[3.14] CoC Poison Bladefall / Blade Blast Assassin | SSF Viable

This is a one button build using cyclone to cast both bladefall and blade blast.

Ungil's Harmony gives the high critical strike chance required for cast on critical strike (CoC), while its downside ('your critical strikes do not deal extra damage') does not affect our poison damage.

Unlike other CoC builds, you do not need expensive items like Bottled Faith or increased cooldown recovery gear. Most gear can be obtained with essence crafting and the crafting bench.

This is a dexterity-based build so you can cap your accuracy (100% hit chance) entirely from using Precision and nodes on the passive tree, without worrying about accuracy on gear or the expensive "Hits Can't be Evaded" craft.

This build is tankier than self-cast bladefall/blade blast with a combination of fortify, endurance charges, and life gain on hit. Damage is lower than self-cast but we can still reach 3M+ Shaper DPS.

^ Maven first phase without using flasks and tanking some abilities

Path of Building: (make sure to use the PoB Community Fork)
early game claw version: https://pastebin.com/BH6kPHAv
end-game sceptre version with fortify: https://pastebin.com/7E2fhiwU



  • About this Build
    • Pros/Cons
    • Leveling
    • Attack speed and cooldown recovery
    • Poison damage scaling
    • Stun and ailment immunity
    • Mana fixing
  • Gear
  • Gem setup
  • Gameplay tips
  • DPS calculation
  • Q&A


About this Build

+ one button main ability (cyclone)
+ low budget (Ungil's Harmony is the only required unique)
+ tankier than self-cast bladefall blade/blade blast
+ does not rely on flasks
+ stun and ailment immune
+ damage can be scaled on a budget with attack speed
+ does not require cooldown recovery until endgame/minmax
- melee build
- less single target damage than self-cast bladefall/blade blast
- visual clutter
Level as self-cast bladefall/blade blast (guides here or here) until you complete the third (Merciless) lab.

  • Noxious Strike (Normal)
  • Toxic Delivery (Cruel)
  • Unstable Infusion (Merciless) <-- you can switch to CoC here
  • Mistwalker (Uber)

Attack speed and cooldown recovery

Most CoC builds must carefully select an attack speed to ensure you don't attack too quickly (see this reddit post for details).

Because we use two skills in our CoC setup, we can attack twice as fast as most CoC builds. Therefore, a higher attack speed is almost always desired.

For this build:
0-13% cooldown recovery (CDR): stay below 12 attacks per second (APS)
14-51% CDR: stay below 15 APS
52%+ CDR: stay below 20 APS

You won't be able to go above 12 APS without very good gear. So, you don't have to worry about cooldown recovery on gear until you start minmaxing.

Although I say it shouldn't be a problem, ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK YOUR APS/CDR BECAUSE YOUR DAMAGE CAN SUFFER A LOT IF YOU ATTACK TOO FAST (UP TO 50% OF YOUR DPS LOST). If you are lucky and get gear to increase your APS above 12, drop some attack speed until you can figure out a way to get at least 14% CDR - see gear section on belt and boots for tips.

For 15+ APS/52%+ CDR (requires awakened cast on critical strike and cooldown recovery on both belts and boots) you need very good gear, jewels, and tailwind on boots. I maxed out at 14.7aps with flasks up and a 1.9 APS weapon. I would only recommend 15+ APS/52%+ CDR in trade league because you need awakened CoC, but it is a valid way to minmax the build.
Poison damage scaling
We scale damage through generic poison damage, the assassin ascendancy, and the perfect agony keystone. See each section for details on how they scale and to avoid using gear with stats that don't help (like increased spell damage).

Generic poison damage
To scale generic poison damage with this build, our priorities are:
  • gem levels (get level 21 bladefall and blade blast), any +1 to physical gems on shield or weapon also gives us a ton more damage
  • gain % of physical damage as extra chaos damage (found on cluster jewels, atziri's promise flask, and some shields/weapons)
  • damage over time multiplier (+#% to chaos damage over time multiplier, +#% to damage over time multiplier for poison, +#% to chaos damage over time multiplier)
  • increased chaos damage (% increased chaos damage, % increased damage, % increased damage over time)
  • increased physical damage (% increased global physical damage, % increased physical damage except on weapons)
  • poisons inflict damage faster (only a couple spots on the tree/items to get it)
  • poison duration (our poison duration is already very long due to our ascendancy)

Assassin's ascendancy poison damage
Assassin's poison damage scales with increased critical strike chance and number of poisons on the enemy.

To scale assassin's poisons, our priorities are:
  • maximize our critical strike chance for both attacks and spells
  • ensure 100% poison chance for both attacks and spells
  • attack/cast on crit as fast as possible to inflict as many poisons as possible

At 12 attacks per second against a single target, we will inflict at least 24 poisons per second assuming only one bladefall/blade blade blast hits our target (12 cyclone hits, 6 bladefall hits, 6 blade blast hits), giving us at least 120% increased poison duration for subsequent poisons. Inflicting so many poisons also means more life regen from our ascendancy when trash mobs die.
Perfect agony poison damage
Poisons while you have the "Perfect Agony" keystone scale with:
  • global critical strike multiplier
  • critical strike multiplier for spells (because we are using spells)

I haven't scaled Perfect Agony very well in SSF, but this can definitely be minmaxed with specific gear and jewels.
Stun and ailment immunity
Stun immunity

Stun immunity is very important for cyclone because you can get some nasty desync effects if you get stunned while cycloning.

Stun immunity is easily achieved by:
  • "Unpredictable Offense" skill tree cluster (50%)
  • "Heart of Oak" skill tree cluster (28%)
  • "Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments/Chance to Avoid Being Stunned" chest craft (20-30%)

If you're missing the chest craft, you can cap your stun immunity with the "Arcane Swiftness" notable for 3 points (20%) and taking the minor stun avoidance node above Heart of Oak (8%).
Ailment immunity
For white and yellow maps, having freeze immunity on a flask is sufficient and you can ignore ailment immunity.

In the late game/red maps when ailments become deadlier, you can become ailment immune with the skill tree and some crafts:
  • "Thick Skin" skill tree cluster (20%)
  • "Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments/Chance to Avoid Being Stunned" chest craft (20-30%)
  • "Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments" glove craft (20-25%)
  • "Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments" helm craft (20-25%)

If you are missing some crafts but still want ailment immunity, you can spec the full "Crystal Skin" cluster for 6 points (70%) and "Arcane Swiftness" for 3 points (20%) (which is also useful for stun avoidance if you are missing the chest craft).

If you are minmaxing, you can also get ailment avoidance from Aisling's unveil on chest (35-45%), shaper boots (up to 35%) or evasion or evasion/es shields (up to 23%). Fix up the remaining % with points on the skill tree or crafts on helm/gloves.
Mana fixing
If you use a gemini claw you will have no mana problems.

If you choose rune dagger or sceptre, our cyclone mana cost is 3 and there are a few options:
  • (1) Elreon's bench craft "channelling skills have -3 to total cost" on one of your rings
  • (2) Allocate "Essence Sap" (bottom right of the skill tree) for 3 points
  • (3) Use a viridian jewel with "+2 mana gained for each enemy hit by your attacks"
  • (4) anoint "Lucidity" on your amulet (channeling skills have -3 to cost), although there are more powerful anoints available
  • (5) "mana gained for each enemy hit by your spells" found on shaper rings (you may get lucky and roll this on one of your life gain on hit rings)

The advantage of using a gemini claw or solutions (2) or (3) is you can run no regen maps without swapping for a mana flask. I use the bench craft from solution (1) but I still have a viridian jewel with mana gained on hit to swap in for the occasional no regen map.

"Physical attack damage leeched as mana" is not sufficient for this build because our hit damage is so low.




End-game gear in SSF Ultimatum:

Budget gear example:

There is a subsection for each piece of gear with instructions on how to craft them.

The most important sections are:
  • Weapon for ensuring your CoC works
  • Rings for life gain on hit
  • Cluster jewels for more damage and fortify


This build works with a claw, rune dagger, or sceptre.

Your top priorities are:
  • increased critical strike chance (30-35% or more)
  • high attack speed (1.5 attacks per second or more)
  • an open prefix to craft on either "chaos damage over time multiplier", "increased chaos damage" or "increased chaos damage, chaos skills have increased skill effect duration" (skill effect duration increases the duration of our wither from withering step)

Other good damage mods:
  • +1 to all spell skill gems/+1 to all physical spell skill gems (very rare, rune dagger or sceptre only)
  • gain % of physical damage as extra chaos damage (rune dagger only)
  • increased damage with poison (claw or rune dagger)
  • +#% to damage over time multiplier (claw, rune dagger, or sceptre)
  • +#% to global critical strike multiplier (claw, rune dagger, or sceptre - scales with Perfect Agony)
  • increased critical strike chance for spells (rune dagger or sceptre)
  • note that increased spell damage does NOT scale our poison damage and is a useless mod

I recommend starting with a gemini claw for life sustain and mana fixing. Use a deafening essence of loathing on any gemini claw, then craft on increased chaos damage if you have an open prefix.

Switch to a sceptre once you get a cluster jewel with the "Overlord" notable ("Gain fortify for 6 seconds on melee hit with a mace, sceptre, or staff"), found on mace/sceptre large cluster jewels or on the unique Megalomaniac medium clusters.

The ideal base is a Driftwood Sceptre, which is the only sceptre with 1.55 base attack speed. They drop very rarely at high item level (I have only found one in maps so far, with an exalt sound for it on my item filter). Instead, use a Karui Sceptre (more common) or Grinning Fetish base (lower strength requirement). We only care about the base attack speed and the fact that it is a sceptre. As with the claw, use a deafening essence of loathing and look for our desired mods.

I never tried a rune dagger but it could increase your damage quite a bit if you find one with the right combination of mods (e.g. phys as extra chaos, +1 physical spell gems) - you can't get fortify though, unfortunately.

Most of the single target sustain for the build comes from your rings.

You want shaper or crusader rings (ilvl 75+) with the mod "life gained for each enemy hit by your spells". Shaper rings are preferred because the mod occurs more commonly on it. A lower ilvl ring is okay in SSF, but can only roll 8-12 life gained on hit (instead of 13-15 on ilvl 75+).

To craft from these bases, use pristine fossils, harvest's "reforge a rare item with a life modifier, life modifiers are more common", or harvest's "caster modifiers more common" reforge.

This mod is so powerful I would recommend going for it on SSF even if you only find an influenced ring on a trash base like a gold ring or paua ring. Once you get life gained on spell hit on both rings you will be able to tank most things that don't one-shot you.

Vermillion rings are ideal but hard to find influenced in SSF. I ended up using a redeemer's exalt on a vermillion ring and using harvest's "randomize influence" until I hit crusader or shaper. Scour and apply fertile catalysts if possible before crafting further with pristine fossils or harvest.

Ideally one ring has an open prefix to craft "channelling skills have -3 to total cost" if you are not using a gemini claw. Read the "Mana fixing" section under "About this Build" for other solutions. Otherwise, life and resists are ideal. +1 to minimum frenzy charges craft is a great dps boost if you can fit it in.

Trade league option

If you can afford a watcher's eye with "# life gained for each enemy hit while affected by vitality", you can run level 1 vitality and drop one of the shaper rings for a more dps oriented ring (for example, hunter iolite ring with poison damage mod, crit multiplier essence, warlord/elder crit multi ring, etc). Having at least one life gain on hit ring with the vitality watcher's eye will give you massive single target sustain and you can probably face tank sirus die beam.

Ungil's Harmony.

This is a common drop but if you're unlucky to find one in SSF, there are several ways:
  • Betrayal: Elreon in Research (unique jewelry chests) or Elreon in Intervention (reliquary scarabs)
  • Heist: Brute Force and Demolition contracts have a chance to contain unique item rewards (or run blueprints with unique item rewards)
  • Mapping: buy maps from Zana with Zana's mod ("modifiers to item quantity also affect item rarity") and use reliquary scarabs on them
  • chance orb on every white turquoise amulet you pick up

I settled on the "smashing strikes" anoint (10% chance to gain an endurance charge on melee critical strike). You will be at 3 endurance charges within a couple seconds of attacking, and regenerate them quickly after your cwdt immortal call procs. "Freedom of movement" is a great cheap anoint to use in the early game.

If you don't want endurance charges, other interesting anoints are Lucidity (-3 to cost of cyclone), Dire Torment (+20 to DoT multi), Dirty Techniques (several poison/DoT bonuses), and Force Shaper (phys as extra chaos, attack speed).

You can use intrinsic catalysts for +4 extra intelligence if you find yourself low on int for some piece of gear. The new unstable catalysts can also increase the crit chance from Ungil's even more, although they are more rare/expensive.
Trade league option
If you can cap your attack crit chance (e.g. with bottled faith, diamond flask, and 1.5%+ attack crit on your chest) you could consider swapping for a rare influenced amulet (with +phys/dex skill gems, critical strike multiplier, etc.), although this will be quite expensive and reliant on flasks.

Any shield with life and resists is good enough to start.

I like evasion bases (increased movement speed implicit) or evasion/energy shield bases (chance to dodge spell hits implicit). Use an essence of greed to guarantee high life. Defensively, both of these bases can roll % chance to avoid elemental ailments, which can sometimes save you a craft on your helm or gloves. Evasion bases can roll accuracy which can help ensure 100% hit chance before you finish your tree and level up precision fully.

In the later game, you can look for a DPS boost on your shield. Evasion/ES bases can roll "gain % of physical damage as extra chaos damage". ES bases can also rarely roll "+1 to all physical spell skill gems" which is a bigger DPS boost.

One problem with ES shields is the high intelligence requirement. Our highest int requirement on gems is 111 (e.g. spell cascade), while many ES shields have 140+ intelligence requirements. If you find a shield with +1 to all physical spells and % phys as extra chaos but your int is too low, it is worth taking a +30 int node on the tree to equip it.

Body armour

Life and resists on a 6-link. Tabula Rasa is preferred over a 5-link, you can fix your life and resists on your shield until you get a proper 6-link.

Assassin's garb is ideal, although any evasion or es/evasion base is fine. Armor/evasion bases can have too high of a str requirement but can be fixed with a +30 str node on the tree (if you are in SSF and happen to drop a 6L on a bad base). Use a deafening essence of greed and hope for an open prefix to craft "% chance to avoid elemental ailments/% chance to avoid being stunned" (unlocked from unveiling body armors from betrayal). If you are lucky and have 2 open prefixes, you can use the new T4 aisling 'add a veiled modifier' to look for the t0 mod (up to 45% ailment avoidance, which can save a craft on helm/gloves). Even if you don't get the ailment avoidance unveil, it can still roll other good mods like 10% life or 14% spell dodge.

Hunter body armours can roll +0.5-1 to critical strike chance for attacks or spells (ilvl 68+), up to +1-1.5% (ilvl 84+). Harvest's "reforge a rare item with a critical modifier" guarantees one of these two mods. "Reforge a rare item with an attack modifier" guarantees attack crit, while "with a caster modifier" is likely to roll spell crit. Both mods are powerful: base attack crit will likely cap your crit chance without a diamond flask, and spell crit simply increased your damage from assassin's "poisons you inflict with critical strikes deal 50% more damage". You want an open prefix to craft ailment/stun avoidance, or two open prefixes for aisling unveil + craft.

Life and resists.

Use a high evasion base with either essences of greed or essences to fix your resists (e.g. use screaming essence of hatred if you need cold resist). The helm hybrid life/evasion rolls are quite high and you can get a 100+ life helm by crafting on flat life after using resist essences. An open suffix is useful to craft % chance to avoid elemental ailments (unlocked from completing Bazaar map).

An ilvl 85+ hunter helm can roll "nearby enemies have -9% to chaos resistance" which can be done with aberrant fossils or harvest's "reforge a rare item with a chaos modifier, chaos modifiers are more common". Added flat chaos/physical damage to spells from hunter is also okay.

The warlord "+#% to global critical strike multiplier" helm mod (ilvl 75+) works with Perfect Agony and can be targeted with harvest's "reroll a rare item, including a critical modifier". A crusader helm (ilvl 80+) with "increased effect of fortify on you" is also good for survivability if you have a sceptre and fortify through cluster jewels.

There are many good helm enchants. Bladefall additional volley, blade blast area of effect, withering step applies additional withers, despair curse effect, or even reduced mana reservation for herald of agony or precision to fit in another aura. I would guess that blade blast increased area of effect would give the highest DPS gain because the AoE of our blade blasts is somewhat low in this build.

Life and resists. Attack speed if you can fit it in.

The new "apothecary's gloves" are preferred if you are crafting yourself, for the increased damage over time implicit. If you have enough resists elsewhere, you can look for attack speed on your gloves. Essences of Zeal guarantee attack speed (up to 18% increased attack speed with deafening essence of zeal) which can scale our damage a lot. An open suffix is useful to craft % chance to avoid elemental ailments.

There are fancy influenced modifiers you can go for (hunter: +#% to chaos damage over time multiplier; warlord: culling strike, increased damage over time) but I think attack speed is the easiest/cheapest way to scale your DPS.

Movement speed, life, resists. Shrieking essence of zeal guarantees 30% movement speed on boots.

Shaper boots can roll up to 35% ailment avoidance. This can save you a craft on your helm, gloves, or chest.

Shaper or crusader boots can roll cooldown recovery (ilvl 80+), which is a necessary mod if our attack speed goes above 12 attacks per second. The roll must be 14%+ cooldown recovery, which may need to be divined. Cooldown recovery can also be rolled on belts which is my preferred method.

Hunter boots can roll the powerful "you have tailwind if you have dealt a critical strike recently" mod, which gives 8% more attack speed and 8% more movement speed.

For my end-game boots, I rolled the tailwind mod with orbs of alteration (~500 alts) and then used an awakener's orb to combine 35% ailment avoidance shaper boots with the tailwind hunter boots. Then, I crafted "suffixes cannot be changed" (2ex) and used a veiled chaos orb to unveil a movement speed modifier, and crafted on life.

This is very expensive but is relatively deterministic and reversible. You can usually re-craft "suffixes cannot be changed" and slam another veiled chaos until you get a movement speed mod, then craft on life. Harvest's "reforge a rare item, keeping all suffixes" can be used to reset the item if your unveil fills up the prefixes with useless mods.

If you manage to get tailwind boots, you will likely need cooldown recovery on either your boots or belt (because your attack speed will go over 12aps), so a safer awakener's orb would be to combine cooldown recovery and tailwind. However, 35% ailment avoid can save you helm and glove crafts meaning you can fix more resists/damage on those pieces.

Life and resists.

Leather belts and stygian vises are great, but a rustic sash is also decent (the increased physical damage implicit scales poisons).

You can roll 10% life on elder (ilvl 75+) or hunter (ilvl 84+) belts. If you find one of these influenced leather belts, scour it, put on 4 fertile catalysts, and use pristine fossils or harvest's "reroll a rare item with a life modifier, life modifiers are more common" to get a juicy belt. Hunter is preferred because it can also roll % increased chaos damage as a prefix.

If you get enough attack speed to go above 12aps and need to roll cooldown recovery, there are a few options:
  • (1) ilvl 75+ shaper or crusader belt can roll up to 15% cooldown recovery (must be divined to 14%+)
  • (2) bench craft 12% cooldown recovery on your belt and use one abyss jewel with 2% increased cooldown recovery
  • (3) unveil 13-16% cooldown recovery from betrayal (divined to 14%+), either dropped from a betrayal member, using t4 aisling to add a veiled suffix, or using veiled chaos orbs

For my endgame belt, I used a hunter's exalt on a stygian vise, scoured+catalyst, then rolled with pristine fossils until t1% life and a good flat life roll. Then, I used "prefixes cannot be changed" and a veiled chaos to unveil 16% cooldown recovery (took 3 tries = 6ex).

Cluster jewels

The main DPS goal on cluster jewels is finding the "Overwhelming Malice" notable (chance to gain unholy might on critical strike). This gives up 30% of physical damage as extra chaos damage, which is basically 30% more damage. This can be found on increased chaos damage large cluster jewels or increased critical strike chance medium cluster jewels. This mod has no tags so there are no secrets to rolling it, other than using alt/aug/regal or chaos spamming. It should occur more commonly on the medium cluster, and will be more likely to be in a good position on the medium cluster as well.

If you choose a claw or rune dagger, a chaos large cluster can also roll other good mods such as "Grim Oath" (10% of physical damage as extra chaos damage), "Unholy Grace" (30% increased chaos damage, 10% increased attack speed), or "Unspeakable Gifts" (10% chance for enemies to explode). I've tried out Unspeakable Gifts and it did not increase my clear speed too much because bladefall has such good coverage, but it isn't terrible.

For sceptres, you want a mace/sceptre/staff damage large cluster jewel with the "Overlord" notable, granting us fortify on melee hit which is a huge survivability bonus. You can use serrated fossils or harvest's "reroll with an attack modifier, attack modifiers more common", or simply alt/regal roll it (quite rare, expect to spend 500+ alts).

The ideal cluster has either 2 notables (overlord and vicious skewering) or 3 notables (overlord and 2 other notables that are not vicious skewering), to ensure that overlord is in a good position. However, even if it is in a bad position I would still make it work. Most other notables on this cluster do nothing for our build, although "Weight Advantage", "Martial Prowess", and "Fuel the Fight" can give us some stats/attack speed.

If you do not anoint "Smashing Strikes" you can use a medium channeling cluster with "Enduring Focus" (chance to gain endurance charges while channeling). This generates charges slower than the anoint, but you can generate some charges by cycloning during dead time (e.g. while waiting for Shaper or Sirus phases).

Finding cluster jewels on SSF:
You can find clusters from delirium but the most reliable way to find them is Demolition heist contracts (or heist blueprints with delirium rewards). Use the 5-to-1 vendor recipe until you find the base you need. Any number of passives is acceptable on SSF but aim for the lowest possible (8 or 9) on large clusters and a lower number (4 or 5) on medium clusters.

Trade league option

Buy a large cluster jewel with "Overwhelming Malice" and a megalomaniac medium cluster with "Overlord". I'm sure there are plenty of ways to minmax clusters on trade with this build.
Base jewels

Life, resists, attack speed, and stats (strength/intelligence) if you need them.

On jewels, attack speed can come from "attack speed", "attack speed with one-handed melee weapons", "attack speed while holding a shield", and "attack speed with [claw, sceptre, or dagger]".

Increased chaos damage, increased global physical damage, increased damage with poison, and +#% to chaos damage over time multiplier are all good too.

I chose to slot in one pure attack speed jewel (3 attack speed modifiers) and the rest with a combination of life/resist/attack speed. We end up with several jewel sockets in the endgame and it is a good way to fix your stats and get more life and attack speed.


Atziri's promise is a great DPS boost.

Other than a life flask, we use quicksilver flask, silver flask, and diamond flask. You can drop the diamond flask if you can fully cap your attack crit chance (e.g. with with a hunter body armour) and use a sulphur flask (more damage) or jade or quartz flask (more defences).

Coralito's Signature is a good option for diamond flask if you have it. Otherwise, use any other diamond flask.

Get curse immunity on one of your flasks, and freeze immunity if you are not yet ailment immune.


Gem setup


cyclone - bladefall - blast blast - cast on critical strike - spell cascade - deadly ailments

Spell cascade lets us inflict more poisons with bladefall/blade blast, deadly ailments is a pure DPS gem (unbound ailments will show more DPS in PoB, but assumes a very long poison duration stack). All awakened support gems are good - awakened spell cascade is probably the biggest possible DPS/clear boost as we will cast 5 bladefalls instead of 3, which should shotgun. Awakened cast on critical strike is only necessary if you are going for more than 15 attacks per second or you can't get cooldown recovery on your belt or boots.

Withering step

withering step - second wind - increased duration

Cooldown recovery from second wind lets us cast withering step sooner and increased duration makes our withers last longer, allowing us to stack more withers.


despair - blasphemy - precision - herald of agony

Despair gives us more damage than malevolence would. With enlighten and some reduced mana reservation on the tree you could fit in aspect of the spider (more damage) or aspect of the crab (more defences).

Plague bearer

plague bearer - increased area of effect - empower (level 2+)

Pretty standard for a poison build, use plague bearer for clear and to give some extra single target DPS. Note that plague bearer has a debuff of 20% LESS POISON DAMAGE while incubating and not at maximum plague value, so make sure to pop it during bosses even if you haven't hit the maximum value.

Guard skill/CWDT

cast when damage taken (level 1) - immortal call (level 1-3) - increased duration (level 10-15)

Buff duration should be quite long with endurance charge generation through anoint or cluster jewels. You can drop increased duration if you need to fit in other gems. Keep CWDT at level 1 and level up immortal call (maximum level 3) and increased duration (any level) as much as your strength allows.


flame dash - smoke mine - vaal grace - second wind

Use whatever movement/vaal skills you prefer, if you have cooldown recovery and not enough attack speed you can slot vaal haste for higher DPS.

Level 21 gems in order of importance: bladefall, blade blast, withering step (each of these will give you ~5% more damage over a level 20 gem)


Gameplay tips

Withering step and cyclone
Withering step gives a huge DPS boost by applying wither stacks and can be cast at instant speed while cycloning.

The elusive buff from withering step will be maintained if you cast it while cycloning and do not use any other skills (such as toggling plague bearer or stopping/starting cyclone)

The elusive buff from withering step will be lost and its cooldown will begin as soon as you use any other skill (such as toggling plague bearer or stopping/starting cyclone)

The duration of withers inflicted by withering step is independent of the cooldown (we can scale both the cooldown recovery of withering step and increase the duration of the withers)

Multiple uses of withering step will apply more wither stacks (as long as the old ones have not expired)

You can use these interactions to significantly improve your single target DPS with the following steps to apply maximum wither stacks:
  • (1) start cycloning with right-click (or whatever button you use)
  • (2) use withering step
  • (3) quickly break cyclone and restart cycloning (e.g. by unclicking and right-clicking again)
  • (4) hold down button for withering step
  • (5) when you see the withering step eyeballs appear again, return to step (3)

Because we have "gain elusive on critical strike" from our ascendancy we can also maintain a high elusive % by gaining the withering step elusive buff, and once it begins to fade we can start/stop cyclone to regain the ascendancy elusive. When withering step comes off cooldown, you can use that again to get a more powerful elusive buff.
Both poison and bladefall feel very rampy, because poison is a damage over time effect and it takes a second for bladefalls to finish falling from initial cast to start dealing damage. You will find that by cycloning through mobs you deal lethal poisons to mobs well before they die, meaning you can clear several packs and backtrack for any relevant loot once they finally die. Your plague bearer should charge quickly, so you can also pop this as soon as it charges for better clear.

As long as your cyclone is hitting your target, CoC will cast your bladefalls and blade blasts directly on top of your targets. Therefore, the safest way to deal damage to many bosses is with the edge of your cyclone, for example by doing circles around them. Getting closer to them will ensure you don't lose damage if they move around, but can also increase your risk of getting hit. Focus on dodging their abilities and keeping at least some part of your cyclone over them.
Plague bearer
While plague bearer is incubating and not at maximum plague value, we deal 20% less damage with poison.

If you can hit maximum plague bearer value and pop it, you will gain some single target DPS, but more importantly try to pop plague bearer to "infecting" while DPSing a boss so you don't have the "20% less damage" debuff from incubating.


DPS calculation


Poison DPS is very hard to estimate, however I estimate the DPS of the build at around 3M+ Shaper DPS based on my experience playing other builds up to 30M DPS. Your DPS will ramp up against bosses and you can often run away and let your poison finish them off.

Bladefall/blade blast DPS is also very hard to estimate because of the shotgunning and lingering blades effect. Because of spell cascade, I estimate that 3 bladefalls and 3 blade blasts will hit per CoC proc, although this could be higher or lower depending on RNG.

For PoB configuration, I use:
  • 4 poisons on enemy (to cap crit chance)
  • 7 wither stacks (one level 21 withering step application)
  • 30 poisons inflicted recently (giving about a 5 second poison duration)

This is a very conservative estimate. If you can constantly DPS a boss for 4 seconds (the 'recently' cap), you should have inflicted at least 100 poisons, which makes our poison duration around 12 seconds. With my end-game SSF gear the "poison DPS" for bladefall is ~500k and for blade blast is ~200k. With 3 bladefalls hitting, and 3 blade blasts hitting, this puts us at 2.1M dps according to the conservative PoB. The DPS should be much higher with sustained damage and proper application of withering step.

For trade league, awakened spell cascade should significantly improve DPS with more bladefalls hitting, and more lingering blades for blade blast to detonate.



What about just using bladefall?
I started this build using only CoC bladefall, with cwdt blade blast as extra damage/sustain through life on hit. However, we get a ton of attack speed on the tree and end up above the basic CoC breakpoint even with a white gemini claw. Casting both spells lets us apply more poisons, gives us more life gain on hit, and more easily allows DPS to be scaled through attack speed. If you have cooldown recovery, you can play around with using only bladefall and another support gem to replace blade blast (vile toxins or unbound ailments). Note that your mana cost will go up from 3 to 4 which may require further mana fixing.
Should we scale area of effect (AoE)?
For single target, AoE scaling is good for blade blast but bad for bladefall. Unfortunately, because both are in our CoC setup we can't use a support gem to scale each in different directions, such as supporting bladefall with concentrated effect and blade blast with increased area of effect. The best compromise is having bladefall at 0 quality (no increased AoE) and blade blast at 20 quality (10% increased AoE). If you only care about clear speed then scale AoE all you want, although spell cascade bladefall already has pretty good coverage.
Can't we just get fortify with shield charge or whirling blades?
I don't like getting fortify through a secondary mechanic which lowers our dps by not attacking.

Either get fortify with cluster jewels or focus on dodging bosses while cycloning with a claw/dagger.
What about wither totems?
Withering step is sufficient to apply wither, especially if you use the cyclone/canceling tech described in the "Gameplay tips" section. I also don't like having to stop DPSing to spawn totems.
Wouldn't cold iron point be good?
The crit chance and attack speed of cold iron point is quite low and not ideal for this build.
Can we run reflect maps?
Unfortunately we don't have enough ascendancy points to spec assassin's immunity to reflect on critical strikes. You will die to physical reflect on maps (just roll reflect avoidance with sextants for these maps). However, your hit damage is low enough that with life gain on hit you are immune to Atziri's 2% base reflect (so you can farm her for her flask on SSF).
Dual wield?
The highest DPS possible build would use dual wielding for the 10% more attack speed bonus. However, it is very hard to craft even one god-tier weapon for this build because there are too many mods required. It is much easier to find a shield with a good DPS bonus (physical as extra chaos damage or +1 to physical spell skill gems) that also gives us life and resists.


Thanks for reading!

This is my first ever guide so I really appreciate any feedback.
Last bumped on Nov 24, 2021, 4:12:06 AM
hi looks interesting probably gonna try it soon,
can it survive most of the tier14+ ultimatums?
hi looks interesting probably gonna try it soon,
can it survive most of the tier14+ ultimatums?

This build is very good for ultimatums because you never have to stop moving. The combination of life gain on kill (assassin's noxious strike) and life gain on hit (from shaper/crusader rings) means you won't die unless something one-shots you.

I actually switched from self-cast bf/bb to this build because ultimatums were stressing me out and hurting my hands. It is a much more chill experience, just cyclone around and pop plague bearer/withering step occasionally.

I completed 27/27 "Ultimatum Encounters IV" (every type of ultimatum mod) on this build in tier14+ alch and go maps and rarely died. Even ones like "Occasional Impotence" (deal no damage for 2 seconds every 8 seconds) are fine because we can still regen with life gain on hit. The nastiest mod is "less cooldown recovery" (basically deal 5x less damage on a CoC build), I did this one in a "Survive" ultimatum and it was fine.

Im at level 68 with this build and I must say IT'S SO FUN
Ez to die but you can facetank some contents
Thank you for sharing the build, I will invest more to my build and will give more feedback about this
Im lveling with Spellinger BFBB and it somehow make my hand tired. this build makes my hand and twists at ease :)
I've never tried a coc build, or a bf/bb build but I started leveling a new character to try this out in SSF on xbox, I'll report back here with how it goes :).
This build is super fun! I've been doing it in SSF as well and it's going great! Need to get my 6L so i can start doing t15+ content, but for a trade league this would be such a good build and cheap to make.
How to deal with stun?
TheEggman wrote:
How to deal with stun?

There a section in the guide with details: About this Build > Stun and ailment immunity > Stun immunity.

You get 28% stun avoid from Heart of Oak, and 50% stun avoid while channeling from Unpredictable Offence cluster in the bottom right of the tree - this cluster also gives 21% attack speed so it's really strong.

Get the last 22% percent from a craft on gear, either chest if you're going for ailment immune (since it gives both stun/ailment avoid) or on one of gloves/helm if you don't care about ailment immune.

If you have really good gear you can't fit a crafting slot on, you can anoint Lucidity for 40% stun avoid while channeling (also fixes mana problems, but you give up better anoint options), or using 4 points on the tree (1 extra stun avoid small node above heart of oak and 3 points into Arcane Swiftness in the top right).

Stun avoid while channeling is sufficient, you will only be in the middle of mobs while cycloning anyway. I've never been stun locked while running between packs or flame dashing out of packs, there is enough avoidance with high dodge/evasion and 50% stun avoid while not channeling.
Last edited by efun on May 16, 2021, 4:00:47 AM
I tested the build out in trade league to see what could be optimized.

First point, if you are leveling on trade league and have twink gear (minimum: ungil's harmony and tabula rasa) you can swap to CoC as soon as you hit level 38. The unique claw Mortem Morsu can carry you to red maps (I found one for a few chaos with a nice corrupt):

Here's my final trade league gear. I hit 5.5k+ life at level 92, with about 30% more damage on PoB than my SSF version (probably even more because of awakened spell cascade + blade blast AoE helm enchant). The last skill points from leveling would just be extra life nodes or an extra jewel slot.

Perfectly rolled Ungil's with Unstable Catalysts (increased effect of crit modifiers) lets you cap melee crit without diamond flask or attack crit on chest, so I went with a frenzy charge on hit chest instead.

I hit 14.9aps without tailwind due to a very nicely rolled sceptre. So, I didn't go for tailwind boots which would put me over 15aps. You could easily hit 17+ aps with tailwind and higher attack speed jewels, but this needs 52%+ CDR which is very expensive.

Sceptre is fairly deterministic to craft but expensive:
1.) ilvl 77+ driftwood sceptre
2.) deafening essence of loathing until t1 attack speed
3.) annul until only t1 crit/t1 attack speed as suffixes and at least one open prefix
4.) if still have any prefixes, craft "Suffixes Cannot Be Changed" and scour
5.) craft "Cannot Roll Attack Modifiers" and Augment Physical with Harvest (guarantees +1 to physical spell gems)
6.) multimod chaos damage/chaos DoT multi
So glad this exists. Just want to ask. Can this be played if I'm starting from scratch. Like a league start. Building up as I go?

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