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Blade Trap Trapper Saboteur Build

Blade Trap Trapper Saboteur Build

The first of its kind Melee Attack Trap build that utilizes the Saboteur class to obliterate content

Blade Trap Vulconus
Saboteur build

Updated for Patch 3.15

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Guide notes
July 20, 2021
-Concept build 
July 31, 2021
-Updated for 3.15
August 30, 2021
-Updated Skill Gems and Passives to boost the build's overall performance


Blade Trap is a newly added Trap that's also an Attack, making it a first of its kind - all the other Traps are Spells. It means is that that now your Weapons - Claw, Swords, or Daggers will be responsible for the overall damage increase. The Trap upon activation releases a blade, or two if you're dual-wielding. The blades rotate four times (five while dual-wielding), and the trap lasts four seconds (three if dual-wielding). The Attack Damage has 55% effectiveness and so are modifiers to it. Saboteur can still be considered one of the best options as a user for this Skill, his starting location on a Skill Tree is in close proximity to Claw, Dagger, and Trap clusters, and that gives him an immense advantage. The Ascendancy Points that make this class the best candidate for trap builds are really powerful, and for this build, Saboteur is the most optimal choice. The heat map of Skill Point you spend will shift to the Raider and Duelist starting locations where you can find quite a few Dual Wielding and Elemental Damage nodes.

The damage from Blade Traps can overlap, which makes it a great Single-Target Damage skill. There are a few ways on how to play this build, it could be done by utilizing Poison Damage, which would make this build Similar to Blade Blast, but this time the Poison Damage would be based on the weapon's damage, not on Physical Spell Damage. Another way to assemble this build could be done by equipping Vulconus - a Unique Rune Dagger that deals tons of Fire Damage with Hits. With investment in Elemental Damage, it is another candidate for a Blade Trap build. This guide will focus on this Fire Damage variant of the Blade Trap.

It's a Life build, but it can be later easily transformed into ES one. Saboteur offers one-of-a-kind synergies with Traps, and thanks to Explosives Expert combined with Skitterbots you will be able to pull off endgame-viable damage. High Critical Strike Chance, Fire Damage and Penetration, Trap Damage, and Attack Damage will be the nodes to look for on your Skill Tree. Avatar of Fire will convert all of your Damage to Fire Damage. Despite not having a lot of maximum Life, the build is actually pretty tanky - it has a High Evasion Rating combined with Wind Dancer, Dodge Chance, great sustain in combat thanks to Pyromaniac, and permanently Blinded Enemies that real reduced damage when you are yourself immune to it.

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1. Gameplay

The gameplay is similar to other Trap Builds, such as Lightning Trap. Throw Blade Traps in a pack of enemies to dispose of them quickly. Dash and Whirling Blades are excellent Movement Skills that will be used together for better mobility and Fortify buff. Skitterbots are very important - they Chill and Shock enemies. You are also going to use Wave of Conviction linked with a Curse, Combustion Support, and Cast when Damage Taken so that it's triggered automatically. This build offers insane single-target DPS, mainly against stationary Bosses with immunity phases that allow you to plant your Traps before the fighting continues, while when it comes to farming packs of enemies it's less convenient - mainly because of the delay between you throwing your Traps and they getting triggered and killing enemies. You will often find that throwing your Traps and instantly Dashing into those packs can get a bit risky.

This video was recorded on a level 91 Saboteur using two Vulconus, Tinkerskin, and Slavedriver's Hand. Overall, it took us quite some time to set up proper defenses to deal with higher Tier Maps and Bosses - the biggest downside is the delay with Traps - if you want to progress fast, you will often end up Dashing into packs of enemies around 0.5 seconds quicker than your Traps getting triggered and killing them. This basically means you need to be prepared to take some hits every now and then

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • Amazing Single-Target Damage
  • decent clear speed with Mines scattered all around your screen and dealing AoE damage
  • can do most Map mods
  • all content viable
  • no Cluster Jewels required
  • it does require some semi-expensive Uniques and Rares to offer reasonable defenses
  • Trap builds may feel slow and clunky because of the delayed damage


3. Leveling tips

Blade Trap is available since Level 1, and it is recommended to start with this Skill. Use a rare Dagger or Claw with high Physical and/or Fire Damage. You can use an Essence to quickly craft a weapon with one desired mod - Essence of Anguish or Contempt on Gloves, Rings, or Amulets.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Blade Trap setup
Blade Trap Blade Trap - you can start leveling with this Trap right from the start, it uses your Weapons so be sure they have a somewhat decent base damage
Swift Assembly Support Swift Assembly Support - use it since it has a low required level, later switch to Cluster Traps Support as is shown in the Final setup
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - a huge boost to your Trap Damage, but it reduces your Trap Throwing Speed
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - Adds some Fire Damage based on your Physical Damage to your Attacks
Smoke Mine setup
Smoke Mine Smoke Mine - smoke mine can be used as a primary movement skill, it grants you movement speed after you use it
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - if you struggle with Mana sustain, use Lifetap Support
Utility Gems
Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots - Skitterbots can be useful to Shock and Chill enemies, it makes them take more damage and move slower
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - Heralds reserves a lot of Mana, so you can swap it with ClarityClarity if your damage is already good
Precision Precision - keeping it at a low level will Reserve little to no mana, it grants some Accuracy and Critical Strike Chance
Flammability Flammability - a Curse that can be self-cast during boss fights for now


You should kill all the Bandits and take two more Passive Skill Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

35 Points Skill Tree
Go for Coldhearted Calculation and take the useful nodes you come across, then head for the Mine and Trap Cluster as pictured picking up Nightstalker and Blast Cascade on the way

67 Points Skill Tree
Now go for the Keystones - Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics for a massive boost to survivability. Then you can pick Primeval Force/Thick Skin/Wind Daner or go left for Forces of Nature and Revenge for the Haunted (that's up to you, we recommend going down first)

Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - Damage, Attributes, and Elemental Resistances are enough for a good start
(10-30)% increased Damage
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - use this Helmet to fix your lack of Elemental Resistances
+(30-50) to Evasion Rating
10% increased Rarity of Items found
+(30-40)% to all Elemental Resistances
Reflects 4 Physical Damage to Melee Attackers
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - Tabula is one of the best leveling items due to the 6 linked, white sockets
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)

The IgnomonThe Ignomon - this Amulet adds Fire Damage to your Attacks, provides you with Accuracy and Evasion Rating, and increases your Fire Resistance

(12-20)% increased Rarity of Items found
+10 to Dexterity
Adds 12 to 24 Fire Damage to Attacks
+(100-150) to Accuracy Rating
+(100-150) to Evasion Rating
+20% to Fire Resistance
BloodboilBloodboil - it adds Fire Damage to Attacks, increases your Maximum Life, and provides other useful in the early stages of the game mods
Adds (12-15) to (25-30) Fire Damage to Attacks
+(20-40) to maximum Life
+(10-15)% to Cold Resistance
75% reduced Effect of Chill on you
10% increased Movement Speed while Ignited

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

116 Points Final Skill Tree(does not include Passives from Cluster Jewels and Intuitive Leap)
116 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Perfect Crime
  2. Pyromaniac
  3. Born in the Shadows
  4. Explosives Expert


Major God: Soul of the Brine King You cannot be Stunned if you've been Stunned or Blocked a Stunning Hit in the past 2 seconds

Minor God: Soul of Garukhan +5% chance to Evade Attack Hits if you've taken a Savage Hit Recently


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Blade Trap setup
Blade Trap Blade Trap - Blade Trap is an Attack that comes in the form of a Trap, it uses the damage of your weapons, and the benefits from Dual Wielding are impactful. 
Cluster Traps Support Cluster Traps Support - More Traps are thrown at once, and more of them can be activated at the same time, increasing your damage as a result
Immolate Support Immolate Support - Immolate adds Flat Fire Damage to your Attacks - it's simple and efficient
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - makes you deal more Elemental Damage with Attacks, with AoF this build deals only Elemental Damage with Attacks so it is quite useful
Fire Penetration Support Fire Penetration Support - you will deal only Fire Damage, so having Fire Penetration is really great, especially against bosses later in the game
Trap and Mine Damage Trap and Mine Damage Support - boosts the damage of all Traps and Mines by a high amount. A core Support for this type of build
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - if you are not using Slavedriver's Hands it's a must-have Jewel. It will increase the DPS and reduce Mana Cost of your Blade Trap
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots - it's mandatory as soon as you allocate Explosives Expert on your Ascendancy Skill Tree, your damage will be increased by a lot, especially against bosses
Precision Precision - use mid-level Precision to boost your Critical Strike Chance and Accuracy. Make sure to leave enough Mana to resummon your Golem which most likely will have the highest Mana Cost in your build
Anger Anger - adds a lot of flat Fire Damage to your Skills, making it one of the best Auras for this build. In case of serious Mana issues, you can try replacing it with a level 20 ClarityClarity while still leveling up your character
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces the mana reservation of all linked Spells in this setup
[UTILITY] Ice Golem setup
Cast When Damage Taken Cast When Damage Taken - will trigger your Ice Golem automatically. In this setup Upgrade it to a maximum level 
Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - Ice Golem grants you more Accuracy Rating and Critical Strike Chance. It dies quite often so it's good to have him linked with CWDM
[UTILITY] Wave of Conviction
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - will apply Fire Exposure to enemies if you don't have Master of Fire on your Cluster Jewel. Keep it a the lowest level possible to reduce the Mana Cost and increase the frequency at which it is triggered
Combustion Combustion - enemies Ignited with Wave of Conviction will have 10% less Fire Resistance
Cast When Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken Support - in this setup it's kept at level 1 for more frequent casts
[UTILITY] Reaper setup
Summon Reaper Summon Reaper - The build uses Vulconus, with this weapon you deal more damage against Bleeding enemies, however, with Avatar of Fire coming from Xoph's Blood you're able to deal only Fire Damage - you can't cause Bleeding by yourself. To resolve this issue you should use this Minion - it has a high chance to cause Bleeding. Avatar of Fire does not apply to your Minions.
Minion Life Minion Life Support - boosts the survivability of your Reaper so that it doesn't constantly die
Meat Shield Meat Shield Support - same as above, it also makes him less aggressive and less likely to dive into his demise
[MOBILITY] Whirling Blades setup
Whirling Blades Whirling Blades - very fast movement skill that allows you to travel faster and grant you the Fortify buff. Use it with caution on Damage Reflect Maps
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support - increases the speed at which you move with Whirling Blades
Fortify Support Fortify Support - grants one of the best defensive buffs in the game that reduce all damage taken by a fair amount
[UTILITY] Various Gems with no links required
Dash Dash - Dash will be used to instantly teleport to a nearby location. A mobility skill such as this is really useful in many situations
Steelskin Steelskin - the recommended Guard Skill for this build which grants a protective shield that absorbs slightly over 2000 incoming damage when active
Bear Trap Bear Trap - a Trap Spell that greatly increases your Damage with Traps against affected enemies, make sure to keep its' buff up at Bosses and tougher Rare enemies

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5. Gear Setup

Initially, even before you even start mapping, make sure your Elemental Resistances are capped at 75%. To increase your Defenses look for Maximum Life and. Equip two Vulconus Daggers, the blades you wield are really important and Vulconus provides a lot of raw damage and a solid chunk of other bonuses that ultimately make it a very strong contender for a weapon of choice. Remember you're limited to Claws, Daggers and Swords with Blade Trap. To increase your Damage look for mods such as Physical/Fire/Fire Penetration/Attack/Dagger/Trap Damage and Critical Strike/Multiplier. Around 150 of Strenght, Intelligence, and Dexterity are required - you'll have to look for Intelligence as your Passive Skill Tree will not provide you with a sufficient amount of it. Don't look for Melee Damage or Attack Speed - these stats are obsolete in Blade Trap build.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life to start mapping successfully

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Trap/Fire/Physical Damage (later converted to Fire)
  4. Fire Penetration
  5. Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier
  6. Accuracy Rating
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Rare Helmet is the best option, your primary objective is to get as many generic defensive mods such as Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances as you can.
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
Nearby Enemies have -#% to Fire Resistance
Nearby Enemies take #% increased Elemental Damage
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Helmet enchantments:
one of the Blade Trap enchantments
Vulconus(Weapon) Vulconus - Vulconus was already a popular weapon - it was mostly used by BFBB Inquisitors, and to be fair, Inquisitor would be a second choice for this build. This Dagger has high base damage, Added Fire Damage, further increased damage when certain conditions are met, and it's overall a great weapon. Use two of these, one for each hand.
40% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Adds (85-110) to (135-150) Physical Damage
Adds (130-160) to (220-240) Fire Damage
50% chance to cause Bleeding on Hit
(70-100)% increased Fire Damage with Hits and Ailments against Bleeding Enemies
(70-100)% increased Physical Damage with Hits and Ailments against Ignited Enemies
Every 8 seconds, gain Avatar of Fire for 4 seconds
(160-200)% increased Critical Strike Chance while you have Avatar of Fire
50% of Physical Damage Converted to Fire while you have Avatar of Fire
+2000 Armour while you do not have Avatar of Fire
Carcass Jack(Body Armour) Carcass Jack - It provides a decent amount of Elemental Resistances, Maximum Life, Energy Shield, and Evasion Rating. The offensive mods - Area od Effect and Area Damage are extremely powerful in builds where damage can overlap, such as this one
(120-150)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(9-12)% to all Elemental Resistances
(40-50)% increased Area of Effect
(40-50)% increased Area Damage
Extra gore
Loreweave(Body Armour) Loreweave - a very solid option for such builds, it balances many important stats such as increased Attributes, Elemental Damage, and it increases the cap for Elemental Resistances
Has 6 Sockets
+(8-24) to all Attributes
Adds (4-10) to (14-36) Physical Damage to Attacks
(20-60)% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+(15-50) to maximum Energy Shield
+(20-60) to maximum Life
+(20-50) to maximum Mana
(6-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
(15-50)% increased Elemental Damage
Your Maximum Resistances are (76-78)%
Tinkerskin(Body Armour) Tinkerskin - if you are using Slavedriver's Hands, it's recommended to use Tinkerskin for the Life Recovery it provides. Without it, you will be losing one of your primary defense mechanisms - Life Regen from Pyromaniac, and turning yourself into a glass cannon
(140-170)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(60-90) to maximum Life
(10-15)% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate for throwing Traps
15% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge when your Trap is triggered by an Enemy
30% chance to gain Phasing for 4 seconds when your Trap is triggered by an Enemy
Recover 100 Life when your Trap is triggered by an Enemy
Recover 50 Energy Shield when your Trap is triggered by an Enemy
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - movement Speed, Maximum Life, and Elemental Resistances are the mods you should get first, great optional mods can be found in conqueror-influenced pair of boots
Min. requirements:
25% Movement Speed
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chance to Dodge Attacks/Spells
Cannot be Frozen
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - although you should always try to get as much Life as possible, Gloves could offer some decent offensive mods
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
added Fire Damage against Burning Enemies
Slavedriver's Hand(Gloves) Slavedriver's Hand - If you have some more currency lying around in your inventory doing nothing, invest in a pair of these. These Unique Gloves sure are expensive, but every Trap build should strive for a pair, it resolves your Mana issues, grants you Charges, Dexterity, Evasion Rating, Energy Shield, and more AoE
+(30-40) to Dexterity
(200-250)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
(30-20)% reduced Trap Throwing Speed
Skills which throw Traps Cost Life instead of Mana
Skills used by Traps have (10-20)% increased Area of Effect
Increases and Reductions to Cast Speed also Apply to Trap Throwing Speed
10% chance to gain an Endurance, Frenzy or Power Charge when any
of your Traps are Triggered by an Enemy
Rare Belt (Belt) Rare Belt - Stygian Vise is considered the best Rare Belt, you can put an Abyss Jewel there for some extra stats. Get yourself some Maximum Life, Resistances, Elemental Damage with Attack, and maybe some Hunter or Warlord mod.
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
40% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
increased Fire Damage
maximum Life %
Xoph's Blood(Amulet) Xoph's Blood - Avatar of Fire which is granted by this amulet does not allow you to deal Physical Damage, it is converted to Fire Damage by this point. The synergies this Amulet offers when combined with Vulconus will increase your damage drastically. Mandatory item
+(20-30) to Strength
10% increased maximum Life
+(20-40)% to Fire Resistance
10% increased Strength
Damage Penetrates 10% Fire Resistance
Cover Enemies in Ash when they Hit you
Avatar of Fire
Recommended Anointments:
Charisma - for more Mana and effectiveness of Auras
Lava Lash - for more Damage
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - There is really a lot of useful mods you can find there. Look for Critical Strike Chance, Fire Damage, and Accuracy Rating to increase your damage, combined with Maximum Life and Elemental Resistance. One of the Rings should have the Flammability Curse
Min. requirements:
60 to Maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
Curse Enemies with Flammability on Hit
Optional affixes:
increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Adds # to # Fire Damage to Attacks
increased Fire Damage
increased Area of Effect
Strength or Intelligence
Accuracy Rating
Critical Strike Chance
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - getting 7% increased Maximum Life is probably the most important mod, you cal also try your luck by corrupting it - it's one of the few ways for a completely Corrupted Blood immunity
Recommended affixes:
increased Critical Strike Chance for Attacks
increased maximum Life
increased Area Damage
Elemental Resistances
increased Fire Damage
increased Attack Damage
Unstable Payload(Jewel) Unstable Payload - with the number of Traps you throw around, the chance for a Trap to Trigger an additional time is really visible and substantial for the damage increase
(8-12)% Chance for Traps to Trigger an additional time
Replica Cheap Construction(Jewel) Replica Cheap Construction - greatly increases Trap Critical Strike chance but limits their maximum number. It shouldn't be that much of a downside, since you will rarely benefit from all of them simultaneously
(100-120)% increased Critical Strike Chance with Traps
Can have 5 fewer Traps placed at a time
Intuitive Leap(Jewel) Intuitive Leap - allows you to allocate Passives in radius without connecting them to your Tree. Socket it right above Herbalism to pick it up alongside Survivalist, Heartseeker, Acuity, and possibly Fervour 
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - plenty of Attack/Dual-wielding/Dagger and Claw/Fire and so on Passives can be allocated on those. 
Recommended affixes (Fire):
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Master of Fire
1 Added Passive Skill is Cremator
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
Recommended affixes (Attack/Dual Wield/Claw):
1 Added Passive Skill is Calamitous
1 Added Passive Skill is Devastator
1 Added Passive SKill is Hit and Run
1 Added Passive Skill is Smite the Weak
1 Added Passive Skill is Martial Prowess
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - you should be able to use up to two Medium Cluster Jewels, preferably with the same set of powerful Passives on it: Guerilla Tactics and Surprise Sabotage
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Guerilla Tactics
1 Added Passive Skill is Surprise Sabotage
watcher's eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - You should use one with mods for Anger, Precision, or Clarity (if you are not using the recommended Slavedriver's Hands) even both if you somehow manage to. Look for mods such as "increased Attack Damage while affected by Precision", "Critical Strike Multiplier while affected by Precision",  or Fire Damage/Penetration with Anger
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
The Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - Use Wise Oak to deal more damage with the highest Fire Resistance, but it's not really important for the build.
+35% to all Elemental Resistances
During Flask Effect, 10% reduced Damage taken of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is lowest
During Flask Effect, Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Resistance of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is highest

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Ample Silver Flask of Curing (Poison immunity)
  3. Experimenter's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (inc. Mobility)
  4. Ample Quartz Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)

If you are using standard pair of Gloves you will need and Enduring Mana Flask with any of the suffixes from the list. In case of Accuracy issues, you can always use a Flask of Precision, preferably instead of the Curing or Adrenaline one

The Wise OakLife FlaskSilver FlaskQuicksilver FlaskQuartz Flask

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If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below. We are always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Grinding Gear Games.

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