[3.14] Qosmoz's Low Life CoC Ice Nova Assassin | Ultimatum | Buffed | Detailed Guide | Videos
This is Qosmoz. I've started playing POE since the launch of the game in 2013 with a big gap until Betrayal League. Since Betrayal, I've been non-stop playing every league with 4-5 chars with 90+ level per league. I've decided to contribute to the POE community with my stream and build reviews in Delirium and Harvest Leagues. This is my second written guide, check out my Low Life Sabo Miner Guide from the below link.
Other Qosmos's Guides
I've played CoC Ice Nova every league since Betrayal. Life version, dual Cospris, Cospri + Lycosidae, CI version (expensive) and finally Low Life version. I like the versatility and damage potential of Low Life version. However, this can be quite glass cannon with low investment. Check out different builds variations comparison below. Here is my take on Cast on Crit (CoC) Ice Nova with Low Life (LL) Assassin build.
Qosmoz POE Stream 👀
Qosmoz POE Builds Showcase/Reviews 👀
This section will be updated for every League after the Patch Notes.
This guide is based on 3.14 Ultimatum League. This section will be updated with patch notes for following leagues.
[3.14] 09.May.21: Updated all PoB for all builds.
[3.14] 16.Apr.21: Build is buffed with Vaal Ice Nova buffs. Updated guide and PoB links for the new league.
[3.13] 01.Feb.21: Update guide, PoB links and added additional questions under Q&A section.
[3.12] 22.Oct.20: Updated PoBs for Budget, Target and Only in PoB builds to optimize CDR.
[3.12] 01.Nov.20: Added PoBs for Cluster Jewels setup for Target and Only in PoB builds.
1. TL;DR & BUILD RATINGS
3. BUILD NOTES
4. PATH OF BUILDING (BUDGET, TARGET, ONLY IN POB BUILDS)
5. GEMS SETUP
6. GEAR, ENCHANTS, FLASKS, JEWELS
7. ASCENDANCY, BANDITS, PANTHEON
8. LEVELING THIS BUILD & LIFE TO LL CONVERSION
1. TL;DR & BUILD RATINGS
✅ One of the most fun build to play with big damage for single target and big explosions for mapping
✅ Life version works just fine to convert to Low Life whenever you have the currency
✅ Low life version scales great and allows min-maxing for the build
✅ Fast gameplay, lots of freezes (even the bosses)
✅ Immunity to Crits with Elusive buff
✅ Many chase items to make the build immortal for end game (e.g. Headhunter)
✅ You can do all league mechanics with ease (Simulacrum, T18 maps etc.)
❌ This build can not do Elemental Reflect Map
❌ Life to Low Life conversion will require respeccing many passive points
❌ It can be expensive depending on the Meta builds for the league
⌛ Start the league with Life version Assassin.
⌛ I recommend using Storm Brand until you can afford Cospri’s Malice + Lycosidae. Then you can convert to CoC Ice Nova setup.
⌛ Convert to Low Life when you accumulate enough currency to afford 6 linked Shavronne's Wrappings. This will require 40-50 Orb of Regrets to respec your build.
⌛ Next get the Prism Guardian which is typically cheap at league start. Replace this with Lycosidae.
⌛ Next, get the Presence of Chayula to finalize required Unique items for the Life to Low Life conversion.
⌛ I recommend to speccing into Low Life version around Level 80 at earliest. Before that, it can be done but you’ll have a hard time surviving on maps.
⌛ Build more Energy Shield and more Damage with next upgrades.
⌛ Check the builds for Life and Low Life builds using Path of Building Community Fork (link below).
These are my own ratings scaling between 1 and 10. Feel free to suggest to refine these metrics. Please also check the notes for detailed breakdown of each category.
3.12 - Heist League Videos
Conquerors of the Atlas & Sirus
Guardians of the Shaper & the Shaper
3. BUILD NOTES
What is Low Life?
Low life (LL) is a condition that applies when life falls below 35%. LL builds are enabled by reservation of life below 35% using "Blood Magic" support for any auras like "Zealotry" or any additional skills like "Aspect of the Spider".
LL build allows reserving mana and life together, which means extra auras can be activated. On top, using "Pain Attunement: 30% More Spell Damage when on Low Life" keystone, the builds are scaled to insane DPS potential.
LL builds stack Energy Shield (ES) instead of Life and typically get the "Zealot's Oath: Life Regeneration applied to Energy Shield instead" keystone for ES generation instead of Life.
LL builds can be maximized by 3 key Uniques. These are:
Shavronne's Wrappings; provides good ES and lightning damage, but it is used in LL builds mostly to eliminate risk of dying to Chaos damage. Chaos damage in game bypasses ES and directly applies to health (same as you apply chaos damage. For example Essence Drain or Toxic Rain). "CHAOS DAMAGE DOES NOT BYPASS ENERGY SHIELD" unique modifier avoids chaos damage to kill us instantly due to being constantly Low Life.
Presence of Chayula: Stun Immunity and Life to Energy Shield Conversion are the main reasons to use the amulet. This is especially become even more important to have due to Stun Immunity removal from Cyclone in the Harvest League.
Prism Guardian: Blood Magic support and 25% Reduced Mana Reservation of Auras makes this shield a must have for LL builds.
These 3 unique items synergies so well that most LL builds uses them (e.g. Herald/Aura Stacker, Low Life Miner or Spell Casters). Unfortunately, depending on the early meta during the start of the league, these uniques can be expensive. I recommend not to start the league with this char, but if you want to give a try, go with Life based build and convert to LL later when you have enough currency.
Low Life vs. Life Builds vs. CI Builds?
Why to go Low Life vs. Life or Chaos Inoculation (CI) based builds? First and foremost reason is the damage scaling. The DPS due to auras and Pain Attunement keystone provides so much more damage vs. the life version or CI version.
All versions of this build are viable. I can summarize as below;
Life Based: You can go Dual Cospris, very glass cannon, very fast gameplay. It's also the coolest looking version. However, you'll die a lot unless you have a Headhunter to rush the map and the boss. Damage can be pretty high but still not close enough to LL version
CI Based: You can go max block version, very tanky on the contrary of the Life version, still very fast gameplay. However, this is way more expensive to finalize the build than any other versions. If you have the currency you can build this version, and there are really good guides in the forums Juju has very good guide and he is very active to respond to people's questions:
LINK to Juju's Best CoC Guide
LL Based: This is the best damage option. It's all around most balanced between the 3 while outputting the most damage you can get. Good tankiness, fast gameplay and cheaper to build vs. CI. That's why I prefer overall LL CoC Ice Nova and decided to make my guide around.
Cospri’s Malice Explained
Cospri's Malice is a Jewelled Foil based Unique Sword. "Trigger a Socketed Cold Spell on Melee Critical Strike" Unique mod makes Cold based Cast on Crit builds possible such as Ice Nova. Ice Nova, Frost Bold, Frost Bomb, etc. cold tagged gems inserted to the sword will be triggered (based on their cooldown) on every successful critically striked melee attack. Cyclone is one of the highest attack speed melee skill, therefore we utilize the high attack speed with auto triggers on the Cospri's Malice as well as skills linked to Cast On Critical Strike Support gem to make the build work.
Cooldown Recovery Explained
Cast on Critical Strike (CoC), Cooldown Recovery (CDR) and Attacks per Second (APS) defines the main mechanics for the build.
You need at least 14% CDR ideally on your Belt (Shaper Influenced) or Boots (Shaper Influenced) until you can afford Awakened Cast on Critical Strike Support Gem (Level 3+) when you are below 7.57 Attack Speed with your Cyclone for maximum damage output.
For both Cast on Critical Strike Support and Cospri’s Malice, everytime you crit you'll cast a single skill. Moreover, Cast on Critical Strike Support and Cospri’s Malice do not share cooldown which means every critical strike attack with Cyclone will result on both Ice Novas to trigger (one linked to Cyclone and CoC gem and second one is inserted in the Cospri’s Malice). Also all the active gems inserted in the Cospri’s Malice will trigger at the same time.
Technically, CoC gems have 150ms (or 0.15s) cooldown. However, there is a mismatch between server refresh rate which is 33ms, and CoC gems 150ms cooldown. To fit 150ms into the server refresh rate 5 frames is needed, which results in 165ms cooldown time. To compensate for this loss of cooldown, we apply CDR to reduce our cooldown to fit the 150ms cooldown in 4 frames. According to calculation 14% Cooldown Recovery Rate (CDR) fits into 4 frames. That’s why in TL;DR basic recommendation is to get at least 14% CDR to cope up with this mismatched mechanic.
4 frames for server refresh rate results 132ms (4 x 33). If we divide 0.132s to 1 second, this will result in 7.57. By reducing our CoC cooldown to 4 frames, we also increase the amount of casts per second to 7.57. Coupled with CDR and APS there are 3 main breakpoints explained below.
1st Breakpoint: You need 0-13% CDR with lower than 6.06 APS with your Cyclone to maximize damage.
2nd Breakpoint: You need 14-51% CDR with lower than 7.57 APS with your Cyclone to maximize damage.
3rd Breakpoint: You need 52%-57% CDR with lower than 10.1 APS with your Cyclone to maximize damage.
How to see your APS
Import your character in Path of Building. Once it's imported, select Cyclone as the main skill
Go to “Items” page to activate all flasks that you have equipped
Goto “Configuration” page to activate Mistwalker, Tailwind, Onslaught, Frenzy Charges only if you got it from Gear, Gems or somewhere else
In “Configuration” page; activate below buffs or all potential buffs on you
- Flask active
- Onslaught (from flask or abyssal gem if you have)
- Frenzy Charges (if you have a way of reliable generating them)
- Tailwind (if you have the boots with the affix)
Check your Attack per Second (APS) on the left column under the Cyclone as selected main skill.
4. PATH OF BUILDING (BUDGET, TARGET, ONLY IN POB BUILDS)
Path of Building Community Fork
PoB Community Fork is recommended to check all different versions of the build.
Download PoB Community Fork
Budget (20-30Ex): 6M DPS
This is the starting point when you convert from the Life to Low Life version of the build. It should clear all content in game.
Click for Budget LL CoC Ice Nova Assassin Build
(or Copy: https://pastebin.com/wcrzBmCS)
End Game (50-100Ex): 17-23M DPS
This is a further min-maxed version. This provides more than triple the damage of the Budget version. Given enough budget, this should be possible to achieve throughout the league.
Click for End Game LL CoC Ice Nova Build
(or Copy: https://pastebin.com/ThfjHJid)
Click for End Game LL CoC Ice Nova Build with Cluster Setup
(or Copy: https://pastebin.com/yxYSwFxw)
Only in PoB (Mirrors): 32-40M DPS
This is the dream build which is impossible to achieve without mirror(s) or heavy crafting. More than double the damage of Target Build. Warning, very expensive items inside. Many of them can be seen as chase items.
Click for Only in PoB LL CoC Ice Nova Assassin Build
(or Copy: https://pastebin.com/2UA0rzHa)
Click for Only in PoB LL CoC Ice Nova Assassin Build with Cluster Setup
(or Copy: https://pastebin.com/Cvzs0NyC)
5. GEM SETUPS (END GAME BUILDS)
Unless it is stated (e.g. Level 3), all gems must be as high level as possible with maximum quality.
+ Linked gems
/ Not necessary to link
End Game Gems
6. GEAR, ENCHANTS, FLASKS, JEWELS
Hubris Circlet (Item Level 85+) with Redeemer Influence (for -9% Cold Resistance to Nearby Enemies), +1 Maximum Power Charges and 200+ Energy Shield is the best option. Fill the rest with required Resistances to cap your resistances.
Crown of the Inward Eye is the budget option. I recommend getting one of these until upgrading the Hubris Circlet.
Ice Nova: 40% increased Ice Nova Damage is the best DPS option.
Only one option here.
Shavronne's Wrappings enables the Low Life builds. Get this as soon as you are ready to convert from Life version to LL version.
Fingerless Silk Gloves are the best base. Fill the mods with a good amount of Energy Shield mods (ideally 150+ ES) and some resistances. Warlord Spell Damage mod and Temple mod Damage against Chilled Enemies will be a huge DPS boost.
Anything you like the best would be ok here. There is no clear best.
Hunter based Sorceress Boots are the best base. Aim for You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently and a good amount of ES on it with ideally 35% Movement Speed. "Cannot be Frozen'' can be really good against Sirus and/or Uber Elder fights.
Sin Trek boots are the best budget option which will carry you to end game.
Damage Penetrates 10% of Enemy Elemental Resistances if you haven't Killed Recently is the best option for boss damage boost (e.g. Sirus). Movement Skills for mapping to move extreme fast.
Only one option here “Cospri’s Malice” which is build enabler and must have unique item.
Prism Guardian is the only option here.
Look for a corrupted one when you can afford similar to below. This will boost your aura gems.
Presence of Chayula is the best option here to have Stun Immunity as well as Life to ES conversion. This is the 3rd core item to enable the build.
Mark of the Shaper coupled with Elder Ring are the best budget options for pure damage boost to our spells. Fill the Elder Influenced Ring with flat Energy Shield, missing Attributes (especially Strength will be difficult to attain) and rest with as much as resistances as needed.
However, when you can afford it,
Circle of Fear with
(40-60)% increased Cold Damage while affected by Herald of Ice & Herald of Ice has (40-60)% increased Buff Effect mods will result more damage for this build. Get one or both Ring slots with this ring.
Belt: Crystal Belt with Shaper Influence base is the best alternative. You have to have 14% CDR mod on it until you can afford the Awakened Cast on Critical Strike Support gem. Fill the belt with Energy Shield rolls and missing resistances and attributes.
Headhunter is the best to use with this kind of a build. Unfortunately, it is the most expensive unique in the game. Equip it and start having double/triple/quadruple the fun as soon as you can afford/get lucky with drops (or Ancient Orbs).
There are 2 options here:
1) Annoint "Tranquility" Azure + Golden + Golden Oils if you are using Rare Helm other than Crown of the Inward Eye
Tranquility is a notable passive skill that grants increased maximum energy shield and Transfiguration of Soul.
Transfiguration of Soul applies increases and reductions to Maximum Energy Shield to also affect Spell Damage at 30% of their value.
2) Annoint "Charisma" Opalescent + Golden + Golden Oils if you are using Crown of the Inward Eye and running into Mana Reservation problem, if not Annoint "Divine Judgement" Sepia + Teal + Black Oils as cheaper alternative and for that sweet 50% Increased Elemental Damage.
Charisma is a notable passive skill that grants reduced mana reservation for skills. It also grants increased effect magnitude for auras cast by the character.
Presence of Chayula: Use Tempering Catalyst to boost Defenses (ES)
Circle of Fear Turbulent Catalyst to boost Elemental (Cold) Damage.
Rare Crystal Belt or Stygian Vise can be enchanted based on the resistances, attributes or defenses need.
There are no mandatory jewels to make this build work. Jewels can boost your survival or damage. However, a Large Ring Thread of Hope
gives so much value at the top side of the Passive tree, it's hard not to make it mandatory.
A few other recommended jewels are:
Energy from Within can boost your Energy Shield using the jewels socket near "Melding" Notable Passive.
Watcher's Eye can be very good but very expensive. Mods to look for:
1) Hatred Elemental Penetrations and/or Critical Multiplier by Precision.
2) To sustain Energy Shield, you can get ES on Hit using Disciple. It will definitely help to sustain especially on low levels of Energy Shield.
There is an expensive Cluster Jewel Setup as explained below. Check the respective Path of Building links for further details.
Large Cluster: You can go either Cold Damage Large Cluster (Blanketed Snow + Prismatic Heart + Widespread Destruction) to boost Ice Nova damage per cast or Attack Damage while Holding a Shield Large Cluster (Feed the Fury + Fuel the Fight + Martial Prowess) to boost the Attack Speed (need to stay below 10.1 APS).
Medium Clusters: Increased Area Damage with Vast Power + Magnifier combo will be the best.
Small Clusters: Energy Shield with Energy from Naught + Lots of Attributes will be required since we starve for Dexterity with the cluster setup.
Recommended Flask Setup:
Bottled Faith is big damage boost, but very expensive. This is an end game chase item.
7. ASCENDANCY, BANDITS, PANTHEON
Ascend with this order for easier leveling and damage boost:
3) Unstable Infusion
4) Deadly Infusion
Help Alira for:
5 Mana Regenerated per second
+20% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
+15% to all Elemental Resistances
Major God: Soul of Lunaris
1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%
1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%
10% chance to avoid Projectiles
5% chance to Dodge Attack and Spell Hits if you've been Hit Recently
Avoid Projectiles that have Chained
Minor God - Shakari
5% reduced chaos damage taken
25% reduced chaos damage over time taken while in a caustic cloud
Major God: Soul of Arakaali
Minor God: Soul of Shakari
Major God: Soul of the Brine King (if you don't have the "Cannot be Frozen" mod
Minor God: Soul of Garukhan
Rest of the Bosses
Major God: Soul of Solaris
Minor God: Situtational depending on the damage type
8. LEVELING THIS BUILD & LIFE TO LL CONVERSION
This section will be completed over time.
Life to LL Conversion Guide
TL;DR of when to convert was mentioned in the previous sections. I recommend to level with Life based version up to Level 80-85 and then convert to the Low Life Version. Below is the Life Based PoB considering minimum number of passives to convert later to the Low Life version.
PoB for Life Version
This is what I recommend to have before the Life Conversion. Couple of notes:
- You do not need the Uniques but they are all nice to have (Carcass Jack, The Pandemonious Amulet, Lycosidae Shield, Mark of the Shaper, etc.
- You can instead go with Rare Chest even Tabula Rasa, Rare Amulet, Rare Spirit Shield, etc.
- Tree is focused on getting points as much as painless to convert to Energy Shield afterwards.
Life Based CoC Ice Nova Assassin Build
9. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This section is to be filled with frequently asked questions.
1. I feel squishy against bosses, what can be improved?
I recommend at least 7k+ ES with this build during your leveling to your target level. Occasional one shots might happen as many other builds are going to die as well to one shots. Care for mods with Phys as Extra any Elemental Damage and Elemental Resistances Modes (Curses or -% Mods) which typically leads to one shots.
To give an example, here is me taking a full Shaper Slam with ~7.5k ES.
SHAPER SLAM 👀
To sustain Energy Shield, you should get Watchers Eye with ES on hit while using Disciple. This jewel should help sustaining.
Secondly, you can socket Vitality (Level 20) and Flesh and Stone if you are not using Aspect of the Spider to add more defenses to your build.
2. Can we use Cluster Jewels in this build?
Cluster jewels can be used with the build. Clear will be greater, damage is also equivalent but Attributes becomes painful to manage. Especially Dexterity. You need to hunt right items with a lot of Attributes and Dexterity to make the build work. You can get +30 Dexterity Nodes until you craft/find the right cluster jewels.
For end game, Cluster Jewel setup can be more fun to play (much bigger explosions) and single target damage is good especially if you boost the APS to near 10.
3. Can you check my build, what should be my next upgrades?
I can definitely help you out as I am checking the forum post regularly. I suggest always post your PoB (via Pastebin) to make it easier for me.
Upgrade suggestions after getting the base/cheap unique items to get the build going (Cospri's Malice, Shavronne Chest, Prism Guardian Shield, Presence of Chayula Amulet, Sin Trek Boots, and the Crown of the Inward Eye Helmet) and max level base gems.
> Get minimum Cooldown Recovery on Belt slot ideally Shaper Crystal Belt (if you are using Sin Trek).
> Get unique flasks (Wise Oak, Atziri's Promise and Cinderswallow with Critical Chance)
> Get Mark of the Shaper Setup with Elder Ring
> Get Transcendent Flesh Jewel setup
> Get Frozen Trail with Corrupted Blood Cannot be Inflicted on You
> Get 40-50% Damage Against Chilled Enemies Fingerless Silk Gloves with decent ES
> Get Awakened Cast on Critical Strike Support Gem
> Get CDR Sorceress Boots with CDR and ideally with Tailwind
> Get Enchanted Helmet with 40% Ice Nova Damage ideally with -9% Cold Resistance to nearby Enemies
> Get +2 Corrupted Prism Guardian
> Get Level 21 Hatred, Zealotry, Precision
> Get Circle of Fear Rings with HoI Buff + Inc. Cold Damage mods
> Get Bottled Faith Flask
> Get Watcher's Eye with Hatred/Precision mods
> Get Militant Faith Jewel
> If you really want, get the Cluster Jewels setup for extra explosions
4. How to get to 100% Critical Strike Chance?
I suggest when you convert to the Low Life build without putting too much currency yet, take Increased Critical Strike Chance Support on the main link with Cyclone and Ice Nova. This gem at max level should net you 100% Critical Strike Chance for Cyclone and also Ice Nova.
For bossing, you can swap it with Concentrated Effect to do more single target damage if that's an issue.
4. How to craft -9% Cold Resistance to Enemies and +1 Power charges helmet?
You can buy Item Level 85 Hubris with Enchant on. Start with Perfect Fossils to increase Quality. Ideally 28%+ Quality should be targeted. Then, use Redeemer Exalted orb to make it Redeemer Influenced. Use Frigid + Dense fossils until you have decent ES + %Cold Resistance (This is done for -9% Cold Resistance to nearby enemies craft).
If you want to go extra mile, you can have enchanted Redeemer as explained above with -9% Cold Resistance to Nearby Enemies mod with alteration spam. Then have any Warlord Influenced helmet (minimum Item Level 75) and alt spam until +1 Maximum Power Charges.
Use Awakener Orb on first on the Warlord helm, and then on the enchanted Redeemer Helmet. Pray to the RNG gods, and you might get a sick helmet which can be Best in Slot item.
HARVEST Crafting: You can follow same steps as above. After Awakener Orb, you can remove all unwanted mods and replace them with desired stats. Alternatively, you can buy already enchanted and Item Level 85 Warlord/Redeemer Influenced helm (can be pretty expensive). Best stats on the helmet would have:
T1 Energy Shield
T1 Increase Maximum Energy Shied
+1 Maximum Power Charges
-9% Cold Resistance to Nearby Enemies
T1 Critical Strike Multiplier
Hopefully, you'll try this build, and enjoy it as much as I do. Check out my stream for direct questions, or leave a note/question here. I will try my best to answer any question you have. Always happy to help for anything you need. Cheers, Qosmoz.
Last edited by QosmozGaming on May 24, 2021, 3:27:33 PM
Last bumped on Jun 16, 2021, 11:52:34 PM
on Oct 14, 2020, 4:12:28 PM
Please check FAQ section for:
1. If you get one shots, and how to improve your tankiness
2. What are upgrade paths after you get base items for the build
3. Can we use Cluster Jewels in this build
Last edited by QosmozGaming on Nov 7, 2020, 12:06:10 PM
on Oct 14, 2020, 4:14:23 PM
on Oct 14, 2020, 5:14:14 PM
Shouldn't the ES+Multi jewel be Cold multi and not lightning multi? Maybe fix that because some people blindly follow guides.
Also I'm gotta try this one looks pretty straighforward. I will comment later :)
on Oct 14, 2020, 5:30:23 PM
Indeed, that's copy paste error from my side, from my other guide. Good catch, going to fix that immediately.
on Oct 14, 2020, 5:33:20 PM
Hey there! Very nice, complete and well written build!
I'd like to give it a shot but my budget at the moment is only about 20 ex ... will it suffice at least to get it started ?
on Oct 14, 2020, 7:04:31 PM
hey, thanks for your nice comments/feedback. 20ex should be plenty to start with. I recommend checking out the "Budget" PoB I put there. That should cost around 15-20ex to start the build. All from there will be upgrades to increase your damage/defenses.
on Oct 14, 2020, 7:16:31 PM
Hi could I ask which stat is more important on the rings, buff effect or % increased cold damage?
on Oct 15, 2020, 4:06:54 AM
Cool, I'll give it a try, however i cannot find a Life based build to lvl/start with in the builds section.
I'm afraid that i could go too off if i go/guess on my own to be able to respec later ..
on Oct 15, 2020, 4:11:29 AM
In the 6. GEAR, ENCHANTS, FLASKS, JEWELS section under shields there's linked twice the Prism Guardian (i/o the possible corrupted one) ;)
on Oct 15, 2020, 4:36:45 AM