[3.9] Zizaran's Essence Drain Trickster Guide

3.9 Zizaran's Essence Drain / Contagion Trickster -League Start

Please Read

Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/zizaran

Twitter : https://twitter.com/Zizaran

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/user/Pcchild88

Discord : https://discord.gg/Zizaran

Path of building download: https://github.com/Openarl/PathOfBuilding/releases

Path of building links :
Essence Drain : https://pastebin.com/hEs4bXZn
Pros AND Cons


- Can level with the main setup from the start of the game
- No unique required
- Great clear speed
- High single target damage
- Tanky with evasion & Ascendancy
- Great league starter


- Does take a while get to use to the "playstyle"
- less survival then other league starter
Gem Setups

Essence Drain
Essence Drain - Efficacy - Controlled Destruction - Swift Affliction - Void Manipulation - Energy Leech or Empower(level 3)

Contagion - Increased Area of Effect - Intensify - Faster Casting

Vaal Blight - Efficacy - Infused Channeling - Controlled Destruction

Vaal Discipline

Dash (Early game)
Flame dash - Arcane Surge (level 7)
Shield Charge - Faster Attacks - Fortify

Vaal Molten Shell - Cast when Damage taken - Tempest Shield
Decoy Totem

Note : Keep Cast when Damage taken gem low to make sure it will proc on smaller damage taken

Skill-trees, Ascendancy, Bandits & Pantheon

Ascendancy class : Trickster

Bandits : Kill all

Ascendancy Points, in priority :
Swift Killer - Ghost Dance - Patient Reaper - Escape Artist

Passive tree
46 points with Normal lab - https://tinyurl.com/wufg54g
75 points with Cruel lab - https://tinyurl.com/v938bg8
93 points with Merc lab - https://tinyurl.com/r7egy2j
118 points with Uber lab - https://tinyurl.com/r7cnmah

Note: That if you at any point need more intelligence or dexterity to level your gems then simply pick up the 30+ notables in the skill-tree and/or search the vendors for a Lapis/Jade Amulet.

Major - Soul of Solaris - Reduce physical damage taken when upgraded area damage and crits
Minor - Soul of Shakari - Reduce chaos damage taken and when upgraded makes immune to poison

First priority
2.Elemental Resistances
3.Chaos Damage or increase damage (only on rings and gloves)
4.Stats for using skills ie Intelligence, Strength ,Dexterity

Note : Make sure that your resistances when killing Kitava for the Second time that u have 75% to all elemental resistances.Being resistance cap allows your character to take less damage from those elemental. Here are the points when you lose resistances in the acts:

Kitava, Act 5:

- 35%+ to all elemental resistances

Kitava & Maps, Act 10:

- 75%+ to all elemental resistances

Gear setups in the path of building as well


- Constitution
- Bravery
- Crystal Skin
- Herbalism

Main hand
Cerberus Limb (unique weapon)
or a Rare wand with
- Chaos damage over time multiplier
- Spell damage
= Chaos damage

Spreading Rot (unique jewel)
Rare jewels
- Maximum Life or % Life
- Chaos damage over time multiplier
- Damage increase or chaos damage


Seething or Bubbling Divine Life Flask
Basalt Flask
Silver Flask
Jade Flask
Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (map clear speed)

Note : life flask should be Bubbling or Seething to help with refilling your hp pool as fast as you can

Note : On these flasks you require to have bleed remove (Staunching) , Curse remove (Warding) and Freeze remove (Heat).Rolling them with Chemist for reduce charges for more uses of your flasks



1. Level 1 - 8
Freezing pulse - onslaught

2. Level 8 +
Blight (vaal Blight) - Void manipulation - Infused Channeling

3. Level 8 +
Essence Drain - Void manipulation - Arcane Surge - Controlled Destruction
Contagion - Void manipulation - Arcane Surge

4. Picking up Decoy totem at level 4 for extra defense

5. Farm blood aqueduct for the humility card for a 6 link in the start of the league

6. Rolling Seething or Bubbling on your life flask as soon as you can

For more tips and tricks look at these videos or come by the stream

Hardcore ssf tips and tricks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP-b_BsPxbE&t=622s
Full Racing/leveling Guide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKrvaUjgezU

Unique items

-Wanderlust (boots)
-Goldrim (helm)
-Tabula Rasa (body armor)
-Le Heup of All (ring) (level 24)

Note: These items will be "expensive" during the first 2-3 days of a new league and after that rapidly drop in price to the point where they shouldn't cost more than 1 chaos orb at most.
It is completely fine to just stick to rare items during the leveling process.


@Zizaran ingame
Last edited by Zizaran on Dec 13, 2019, 6:41:21 PM
Last bumped on Mar 25, 2020, 6:33:11 AM
yo ziz,i think you posted the wrong pastebin.

Still,thanks and good luck with the race.
Hey ziz, thanks for the build - you've posted the wrong POB link though! :O

Correct link is here (via youtube channel): https://pastebin.com/hEs4bXZn
Last edited by GreyWarriorz on Dec 13, 2019, 6:26:37 PM
pain attunement an mind over matter is a mistake or what ?
Last edited by AdmiralCarambas on Dec 21, 2019, 4:52:30 AM
Hi Ziz, having fun with this build as my first time with essence drain.

Can you please explain how intensity helps regarding contagion? My understanding is that contagion really does very little dmg and is only really there to spread ED. So why have a skill that increases its dmg ONLY IF you have to stand still and cast it 4 times?

Also less area of effect per stack? That also goes against us wanting it to have wide area to spread better through a map.

What am I missing?

Also, blight tends to be the main damage dealer in boss fights, correct? Would it make sense to have a 6L blight setup and swap that into the 6L for harder bosses to increase dps?
Last edited by Shaddolf on Dec 23, 2019, 4:02:36 PM
The intensity gem actually increases the area of effect (currently +53% aoe @lvl 19). Once you cast contagion you get a stack of intensity (up to 4) which lowers the area of effect but is lost as soon as you move.

Blight is our secondary damage for when we can stand and channel. Our primary, and by far the most damage, is the essence drain. Hit a boss with this and run around trying not to die while it takes 1/2 their HP. Or hit them with ED and then blight to slow them and deal even more damage if you can face tank.

Blight also procs infused channeling support which increases damage from skills with matching tags (spell, chaos, aoe, channeling, and duration in this case). On top of that we also have our passive from the Swift Killer which grants us power and frenzy charges while channeling. (Up to 4 each)

All of these scale very well with ED making it out damage blight over time.
Last edited by Kilgu on Dec 28, 2019, 10:45:44 PM
Ah right. I'm in t14 maps now and my biggest gripe is the slow dps on bosses.

I'm sitting on about 6ex atm and I'm not sure what I should be spending it on, whether I should convert to CI or if there are other things I could better spend it on? Profile is open if anyone wants to take a peek and comment, thanks!
Honestly some of the bosses have a huge HP pool. Shaper/Elder have something like 6x their usual HP. Not much can be done but you can always try to sacrifice some ES on your first ring for some more chaos damage.

If defenses are no issue for you maybe swap out for a rare wand with "Disintegrating" prefix (+34-38% to chaos damage over time multiplier) and spell shield (like +50% spell damage).

Also try some +4% to chaos damage over time multiplier gems with some % or flat life.

It will shave some time off the fights but may leave you pretty low on hp/defenses.

If you look at my current setup you I have capped ele and chaos res with 5.5k hp and 1.3k ES. With that I do 9.8k per hit and 136k DoT dps in PoB.
I found something that has really helped me level faster with this build. Instead of the Orb of Storms, I started using Holy Flame Totem and it kills nicely and I can finish them off with ED. Probably will dump it later but for now at level 35 it is helping me survive. Just thought I would share.
The start of the HC League through a build with a 31% chance of a block, a scepter from the Architect from the mine and a shield from two shields with a unique map.
Energy leech, which drain ES, 1.5-1.9% of FLAT ED damage (1-100 es per sec, about nothing)
Not surprised why you died at the start of the league at the aqueduct.
my hideouts - https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/3228515

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