[3.10] SelfCast Ice Nova 20m DPS Trickster 9k eHP+Huge Mitigation

-- You are viewing a nearly fully optimized build. You will not be able to fully replicate all of the working pieces for this build to play at its best immediately. However you can start a similar build and still succeed even without all optimizations in place. This was my league starter, but basically my own character as well.
-- The DPS of this build is somewhat sparadic. Since ice nova is cast on frostbolt, which moves, and repeats over its movement, many things depend on your positioning to the target as well as your active cast time windows.

Welcome to my build. Feel free to enjoy, modify, improve and comment.

This build is a self-cast frostbolt/ice nova Trickster designed for massive damage with maximum survivability.

This build is easily started at the beginning of a league and starts out cheap and powerful with extreme end game scaling available with investment as the league goes on.

Easy T16 farming.
Easy Sirus farmer.
Amazing for delving.
Very tanky.
Loads of DPS from beginning to end game.
Multiple button build. (some see this as a positive)
Self-cast elitism.

Required parts can be expensive early league.
Can get expensive for optimal version.
Not the fastest zoom zoom clear speed around.
Multiple button build. (some see this as a negative)
Cannot run all map mods. Reflect is a no-no. All other mods are good to go.

Path of Building

Here is the pastebin. I've had to create a custom jewel in order to add stats that PoB does not calculate itself. This also shows the full passive tree available, though i will include the website version as well for quick viewership.

In the ice nova gem setup you may notice a level 20 controlled destruction acting as a 7th link. This is to mimic the bonus repeated damage of greater spell echo via Pledge of Hands.

Build Preview and Playstyle - The TLDR
For those who know the game and how things work.
Frostbolt/Ice Nova Trickster. You run around with Enduring Cry on LMB constantly casting enduring cry whenever its on cooldown, with instant cast via amulet anoint, while throwing out frostbolt and spamming ice nova to murder everything. Upon coming against tanky rares or bosses you can drop arma brand + frostbomb to massively debuff them for nearly double your damage.

9k collective hp from life/es/mana as a hybrid trickster with choice gear
72-74 attack block and 70 spell block by way of glancing blows keystone. 50% damage taken from blocked hits. Basically 50% damage mitigation right off the bat.
Blind. Everything is always blind, which with our natural evasion is about 60-65% evade chance.
Everything is frozen. This is a defensive boost.
Max level CWDT Immortal Call setup with always 3 charges allows for nearly 3 seconds of 80% physical mitigation and 34% elemental mitigation
Ascendancy gives 10% spell dodge, 6% reduced damage taken if spent 200 mana recently (always active) as well as 3 ghost shrouds providing another 6% reduced damage taken.

Upwards of 800,000 damage per ice nova hit.
Pledge of Hands plus spell echo gives 8 ice nova procs PER CAST, all capable of hitting a single target depending on position, aoe, etc.
With tailwind can achieve over 6 casts per second (upwards of 48 ice nova procs per second)
Sustained realistic DPS of approx 15-20 million shaper DPS. Theoretical math-only max DPS of 38 million shaper DPS.

Passive Tree and Ascendancy
Level 96

So this is the passive tree. I don't think a whole lot needs to be explained. This is a level 96 version of the tree so for anything of lower level is kind of customed to what you deem as most relevant.
Nearly every single passive is intentional and best outcome. What is absolutely required are the standard passive trees staff block chance nodes. These coupled with a Kilova Lethal Pride jewel for the notable Glancing Blows gives us majority of our mitigation by way of doubling the block chance and taking 50% damage from blocked hits.

Ascendancy wise, choose in any order but leave either Swift Killer or Weave the Arcane for Uber Lab. You want to have Escape Artist by your 6th point.


Pledge of Hands is required (eventually) and really the only required piece. It is what the build is based on with its interaction with how ice nova is cast on frostbolt.
For those who are unaware, ice nova can cast on frostbolt. Spell echo and greater spell echo will have you stand in place to do your repeated casts, locking you or stunning you in position until the casts are finished with every spell EXCEPT ice nova when cast on frostbolt.
In this way you can get all of your repeated casts (4 casts total with GSE and SE together) with all freedom of movement which is a massive boost in damage, utility and mobility.

Helmet: Best in slot for this hybrid MoM tanky trickster is by FAR Crown of the Inward Eye. its also dirt cheap as its extremely plentiful. Enchants can vary. For Delirium league i opted to get some more EHP by reducing the mana reservation of my only aura.

Body Armor: Best in slot is an evasion/energy shield chest with extremely high life. Again these are cheap and plentiful as nobody uses them, but with the right rolls are MONSTERS for ehp value. I usually buy some and slam them with conqueror exalts to try to get good outcomes. Explodey chest mod is not very helpful as everything is frozen/shattered, and your prefix's should be fully used up to get the required EV/ES/HP, so other choice suffix's would be -
1) % chance to gain a frenzy charge on hit
2) spells have % to critical strike chance
3) gain # endurance charge every second if you've been hit recently (especially if cluster jewels do not become core)
4) #% to all elemental resistances

Amulet: The Pandemonius is absolutely best in slot, but by no means required. It's best in slot by providing great damage as well as necessary dexterity and a universal 100% active blind to all enemies.
I anoint Battle Cry

Ring1: Malachai's Artifice is also an absolute best in slot. This ring makes it so any spell cast from this ring will apply Elemental Equilibrium to the enemy, giving them +25% resistance to the damaging element and -50% resistance to all others. Keep in mind you do not have EE, only the socketed spell does, which means you can take full advantage of the EE bonus without ever having to worry about its drawback. Incredible damage boost that cannot be matched. Well worth the resistance penalty incurred.

Ring2: As many resistances, life, es, mana as you can possibly get/afford. The higher the resistances here the easier the other pieces are to gear.

Belt: As high of health as possible with as many resistances as you can get while still being in your budget. This slot will be the highest source of health outside of your body armor so make it good.

Gloves: Of course you need to make sure your resistances are capped, that is priority #1. Outside of that if you can afford some luxury there are some things available to you. Max frenzy charge, like i have, is really only relevant for mapping unless you luckily land the % chance to gain a frenzy charge when hit on your body armor. So mods like spell damage, % cold damage against chilled enemies (atzoatl mod), chance to unnerve and/or culling strike all work well here.

Boots: Best mod you can look to get is tailwind if you've crit recently. Otherwise look to fill in whatever you need. What i would say is required is to have Cannot be Frozen as a crafted prefix. This frees up massive quality of life for your flasks.


These are your best options, but feel free to mix them up how you prefer. I always like to have a Cautious Eternal of Staunching as my life flask, just preference. I feel this is the best possible life flask you can get, but use whatever you want.

Since we are a Mind over Matter build you will absolutely want a mana flask. Lavianga's Spirit is best as it staunches your high ice nova mana cast while active allowing for very fast recovery even in the midst of doing damage. However if you do not have Cannot be Frozen on your boots you'll need to use this slot for freeze removal.

Best DPS flasks are Atziri's Promise and Cinderswallow Urn. Urn also gives some tremendous sustain while mapping especially in cannot regen/leech maps, and Promise gives some great chaos resistance as a buffer vs big chaos damage
I typically only use Promise vs conqueror/guardians, Sirus, and blighted maps. Otherwise i'll exclusively have Quicksilver flask socketed.

Diamond flask is required. I prefer curse removal, but could also use freeze removal here to allow use of Lavianga's.


My current jewels can be viewed in the PoB. Cluster jewels are OP as FFFFFFF so you should be using them.

I use a Large Cluster Jewel with Mage Hunter and Conjured Wall. These will boost your spell block to acceptable levels. You will also need 2x jewel sockets for two medium jewels. If you can afford it or lucky to get it you can get any 3rd notable. I happened to exalt Sap Psyche on mine.

Medium Cluster Jewels provide insane amounts of QoL in this build.
1) with Cry Wolf and Provocateur. This is the crux of QoL with the Battle Cry anoint to have constant enduring cry and charges active which also fuel your CWDT immortal call. Provo is a great boost of damage by taunting enemies.
2) Master of Fear and Wish for Death. Since ice nova is cast off frostbolt, and frostbolt is our curse on hit setup, everything is always cursed (unless you happen vs an unfortunate map mod) meaning everything will be unnerved (10% more spell damage) and have culling strike. Incredible QoL and boost in effective DPS.
Each Medium Cluster Jewel should provide a jewel socket for Small Cluster Jewels.

Small Cluster Jewels that i use are jewels which boost % chance to block attack damage and give Confident Combatant, which given our doubled block chance is a MASSIVE boost to damage for two points.
Alteratively if you don't have enough points you can just socket in any choice jewel

Skill Gems
These are best viewed in the gear setup but i'll explain here.

Frostbolt and Ice Nova links are pretty self explanatory. Obviously if you can afford/get awakened gems of all sorts they will boost these skills potentials.

I utilize a max level CWDT and immortal call for maximum damage reduction. Given i always have 3 endurance charges (or more with investment) this is by far the best guard skill setup. It is incredible.

Enduring Cry is obviously the choice for enduring charges. You could also socket in a rallying cry gem in order to take advantage of 56% increased damage if you could fit it/work it into your skill rotation.
I choose to link Frostbomb and Vaal Righteous Fire with enduring cry together with an increased duration. Frostbomb is used to debuff enemies with another -25% resistances. Vaal RF is a massive dmg boost if and when you want it vs choice targets.

Armageddon Brand is used in the ring to give EE. It is very fast casting, you can have multiple active, and it can persist after one monsters death. Just make sure you do not have sources of added cold damage of you'll be buffing monsters against your main source of damage!

Skitterbots are my choice and only aura. Since we're MoM we want as much mana as possible but Skitterbots is too good to pass up. This allows chill vs all enemies no matter the map mods or scenarios, which is another huge source of damage/defense for this build via hypothermia link as well as blinding chilled enemies on hit via pandemonius. So to always have chill no matter what is a massive QoL. The shock effect is a great boost in damage, and by linking Bonechill support you can also get a boost in damage from the chill effect, which is exactly what i do

Bandits and Pantheon
Bandits: Aid Alira. By far the best choice.

Major: Soul of Lunaris. Amazing all around. Since we're always being hit we always get the boost in dodge.
Minor: Your choice. Mine is Gruthkul for more physical mitigation.

Feel free to leave your 2 cents, comments, questions etc. I may just tweak the layout of this guide here and there etc. I may also update this through patches/leagues if i continue to play it myself.
Last edited by xMustard on Apr 19, 2020, 1:57:06 AM
Last bumped on Jun 18, 2020, 8:19:32 AM

Any videos of the build in action? And how did you level this build up?`

no videos, not yet, i dunno if i'll put any

i leveled with ice nova but its probably not ideal to do so. you can do it tho with a reverberation rod (socketed gems have spell echo) makes it pretty smooth but your single target will hurt.

so yeah you can essentially just level up with anything. could probably even level up as toxic rain which is always fast and easy and just respec out of some close damage over time nodes
Looks nice, I'm looking for league starters for next league. Can you sustain power charges on bosses? I only see "on kill" sustain

I think Farrul's Fur would be nice for this build for charge sustain

I also feel like getting leech would be nice because regen is kinda low
Last edited by DixuMixu on May 26, 2020, 6:55:47 PM
you do sustain power charges because there is 40% chance to gain power charge on block, which you have max block chance. even though you take damage its still considered blocking and will keep the PCs up
xMustard wrote:
you do sustain power charges because there is 40% chance to gain power charge on block, which you have max block chance. even though you take damage its still considered blocking and will keep the PCs up

I still wouldn't trust blocking when bossing, especially with glancing blows

Anyway, I like your idea of getting block, but I also like Assassin and its immunity to critical hits. So I made an Assassin version https://pastebin.com/EKq4g5ZT

Think the gear isn't too hard to get in league start, just the 6-link staff and redeemer body. Will have to go with rare staff or something. Also I'm worried getting cluster jewels outside Delirium league will be a pain in the ass

Deep Build.
Interesting build concept. Might give it a whirl if the gear is cheap enough at this point in the league.
Thanks for the great guide. I am planning on trying this for the coming league.

I have a couple questions.

1. What is the reason for focusing that much on warcrys, do we get some kind of increased regen or is it purely for the endurance charge sustain?

2. What would be the alternative to cluster jewels in case they are very hard to come by next league, and how much would we lose from this?

Thanks in advance.
Wuptidoo wrote:
Thanks for the great guide. I am planning on trying this for the coming league.

I have a couple questions.

1. What is the reason for focusing that much on warcrys, do we get some kind of increased regen or is it purely for the endurance charge sustain?

2. What would be the alternative to cluster jewels in case they are very hard to come by next league, and how much would we lose from this?

Thanks in advance.

good questions

1. so yes it was purely for the endurance charge sustain. since that node was changed, you just can't really have endurance charges up. i haven't looked to update the build with the current information but i'd probably just skip this out completely.

2. so the cluster jewels isn't too bad with this build. the large cluster remains the exact same. and Master of Fear and Wish for Death remain unchanged (for this build).
while it isn't worth investing into warcries or enduring cry anymore, this means you can get another medium cluster jewel to make up for replacing the warcry focused one.
what does kind of suck is losing out on Confident Combatant

the only other thing i can really see that needs a change immediately is getting 4 passive points to actually spec Glancing Blows into the tree.
this is a BUFF actually, because timeless jewels are expensive and glancing blows was hard to come by early. so this build would be much more defensive earlier, now.
you can gain 3 of those 4 passives immediately by unspecing from where you would transform Pain Attunement into glancing blows to being with.

with a small amount of crit multi nerf throughout affected passives, this build kind of remains unchanged. you can still use enduring cry, maybe, once in awhile or something. but the build really was super tanky already

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