[3.16] [Trickster] [Scourge] Vaal Blade Vortex + Poison "Stroll Through Hell"

Howdy all! This is my first real attempt at a build guide. I wanted to share what I've found to be a very fun playstyle when dealing with maps, especially here in Scourge League. This build is in no way optimized, it's just where I ended up after some trial and error.

I really enjoy playing DoT builds, and I wanted to experiment with a few options for poison "delivery systems". I leveled with Explosive Trap for a bit, then tried Storm Burst for part 2 of the campaign...but Evasion builds that stand still are wet napkins.

Blade Vortex was a godsend! With Unleash and increased duration, I am able to comfortably sustain 10 blades while being able to move around 95% of the time I'm in maps. Scourge has also been really fun to play, although I still get ripped apart from time to time.

Here's how the build works:
-Blade Vortex is delivering 99% of the damage through poison stacks. You walk/run around your enemies until they perish.
-Vaal Blade Vortex allows you to do the same thing from further away. It also seeks enemies nearby. Great for bossing!
-There's "damage enhancers" to add to your DPS(Withering Step, Corrupting Fever, Plague Bearer). Try to only use Plague Bearer when it's full.
-If Blade Vortex is your bread & butter, then Withering Step is the knife, it will be your movement/evasion/dmg buff. It expires IMMEDIATELY when you use another skill, so always pop it last!
-Some buffs to keep you safe (Grace, Arctic Armour). I have an Evasion/ES build with almost 100% Spell Suppression.
-Herald of Agony for chance to poison
-Immortal Call linked to whatever you want
-Curse delivery via Void Sphere (plus a few poison stacks and enemy hindrance)

-For Scourge, always have 10 blades up before you enter the zone. I HIGHLY recommend saving a full Plague Bearer and at least 1 Vaal Blade vortex for use. I usually activate in this order: Blade Vortex until full, [Blood Crucible], Plague Bearer, Corrupting Fever, Withering Step, then run! Pop potions as needed, Vaal Blade Vortex/ Void Sphere as needed for bosses and tough mobs. Again, keep in mind Withering Step expires when you use another skill, you will lose some of your safety/damage.

-I chose to synergize Blade Vortex with Corrupting Fever by linking Blade Vortex with Lifetap! As long as I keep casting Blade Vortex (with life), I can stack Corrupting Blood AND poison stacks.

-Unleash makes it super easy to sustain Blades, 'nuf said.

-Withering Step + a good Quartz Flask (for Phasing) WILL save your life in Scourge, keep one or the other up whenever possible!

-(No Dendrobate): Vaal Blade Vortex + Unleash + Unbound Ailments + Chance to Poison + Lifetap [5] + Deadly Ailments [6]

-(With Dendrobate): Vaal Blade Vortex + Unleash + Unbound Ailments + Lifetap + Deadly Ailments [5] + Cruelty [6]

-Void Sphere + Hextouch + Despair + Temporal Chains
Note: I grab Whispers of Doom from the passive tree to use two curses.

-Herald of Agony + Vaal Grace + Arctic Armour + Vaal Haste (regular Haste not activated)

-Cast When Damage Taken (lvl 8) + Immortal Call (lvl10) + Summon Lightning Golem (lvl10) + Portal
Note: With all the movement speed and Phasing, I don't find myself accidently clicking my portal enough to bother me.

-Withering Step + Corrupting Fever + Increased Duration

-Plague Bearer + Empower + Increased Area of Effect

My Gear (Not Optimised!):

I only had to buy two of these items (Dendrobate and Helmet), but the helmet enchant is optional. The sky's the limit now with krangled gear! Dendrobate's bonuses are REALLY nice once you get the attributes, and the inherent Chance to Poison support is necessary for Blade Vortex! I also favor Obliteration for the dmg boost and the close proximity of Scourge mobs (there's some pretty good "popcorn" explosions!)

I ended up saving Alira Act 2, I think you could make a case to save any of them (or not), but I love having the extra resists!

1. Patient Reaper
2. Swift Killer
3. Prolonged Pain
4. Harness the Void

Skill Tree: https://www.pathofexile.com/fullscreen-passive-skill-tree/AAAABgYCbwEkBZMFtQZwBucPqxB7E5oWvxhqGYoZqhqPIuokiyaVKP8pDypNKxguIzIBMkkzcDOjNj031DlSPLY_J0cGSRNJUk0NUEJRR1FMUzVVS1gHWW1d8l5FX5hfsGHiaoxq62yMcOdzDnUpdf16f31bgLOEb4TFjDaNv4_6kUeTH5Txm7WdqqLZo6OkBac0rEew2LIZsvK1SLkCvjrAnMLswzrGRcgUyCPKSst_y73N6s8yz3rQ0NRC2jvbGuGS4rDjhOZY5oHo1usU6zLsGO0_9Rj1b_ba9vz3E_rr-wn_-AAMhcIBJPyCKP_1sXDncAT_-LbXMkk0RhmqRbx1KfEtxkU_iOsyemNNDZYXKxiRRmrr?accountName=AlmsiviAnkh&characterName=ZappnTox

For early leveling, my recommendation is Explosive Trap + Chance to Poison + Multiple Traps + Efficacy. You should be able to get all four once you get through The Prison in Act 1. I wouldn't recommend a Blade Vortex switch until you can comfortably sustain 10 blades. Unleash makes this easy, but you need to beat Act 4 before you can acquire that support!

And that's about it! If you can keep moving, and keep your passive DoT up, you should be able to +STROLL THROUGH HELL+

I will do my best to respond to any questions. Recommendations are welcome!

P.S. Raider ascendancy has permanent Phasing, I'd love to see this build idea plugged into that class!

For those who use Path of Building---->https://pastebin.com/kvpGwcEG

Last edited by AlmsiviAnkh on Nov 2, 2021, 7:27:49 PM
Last bumped on Nov 22, 2021, 6:42:24 AM
I started as Assassin, is Trickster worth to swap to or its not a big deal?
Kind of struggling with survivability for now.
Last edited by tandarenz on Nov 2, 2021, 5:57:17 PM
In my opinion, Trickster is a much better ascendancy for this build in particular. I had thought about using Assassin at first due to the 40% chance to poison, but I feel that everything about Assassin hinges on getting crits, and I didn't want to take up space on the passive tree grabbing crit nodes. Swift Killer and Patient Reaper gives lots of survivability and damage on kill rather than on crit, so it's much easier to sustain.

I see, thanks for the answer and good luck with the drops.
Could we see a video? Mapping and bossing.
I'm sorry, but I don't think my computer would be able to make a video worthy of watching. It's almost 5 years old and I've had to lean on Dynamic Resolution, especially with higher-tier maps.

I will say that mapping and bossing has been pretty smooth. I haven't broken into red maps just yet. Here's some things that have/haven't felt "good" in maps:

-Map Mobs
-Abyss encounters
-Harvest (really good with the tight quarters of spawns!)
-Ambush (Strongboxes)
-Metamorph (usually)


I haven't done any Delve or Heist content yet, so I can't speak for that. Any bosses that allow freedom of movement and don't have invulnerability stages also feel pretty good overall.
I'm pretty new to the game and was wondering how does this build apply poison?
To60Kukata wrote:
I'm pretty new to the game and was wondering how does this build apply poison?

Without Dendrobate you use the Chance to Poison gem. Dendrobate have that gem built in so you essentially have a 7-link.
how does this build apply chaos dmage?

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