Part 2: Leveling with Cold DoT
 2.1 - League Starting
 2.2 - Leveling Items
 2.3 - Full Leveling Guide
 2.4 - Leveling Guide Summary
 2.5 - Live Trade Searches
 2.6 - Shak's Loot Filters

Part 3: Playing Cold DoT (Split into 3a and 3b)
 3.1 - Ascendancy Points, Bandit Rewards, and Pantheon Powers
 3.2 - Gem Links and Skill Rotations
 3.3 - Preparing for Chaos Inoculation
 3.4 - Flasks and Jewels
 3.5 - SSF / Chaos Inoculation
 3.6 - Trade / Low-Life

Part 4: Crafting and Build Progression Guide
 4.1 - Crafting Help
 4.2 - Anointments, Catalysts, and Corrupting Items
 4.3 - Build Progression Guide

Part 5: Alternate Uniques and FAQ
 5.1 - Uniques You Should Check Out
 5.2 - Frequently Asked Questions

Part 1: Introduction to Cold DoT

 1.1 - What is Cold DoT?

Skill Gems

"Cold DoT" refers to builds that use Cold skills to deal damage over time.

Most Cold DoT skills create a circle of chilled ground that does Cold Damage over Time. They can overlap with other Cold DoT skills for more damage, but can't overlap with themselves.

❄️ Vortex is the iconic Cold DoT skill and is cast at your feet. Because it's both instant cast and has a cooldown, you can either cast it manually or assign it to your move key so it auto-casts instantly when its cooldown ends.

❄️ Wintertide Brand is a new addition in Patch 3.16, granting the build a massive clear speed increase. Wintertide is easy to play, but extremely complicated mechanically, so it will be explained more fully in the section below.

❄️ As of patch 3.16 and the new Passive Mastery system, Creeping Frost and Cold Snap have been (mostly) replaced with Wintertide Brand. It's important to note, however, that Vaal Cold Snap itself is still effective against dangerous league mechanics. See section 3.2 if you're interested in still using Vaal CS.

Wintertide Brand Mechanics

Wintertide Brand is one of the most complicated skills in Path of Exile. If you just want to play it and don't care about the mechanics, I'll start with a short summary. For players who want to understand more of the skill's inner workings, the important info is laid out ahead.

❄️ Wintertide Brand Short Summary: Use Brand Recall as much as possible while mapping, keeping an eye on your number of Brands in the top left of the screen. For single target, don't use Brand Recall, but instead manually cast a brand every couple of seconds.

❄️ Wintertide Brand Longer Explanation: Brands attach to enemies, applying a stackable debuff called "Wintertide" which chills the enemy and deals cold damage over time. It "activates" every 0.25 seconds, gaining a damage-increasing "stage" each time.

❄️ When the brand is removed for any reason (typically death, duration, or Brand Recall), it creates an un-stackable debuff called "Wintertide's End". The debuff is applied to individual enemies via a circular area effect. Like Wintertide, it chills and deals cold damage over time (equal to Wintertide's final debuff stage). An enemy can have multiple Wintertide debuffs and one Wintertide's End debuff.

Wintertide's End Example Image

This image shows the AoE that applies Wintertide's End. Note that the Celestial Brand MTX is popular and has a more noticeable AoE. This helps identify WTE, but also obscures some other ground effects.

❄️ WTE is not a ground effect like most Cold DoT skills. It's a single target debuff applied to every enemy in the WTE area and deals no area damage. This means that socketing Wintertide in a Rime Gaze helmet is pure downside, as Concentrated Effect would only nerf the WTE area.

❄️ Wintertide has become the clear skill due to the new 3.16 Mastery system. Before, Holy Conquest was a notable passive only available on cluster jewels. It makes Brands jump to new targets each time they activate. This effect is now a Brand Mastery, allowing Wintertide's End to spam everywhere and Brand Recall to chain the brands through multiple screens like a chilling Essence Drain.

❄️ Brand Recall teleports your brands to you, giving increased brand attachment range and allowing them to chain-clear ahead. As noted above, use Brand Recall for clearing, but casting brands manually on bosses gives maximum WTE uptime. See section 3.2 for skill "rotation" information.

❄️ Cast speed helps brands activate more often, and duration increases make the brand's attach longer and last longer while detached.

How Do We Build Around Cold DoT?

Our damage centers around near-perfect "DPS Uptime", a term I use for the time in a fight when you are actually dealing damage. Many non-DoT builds appear to have much higher DPS, but as soon as they move or dodge their DPS drops to 0 until they resume. Cold DoT is almost 100% uptime on full damage, giving us time to curse enemies and react to abilities.

Good Cold DoT builds do the following:

❄️ Stack damage and multipliers to deal high DPS.
❄️ Stack Energy Shield, Armour, and auras to become as resilient as possible.
❄️ Curse, freeze, chill, and dodge enemies to avoid damage.

Most players transition through 2 or 3 stages as they progress. Stages 1 & 2 have no required uniques, while stage 3 centers around a specific Body Armour. The stages are:

1. Life & Leveling. Stacking life during Acts 1-10 while gathering currency and ES items.

2. Chaos Inoculation. Stacking Energy Shield (and some Armour) and allocating CI, a keystone which sets our max life to 1 but makes us immune to Chaos Damage. Most SSF players stay CI forever, scaling it as far as possible.

3. Low-Life. We equip Shavronne's Wrapping to stop Chaos Damage form bypassing our ES total and take Pain Attunement for a massive power level spike. When built correctly, Low Life Cold DoT has very high damage and scales incredibly well with investment.

 1.2 - Why Play Cold DoT?

It's An All-Content All-Star

Cold DoT is incredible as a league start build, and can either scale to do nearly all content or provide a solid base character for a transition to a high investment build like Cast on Crit or Eye of Winter. "Broken" builds are fun, but they're prone to nerfs and are often expensive to assemble or can't run all content. Cold DoT is great at tackling everything.

Item Requirements and SSF

There are no required items unless/until you go Low-Life. You can kill Sirus comfortably in self-crafted items and even in SSF, savvy players often farm endgame content with investment and game knowledge.

 1.3 - Pros & Cons

Great for SSF with craftable items and farmable uniques/div cards
Can do nearly all content and easily farm Sirus/Maven with investment
Multiple ways to run Reflect maps
Can reach 9,000+ ES and 5+ million Full DPS on with high investment


Not a high clear-speed build
Legions & Blighted Maps aren't great. See the "con" above.
Can't run Hall of Grandmasters (but who can?)

 1.4 - Path of Building (PoB) Codes


Nearly any question has an answer in the guide, PoB Notes, or FAQ.

Wintertide Vortex PoB v1.2: https://pastebin.com/payiC4fL

Additional notes:

❄️ Be sure to have the PoB Fork! Find it here.

❄️ The PoBs have many skill trees. Use the dropdown in the bottom left to select them.

 1.5 - Videos

Part 2: Leveling with Cold DoT

 2.1 - League Starting
If you're new to the build, you're in luck! Cold DoT is one of the best league starters and has 0 required uniques. Our early damage is largely based on gem levels, so you can save as much currency as possible while rarely needing item upgrades.

Many people prefer to level with their main skills if possible. We can start using Cold DoTs for clearing at level 12, and can fully swap to Cold DoT after killing Piety in Act 3 Lunaris Temple. You can technically go full Cold DoT at level 28, but Piety has been bugged for months, and her portals are immune to Cold Damage over Time.

If you're new here, go to 2.3 and start with the full guide. Enjoy!

 2.2 - Leveling Items

Here are a few items to help you speedrun Acts 1-10. Put these on and sprint!

 2.3 - Full Leveling Guide

Click here for the Full Leveling Guide. Storing my leveling guides in a separate forum post saves a lot of "character limit" space in the main guides.

 2.4 - Leveling Guide Summary (Not Updated Yet for 3.16 Wintertide Vortex) 

Passive Tree

This is the entire 3.15 leveling tree. See 2.3 or the PoB for Act-specific trees.

Ascendancy / Bandits

1. Vile Bastion | 2. Void Beacon | 3. Frigid Wake | Kill all bandits

Gem Links


❄️ Frost Bomb / Orb of Storms for clearing

❄️ Stormblast Mine + Added Lightning for single-target


❄️ Creeping Frost + LMP + Efficacy for clearing

❄️ Stormblast Mine + Added Lightning + Trap & Mine Damage for single-target

Final Cold DoT leveling links:

❄️ Creeping Frost + Controlled Destruction + Lesser Multiple Projectiles + Swift Affliction

❄️ Vortex + Efficacy + Controlled Destruction + Hypothermia

❄️ Malevolence, Clarity, Steelskin (Level Clarity/Skin as attributes and mana allow)

❄️ Storm Brand (lvl 1) + Hextouch (Act 4) + Frostbite

❄️ Flame Dash + Arcane Surge

❄️ Vaal Cold Snap + Bonechill (Act 4)

2.5 - Live Trade Searches

To use this section in a new league, do the following:

❄️ Control-click your desired link below to open it in a new tab.

❄️ Change "Standard" to the correct league using dropdown menu on the right.

❄️ Click "Activate Live Search" on the left side.

❄️ This process is illustrated here:

Cheap/Fast Leveling Items




Lochtonial Caress

Axiom Perpetuum

Tabula Rasa

Early Mapping Items

5-Link The Beast Fur Shawl (Body Armour)

Well-Rolled Rime Gaze (Helmet)

Well-Rolled Bated Breath (Belt)

10 Chaos or less starter mapping wand

5 Chaos or less starter mapping shield

5 Chaos or less starter mapping boots

5 Chaos or less starter mapping gloves

5 Chaos or less starter mapping ring with attributes

5 Chaos or less starter mapping amulet with attributes

2.6 - Shak's Loot Filters


I've made Cold DoT-specific item filters for all PoE platforms. PC players have a Leveling, Strict, and Very Strict filter, while console players have a Leveling filter and 1 Strict filter.

To use them, click here to view my filters. Click "Follow" on a filter to add it to your in-game list. The refresh button will apply any future updates. You can copy a filter to edit yourself, but copies do not get updates.

PC PLAYERS: To use my PC filters, you MUST download custom mp3s and extract them into your filter folder. Click here to download the mp3s (Auto download link). If you have feedback or questions, there is a filter channel in my Discord. Enjoy!

Part 3a: Playing Cold DoT

3.1 - Ascendancy Points, Bandit Rewards, and Pantheon Powers



Lab 1: Vile Bastion. Stun immunity, high Regen, and allows us to focus on damage.

Lab 2: Void Beacon. Strong, but not insane. There's no rush to complete this ASAP.

Lab 3: Frigid Wake. It's a huge damage boost and gives general utility and Freeze/Chill.

Lab 4: Malediction. Absurdly strong. Socket Ele Weakness to complete the curse links.

Profane Bloom is a trap! We don't scale AoE, so the "pops" don't do much. Vile Bastion has great ES regen and lets us be Low-Life without requiring Presence of Chayula for stuns. I'd only consider Bloom with a curse-on-hit ring and Whispers of Doom for 2 curses.

Bandit Reward

Kill all Bandits. 2 points are useful, and the other options don't offer as much.

Pantheon Powers

Click here to learn how to upgrade Pantheons or view the Divine Vessel vendor recipe.

Pantheon Activations and Upgrade Order:

❄️ Use Gruthkul from Act 7-8, helping deal with physical damage.
❄️ Use Lunaris from Act 8 onward, giving move speed and more help with phys damage.
❄️ Fully upgrade Lunaris for powerful defensive benefits.
❄️ Upgrade Yugul as you're able in the endgame.

Pantheon Notes:

❄️ Upgrades are character-bound, so don't waste extra Vessels on upgrades you won't use.
❄️ They can freely change in town/hideout. Swapping them around can be useful.


❄️ Abberath can be useful if you're not yet immune to Ignite.
❄️ Upgraded Solaris is great for single target fights (Sirus, Maven etc).
❄️ Upgraded Arakaali helps with Desecrated Ground maps if you're Low Life.
❄️ WARNING: Garukhan does NOT work at all, as ES cannot take Savage Hits.

3.2 - Gem Links and Skill Rotations


For leveling gem links, see section 2.4 or the PoB "Notes" tab

Quality and Alternate Quality Gems:


Which Gems Should Be 20% Quality?


Gems to 20%:

❄️ Vortex, Wintertide Brand, and all damage support gems.
❄️ All Curse 4 link gems
❄️ Flame Dash, Arrogance (If you're Low Life without Prism Guardian)
❄️ Only get your auras to 20% if playing in a party.

Quality is useless for the following:

❄️ Arcane Surge, Frost Bomb, Auras if playing solo

Alt Quality Gems to Consider (Alt Quality vs Base Quality:


❄️ Bonechill - 10% Cold Damage vs. 20% Chill Duration
❄️ Efficacy - 10% Skill Effect Duration vs. 10% Damage over Time
❄️ Frost Bomb - 10% Chance to Freeze vs. 20% Cold Damage
❄️ Hatred - 10% Chill and Freeze Duration vs. 40% AoE
❄️ Hypothermia - 20% Chance to Freeze Chilled Enemies vs. 30% Chill Duration
❄️ Immortal Call - 20% Cooldown Recovery vs. 20% Skill Effect Duration
❄️ Malevolence - 2% Global Skill Effect Duration vs. 40% AoE
❄️ Vortex - 20% Cold Damage vs. 10% AoE


❄️ Bonechill - 10% Chill Effect vs. 20% Chill Duration
❄️ Clarity - 5% Damage on Full Mana vs. 40% AoE
❄️ Efficacy - 10% Reduced Mana Cost vs. 10% Damage over Time
❄️ Frost Bomb - 20% AoE vs. 20% Cold Damage
❄️ Vortex - 20% Cooldown Recovery, 20% Less Skill Effect Duration vs. 10% AoE

Endgame Gem Links


❄️ There are 3 different skill setups; 1 each for CI, Low Life, and Hardcore. The Low Life setup also has a slight variation for players who craft the "Max Investment" helmet.

❄️ If the league mechanic is rippy (a.k.a. Scourge) you can run Vaal Cold Snap in the final Body Armour socket. This will give you a huge defensive boost around your character.


Vortex - Cont. Dest. - Hypo - Swift Affliction - Ele Focus - Inspiration

Vortex + Creeping Frost

Vortex - Creeping Frost - Cont. Dest. - Hypo - Swift Affliction - Ele Focus

Vaal Cold Snap

Vaal Cold Snap - Bonechill - Cont. Dest. | Hypo or Efficacy

Always have Hypothermia. If you have an ilvl 68+ Shaper helmet, socket Efficacy and craft the Hypothermia mod (section 4.1).

Hextouch Curses

Storm Brand (lvl 1) - Hextouch - Frostbite - Elemental Weakness

Flame Dash + Auras

Flame Dash - Arcane Surge (lvl 6) | Vaal Discipline - Clarity

Do NOT link auras to Arcane Surge. It will multiply their reservation.

SSF / Chaos Inoculation



Frost Bomb - Inc. Duration | Immortal Call or Frost Shield

The 3rd gem is based on your Body Armour. For 6L Vortex, use Immortal Call. With Vortex + Creeping Frost 5Ls, use Frost Shield.


Malevolence - Sigil of Power - Defiance Banner

Trade / Low-Life



Frost Bomb - Sigil of Power | Steelskin or Frost Shield

The 3rd gem is based on your Body Armour. For 6L Vortex, use Steelskin. With Vortex + Creeping Frost 5Ls, use Frost Shield.

If Your Shield Is Prism Guardian

Zealotry - Malevolence - Hatred

If Your Shield Is Not Prism Guardian

Arrogance - Malevolence - Precision (any lvl 1-10)

3.3 - Preparing for Chaos Inoculation


This section contains help for 2 types of players. If you are either:

❄️ New to Chaos Inoculation or the transition from Life to CI


❄️ New to collecting and self-crafting your own endgame items,

this section is for you.

Loot Filter

You can't see items that your filter hides; it must show level 60-68 ES bases.

My "Leveling and Ossuary" filter highlights the best early endgame items and relevant jewellery in a bright teal/pink color. See 2.6 to download the filter.

Collecting Item Bases

As you progress through Acts 9 and 10 you'll gather items to craft for your CI transition.

This is my usual method that I've used with great success for years:

❄️ Collect 2 of each non-Ring/Amulet item. Stash them in 2 sets sorted by ilvl.

❄️ Collect 2 of each Resistance Ring and all Amulets with Dex and/or Int implicits.

❄️ As I find higher ilvl items, stash them and vendor your lowest ilvl item of that type.

When I start crafting (see below), I use the lower ilvl item for each slot. This lets me craft items to begin mapping while I slowly craft better items with higher ilvl bases.

I never regret stashing Rings/Amulets. They're the "problem fixers". They prevent me from hitting a progression wall later, unable to upgrade due to attribute or resistance needs.

Item Assessment and Crafting Order

Before you start crafting, double check your current items. Often you'll already have a few items that can last you through early endgame. They won't be great, but maybe you have Boots with 20 MS and 60 ES, or a ring with high resists and ES. Don't waste currency on items that don't need an upgrade.

When you do start crafting, work in this order if possible:

❄️ Wand
❄️ ES items with sockets: Body Armour, Helmet, Gloves, and Boots
❄️ Shield and Belt
❄️ Amulet and Rings

This order ensures you put the largest investment into the most impactful items.

Crafting Methods

Always start with the current challenge league mechanic. The majority of the 3.x patches have given loads of items and currency. Two examples from recent leagues:

❄️ In Expedition (3.15) an NPC used "artifacts" to craft items. By Act 10 I had a good "+1 Cold Gems" wand and a 200 ES, 100+ resist Body Armour while spending 0 orbs from my currency tab.

❄️ In Ultimatum (3.14), I tested crafting using only the league mechanic. I spent 15 minutes in The Quarry running them, stashing and refreshing the zone. 15 minutes of loot:


Lots of raw currency and several item bases. On Day 1 in Trade League the uniques would sell quickly and fund multiple early endgame items.

When you've identified the remaining items to craft, start with Essences, Fossils, and Binding Orbs. Avoid Alchemy / Chaos spamming, as those are better for trading or rolling maps. If you need currency, farm the league mechanic or Heist Contracts.

If you're unlucky and didn't get usable rares, fall back on Alteration spamming. Transmute and spam Alts + Augments, looking for an ES prefix and high resist or attribute. You can Regal Orb and then craft a 4th mod from your hideout bench.

SSF Costs and Examples

The most expensive option for endgame crafting would be Alt spamming every item.

So I did.


To show the costs of the worst-case scenario, I farmed the Ossuary for 2 equipment sets. I used Alt spamming to fully craft both sets with capped post-Kitava resists. Also, I tracked everything I spent (click here). Here are the items:



Transitioning From Life To Chaos Inoculation

Knowing when to change from life to CI is one of the most commonly asked questions. For raw numbers, I suggest new players try for 5,000 ES. Experienced players can swap with less, and veterans should switch intuitively.

However, if you want to stay alive and succeed, your main priority is not just stacking massive ES. High Energy Shield and Block Chance are great, but the best thing you can do for your own mechanical improvement is to learn how to dodge avoidable damage.

Most monsters aim where they first "see" you. To practice avoidance, try Flame Dashing into a pack, using Vortex, and moving slightly to one side before dashing away. That small side movement causes most monsters to miss you entirely, drastically increasing your survivability. The more you can avoid damage, the earlier you can go CI.

Crafting your items is rewarding and a great way to increase your game knowledge. See 4.1 and 4.3 for crafting help and progression goals. Take your time and enjoy the journey!

 3.4 - Flasks & Jewels



Flask Choices and Suffixes

Our ideal flasks are:

❄️ Rumi's Concoction - So good it's been nerfed 3x and is still the best flask in PoE.

❄️ Overflowing Chalice - DPS and more uptime for our other flasks.

❄️ Quicksilver - Movement speed is a "more" multiplier for fun. Moving quickly helps you kill faster, get more items, dodge enemies, and get more flask charges.

❄️ Quartz - Phasing is essential, and Dodge chance also helps avoid damage. Act 7 gives a Quartz as a quest reward.

❄️ Iron - The new Iron flask gives flat damage mitigation for a mini Steelskin effect.

Other options are regular Granite or Sulphur, Jade + Stibnite, and Witchfire Brew.

For flask suffixes, Bleeding / Corrupting Blood is the #1 concern. Run 1-2 Staunching flasks until you have a Corrupting Blood jewel. Use other suffixes to mitigate ailments. "Curing" for Poison, "Dousing" for Ignite, or "Grounding" for Shock. Iron Flasks can also roll "Runeflaring" for more Ward.

If your flask only has a prefix, you can beastcraft a suffix in the Menagerie.

Flask Automation

Patch 3.15 added 2 powerful flask crafts: Enkindling and Instilling Orbs.

Enkindling Orbs add a powerful enchantment to a flask, but the flask no longer gains charges during its effect. Our only possible use for Enkindlings are on Chalice, but I still prefer Instillings.

Instilling Orbs add enchantments that trigger flasks automatically when a condition is met. This is powerful and allows for multiple setups with large upsides and small downsides similar to Keystone skills.

We have 2 options for flask setups with Instilling Orbs:

Method 1: Strategic Defense

This method uses Instilling Orbs to automate ailment mitigation. For example, a "Dousing" flask can be Instilled to use automatically when you are ignited.

Upside: Reactionary defenses are automated.

Downside: We lose utility and quality of life by having flasks only trigger reactively.

Method 2: Full Speed Ahead

My current favorite. You need 2 flasks with "Used when Charges reach full". The others can have the same or "Used when an adjacent Flask is used". Place them so "adjacent" triggers are next to "full" triggers to automate your flasks.

Uptime: Maximum uptime on all flasks without ever needing to press them again.

Downside: Flasks are no longer reactive. More pressure on other ailment fixes.



Unique Jewels

There are 3 unique jewels that are fantastic for Cold DoT:

        Large Thread of Hope

Thread of Hope allows passives in its circle to be taken without other connected passives. We can get 5 strong notables with no waste.

Note that Threads come in 4 sizes, so make sure you get a large! Divine Orbs will change this size, so be careful about Divining the resistance mod!

        Energy From Within

EFW converts life to Energy Shield and gives a nice boost to our ES total.

        Watcher's Eye

Watcher's Eyes have random, aura-based mods. Good Eyes are extremely expensive, but if you want one, look for 2 or 3 of the folllwing:

❄️ Any Clarity mod except "Damage taken from Mana before Life"
❄️ Any Discipline mod except "Energy Shield gained for each Enemy Hit"
❄️ Any Malevolence mod except "Damaging Ailments deal Damage faster"
❄️ Hatred: Cold Damage or Crit Chance
❄️ Zealotry: Cast Speed, any Consecrated Ground

Regular and Abyss Jewels

You usually want Cobalt, Viridian, or Searching Eye jewels with 2-4 mods and a corrupted implicit. The "Corrupted Blood cannot be inflicted on you" implicit is vital, so get one ASAP. AoE, Damage, and 1% Mana Reserved are also good implicits.

Best Cobalt mods:

❄️ Cold DoT Multi / Spell or Cold Damage / Damage over Time / Area Damage
❄️ Spell damage while holding a Shield
❄️ Max Energy Shield
❄️ Chance to Block (Spells > Attacks)
❄️ Energy Shield Recharge Rate
❄️ Chance to Freeze

Best Viridian mods:

❄️ Cold / Area Damage
❄️ Mana Regen
❄️ Block Chance while holding a Shield
❄️ Damage over Time
❄️ Cold DoT Multi
❄️ Chance to Freeze

Best Searching Eye mods:

❄️ Damage over Time
❄️ Max Energy Shield
❄️ Chill Effect
❄️ Chance to Block Spell Damage if Hit Recently
❄️ Movement Speed
❄️ Onslaught or Phasing on kill

Cluster Jewels


We can use up to 1 Large, 2-3 Mediums, and 2-3 Smalls.

❄️ Larges should be "12% Cold Damage". 8 passives is best, and don't use more than 9 even in SSF (SSF tip: If you can't find Cold Damage, there are good notables for Spell, Elemental, Fire, and Lightning clusters as well).

❄️ Mediums should be "12% Cold Damage over Time" with 4 or 5 passives.

❄️ Smalls should be "6% Increased Maximum Energy Shield" with 2 passives.

Crafting Clusters

❄️ Large clusters want 2-3 good notables; any combo of Deep Chill, Disorienting Display, Prismatic Heart, and Cold-Blooded Killer. Using Frigid fossils is a cheap way of getting 2-3 of these notables.

❄️ Medium clusters want Brush with Death and Vile Reinvigoration, but it's exceedingly rare to roll both. Brush with Death is perhaps the most powerful Cold DoT notable in the game, so Alt spam for it early; the average is ~90 Alts.

❄️ Small clusters can be rolled for either Energy from Naught (+100 Energy Shield) or more Brush with Death. Note that Dense fossils remove Brush with Death from the modifier pool. Alt spam for your desired notable.

Cold DoT For Everyone: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2661120
Last edited by ShakCentral on Nov 16, 2021, 4:59:27 PM
Last bumped on Dec 6, 2021, 5:02:22 PM

Part 3b: Playing More Cold DoT

3.5 - SSF / Chaos Inoculation


Chaos Inoculation Basics

CI sets your maximum life to 1, but makes you immune to Chaos Damage.

This means your health pool is 100% Energy Shield, so you want as much as possible.

CI forces you to reconsider your approach to defense. All forms of life recovery are out. Instead, your ES recharges 20% per second after not taking damage for 2 seconds. It stops recharging if you take damage, but the Wicked Ward keystone makes recharge non-interruptible if it began in the last 4 seconds.

Vaal Discipline starts your recharge and works well with Wicked Ward or as a "panic button".

CI Items

These are some basic examples of good endgame items and modifiers. See 4.1 for item crafting and 4.3 for a progression guide with each item broken into tiers of upgrades.


The +1 to Cold / Spell Gems mod is approximately equal to 22-23% Cold Dot Multi or 80-85% Spell Damage, with Cold DoT Multi being the best mod at tier 1. Wand modifiers ranked:

❄️ Cold DoT Multi
❄️ +1 Cold / Spell Gems
❄️ Spell / Cold Damage

Avoid "Cold Damage to Spells" (see FAQ). Also, the vendor recipe for +1 Cold Gems wands looks nice, but there isn't a great way to craft it afterward.

A perfect wand would have +1 to both Cold and Spell gems. These are expensive, and there is a crafting method (4.1) that gives ~95% of a +2 wand's damage at around 50% of the cost.

2 wands examples; the 1st using the 4.1 craft, and the 2nd I used in SSF to clear all content.


Your shield can focus on damage or defense. DPS shields can roll Spell / Cold damage and +1 Cold gems, while defensive shields should be ilvl 68+ with Shaper or Crusader influence for the mod "Recover 3-5% of your ES on Block."

Good Influenced modifiers:

❄️ Elder and Warlord's physical damage reduction
❄️ Elder and Crusader's increased damage per attack block chance
❄️ ALL Redeemer suffixes

Body Armour

This is simple: high ES and max links. My examples are SSF; you can reach much higher ES.

Upgrade from 4 to 5 links ASAP in maps for smooth DPS scaling.

Good Influenced modifiers:

❄️ Shaper and Warlord's +1 Active Skills
❄️ All influence types' "Physical Damage taken as __"
❄️ Shaper and Crusader's ES on Kill
❄️ Crusader's enemy explosion or Hunter's Additional Curse
❄️ Shaper and Redeemer's Ele Reflect Immunity


Rime Gaze is best-in-slot and is a common drop for SSF. Chancing Mind Cages and "Unique Helmet" Bestiary fights can also get one. Until you have one, just use a high ES rare.


Fingerless Silks are best for implicit. Hunter gloves can roll Cold DoT Multi, and Delirium Essences give a "More Damage over Time" mod. Apothecary's Gloves are sub-optimal.


25%+ move speed and resists. Farm Merciless / Uber lab for the Mana Regen enchant.


Crystal Belt is a huge upgrade, and over half of the Shaper or Crusader mods are great. Bated Breath is amazing, and Heavy Belts help with Strength requirements.


Your Amulet does a lot of heavy lifting for resistances, attributes, and damage. Citrines are the best base with Shaper, Redeemer, and Hunter having great mods.


Like Amulets, Rings are a "fixer" slot. If you're resist capped, look for Moonstone / Opal bases. Crusader, Redeemer, and Hunter have great modifiers.

Sibyl's Lament + Yugul Pantheon grants reflect immunity if needed (May change in 3.16).

3.6 - Trade League / Low-Life

Low-Life Basics

A character is on Low-Life when their Life total is below 50% of its max value. This is usually achieved by reserving Life through auras to achieve Low-Life permanently. Low-Life builds then take the keystone Pain Attunement to gain a large damage increase. Cold DoT uses Prism Guardian or Arrogance Support to reserve our life pool, equipping Shavronne's Wrappings to prevent chaos damage from bypassing our ES.

Low-Life only requires Shavronne's, but most trade-league players prefer to use Prism Guardian as well. Low-Life has lower overall ES than CI because Shav's, Prism, and other uniques lower the achievable ES total. This makes dodging and manual defenses even more important. If you're new to Cold DoT or PoE, take your time moving to Low-Life.

Low-Life Items

Due to required unique(s), Low-Life items are less flexible than CI. This guide is intended for players new Cold DoT or PoE, so the items listed here are not fully min-maxed. With maximized items, Cold DoT can achieve very high DPS while still reaching 10,000 ES.


As with CI, the best way to get your endgame wand is to craft it yourself. Use the crafting method in Part 4 to make a powerful endgame wand.

Reminder: The "Adds # to # Cold Damage to Spells" mod will ruin EE and lower your damage.


Prism Guardian is the usual choice, giving the highest damage by reserving 3 auras.

Alternatively, follow this advice from CI: "Your shield can focus on damage or defense. DPS shields can roll Spell / Cold damage and +1 Cold gems, while defensive shields should be ilvl 68+ with Shaper or Crusader influence for the mod "Recover 3-5% of your ES on Block."

Body Armour

Without Shav's, chaos damage would kill us. Mandatory for Low-Life


Like CI, Rime Gaze is best. It has unmatched damage and decent ES.


Gloves can grant a lot of damage. Fingerless Silks have spell damage, Hunter influenced can roll Cold DoT Multi, and Essences of Delirium guarantee a "More Damage over Time" mod.


Boots are simple. Unless you have the budget for influenced move speed mods, get 25%+ Move Speed and ES / resists / attributes. Prioritize a mana regen lab enchant.


From CI: "Crystal Belt is a huge upgrade, and over half of the Shaper or Crusader mods are great. Bated Breath is amazing, and Heavy Belts help with Strength requirements."


Presence of Chayula is absurd. 60 Chaos res is beyond Tier 1 and it gives a large amount of ES. Rare Shaper, Hunter, or Redeemer amulets are an option as well.

Tranquility is the best anoint, giving a lot of damage. Tempering or Fertile Catalysts will bring the life-to-ES conversion from 20% to 24%.


Mark of the Shaper is a lot of damage. Your Elder Ring should have high attributes.

Part 4: Crafting and Build Progression Guide

4.1 - Crafting Help

Crafting Intro

Warning: This section won't help you craft 6xT1 mod, mirror-tier items.

This is for players who want to make good items using efficient methods. Some items are complicated, while others are simple. Many use modifier tags like "cold", "caster", etc. This is a bigger topic, so I suggest research / testing on Craft of Exile.

Harvest "Reforges" apply to their fossils(i.e. Frigid Fossils = Cold Reforges).

For fun, I'll use a totally real scale based on trade cost and SSF time. The scale:

💰 - Low expected cost
💰💰 - Takes some effort and/or farming to get the currency
💰💰💰 - High cost, impactful item, and worth working toward as a large upgrade

⏰ - Easy SSF craft. Requires a small amount of easily obtainable materials
⏰⏰ - Requires more materials and might benefit from dedicated farming
⏰⏰⏰ - You'll need to do quite a bit of focused farming for these crafts

RNG plays a large role in crafts, especially for SSF. Multiple 1x⏰ items could take a while to finish, while lucky drops or rolls could bypass an entire ⏰⏰⏰ craft.

SSF players should farm essences early and often. They are immensely valuable and can be set for infinite farming sustain with 11 watchstones and 2 Maven Invitations completed in Haewark Hamlet. Take the Haewark passives for +1 Essence and +1 tier. Put 2 stones in each inner Atlas region and 1 in the other outer regions. Haewark is now the only place for T3-5 maps to drop, allowing for speed farming Essences with guaranteed Haewark sustain.




3.14 Crafting Video.

Your wand is incredibly important, so we spend a larger portion of our craft budget on a great one. I recommend crafting this even in trade league. Most +2 wands cost dozens exalts, but this gives ~95% of a +2 wand's DPS for much cheaper.

For this item, SSF-specific info is highlighted in blue

Obtaining the Wand Base

❄️ Easiest method, worst base: Get an ilvl 2 Driftwood Wand from the Act 1 Coast.

❄️ Hardest method, best base: Turn in Dark Temptation sets with a level 2 character. Vaal the Obliterations, hoping for a "bricked" rare. Once obtained, get 4 more rare corrupted Demon's Horns (any ilvl). Vendor all 5 for an uncorrupted ilvl 2 Demon's Horn.

The second method is even harder in SSF due to limited access to specific div cards.

Crafting the Wand

❄️ Spam Deafening Essences of Woe for “+1 to level of all Cold Spell Skill Gems”.

If you're ok with lower Spell Damage, SSF players can use Shrieking / Screaming Woes.

❄️ Use Orbs of Annulment until you have an open prefix and suffix. If you annul Spell Damage or the +1 Cold Gems, start over with Essence spamming.

❄️ Craft “Prefixes cannot be changed", locking Spell Damage and +1 Cold. Use a Scouring Orb to remove all suffixes, leaving a rare wand with only 2 prefixes.

The "Prefix" and "3 Mods" crafts in this step and the next are obtained through the Pale Court prophecy chains and require a lot of SSF prophecy spamming.

❄️ Craft “Can have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers”, then craft "18-20% Cold Damage over Time Multiplier" and "21-30% increased Damage over Time".

❄️ The wand has 1 open mod. Exalts can only give bad mods due to ilvl. Instead, get a Fenumus beast via trade or Einhar missions and fight it to Bestiary craft "Aspect of the Spider". If you're Low-Life, swap to CI for the fight.

Costs and Notes:

❄️ After hitting +1 Cold, SSF players can stop anytime and use the wand as-if. If you stop after Scouring to 2 mods, craft Cold DoT Multi until you're ready to "multi-mod".

❄️ It takes 25-30 Woes on average to hit +1 Cold. This is usually 1-2 exalts in trade.

❄️ I'd expect to spend 7-12 exalts in trade league for this fully completed wand.




For "Recover % Energy Shield on Block", use Shaper Shields over Crusader if possible. Crusader has another suffix with the same mod "tag", making it harder to craft.

"Recover ES on Block" has a Defense tag, so spam Dense Fossils.

"ES on Block" requires ilvl 68. Higher ilvls allow other high tier mods, but also add new modifiers to the pool, lowering the chance for "ES on Block". Ilvl 68 shields average only 5 fossils to hit "ES on Block", but have a lower obtainable power level.

Crusader Shields from ilvls 68-74 have the same Fossil spam odds as Shaper.

Body Armour



Low-Life uses Shav's, but CI can use either Dense Fossils or Essences of Woe.

Deafening Woes are rarer than Dense fossils in SSF, but they roll similar ES for 50-75% of the trade price. 500+ ES (after bench craft) takes 6-12 Woes or 20-30 Fossils.



(⏰⏰ for Redeemer / Shaper Helmets)

Wear a Rime Gaze. If you haven't found one in SSF:

❄️ Frigid Fossils on Redeemer or Shaper helmets for "Nearby Enemies have -9 to Cold Resistance" or "Socketed Gems are supported by Hypothermia".

❄️ Dense Fossils on any other Hubris Circlet for high ES.



(⏰⏰ / ⏰⏰⏰ for Hunter Gloves)

❄️ See the theme yet? For Hunter gloves, use Frigid Fossils for Cold DoT Multi.

❄️ For others, use Dense Fossils for high ES or Rage/Sorrow Essences for attributes.




❄️ For Redeemer boots, roll for 25%+ Move Speed using Scorched Fossils, as they block the only "bad" Redeemer mods.

❄️ For others, spam Shuddering Fossils for 25%+ Move Speed.



⏰⏰ (The time investment is finding a Crystal Belt; the craft is easy)

❄️ For Shaper or Crusader Crystal Belts, spam Dense Fossils for 2-3 ES mods.

❄️ For others, use Rage/Sorrow Essences for attributes and an ES prefix.


No Ratings - Too Many options

Amulet are the most versatile item for Cold DoT. Viable options:

- Presence of Chayula
- Non-influenced, focused on ES and Resists / Attributes
- Non-influenced, focused on Damage
- Shaper / Crusader with powerful suffixes
- Hunter / Redeemer with +1 Int or Cold gems

For Hunter / Redeemer, spam Frigid Fossils and possibly add Dense Fossils for ES.

For Shaper, spam Frigid + Dense Fossils. You want Cold DoT Multi, and Dense fossils block bad mods while also adding ES mods.

For Crusader Amulets, spam Dense Fossils for multiple ES modifiers.

For others, spam any of Aetheric, Dense, or Frigid Fossils for Damage / ES.




Spam Rage/Sorrow Essences for 2 high attributes and / or good resists.

Crusader, Redeemer, and Hunter Rings can roll good mods with Aetheric Fossils.

Cluster Jewels



Larges: Prismatic and / or Frigid Fossils, looking for 2-3 Notables.

Mediums: Spam Alterations for Brush with Death; it usually takes ~80-100.

Smalls: Spam Alterations for Brush with Death or Energy From Naught.

4.2 - Anointments, Catalysts, and Corrupting Items



In the endgame, Oils are used to "anoint" your Rings and Amulet. Ring anoints only affect Blight encounters, and the current meta is stacking Scout Towers. Use 2 Amber Oils or 1 Teal + 1 Violet Oil to give your Scout Towers increased damage or range.

The most important anointment is your Amulet. They grant Notable passive skills, and more powerful Notables require higher tier oils.

It takes time to get SSF oils, but a few Chaos in trade can buy powerful early anoints:

Divine Judgment
Oils: 1 Sepia, 1 Teal, 1 Black
Effect: 50% increased Elemental Damage


Disciple of the Unyielding
Oils: 1 Violet, 1 Crimson, 1 Opalescent
Effect: +1 to Minimum Endurance Charges. 8% chance to gain a Charge on Kill.
8% increased Damage per Charge

Once you have Presence of Chayula or an endgame rare, the best anoint is:

Oils: 1 Azure, 2 Golden
Effect: 5% increased maximum Energy Shield, Transfiguration of Soul (Increases & Reductions to Max ES apply to Spell Dmg at 30% of their value)



Catalysts add modifier-enhancing quality to jewellery. They have different types and can't be mixed; new Catalysts override all previous quality.

Temperings enhance defense mods. Use on Presence of Chayula or a high ES Belt. On Presence they convert more Life to ES, adding 4% conversion at 20% quality.

Fertiles enhance life mods. They also convert Life to ES on Presence, but cost more in trade league. Remember you can't mix types, so only use 1 kind.

Imbueds enhance caster mods. Rings / Amulets with damage can use these, with the most powerful being Mark of the Shaper.

Intrinsics enhance attribute mods. Use on jewellery with high attributes (see 4.1).

Prismatics enhance resistance modifiers. Usage should be fairly obvious.



If you're interested in corrupting items, here are corruptions to look for:

#% chance to gain a Power Charge on Critical Strike
#% increased Area of Effect
#% increased Critical Strike Chance

# to Level of Socketed Gems
+#% Chance to Block
#% to maximum Chance to Block Attack Damage
#% Chance to Block Spell Damage
#% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Cold/Chaos Damage
#% reduced Area Damage taken from Hits
#% reduced Damage taken from Projectiles
You take #% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
# to Level of Socketed Duration/AoE/Aura/Curse Gems
#% increased maximum Life (Only if Low-Life and using Presence of Chayula)
#% increased maximum Energy Shield

Body Armour:
# to Level of Socketed Gems
#% increased Damage
#% to all maximum Resistances
#% reduced Chaos/Cold/Fire/Lightning Damage taken
You take #% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
# to Level of Socketed Duration/AoE/Aura/Curse Gems
#% increased maximum Life (Only if Low-Life and using Presence of Chayula)
#% increased maximum Energy Shield

#% increased Effect of Cold Ailments
# to Level of Socketed Cold Gems
# to Level of Socketed Duration/AoE/Aura/Curse Gems
#% increased maximum Life (Only if Low-Life and using Presence of Chayula)
#% increased maximum Energy Shield

Curse with Despair/Ele Weakness/Enfeeble/Temp Chains on Hit, with #% Effect
# to Level of Socketed Gems
#% increased Cast Speed
+#% to Spell Critical Strike Chance
# to Maximum Frenzy Charges
# to Level of Socketed Duration/AoE/Aura/Curse Gems
#% increased maximum Life (Only if Low-Life and using Presence of Chayula)
#% increased maximum Energy Shield

#% chance to Dodge Attack/Spell Hits
#% chance to Dodge Attack/Spell Hits while moving
# to Level of Socketed Gems
#% increased Movement Speed
# to Level of Socketed Duration/AoE/Aura/Curse Gems
#% increased maximum Life (Only if Low-Life and using Presence of Chayula)
#% increased maximum Energy Shield

#% increased Area of Effect
#% increased Critical Strike Chance during any Flask Effect
#% increased Skill Effect Duration
#% increased maximum Life (Only if Low-Life and using Presence of Chayula)
#% increased maximum Energy Shield
#% increased Movement Speed during any Flask Effect
Hatred/Discipline/Malevolence/Zealotry has #% increased Aura Effect
#% increased Intelligence/Dexterity/Strength
+#% to all Elemental Resistances

You can apply an additional Curse
#% Chance to Block Attack Damage
Grants Level 21 Clarity/23 Malevolence
#% to all maximum Resistances
#% increased Movement Speed
#% Chance to Block Spell Damage
Hatred/Discipline/Malevolence/Zealotry has #% increased Aura Effect
#% increased Intelligence/Dexterity/Strength
+#% to all Elemental Resistances

Bleeding cannot be inflicted on you
Cannot be Ignited/Poisoned
#% increased Cast Speed
Hatred/Discipline/Malevolence/Zealotry has #% increased Aura Effect
#% increased Intelligence/Dexterity/Strength
+#% to all Elemental Resistances

4.3 - Build Progression Guide

This section will assist you with Cold DoT build progression. It can take you from SSF to multiple mirrors of trade league currency investment.

This is NOT a guide on making currency or farming; it's simply an upgrade order.

SSF / CI Progression


SSF progression is different from a trade league "shopping list". The SSF Guide has 4 tiers of upgrades for each item slot. The names are a reference; you don't need everything "The Ossuary Tier" to work on items in "The White Map Tier".

Due to many RNG factors, some items will progress much faster than others. Your priority should be identifying your worst items or most powerful upgrades and work toward those.

A reminder from the intro: this is only a list of goals for each item. Crafting help is in 4.1, and the PoE Wiki is finally in a good place for further research.

"The Ossuary Tier" - Endgame Prep


Wand: 2 good mods - 50+ Spell damage, 17+ Cold DoT Multi, +1 Cold gems, etc.

Shield: Damage modifiers help early on, but mostly craft high ES.

Body Armour: 300+ ES and a 4-Link.

Helmet: Rime Gaze is best. Until you find one, roll a high ES rare.

Gloves: 90+ Energy Shield and Dex / Str / resists.

Boots: 20+ Movement Speed, 80+ Energy Shield, Dex / Str / resists.

Belt: Heavy Belt with 30+ ES and Str / resistances (Flask mods are ok).

Amulet: Resists / attributes as needed. Alternatively, craft damage and ES.

Rings: Resists / attributes as needed. Alternatively, craft damage and ES.

Other Items, Gems or Important Goals:

❄️ Get Vaal Cold Snap and Vaal Discipline ASAP

❄️ When you have both Vaal gems, level Vortex gems in all offhand sockets

❄️ Make sure your flasks have bleed removal and any ailments you're weak to.

"The White Map Tier" - Early Mapping Upgrades


Wand: Upgrade without using Essences, as our final wand requires a lot. Look for damage upgrades while you farm other items.

Shield: 225+ ES and 1-2 damage / spell critical modifiers.

Body Armour: 5-links are the goal. 300+ ES is nice, but prioritize 5-links.

Helmet: Rime Gaze ASAP. Look for enchants in Merc/Uber Lab.

Gloves: 120+ ES and fill out resists/attributes as needed.

Boots: 20+ Movement Speed, 100+ ES.

Belt: Heavy or Crystal Belt with any needed modifiers.

Amulet: Fixer item. If resists / attributes are capped, craft for ES and Spell Damage.

Rings: High Tier resists/dexterity/strength with Energy Shield prefix.

Other Items, Gems or Important Goals:

❄️ Put an Anointment on a decent Amulet.

❄️ Get a Corrupting Blood jewel ASAP. Vaal magic jewels to try for CB.

"The Yellow Map Tier" - Medium Investment and Focused Upgrades


Wand: Start the final wand. See 4.1 for the SSF stopping points.

Shield: Shaper or Crusader shield with "ES Recovered on Block" modifier.

Body Armour: 5L with 400+ ES.

Helmet: Rime Gaze with a relevant Uber Lab enchant.

Gloves: Fingerless Silk Gloves with ~150 ES or "30% More DoT" Essence modifier.

Boots: 25+ Movement Speed, 120+ES.

Belt: Crystal Belt with ES and attributes.

Amulet: Hunter / Redeemer with good mods and an Anoint.

Rings: High attributes, curse on hit, or Crusader ring with multiple ES mods.

Other Items, Gems or Important Goals:

❄️ Sell level 20 gems (3.2) with 1 GCP to a vendor for level 1, 20% gems.

"The Red Map Tier" - Targeted and Specific Final Upgrades


Wand: Finish the endgame wand craft.

Shield: Shaper Shield with ES Recovery on Block and 300+ ES.

Body Armour: 6L with 500+ ES.

Helmet: Corrupted Rime Gaze with enchant.

Gloves: Hunter Fingerless Silk Gloves with ~150 ES and Cold DoT Multi.

Boots: Redeemer Boots with 2+ speed mods (Onslaught / Elusive) and 100+ ES.

Belt: Crusader Crystal Belt with multiple ES modifiers.

Amulet: Hunter Amulet with +1 gems or Cold DoT Multi and ES / Damage mods.

Rings: Crusader Ring with flat and % ES or Curse-on-hit Ring.

Other Items, Gems or Important Goals:

❄️ Anoint Tranquility.

❄️ Look for build-altering uniques and adjust your tree / items accordingly.

Trade / Low-Life Progression

Trade League Leveling

❄️ Hoard currency. Recent leagues have showered players with good items, and saving currency allows Trade players to quickly purchase endgame items.

❄️ See 2.5 for links to buy items in Acts 9-10. Start with Rime Gaze and a wand.

❄️ If you want to go Low-Life early, level Arrogance ASAP to lower its mana reservation.

❄️ CI timing is flexible. I prefer to swap in Act 10, do Merc Lab, and start mapping right after Kitava. If you swap afterward, lower resists may cause issues while farming.


❄️ You can buy CI upgrades, but I suggest saving for an early Low-Life switch.

❄️ Buy a 4-5L Shavronne’s ASAP. Socket gems (see 3.2) and go Low-Life.

❄️ Buy items with high ES. Try for 125-150 on Boots and 150-175 on Gloves.

❄️ Level 21 Vortex (And Creeping Frost if applicable)

❄️ Amulet with 3+ decent modifiers. Anoint Divine Judgment (see 4.2).

❄️ Brush with Death + Vile Reinvigoration Medium Cluster

❄️ Prism Guardian

❄️ Large Thread of Hope

❄️ Rumi’s Concoction & Energy From Within

❄️ 6-Link Shavronne’s Wrappings

❄️ Level 21 Vaal Cold Snap

❄️ Rime Gaze with Lab enchant (40% Vortex damage is most common)

❄️ Endgame Wand (See section 4.1)

❄️ Mark of the Shaper & Elder Unset Ring

❄️ Awakened Ele Focus, Controlled Destruction (x2), Swift Affliction

❄️ Presence of Chayula (Not mandatory but powerful)

❄️ Tempering Catalysts on Presence of Chayula

❄️ Azure + 2 Golden oils for Tranquility Anoint (see 4.2)

❄️ ilvl 82+ Elder Unset with T1/T2 Strength AND Dexterity

❄️ Crusader Crystal Belt with flat ES, % ES, and maybe Crusader suffix(s)

❄️ 8 passive Large Cold Cluster with 3 notables

❄️ 2x Small ES Cluster with Energy From Naught (or Brush with Death)

❄️ Brush with Death + Vile Reinvigoration Medium Cluster

This is where upgrades get both extremely expensive AND powerful

❄️ Fingerless Silk Gloves with high ES and either Cold DoT Multi or More DoT

❄️ Redeemer Boots with high ES and multiple movement speed mods.

❄️ Wand with fractured "+1 Spell gems". Craft using the 4.1 method for a +2.

❄️ +1/+1 Amulet

❄️ 21/23 Gems

❄️ Watcher’s Eye with 2-3 Cold DoT modifiers

❄️ Double Corrupted items: Prism Guardian, Shavronne's Wrappings, etc

Part 5: Alternate Uniques and FAQ

 5.1 - Uniques You Should Check Out

These uniques have various effects for Cold DoT or ES builds. If you want to put your own spin on Cold DoT, start here!

5.2 - Frequently Asked Questions

❄️ Does the Elemental Focus Support prevent me from freezing and/or chilling?

ANSWER: No. Ele Focus only prevents "hits" of a supported skill from freezing and chilling. The chilling ground that we leave behind still applies chill.

❄️ How do I deal with porcupines? I get one shot all the time!

ANSWER: Physical damage is the build's biggest weakness and I'm working to fix that. However, high block chance, a Granite flask, and ES recovery on kill from Brush with Death will help you handle porcupines.

❄️ My wand has "Adds x to x Cold Damage". Does this ruin Elemental Equilibrium?

ANSWER: No! Any "Adds x to x __ Damage" modifier without the words "to spells" is a local mod only affecting attacks. The only mod you need to avoid is specifically "Adds x to x Cold Damage TO SPELLS".

❄️ Why don't we run Profane Bloom?

ANSWER: See Section 3.1. Vile Bastion and Malediction are better. Hexproof can be annoying for bosses, so you might consider rerolling maps with hexproof if needed.

❄️ Why don't we run Blasphemy for our curses?

ANSWER: As with Elemental Equilibrium, we don't need to curse anything except bosses. Blasphemy would reserve so much mana that we would either need to alter our cluster jewel setup or remove multiple auras. Using Storm Brand already enables Elemental Overload and Equilibrium, so applying curses at the same time is low investment for high return.

❄️ My map is corrupted with Ele Reflect and/or No Regen. Can I still run it?

ANSWER: (Mostly) Yes!

You have 3 ways to run reflect maps:

1. Swap Vortex with Wintertide Brand for reflect maps. Wintertide doesn't hit, so it can't reflect. You need to remove triggered skills and Storm Brand too, so I prefer method 2.

2. Use the Yugul Pantheon and equip Sibyl's Lament as your left ring to become immune.

3. Use craftable Watchstones and roll reflect immunity, using that stone only for reflect maps.

No regen maps got worse in 3.15. The best way to run them now is with multiple Enduring Mana Flasks, but they're usually not worth the effort anymore.

❄️ Why don't we play Trickster instead of Occultist?

ANSWER: Trickster is great. It's more defensive, Patient Reaper is the best ascendancy skill in PoE, and has easier access to move and cast speed. Occultist has much more DPS and easier access to Reduced Mana Reservation and %ES.

❄️ Is there a difference between Regeneration, Recharge, and Recovery?

ANSWER: Yes, and it's important to know the difference!

Regeneration is a constant effect, limited only by how much you can get. ES does not naturally regen and requires either item mods or Zealot's Oath.

Recharge is an effect specific to Energy Shield. Recharge naturally begins after not taking Energy Shield damage for 2 seconds, and restores a base rate of 20% of your ES total per second. Recharge naturally stops when you take Energy Shield damage, but this can be changed with the Wicked Ward keystone. The delay before recharge begins and the recharge rate can also be modified through the skill tree or item modifiers.

Recovery is a catch-all term that covers all Life, Mana, or ES gains. Regeneration, Recharge, Leech, etc are all considered "recovery". This means anything increasing "Recovery rate" is powerful, as it increases both Regeneration and Recharge.

❄️ Why don't we cap block and use Glancing Blows?

ANSWER: Glancing Blows was severely nerfed a few leagues ago. You now take 30% more damage than before (65 is 30% higher than the original 50) and the keystone can no longer be reached efficiently with a Thread of Hope. If you have a high ES total and a Shield with "Recover 5% of Energy Shield on block", you can still take GB, but it takes a significant investment in skill point pathing.

❄️ Can you please explain Elemental Equilibrium? I don't get it.

ANSWER: You're not alone! This keystone can be confusing even to long-time PoE players. There are 3 things to understand about EE for the Cold DoT build:

1. EE procs/triggers for 5 seconds when a monster is hit with Elemental Damage. The monster gains resistance to the element(s) that hit thewm, but lose TWICE as much resistance to other elements.

2. An enemy can only have 1 "proc" of EE at a time, meaning that previous EE procs are overridden as soon as the enemy is hit again.

3. Our Cold DoT skills hit the enemy once, but the resulting Damage Over Time doesn't hit. You can override the "bad" EE cold resistance proc by using a skill that hits constantly to immediately override the bad EE with a fresh, beneficial EE proc. The best way to do this currently is with Storm Brand.

Cold DoT For Everyone: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2661120
Last edited by ShakCentral on Oct 15, 2021, 1:15:08 AM
Parts 4 and 5 have been reworked and are now located in the comment above after Part 3B.
Cold DoT For Everyone: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2661120
Last edited by ShakCentral on Oct 15, 2021, 1:15:17 AM
Reserved comment for the future.

Using this comment space to petition GGG for a change to the default forum font color. This default tan-on-black is really rough to look at. The inability to edit colors on spoiler tags enhances this issue (afaik this is a BBCODE limitation).

By contrast, this is the color #c0c0c0. I use this as the default for Cold DoT for Everyone, but having to add a [.span color="c0c0c0"][./span] on the ends of every single block of text is frustrating and incredibly time-consuming. Any default font color closer to a light grey or white is both more readable and visually appealing. PLEASE GGG
Cold DoT For Everyone: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2661120
Last edited by ShakCentral on Sep 9, 2021, 10:32:31 AM
Still very legal and very cool :)

Thanks for this, I just found my next league starter I think.
LabRat001 wrote:
Still very legal and very cool :)

Thanks for this, I just found my next league starter I think.

I've played PoE for something like 10 league launches, and starting Vortex is by far my favorite. It's absurdly cheap on day 1, but then you somehow find yourself easily downing Uber Elder like 4 days later..
Cold DoT For Everyone: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2661120
Last edited by ShakCentral on Jan 3, 2020, 3:42:21 PM
Looks like a descent build. Can you use HoI to boost clear speed?
any tip for crafting wands?
used tons of fossils and alters but nerver happened to get cold damage over time multiplier + +1 cold skill gem or spell damage.
Playing this build as a CI until I reach lvl 83 and can transition to low-life as a T16 farmer. Should I be using normal Cold Snap or Vaal Cold Snap? Can't find any playstyle mechanics info with regards to how you play the build. I also don't find myself ever using Tempest Shield, can I swap that out for a Portal gem instead?

thanks for redoing it, looking forward to the finished version! :)

I propose you put in paragraph about how EE stops to work if you have added cold damage on the gear, i think (not entirely sure!) your old guide was missing this.
Personally i didnt know that for the longest time and was always wondering why EE seemed to make things harder, and enemies were always listed with the cold resistance...

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