[3.11] ED Shadowstitch Trickster (Great clear, Max block, 10k ES & Millions of DPS)


Essence Drain (ED) trickster is a well known god of clear speed. The fundamentals of the build involve scaling the damage over time of your Essence Drain through the roof, and spreading it with Contagion, to get those sweet, sweet screenwide clearing chains of death.

This version of the build is much tankier, and can be done on a very reasonable budget (<5ex). However, the main chest piece will usually run you a few exalts, if you want a nice corruption on it.

The chest in question is the Temple unique Shadowstitch:

This armor scales our Essence Drain levels, and lets us get over 10k ES (using the Trickster Ascendancy Escape Artist and a few corrupted items), which, when combined with a bunch of other defensive layers, gives us ridiculous tankiness. Oh, and we're immune to stun and all ailments.

Compared to the more regular life-based MoM ED builds, this one is far tankier (check the defense section), and has similar potential for DPS.


T16 Baran Map + Conqueror Kill (A6) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA7W9cYNfTA&feature=youtu.be. Apologies for potato quality.

Here's a GIF of our tankiness and sustain in a random T10 map.

In progress, will add videos of Minotaur Facetanking and a Sirus kill.


Final Path of Building Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/97yTuxYb
My Current Character: https://pastebin.com/QCiJKJb4 (exact same setup, missing a few sources of + gem levels).


+ Juicy Clear
+ Fast and Fun Playstyle
+ Decent Single Target
+ Insanely Tanky. You will never die.
+ Avoids many of PoE's dangerous mechanics by being ailment immune, chaos immune, and having solid block/evasion.


- Single target could be higher. I stopped scaling damage and scaled defenses as soon as I could reliably down Sirus. You can absolutely scale damage harder if you want to.
- Requires some knowledge of harvest crafting to get good items without spending a ton. This mostly impacts the offensive side of the build though, as the defensive (ES) gear crafts can be made with dense fossils as well.


This build can reach almost 3 million single target DPS through ED and Blight combined (Blight is a significant damage increase). ED alone sits just below 3M.

Most of our damage comes from + gems levels gear, such as our weapon, amulet or chest, as well as a few sources of Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier.

My current character does just over 2million single target (ED + Blight), which is by no means the highest the build can go - All of the damage differences from the above picture comes from having a lvl 27 ED versus the ideal 30.


+ 10k+ ES
+ 90-100% Ailment Immunity (Depending on your setup)
+ 74% block
+ 62% spell block
+ 61% Evade Chance
+ 14% Attack Dodge
+ 13% Spell Dodge
+ Instantly Heal 5% ES on Block
+ Instantly Heal 7% ES (700 ES) per enemy killed.

Our high damage avoidance combined with insane sustain from Shadowstich, the Trickster ascendancy, and our shield makes us practically immortal. This build clears juiced T16's like it's nothing, and never dies while trying to cast Contagion on your ED, which is something that can happen to other ED builds.


Most of the gear is pretty self-explanatory in the PoB, but I will detail the most important pieces, and give some crafting notes below. This section will go over my current setup, which isn't entirely finished. Check the ideal PoB link above for the finished gear!

Almost all of the rares were crafted with harvest carfting, and the most of the crafting methods involve slamming items with a bunch of chaos and defense harvest crafts, and are actually quite easy. Many items don't have that many chaos modifiers, and can have + gems or Chaos DoT multi guaranteed.

Shadowstitch is a temple unique produced by sacrifing a Sacrificial Garb in the Tier 3 Corruption Room (Please, if you do this yourself, Quality the armor first!). This has a 1/4 chance to become Shadowstich, which always comes out 6-linked, and always with two corrupted implicits.

We are looking for a corrupted implicit that scales Essence Drain, such as + level of gems, level of duration gems, level of projectile gems etc. The ideal is having +level of gems and + 2 to level of duration gems at the same time, but this is very rare. For a single mod, +2 Duration gems is best, as it also scales several of the support gems, while a +1 to level of gems is close by, as it also scales Empower, effectively becoming a +2 for Essence Drain.

Corruption Note: Shadowstitch gives us up to 8% ES per corrupted item we're wearing, but also gives us less resistance for each. It is up to you to try and balance these two factors. Ideally you would want to corrupt all your items and find sufficient resistance to cover this (which should be very doable with harvest), but corrupting all of your juicy crafts is of course also a scary process. I'm still working on this myself, and have settled for a few corruptions, given my already high ES.

A budget option is a Skin of the Loyal with correct colors, or a +1 Corrupted Tabula for damage, or any rare Evasion/ES chest armor for defense.

Sources of + gem levels

Your main three sources of + Gem levels on Gear is your amulet, weapon and shield.

The amulet was fairly easy to craft for myself. I started with alt-spamming the %ES, augment + regal'd into removable trash, and simply harvest slammed defense and chaos from there. You can make a better amulet by starting out hitting +1 intelligence gems with your alt-spamming, since %ES is fairly easy to land with a harvest defence craft.

For the weapon, I bought a wand with a high DoT multi on it, and added chaos modifiers with harvest, until I got +1. With no open suffixes, wands do not have that many chaos prefix to choose from, so this shouldn't be too hard.

My shield has not yet hit +1 chaos gems, but is set up to do so. Using the remove chaos/add new chaos modifier harvest craft a couple of times should yield another +1 here. Try and get %ES on block through harvest defense crafts.

If you want a better way to craft this, start with the +1 chaos gems (you can guarantee this, there are not many chaos prefixes).

Ailment Immunity
We achieve ailment immunity by stacking enough "% chance to avoid elemental ailments" to reach 100%, making us able to ignore all ailments (freeze, shock ignite), freeing up flask slots and providing another layer of defense.

My current character actually only has 90%, which I felt was enough, but reaching 100% is possible through shaper boots. Our sources of % ailment avoidance come from:
+ 30% from Elegant Form on a small Cluster Jewel
+ 20% from Arcane Swiftness on the Tree
+ 25% from Helmet Craft
+ 15% from Annointing Crystal Skin
(I stopped at 90% here)
+ Potential for up to 35% on shaper boots, allowing you to drop one of the other sources (such as the annoint to go for damage, if you don't care about the +1 max all res). I went for elder boots with global increased duration instead.
+ Potential for getting the last 10% by spending 2 points to get "Elemental Focus" on the tree.

If you have never played an ailment immune build, try this. Being completely immune to freeze, shock, and ignite (among others) is a game changer.

Other Gear
The rest of my gear is pretty much just energy shield and resistance, plus minor spell damage modifiers. Crusader rings can give you %ES, which is easy to craft with harvest defense crafts.

The only other little detail is the helmet, which has the mod "Nearby Enemies have -9 to Chaos Resistance". This another nice little damage boost, and is easy to target with harvest chaos crafts.


If you wanna throw more money at the build, here are some upgrades I haven't gotten yet - most of these are damage oriented, since the defense definitely needs no more help.

+ Watcher's Eye with Damage over Time Multiplier while Affected by Malevolence (20%+ MORE DPS)
+ Empower level 4
+ +1 Intelligence Gems on Amulet


Main Setup
Essence Drain - Controlled Destruction - Efficacy - Swift Affliction - Void Manipulation - Empower (3, or 4 if you can afford it).

Blight (Cast this while ED is draining)
(Vaal) Blight - Infused Channeling - Efficacy - Controlled Destruction


Wither totem for single target uses:
Wither - Spell Totem - Multiple Totems

Contagion to Spread ED:
Contagion - Increased AoE - Intensify - Arcane Surge (Don't overlevel this)

Wand trigger Setup:
Despair, Tempest Shield, Cold Snap.
This provides us with cursing (when our Witchfire Brew flask is down), 100% uptime tempest shield, and 3 free frenzy charges from cold snap.


This is one of the fastest builds to level, as Spellslinger ED/Contagion is one of the fastest leveling builds out there at the moment. This build has leveling setup has been covered in great depth by others, however, so I won't detail it here. But it's pretty much just slapping ED in one spellslinger setup, and Contagion in another -> Attack with Wand, win.

Feel free to ask my questions below, or ingame.
Last edited by trappekoen on Aug 4, 2020, 9:25:53 AM
Last bumped on Jul 29, 2020, 11:32:23 AM
Never would have thought to use Shadowstitch for ED Contagion, but it has been very effective so far. Currently working on crafting a +1 chaos gems shield to replace my current one,

but I then I'll have to completely rebalance my resists.
Yeah, the shield looks pretty nice as is, but the mana is an unfortunate prefix. It is doable to get decent resistances on the perfect shield, however, the ES and chaos gems are prefixes, while all resistances are suffixes!
Last edited by trappekoen on Aug 4, 2020, 9:40:52 AM

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