[3.17] 👑PoE on Steroids: ✨Flicker Strike✨ CoC Ice Nova / Spear ❄️ - S-Tier T16s, Sirus, map/boss ✔️


Hey there! I’m Primaeva, and I’ve been making random janky builds / music vids on YouTube (accompanied by Reddit threads) for a while!

Welcome to a classic launched in 2018 and revived for 2022! This build combines the 'fastest' skill in PoE, Flicker Strike, and one of the most chaotic interactions in PoE, Cast on Critical Strike, for one of the most fun experiences you can have as a PoE player. I hope to bring that ecstatic feeling back to old-timers and new-comers alike!

This variant has a focus on smooth mapping, sufficient boss damage for all content, and then a lot of points go towards making it relatively tanky compared to other Flicker / CoC builds out there. If you don't mind being less tanky but want to go faster, by all means adjust the build to your liking!

One complaint about Flicker builds was always the low boss DPS per investment, so we fixed that too:

DO NOTE THIS IS NOT A BUDGET BUILD. I mean, it is probably the cheapest Flicker build ever but... Do not attempt this build with any less than 15ex. It is also NOT a league starter.

[Official 3.17 Map + Bossing Showcase]


3.17 Player Testimonials! Thanks guys!

4hpkj4 wrote:
I really appreciate the recommendations. This is the most fun I've had playing this game. Flickering around is probably my new favorite way to play the game.

BruteNewb wrote:
Been playing it for about a week now and I'm 30-40ex deep. The tldr bottom line is it is very fun and therefor a success.

Cazziuz wrote:
well igotta say , after conversion its a beast though i have onlyt ran like 1 test map , but it was crazy fast ...

but seriuslythank y ou for the pob,made my day, now im off to nap before w ork tonight ,then imma smash maps once im home ,lol thanks again !

KurbadsN7 wrote:
Realy cool build, but i have been strugling with gearing it for the past 2 days. Finaly i did itand I must say it is a lot of fun. Wrecking yellow maps with my eyes closed :D

Of course, there will be some teething problems but I am creating a DPS and Tankiness Checklist below that you can check to make sure you're getting set up right to crush content for a good price!

Should you play this build? Pros and Cons

+ Bucketloads of fun in a PoE-only flavour!
+ Theoretically a one-button build with autoaim and teleporting!
+ Ridiculous clearspeed without any explode chest needed.
+ Decent to very high single-target DPS, plus ability to "triple spec" - from Ice Nova (clear) to Ice Spear (bossing) to Cyclone CoC (Maven mostly).
+ No seriously it's like building 3 chars at once!
+ Good scaling all the way to 20m sDPS after which it plateaus.
+ Possibly the cheapest variant of Flicker Strike that can hit 10m sDPS.
+ It's Flicker Strike, come on!

- It's Flicker Strike! Backtracking for lootis annoying, loss of control can be dangerous.
- If you run Eldritch Altars or Strongboxes, having to stop feels bad.
- Tankiness depends on decent rares which you have to snipe, especially since everyone logged off to play Elden Ring.
- Horrible for SSF, you need 5 uniques.
- Build stops scaling well after 50ex pretty much, this is when you want to go pure phys/cold Flicker (needs about 100ex though lol).
- Needs a decent rig.
- Ultimately a melee build - you NEED to have clean Pinnacle boss mechanics to pull it off.

Build Statistics of Version 1.0

- 50% increased teleport range Flicker Strike (Ashes of the Stars + Divergent Flicker = "offscreen" mobs at top/bottom of screen! Also scales spell gems.)
HoI shatter all day
- Very good scaling with currency (video has no 21 Ice Nova/Spear, Bottled Faith or even Zealotry, uses cheap cold cluster, no Awakened GMP, no +2 Prism Guardian, no Hatred Crit Watcher's etc)
- Significantly cheaper than traditional Phys -> Cold Flicker with way more defensive auras (Purity of Elements, Determination, Defiance Banner) and no + Frenzy Ring / Glove / Strike requirements
- Funded by billions of failed Omniscience crafts

- 25-30k armour with just 1 Granite flask
- ~8-9k VMS with Vaal Discipline for annoying Archnemesis DoTs
- Divine Shield, which really stacks up in maps + certain boss fights
- Ailment immunity from Purity of Elements
- Hits 7k ES comfortably even with no Presence of Chayula
- ES on Hit recovery is ridiculous (50-70 hits / sec - excluding CWDT-Ball Lightning), for 1.5k-2k ES recovery before leech.
- Can swap to Cyclone CoC without respec once you are too old for this shit (Flickering can give some headaches lol)

Path of Building (PoB links)

Video used a WAY worse version of this and was at about 15ex. Crucially, some clips do not feature Multistrike, which I later realised was a huge multiplier because my base AS was so low. Mapping speed went up by no less than 30%, too... So yes, the video showed some "slow" Flickering XD

This is the 20ex version I'm currently using (all content cleared, Maven however is impossible with Flicker.)

Version 1.01: https://pastebin.com/rxDFdEpz

"Dual Spec" Swap (only recommended for Pinnacle bosses):

- Use Clusters with Eye to Eye + Repeater instead, these cost 25-40c each and 2 regrets to swap out.
- Drop Wise Oak -> Dying Sun
- Increased Critical Strikes -> GMP (or Anomalous GMP for mana costs but make sure your Ice Spear still costs at least 1 mana or Inspiration is disabled).
- Assassin's Mark --> Sniper's Mark (which is insane for Multiboss Arenas too)

Your PoB will then morph into Version 1.0b: https://pastebin.com/fWTFaTww

It is however important to note that for Pinnacle bosses you need to drop Brittle Ground - Flickering isn't considered movement so you just Flick to the target, release the button a little and walk a step, then hold it down again.

Do note that "Low Life" on bosses is now also 50% so Assassin pops off very very hard once you nuke them down with the initial Brittle drop. (11.3m sDPS with this PoB).

Pop in a Bottled Faith over Diamond Flask for ~ 2 million more sDPS.

Build Concept and How it Works

Usurper's Penance is a 3.15, 1c unique helm which grants up to 30% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Crit at "close range" (with no cooldown or per-skill limit apparently.)

Flicker Strike only works if you have Frenzy Charge generation. Since we need to focus on 100% crit chance, we play Assassin, and cannot play raider.

The previous good Flicker enablers are:

- The Red Trail which requires a Jewel Slot for Golden Rule, as well as likely a Voidheart to bleed on hit. Also, getting hit for huge bleeds sucked.

- Farrul's Fur + Aspect of the Cat. Not only is Farrul's really expensive, it limits the build to life only, disallowing Low-Life builds which are super powerful given how strong auras and Pain Attuenment is. On top of this, Aspect of the Cat is a huge waste of mana reservation for spell builds compared to other spell auras.

- Oro's and Terminus Est are low-tier Flicker enablers that more importantly disable the use of a shield, and once again Low-Life (Prism Guardian) is the way to scale spells.

To make sure we generate at least 1 Frenzy Charge, we use Ice Spear - GMP in all setups. Not only is Ice Spear - GMP among the biggest DPS combos you can have in a Cospri's, it makes sure you hit 6 additional times every other Flicker strike, oversustaining Frenzy Charges.

The real star of the 3.17 league is Ashes of the Stars though. Divergent Flicker Strike with 50% quality = 50% increased teleport range, making Flicker become an insane joyride I've never experienced before.

On top of this, Ashes' +1 all skills scales spells VERY hard. Anomalous Ice Nova also enjoys 1.5% increased damage PER QUALITY making 30% from Ashes translate to 45% increased Damage just from alt quality alone. Phantasmal Vortex enjoys 60% increased Damage, too. Not only that, as a mini-aura stacker all your auras get a +1, as does HoI.

Please help push the build further - this is just a CoC template and I'm already thinking of Mjolner variants with Shock Nova / Arc on the cards :)

For those that really want to go zoom and don't boss much, use Badge of the Brotherhood instead and spec Elusive on Assassin. Flame Dash cooldown becomes almost non-existent and your movespeed skyrockets.

Bossing Ability Breakdown

Surprisingly Easy

Any Map Boss: They kind of just die even in Ice Nova form.

Conquerors: Just weave Baran's shotguns if you don't nuke him quick enough.

Sirus: You stick to him even if he teleports which is nuts for DPS and really satisfying.

Elder Guardians: All jokes because of teleporting except Eradicator immune phase, fuck that guy. Pop VMS + Vaal Disc and run around.

Eater of Worlds et all: CoC Ice Spear simply just does too much damage for these guys to matter, Flicker or Cyclone regardless.


Uber Elder: Obviously, you love CoC, but don't flicker into Shaper balls or slam and that's about it, use it like a 3-round SMG burst instead of full-auto. Capiche?

The Feared: Sticking on a spinning Chayula is no good for your health, but honestly once you're past the 5m sDPS mark it's a nukefest.


Maven: Please just slot Cyclone in, don't even bother trying. Flickering on the Brain WILL kill you. You can Flicker Maven herself sure, but just Cyclone the whole fight and it'll last less than a minute.

In fact, why do Maven at all this league??

Apex of Atzoatl: For the same reason, you can't flicker on the temple apex thing, because Flicker puts you on the hitbox of the degen or something. Cyclone swap out for these bosses!

All Gear at a Glance

Indiv. Gear Explanations / Shopping Guide



We do this section first because these are core to the build and will almost never be replaced or upgraded.


Buy it here: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Archnemesis/8yGWGuV

The first key buy is a Watcher's Eye with ES on Hit gain when affected by Discipline. This works because this is one of the fastest hitting builds in the game (50-70 hits/sec on SINGLE TARGET depending on whether you are running Nova or Spear), and that nets you a LOT of recovery. While mapping this number goes up even more since the spells either have splash or pierce. This Watcher's also allows you to do no-regen and "slower recovery" maps since the raw gain per hit is not reduced by this mod.

Can you run the build without this item? Yes. It isn't a core mechanic or DPS-related mod after all. But I will be extremely irate if you report back at the build being squishy and finding out you didn't buy the first 'key buy' of the build. You ARE going to take damage in Path of Exile. If you do not have a plan on getting HP/ES back, you will always hate the game or build. Spend the money, buy this. It was factored into the 20ex base start-up cost, and if you tried to build this on less than 20ex, that's on you!

The second mod adds a lot of cost to the 2-3ex price, so ignore it if you only have 20ex to start the build. Good candidates are:

1) ES% Regen (as shown here) - ran me 6 ex. Combined with ZO + Sulphur/Bottled this gives you some bite on Pinnacle bosses and defense against degens, one of the build's weak spots.
2) % Chaos Res while affected by Purity of Elements. 60% Chaos Res is huge, enough said.
3) -cost of skills while affected by Clarity. Good early as it frees up a jewel slot (no need for Rep Conq Eff).
4) % of mana gained as Energy Shield. Probably close to BIS but also probably the most expensive.
5) % base crit chance while affected by Hatred. Now this is currently 200ex and absolutely WASTED on Assassin, which is great news. It is almost key to the Occultist version, however. Brittle Boots helps somewhat on bossing but it is still very central to a pleasant Occultist mapping experience.

Large Cluster Jewel - Cheap Version


The main mod we want on a Large Cluster Jewel is Blanketed Snow - 10% Pen is the biggest multiplier available on any Cluster. Therefore, getting a combination of mods that puts Blanketed Snow in the 1-point-to-reach-area (instead of up "top" where you need to spend 2 more passives) is the focus.

The cheapest combination that I know of to achieve this is Widespread Destruction - Blanketed Snow - Snowstorm, with Snowstorm at the top slot so we don't have to take it. This has historically run 2ex-4ex for a few leagues and is simiarly available for about 2.5-4ex in 3.17 so far.

Other 'okay' mods to run in place of Snowstorm are: Cold to the Core (about 40% elemental damage), Sadist (get fire damage to spells somewhere to enable this) and Prismatic Heart (which is late-game BiS but costs a premium for sure.)

Medium Cluster Jewels - Ice Nova & Ice Spear set

PoB Version 1.0 - the default Ice Nova Variant - uses these clusters to gain a whopping 48% AoE and extra damage on Ice Nova and Herald of Ice, which is why it's the premiere mapping version of the build with enough single target to knock down T16 map bosses.


PoB Version 1.0b - and all Ice Spear builds really - uses these clusters for insane projectile damage scaling. They just happens to favour melee CoC builds (as opposed to Bow CoC and self-cast Ice Spear) because we are always considered "nearby" for Eye to Eye's bonus damage.


Helm: Usurper's Penance

The enabler of the build. As mentioned in "Core Concept" - while losing the helmet slot *really* sucks, it is impossible to beat Usurper's Penance from a opportunity cost standpoint since it is the only item that requires just the item slot for infinite Frenzy charge sustain.

On the bright side, this means you can simply helm swap to Crown of the Inward Eye if you want to Cyclone on a boss instead, either temporarily or when you tire of Flickering. Do note you can anoint something else other than Tranquility if you do make this switch.

Usurper's Penance, being 1c, is great to look out for good corrupts and sometimes enchants. Try to snag a +1 Power Charge corrupt, they go as cheap as 3c and offer about a 5-7% DPS increase (more if you use Badge of the Brotherhood.)

As for the % chance to grant Frenzy, try to buy at least 25%. It's less of an issue with Ice Spear but it is entirely possible for all your multiple hits to land tails and you fail to Frenzy charge sustain, so stack this one stat in your favour at least.

Amulet: Ashes of the Stars


Another shoo-in for BiS at great price. Ashes' key feature is giving an extra 30% teleport range on your Divergent Flicker Strike, while boosting all your spell skill gems significantly (especially Ice Nova.) It allows badly corrupted Anomalous Ice Spears (which are very expensive if you buy 20/20) to have insane Pierce numbers - I myself use a 13% which was going for 2ex since no one wanted to pay for it.

You don't really need the full 30% quality for anything, go for mid-tier rolls on both reservation and quality to save cost.

Other key candidates are Presence of Chayula for a huge amount of ES, and Badge of the Brotherhood for raw offense and clearspeed. Pair it with the Elusive node (dropping Ambush and Assassinate) for a very zoomy experience.

Ashes just happens to make huge teleports possible and we may not experience it again in 3.18 if it indeed gets nerfed/made rarer, hence it is front and center.

Body Armour: Shavronne's Wrappings (5 off-colour)

There is no replacement for Shavronne's. Chaos Damage to ES is key for all Low-Life builds, and there is simply no better way to scale a spell build right now than Low-Life, given the strength and availability of auras.

It is often cheaper to buy 6W/3W instead of 5 off-colour, so here's the link for those:


PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN BUYING SHAVRONNE'S WRAPPINGS - a 4L-2L looks a LOT like a 6L and tons of people have been using this scam since time immemorial. Check that it's really a 6L.

It is quite worth it to invest into a Shav's with at least 380 ES - base ES is very precious in this build.

Shield: Prism Guardian

Where there is Low-Life, there is Prism Guardian. Another irreplaceable unique as this allows you to run even up to 3 50% Auras (with Life Reservation Mastery) in the shield. It also grants 37% all resists which is frankly insane, and if you do have the budget, you can even buy a +1/+2 Aura/AoE version.

Naturally, +2/+2 versions exist and are the absolute pinnacle of the build, but add very little extra benefits for that extra price, since auras don't scale that well with levels. But having a level 26 Discipline is pretty nice.

Try to get a high dex roll as they don't cost that much more, and this build is very stat-starved.

Weapon: Cospri's Malice

Of course, the signature cold CoC weap has no competition. Having fallen so far from the meta means they are REALLY cheap to pick up and corrupt/double corrupt. Here I use one of the best double corruptions possible and it cost me a whopping 40c.

Losing crit multiplier may seem bad, but gaining nearly 1% base crit and base APS more than makes up for it in terms of smoothness of the build. Prioritise the base crit corrupt if you are Occultist especially - you need every point of base crit to make it feel as good as Assassin. The attack speed is a nice bonus but not really noticeable.
There is a chance I'll do a Mjolner variant with Shock Nova and Arc just for fun -- I don't think it'll do as much damage but it can certainly look as cool with some Shock Nova MTX.

Rings: 2x Rares with Resists and Dex/Str/Int

We dedicate 5 slots to Uniques in this build so a lot of our core stats must come from the remaining slots.

The build has a Strength requirement of 155 (for Determination) and a Dex req of 212 (Cospri's) so you either get these by spending passives on the tree or with 40-50 suffix rolls on gear.

Fortunately, the Omniscience meta means a lot of cheap +stat gear is floating around.

Once you have fulfilled your Str and Dex requirements, start stacking Int - not only is it a huge ES multiplier, but every point of Int also adds slight amounts of damage because of Transfiguration of Mind from your amulet anoint Tranquility.

It is crucial to buy rings with open prefix slots so that you can craft on -7 to mana cost. You WILL need two of these to be efficient. You may even need to use a Replica Conqueror's Efficiency and certain levels of Divergent Inspiration to bring your mana cost of Ice Nova / Spear to as close to 1 as possible (but never 0 - 0 means your Inspiration charges will never happen.)

Here's an example shopping link for said rings, giving very good options starting 25c and up: https://www.pathofexile.com/trade/search/Archnemesis/0aDeJ7Qug

Do note that Unset Rings with these stats are very good buys, since the build is fairly socket starved.

You may want to livesearch Frostbite on Hit rings for a couple days to get a really good deal on one. Fortunately once again, Cold Spells are out of the meta so they have been relatively cheap for a few leagues.

Gloves: High ES (~200ES) Rare with Int and preferably Dex

The glove slot is VERY crucial since 3.17 and the introduction of Eldritch mobs. This is primarily because of three modifiers:

1) Inflict Exposure on Hit
2) %Chance to Unnerve Enemies on Hit for 4 seconds
3) Freezes Spread to Enemies within x yards (Blast-Freeze / Freeze Prolif)

A lesser and more niche 4th mod would be Projectiles Pierce an Additional target - for the Ice Spear variant at lower budgets (Anomalous Ice Spear is very expensive.

1) and 2) are huge damage multipliers that are otherwise very hard to achieve without huge oppoortunity cost. Exposure usually has to come from either Frost Bomb or a Cluster jewel, and Unnerve I lost track, to be honest, since Blade Blast no longer does it, probably Clusters as well. To have both "auto-cast" a la a Curse on Hit ring is a huge QoL and damage boost for both mapping and bossing.

Thus, the glove slot should be the third rare you search and hunt for and invest up to 2ex in, since so much damage rests on it. We don't search it first because high stat rings are fairly common, so the mods you search for on the gloves have some flexibility if you've already settled your Str/Dex requirments elsewhere.

You want something that's close to at least 200ES, non-Conqueror or Shaper/Elder influenced, or has a spare prefix/suffix so you can craft Int/Str/Dex or at least %ES on it. Here's an example of a trade link that can get you high-value buys, you just need to apply the bench craft to bring them to 200+ ES:


Once you buy a relatively good one, start using those
to roll for Exposure and Unnerve.

Higher-end users can buy Temple gloves with %damage against Chilled Enemies, and also benchcraft 60% increased damage of non-Vaal skills during Soul Gain Prevention for massive burst (VRF + this may multiply damage output by 1.5 minimum.. or just pop VMS or Vaal Ice Nova for the boost).

240+ ES (my gloves) is highly unrealistic (I Eldritch exalted the ES.. haha), so just aim for the 200s or try to luck a 220.

Boots: High ES (~170) Rare with Int, 25% or even 20% Movespeed will do

The reality is, by dropping the movespeed a bracket or two, you save so much currency it's unreal. This strat only works if you are running very dense maps, however, where Flicker is your main movement skill throughout the map because you can just keep chaining or leaping to targets.

There's nothing really special to shop for in this slot unless you really have major currency, then Tailwind is a big pickup. Just make sure you do not overshoot the 7.57 APS cap. In fact try not to come close at all - Flicker has a weird animation and going too fast may throttle the procs.

As for which Eldritch mods to roll - Brittle ground is BiS and very useful for Pinnacle boss fights where you can place it before every boss phase. This is because we start the fights with 0 power charges and so there's a chance of the first Flicker not critting (even with Ambush and Assassinate). Brittle Ground removes this entirely and gives a very solid "kick-off" which will quickly see the boss burst down to 50%, after which Ambush's amp damage while boss is on "Low Life" takes over.

Belt: Rare Crystal Belt with ES, Resists

A TON of our base ES comes from the belt slot, so definitely invest some currency here in getting a high tier ES roll. This is also the first slot you spend Tempering Catalysts on since it boosts 130ES instead of just 40-50 from a ring slot.

If you are lucky enough to snipe an Attack Speed or extra damage belt (remember, generic % damage can be crafted on as well), do so. The Attack Speed is a bigger boost.

Skill Gem Setups

Main 6L (Chest Armour): (Divergent) Flicker Strike + (Awakened) Cast on Critical Strike

Version 1.01 (Ice Nova form):

(Divergent) Inspiration + Increased Critical Strikes + Multistrike + (Anomalous) Ice Nova

The premiere choice for fast mapping and T16 clearing. The lower boss DPS is more than made up for by tearing through maps and content as fast. However you do need to invest to make sure your boss DPS doesn't feel subpar. See the "Customisation etc" section below in post #2 to see where you can upgrade the damage for least cost.

Version 1.01b (Ice Spear form):

(Divergent) Inspiration + (Anomalous) Greater Multiple Projectiles + Multistrike + (Anomalous) Ice Spear

Switch to this if you insist on Flickering for Pinnacle boss content or want to map with Ice Spear - which is fine, as long as you how to customise Herald of Ice to do enough damage/clear by itself, thus removing the need for Ice Nova's superior mechanical clear.

Do note that you really want Anomalous Ice Spear if you're mapping with this build - they are, however, really expensive. The good news is, you're wearing Ashes of the Stars so you don't need a 20/20 or 21/20 - bricked 20/13s go for very, very cheap compared to the unbricked ones.

Do also note that there exists a third 'version' which is the strongest for bossing - and that's basically putting in Cyclone and Increased Critical Strikes / Energy Leech back in, taking out Flicker Strike and Multistrike. (You may not need Increased Critical Strikes if you are good at applying Brittle Ground.)

In the Cospri's (3L): Ice Spear + (Anomalous) Greater_Multiple_Projectiles_support + (Phantasmal) Frostbolt

On the Ice Nova spec, this 3L provides the core Frenzy charge generation as one crit fires off 6 Ice Spears, almost guaranteeing multiple Frenzy charges. It also does decent damage. GMP also supports Frostbolt - which don't do much damage by themselves (well, actually 400k isn't bad) - but more importantly allows your Ice Novas to fire twice per CoC proc and your Vortex to explode 5 times instead of once.

On the Ice Spear spec, this 3L is another huge source of added Ice Spear damage and even clear (if you're rich enough to afford two Anamalous-es). Drop Frostbolt and put in Energy Leech or even Inspiration (making this loop 'free' of mana costs).

Vortex Damage Loop (3L+Flame Dash): (Phantasmal) Vortex + Bonechill + Arcane Surge +
Flame Dash

This loop is EXTREMELY key to our damage and is NOT considered optional nor replaceable.

Vortex does many things - most importantly it creates a Chilling Area which always applies a % chill to enemies. Your chill from hits of Ice Nova/Ice Spear may not be strong enough to 'stick' to bosses. Using chilling areas instead ensures whatever you are meleeing is chilled and therefore activating the 60% crit bonus on Cospri's as well as the 75% increased damage against Chilled Enemies on Anomalous Ice Nova.

Furthermore, Bonechill support makes enemies take 14.4% increased damage when they are chilled by Vortex. Since you are always casting this skill (put it on LMB or hold it down same time as Flicker Strike) - it's a great candidate for perma Arcane Surge, which is a massive damage boost.

Finally, the Vortex itself does massive DPS since we generate enough Frostbolts for it to explode 5 times per cast. Phantasmal Vortex + Ashes of the Stars = a whopping 100% increased damage Vortex, and they're really cheap.

Mark on Hit (2L): (Mark on Hit + Assassin's Mark OR Sniper's Mark

How crucial Mark on Hit is depends on if you run the Ice Spear or Ice Nova version. It is absolutely must-have for Ice Spear - Sniper's Mark is among the biggest damage boosts for projectiles, plus it makes short work of Crucible / Multi-Boss fights since it generates so many extra Ice Spears. Also, there is no Sniper's Mark on-hit ring or glove corrupt, so this is the only automatic way to apply it.

The Mark on Hit is far less crucial on Ice Nova since Assassin's Mark isn't THAT big a damage boost, plus Asassin's Mark on Hit rings do exist. For that reason, you can drop these 2 slots altogether and unspec Whispers of Doom, dedicating the 3 passives to a damage boost elsewhere. This will allow you to super-juice your Herald of Ice for even faster mapping as an Ice Nova enjoyer.

CWDT Loop (3L in helm - rolls red slots easily): Cast When Damage Taken + [Vaal] Molten Shell + Ball Lightning

CWDT-Vaal Molten Shell is non-negotiable and a huuuuge buff to survivability. Even a low-level Molten Shell will throw up a 3-4k shield with this build. VMS with the armour flask up puts up a whopping 8k+ damage shield, which will carry you for even most Metamorphs and some badly rolled Archnemesis.

This build has very few defensive layers and only middling EHP so good use of VMS is very key to smoothly mapping. Bind it to something easy like Spacebar and do note you can VMS right after your regular Molten Shell expires, putting up as much as a 12k buffer.

CWDT-Ball Lightning is secret tech combined with ES-on-Hit Watcher's Eyes and will save your ass quite a lot without you knowing it. It's far less useful on bosses but still non-neglibible. I always refer people to https://streamable.com/aegb8x for evidence of how busted this can be.

However as you hit level 100 and higher currency and need space to fit in Zealotry / Skitterbots, you may choose to drop the Ball Lightning. More offense gooder.

Pantheon + Bandits (Kill All btw)

Major Pantheon: Upgraded Arakaali OR Brine King

Being unable to use flasks for recovery makes ES builds very dependent on other sources of regen/recoup, which is why I made the ES-on-Hit Watcher's a must-buy. That's not always available however - what about phased bosses or GGG's favourite "kill you after enemy is dead"?

This is where the Pantheon comes in big time to help the build's major weakness: Degens and Bleeds.

On top of being handy with your Vaal Discipline key, Arakaali is extremely high-value, cutting all Bleeds/Poisons/CorrBlood and annoying Degens by 10% straight up, then reducing the overall duration of those (and worse debuffs) by 20%, and giving a ghetto 40% chaos res against Poison and poison pools / Toxic Archnemeses, etc.

You -may- want to run Brine King in two situations: if your gear is good enough to handle Chaos and you're fast with VDisc, or if you run 150++ quant maps with Double Added as or Beyond / rare juiced maps, where the size of average incoming hits goes up enough to mini-stun you on a regular basis. Do note that you don't need to fully upgrade Brine King since Purity of Elements makes you immune to Chill and Freeze.

Minor Pantheon: Ralakesh

Likewise, this is among the most useful Pantheons in dealing with bleed, and allows you to not have to spend on a Corrupted Blood jewel (only for regular mapping - on Sirus you want a CB jewel for sure.

Shakari can also be swapped in for Al-Hezmin fights, although Upgraded Arakaali plus some chaos res rolls makes this overkill.

Do note that Tukohama's core (gain x% damage reduction every second while Stationary) does NOT work with Flicker Strike, since we are stationary AND moving, so the counter never hits 1 second and is lost the moment you Flicker.

However, Upgraded Tukohama's 2% Life Regen WILL be applied, so if you have Zealot's Oath, a 2% Energy Shield Regen mastery, Consecrated Ground from a Sulphur Flask or Bottled Faith, and/or Vitality - you can create a very nice 10% regen combo which helps cover one of the build's major weaknesses and makes you very hard to kill. Throw in Wicked Ward if you want.

Levelling Methods + Trees

This is a huge section that gets asked for. I would first like to impress upon most players asking this to eventually develop a personal favourite levelling method - meaning no matter what character you're building, you automatically use a set of tried and true levelling builds.

This is because there are a few skills that either scale super well or are so mechanically superior for hit-and-run (drop it and keep running, barely breaking stride) that it'll get you through the campaign in say, 5 hours with cheap "twink" gear. These builds usually crush white and early yellow maps too until you're about level 80, at which you can transition to

In general, north half of tree is great at using spells to level, and the southern hemisphere excels at attacks. No surprise there. I hear Hollow Palm is excellent for that.

For almost all spell builds - like this one - I recommend Armageddon Brand (used to be Storm Brand). Here's what you need:

1) Tabula Rasa, of course
2) 2 x Axiom Perpetuums, later 2 x Shades of Solaris
3) Seven League Steps (you can always sell again after) and at least 2 Quicksilver Flasks
4) Replica Karui Ward
5) 1 or 2 Berek's Respite is great for clear.

Run Freezing Pulse till Storm Brand at 12, then Arma at 28. Links would be Onslaught - Combustion - Faster Casting - Ignite Prolif (remove if Berek, use Conc Effect instead) - Immolate.

You can Wave of Conviction - Hextouch - Flammability - EleWeakness (if you have Whispers of Doom) for bosses.

Basically, if Armageddon Brand can take a racer with 0 gear and a 4L to maps in 3 hours and 39 minutes, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19-THLhhGR4 it's going to do you the same. Watch the middle parts of the video and that's how you play it. Just always be running to the next checkpoint/boss and drop Armageddon Brands behind you.

For the passive tree, just basically make sure you have Runebinder and the Brand cluster next to it. That's it. I've levelled a Witch to 80 without ascending just to show how good Armageddon Brand levelling is before. You don't need to overthink it.

Barebones Arma Brand tree which is all that's needed to power Arma Brand into 75+ - after this start building towards the edge of the tree (reservation nodes, etc):

Since you are using Shades of Solaris (they do no damage on crits) - do not spec into Power Charge gen at all on the tree or as Assassin - take Mistwalker and Opportunistic and hold your other points for when you switch to CoC.

When do you switch to CoC? Do Cyclone CoC at 75 - 80 until L90, then go full Flicker. You need the additional points for Flicker to finally feel smooth.

Mastery Choices

High priority masteries

1) Energy Shield Mastery: Stun Threshold is based on 50% of ES instead of Life

This is what *sorta* allows us to shed Presence of Chayula (still the BiS option for tankiness) and use Ashes / a Rare amulet / Badge. I say sorta because you WILL still be stunned by rare-aura-stacking-Phys-substantial mobs - if you are running that content, you better make some adjustments against DoTs because you are going to NEED the Brine King Pantheon in the build.

If you don't run this Mastery at all, you'll be stunned almost all the time by the smallest amount of damage since we have what, 1500 life.

2) Energy Shield Mastery: 30% Increased Light Radius / Radius based on ES instead of Life

This is a binary option - either you need it badly or you don't. You won't noticed reduced Light Radius due to Low Life on outdoor maps, but obviously in underground/indoor maps the game becomes almost unplayable. I prefer Crimson Temple / Haunted Mansion / Toxic Sewers so this is mandatory for me. Save a point here if you don't need one.

High value masteries

1) Reservation Mastery: Either 15% Effect of Auras OR 8% increased damage per Aura on you.

15% Effect is the more balanced choice - it still is a substantial DPS increase (about 5% more) vs the offense option (about 9-10% more) - but 15% Effect also grants more ES and Armour from Discipline and Determination.

2) Accuracy Mastery: Dex Provides +3 instead of +2 OR 40% Increased Accuracy vs Uniques

Both of these serve as very slight DPS boosts and can easily be replaced by a high accuracy roll on your rings or gloves. They only really are noticeable against Evasive mobs - the problem is that Metamorphs and Archnemesis roll Evasive quite often, which is why I bumped this up to "high value". In any other league you may not want to waste this point.

3) Armour and Energy Shield Mastery: Defend with 120% Armour while not on low ES

This is actually a sleeper OP node - it is a flat 20% MULTIPLIER to all your Armour, with no "cooldown" per se.. The slight caveat is, it falls off after that one big mega hit (after which your ES drops below half / "low'). With high ES regain/sustain however, you're more often simply gaining a 20% multiplicative armour buff all the time and when you need it most.

4) Charge Mastery: 3% Increased Damage per Charge

This is a straight up massive damage boost for one point - more if you run the Badge variant or have Enduring Composure or the like anywhere in the build. Great 1-point wonder.

Flex masteries

1) Attributes Mastery: +5 Dex per Allocated Mastery OR 5% Increased Attributes OR 1% per Lowest Attribute

Nothing much to say here - some variants of the build have 8 masteries or more, meaning this is worth 40 Dex, which is higher than the nearest 30 Dex Node (Alacrity). If you get enough from items you can swap this to 5% increased Attributes for an Int boost as well, or go full offense with 1% per Lowest Att. Adjust as required.

Ascendancy Points

For fast levelling:
Mistwalker -> Opportunistic -> Ambush and Assassinate

Standard Spec:
Unstable Infusion + Deadly Infusion is CORE.
You can swap between Opportunistic, Ambush and Assassinate and Mistwalker.

Mistwalker = Crit Defense + really good clearspeed boost just from walking around faster - ESPECIALLY with Badge of the Brotherhood swap.
Ambush and Asssassinate = Great for Pinnacle bosses, starting maps and Archnemesis content. Culling Strike + Low Life damage boons really come online against beefier targets.
Opportunistic = Middle ground between single target offense and defense.

Personally, I drop Mistwalker in this league because I want all the single target damage I can get, but those with a bigger budget can go Mistwalker.

Map Mods to Avoid

Elemental Reflect
No-go. No explanation needed.

Enemies Steal Power/Frenzy/Endurance Charges on Hit
No-go. You may nuke most of the map but the one mob that hits back is going to stop you from Flickering and now has an insane crit + damage boost.

Monsters have x% chance to avoid elemental ailments
Doable but dangerous, slow and annoying. Half the build's clear is Herald of Ice explosions and preventing freezes means you have to "manually" kill mobs, drastically slowing clearspeed and allowing counterattacks.

No Regen
Doable but dangerous, not very safe if you don't have ES on Hit Watcher's. We leech enough mana to not need mana regen - however your single target DPS will drop so make sure there aren't too many other rippy mods.

Doable only with mid-investment - your PoB had better be at least 5m DPS to nuke down T16 Beyond safely, and you want to be at 6.5k HP. Ice Spear generally is the far superior choice as it blows up Beyond packs.

Origin of the Build

FlickerCoC was an early dream of mine but a lot of build creators struggled to make it really viable back then, mostly because the IceNova/Frostbolt interaction was absent until 3.5.

That combination alone scaled damage hard enough for it to tackle endgame content, and so Flickering Arc and Blizzard was born - a new way to experience Flicker Strike without having to invest in a physical weapon.

Flickering Blizzard in particular became super successful and the video hit 100k views in a month, and has 150k today. Quite a few people on YouTube and Discord have reached out saying it was what got them into Path!

Sadly the many reworks to PoE endgame meant the low single-target damage of the build made it quite unusable in 3.9 onwards and the build fell to the wayside.

HOWEVER! I was always looking for a way to revive it, and it is now back!

With Masteries, Aura and reservation reworks, and now Eldritch gear affording so much cheap power, the build can function as a top-tier mapper and a very strong bosser - for SOFTCORE of course. You can use this 20ex build to farm up the 100 ex to become a real phys-cold Flicker build. :D

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS! (Will be) regularly updated!

Occultist or Assasssin?

Assassin is the lower-budget and honestly more reliable build, primarily because of Ambush and Assassinate guaranteeing a crit fire which starts the Frenzy gen, plus shredding bosses once they hit low-life + inbuilt cull. Inbuilt Power Charge generation also frees you up from having to use PCoC.

Once you pass a currency threshold however - namely, being able to afford ES on Hit + base Hatred Crit Watcher's (so what, 30ex for just one jewel??), the gap is slightly closed. Occultist's primary gain is in slightly more ES and nuttier AoE, they gain 48% from power charges alone, making HoI really pop off even in Ice Spear spec. Resist shred is really good, and the -100% regen replaces all need for Frost Bomb. Finally they can even triple Curse and have a bunch of reduced damage taken, though at that point you kill stuff so fast you don't take damage at all.

TL:DR 20ex Assassin, >60ex Occultist. Trees are almost identical anyway, just throw a PCoC in Cospri's or something.

Can I build this on a budget / at level xx / how do I level?

I've addressed this in the video - I mean, I did actually try to build it cheap myself so I could give you an honest answer, and the answer is, don't do it. You need a 6L, off-colour Shavs and those are 5ex early league (3ex now). You need a 3ex Cluster. You need Disc on Hit ES Watcher's - and those are 4ex early league, (2.5ex now?).

So no, don't try it with less than 15ex!!! I mean, I did it with 8ex and a 5L and had a real crap time in T16s and had to bargain bin everything. Of course, if you're happy doing T14s to farm up the 15ex, by all means.

Also, level 90 is highly recommended. Just run Arma Brand to 90, (see levelling section for links)

And no, you cannot leaguestart a build using 5 rare-ish uniques, in-demand clusters and a bunch of alt-quality gems!
💥💫BB Unloader 1000% AoE 70m DPS🗡️🔪🔫: view-thread/3466787
FlickerCoC Ice Nova / Spear Assassin: view-thread/3225536
🔨⚡CWC Lightning Conduit Mjolner Trickster: view-thread/3300148
VD Arcanist Brand Necro: view-thread/2911667
Last edited by primaeva on Mar 15, 2022, 2:13:25 PM
Last bumped on Jan 10, 2024, 9:52:49 PM

If you have issues dealing damage, please run down this list first before making a post!


If you're feeling squishy, please run down this list first before making a post!


FAQ Placeholder

💥💫BB Unloader 1000% AoE 70m DPS🗡️🔪🔫: view-thread/3466787
FlickerCoC Ice Nova / Spear Assassin: view-thread/3225536
🔨⚡CWC Lightning Conduit Mjolner Trickster: view-thread/3300148
VD Arcanist Brand Necro: view-thread/2911667
Last edited by primaeva on Mar 15, 2022, 9:12:34 AM
Credits - To those giants whose shoulders this build / content stands on


- THE BASE LL COC ICE NOVA BUILD is NOT MINE. It is almost a complete rip of themehmetbozlak's (YT) build - I spoke to him and he gave his blessing, even saying I didn't need his permission, what a gamer. If you want to stop being gimmicky and play a proper CoC build, hit up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xCJxPrUhoI - great presentation, explanation and a role model for my videos :'(
- I do think this is highly similar to Qozmo's LL Ice Nova chars as well, who maintains an excellent forum guide on it.
- Main adaptations: Mark on Hit for Sniper's/Assassin's, Strength focus for Determination + Divine Shield. Grace + Ghost Dance is a trap guys. Determination + Armour Flask + Freeze = much tankier and fewer random deaths.

- Smash Mouth obviously, what a banger of a song, check out their new songs!
- Piety Helm 1: /r/Suitsizesmall (the Lab hero yes)
- 3D Cospri's Malice: Dark_Minaz via SketchFab, what a god
- Spiderman dub: Jaboody ofc: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ30YNIcUWuSz8eVJZtLEjw

Research Questions and Researchers

This section contains a lot of ongoing build development as people who love the build come up with great ideas and improvements to make it even stronger. If you do the legwork and contribute to the thread, you will be named here.

Please help! I do not always have big budget nor time to do the research :( Your name will live on forever in this guide.


Research Question #1: How good is Crystallised Omniscience with this build?

We already have about 1,000 in stats, is swapping to Omniscience simply too insane to ignore?

Answered by: [No one yet!]

Research Question #2: Swift Killer Forbidden Flesh/Flame Combo - can someone upload a vid :D

Answered by: [No one yet!]

Research Question #3: Can someone run a high-end version of this build? We're talking 100ex and Mageblood!

It should do swell with Mageblood considering most of the flasks are already magic. I don't think you even need a Granite flask with that much damage + speed..

Answered by: [No one yet!]

💥💫BB Unloader 1000% AoE 70m DPS🗡️🔪🔫: view-thread/3466787
FlickerCoC Ice Nova / Spear Assassin: view-thread/3225536
🔨⚡CWC Lightning Conduit Mjolner Trickster: view-thread/3300148
VD Arcanist Brand Necro: view-thread/2911667
Last edited by primaeva on Mar 9, 2022, 3:15:13 AM
How would you purchase the shavs? the only one available with 2G 1B 3W is 8ex. which is already double the one you listed on the youtube video.

Is there a best color setup without the white slots for general mapping?

(T16 +20-60% delirium speed-runs) ?

I can always switch to my RF char for bosses like Maven if I do that.
Last edited by reptoon on Mar 5, 2022, 8:35:13 PM
reptoon wrote:
How would you purchase the shavs? the only one available with 2G 1B 3W is 8ex. which is already double the one you listed on the youtube video.

Is there a best color setup without the white slots for general mapping?

(T16 +20-60% delirium speed-runs) ?

I can always switch to my RF char for bosses like Maven if I do that.

Oh gosh! My first (or second.. Hi Porky :D) customer. Haha. Sorry about brevity, I just spent the entire night rushing the video and the writeup and will do the guide in approximately 6 hours (gotta take a nap + have lunch with the wife).

To answer your question:

With a 3-3.5ex 6W of course! Even better

;D Knock yourself out friend!


The build can destroy Maven by swapping to Cyclone Ice Spear, you're looking at pulling some 10m DPS (flasked) and Sniper's Mark wipes the floor with any added bosses.

Enjoy! Snap up the items before they get flipped, there's no way of telling which way the prices are going to go, although I surmised a lot of people have already moved on to other games at this point of the league.

Do keep giving me feedback on the build!

💥💫BB Unloader 1000% AoE 70m DPS🗡️🔪🔫: view-thread/3466787
FlickerCoC Ice Nova / Spear Assassin: view-thread/3225536
🔨⚡CWC Lightning Conduit Mjolner Trickster: view-thread/3300148
VD Arcanist Brand Necro: view-thread/2911667
LMAO 6W. Why didn't I think of that!

Thanks! I will keep you posted on this thread when I get it up and running. Just doing the shopping now of course. I will start leveling tonight I think and perhaps switch tomorrow If I get most of the items ready


I have all the gear ready to go. Currently level 60 something on a trapper leveling up. Will transition sometime in the 80s and report back. Later tonight I hope.
Last edited by reptoon on Mar 6, 2022, 6:30:59 PM
You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.
Trying to piece the build together using the i think main pob, you have 5 links for gloves, herald of ice, ice bite, ass mark, mark on hit, precision and 9 gems on the shavs. Not super sure what to swap out and when
I was just trying to figure this out myself

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