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Chaos Winter Orb Trickster Build

Chaos Winter Orb Trickster Build

Full guide on the best Winter Orb build out there

"Eternity Orb"
Chaos Winter Orb Trickster build

Updated for Patch 3.6

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Guide notes
April 18, 2019
-Build created
April 23, 2019
-Updated Skill Gems
-Added Gameplay video

Winter Orb is currently the most popular skill in Path of Exile. It has insane damage, and how it works, makes it one of the smoothest skills to quickly farm maps. It is a channeled spell, which builds up stacks and icy projectiles are shot with a frequency determined by the number of active stacks. Those stacks persist for a short duration, so increasing Skill Effect Duration makes you able to progress faster while Winter Orb remains at maximum DPS. This particular build revolves around The Eternity Shroud unique armor and Damage Conversion to Fire. With how conversion works, first you gain up to 50% (depending on the number of Shaper items you have equipped and the Shroud's rolls) of your Winter Orb's Cold Damage as extra Chaos Damage, then 90% of it gets converted to Fire, and you again get additional Chaos Damage based on it. In practice this nearly adds 100% Extra Damage as Chaos, making up for one of the highest DPS skills in the game.

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1. Gameplay

This is considered the best PoE build for Patch 3.6 and the Synthesis League. It is based on Winter Orb which is a channeled spell that fires icy projectiles with very high frequency. Multiple projectiles can overlap on the same enemy, making up for one of the highest DPS in the game. Combined with Trickster's Ascendancy that grants very high Cast Speed bonuses it makes it really fast to reach Winter Orb maximum stack. On top of that, this build utilizes nearly 100% Cold to Fire Damage conversion, and additional Chaos Damage based on your Elemental Damage from The Eternity Shroud and Harness the Void Passive. By converting Winter Orb's damage to Fire, you can gain the Extra Elemental Damage as Chaos Damage twice, which doubles your damage output. If you manage to get all Shaper items, it will also make your Chaos Damage completely ignore monsters' Chaos Resistance. Solstice Vigil's Soul Eater, Malevolence Aura, and increased Skill Effect Duration will allow you to run for very long before you need to build up additional stacks, making it one of the fastest builds in the game when dealing with high Tier Maps and end-game Bosses.

For the defenses, this build utilizes high Evasion Rating, Life and Mind over Matter. Also, Energy Leech will fuel up your MoM and allow spamming Spells without worrying about managing your Mana. 

0:06 Tier 16 Pit of the Chimera
0:45 Tier 16 Lair of the Hydra
1:25 Tier 16 Maze of the Minotaur
2:06 Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix
2:28 Shaper Boss

This video was recorded on a level 90 Trickster on Synthesis Standard. The total budget was approximately 45 Exalted Orbs which included Shaper Pyre

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • one of the highest DPS builds in the game
  • terrific mobility based on Trickster's Ascendancy
  • one of the highest end-game capabilities
  • insane clear speed
  • vulnerable to Elemental Reflect map mods
  • very expensive making it unsuited for a budget build and SSF

3. Leveling tips

I have personally leveled up my character using one Poet's Pen wand with Glacial Cascade socketed, which turned out extremely fast and I didn't have to alter the route to the Final Passive build at all. However, if you can't afford to get Poet's Pen, I would suggest self-casting Freezing Pulse with one First Snow threshold jewel equipped. It's one of the best leveling Spells, and you will benefit from both Spell Crit. and Cold/Elemental Damage nodes that you are picking up when leveling. You can either stick to Freezing Pulse until level 70 or above, or switch to using Winter Orb after you reach level 28. I will leave that to your personal preferences. Below you will find basic Gem setups for lower levels (make sure to add extra Supports if you manage to get more links) and several useful unique items that can be very helpful.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Freezing Pulse setup
Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse - great leveling spell which is available right after starting the game. It provides high base damage and has high clearing potential
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support - adds flat Cold Damage to supported skills
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support - greatly increases Spell Damage at the cost of reducing Crit. Chance
Winter Orb setup
Winter Orb Winter Orb - the core skill used in this build. It can be used after you reach level 28
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support 
Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support - increases the number of Winter Orb's projectiles
Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support - significantly increases the damage of supported skills against chilled enemies
Utility Gems
Lightning Golem Lightning Golem - the recommended Golem for this build. It increases your Cast Speed which also affects how quickly you build up Winter Orb's stacks
Herald of Thunder Herald of Thunder - adds extra Lightning Damage to your Spells
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - grants additional Cold Damage to your Spells  and causes slain enemies to explode for extra Cold Area Damage
Frostbite Frostbite - can give you some extra DPS against Bosses on the lower levels


We recommend helping Alira for Extra Critical Strike Multiplier and Elemental Resistances

Leveling Skill Trees:

35 Points Skill Tree 
Priorities: 1) Coordination 2) Lethal Assault 3) Doom Cast 4) Snowforged 5) Throatseeker

66 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Arcanist's Dominion 2) Annihilation 3) Cruel Preparation 4) Frost Walker 5) Quick Recovery

Recommended leveling items:

GoldrimGoldrim - one of the best low-level Helmets in Path of Exile. It grants very high Elemental Resistances which will allow you to focus solely on DPS and Life on the lower levels
+(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)
Lochtonial CaressLochtonial Caress - a very cheap pair of leveling gloves. They grant very high Cast Speed bonus and generates all three types of Charges
(10-15)% increased Attack Speed
(10-15)% increased Cast Speed
+(20-30) to maximum Life
(15-10)% reduced maximum Mana
10% chance to gain a Power, Frenzy or Endurance Charge on Kill
Karui WardKarui Ward - grants amazing DPS boost to all your projectiles (both Freezing Pulse and Winter Orb's) and extra Movement Speed which makes your leveling much faster
+(20-30) to Dexterity
+(20-30) to Strength
+100 to Accuracy Rating
30% increased Projectile Speed
10% increased Movement Speed
30% increased Projectile Damage
Berek's GripBerek's Grip - increases your damage and grants extra Life and Mana Leech. However, this Ring may be expensive
+(12-16)% to Cold and Lightning Resistances
(25-30)% increased Cold Damage
Adds 1 to (50-70) Lightning Damage to Spells and Attacks
+(30-40) to maximum Life
1% of Damage Leeched as Life against Shocked Enemies
1% of Damage Leeched as Mana against Frozen Enemies
Axiom PerpetuumAxiom Perpetuum - a very solid leveling weapon for spellcasters. You can dual-wield it for insane bonus DPS
(4-6)% increased Cast Speed
(100-140)% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Adds (2-3) to (5-6) Fire Damage to Spells
Adds (2-3) to (5-6) Cold Damage to Spells
Adds 1 to (10-12) Lightning Damage to Spells

4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

116 Points Final Skill Tree
116 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Ghost Dance
  2. Escape Artist
  3. Harness the Void
  4. Swift Killer


Major God: Soul of Lunaris 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%; 1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%

Minor God: Soul of Gruthkul 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each Hit you've taken Recently up to a maximum of 5%

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Winter Orb
Winter Orb Winter Orb - your primary source of DPS. It is a channelled spell which builds up stacks and shots projectiles in quick succession. After you build up the maximum amount of Stacks you can run around the Map for quite some time before they expire
Infused Channelling Support Infused Channelling Support - primary Support Gem for all channelled spells
Cold to Fire Support Cold to Fire Support - converts 50% of your Cold Damage to Fire which is one of the core mechanics used in this build
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - grants very high damage bonus but reduces the radius of Winter Orb projectiles' explosions
Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support - increases the number of your Winter Orb's projectiles, and since multiple projectiles can hit the same target, it greatly increases your total DPS
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - greatly increases Elemental Damage but makes it inflict no status ailments
[UTILITY] Temporal Chains
Temporal Chains Temporal Chains - very good defensive Aura which reserves no Mana when using Solstice Vigil. That allows us to Support it with Empower and Enhance to greatly intensify the slow effect
Enhance Support Enhance Support - increases the Quality of Supported Gems, hence increasing the slow caused by Temporal Chains
Empower Support Empower Support - increases the level of Support Gems
Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support - makes your Temporal Chains Curse work as an Aura around your character
[UTILITY] Aura and Herald skills
Zealotry Zealotry - grants increased Spell Damage and Spell Critical Strike Chance
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - grants extra Cold Damage to your Spells and causes frozen enemies to explode dealing AoE damage
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - increases your Fire Spell Damage and causes enemies to burn for 20% of your overkill damage
  You can also replace both Heralds for either Hatred(DPS) or Malevolence(Skill Effect Duration) Auras. That way you also gain an extra Socket that can be used for Summon Lightning Golem Skill Gem
[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Vaal Righteous Fire
Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire - greatly increases your Spell Damage while active
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - auto-cast supported spells after a certain amount of damage is taken. This Gem should be kept on level 1
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants brief Physical Damage immunity. Keep this Gem at level 3
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of supported Skills
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - your primary mobility skill. It will also grant Arcane Surge buff whenever you use it
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support  - grants faster movement with Flame Dash
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support  - keep this Gem on level 7 and it will grant its buff with every cast of Flame Dash. Arcane Surge grants increased Spell Damage and Cast Speed
[UTILITY] Wither Spell Totem
Wither Wither - applies a stacking debuff on enemies which increases their Chaos Damage taken
Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support - allows you to plant a Totem which uses the supported Spell; Wither in this case
Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support  - spawns three Totems instead of one helping you apply multiple stacks quickly
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find all the recommended gear for this Winter Orb Elementalist build. Several gear options are usually included for each slot with the exception of awfully expensive end-game gear as this is usually accessible to less than 1% of players. 

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The recommended items from our list will:

  1. Help you cap your Elemental Resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS and Life to start mapping successfully

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Spell Damage/Cold Damage
  4. Cast Speed
  5. Elemental Damage Penetration
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Shaper Helmet - if you are planning to get all Shaper items including Pyre which can be very expensive, this is the best choice
Min. requirements:
70 to maximum Life
35% to Fire Resistance
35 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Added Cold Damage to Spells
Eber's Unification(Helmet) Eber's Unification - the best choice for the Helmet slot if you are yet to have a complete Shaper gear. It grants additional Chaos Damage and reduces the Chaos Resistance of nearby enemies
Trigger Level 10 Void Gaze when you use a Skill
+(50-80) to maximum Mana
(150-180)% increased Energy Shield
50% increased Stun and Block Recovery
Gain (5-8)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
Helmet enchantments:
Winter Orb has +2 Maximum Stages
Winter Orb deals 40% increased Damage
Sceptre(Weapon) Rare Shaper Sceptre - the best in the slot. They can be dual-wielded for maximum DPS, or you can use a Shield for slightly better defensive utility
Min. requirements:
50% Cold/Spell Damage
70% Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Adds 15% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
Optional affixes:
Adds #% of Cold Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
Adds #% of non-Chaos Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
Critical Strike Multiplier
Cast Speed
Rare Shield(Weapon) Rare Shaper Shield - grants less DPS but higher defensive utility when compared to dual-wielding Sceptres
Min. requirements:
50% Cold/Spell Damage
70% Critical Strike Chance for Spells
55 maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Adds #% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
Elemental Resistances
The Eternity Shroud(Body Armour) The Eternity Shroud - build defining item. It grants up to 50% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage if all your gear is Shaper. It also grants Eternity Glimpse which is a very solid defensive skill 
Trigger Level 20 Glimpse of Eternity when Hit
(100-150)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(70-100) to maximum Life
+(17-23)% to Chaos Resistance
Gain (3-5)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage per Shaper Item Equipped
Hits ignore Enemy Monster Chaos Resistance if all Equipped Items are Shaper Items
Solstice Vigil(Amulet) Solstice Vigil - the best Amulet for this build. It allows you to use Temporal Chains Aura with no Mana Reservation cost, grants Soul Eater which increases the duration of all effects on your including Winter Orb, Vaal Righteous Fire, Immortal Call and such. It is a Shaper item by default

+(10-16) to all Attributes
(20-25)% increased Damage
+(50-70) to maximum Life
(2-3) Mana Regenerated per second
Temporal Chains has 100% reduced Mana Reservation
Gain Shaper's Presence for 10 seconds when you kill a Rare or Unique Enemy

Opal Ring(Ring) Rare Shaper Ring - depending on your other equipment, you should focus on mainly offensive stats
Min. requirements:
50 maximum Life
20% Elemental/Cold/Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
Added Cold Damage to Spell and Attacks
Elemental Resistances
Cast Speed
Pyre(Ring) Shaper Pyre - the most expensive item in this build. If you can't afford one you should try getting any Shaper Ring instead and use Eber's Unification for max DPS. You can obtain Shaper Pyre by using Orb of Chance on Shaper Sapphire Ring (this may require more than a thousand tries)
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
+(25-35)% to Fire Resistance
(60-80)% increased Burning Damage
40% of Cold Damage Converted to Fire Damage
10% increased Light Radius
Ignited Enemies you hit are destroyed on Kill
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Shaper Boots - get a pair with the highest possible Life, Elemental Resistances, and Movement Speed bonuses
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
40 Dexterity
29% Lightning Resistance
29% Cold Resistance
Boot enchantment:
16% increased Attack and Cast Speed if you've Killed Recently
Adds 45 to 68 Cold Damage if you've been Hit Recently
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - Stygian Vise will be the best in the slot but also the most expensive option. You can use any other base available
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
Cold/Elemental Damage
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed during any Flask effect
increased Spell Damage during any Flask effect
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Shaper Gloves
Min. requirements:
65 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Spell Damage
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels
Recommended affixes:
increased Maximum Life
increased Cold/Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
increased Critical Strike Multiplier with Elemental Skills
increased Cast Speed
Abyss Jewel(Jewels) Abyss Jewels - Abyss Jewels should grant more upfront DPS compared to regular Jewels
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
added Cold Damage to Spells
added Cold Damage to Spells while dual-wielding/holding a Shield
Optional affixes:
increased Damage if you have killed recently
Abyss Jewel(Jewels) Abyss Jewels - one Murderous Eye Jewel with a chance to grant Onslaught buff is recommended
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
increased Damage if you have killed recently
chance to gain Onslaught buff for 4 seconds on kill
Optional affixes:
increased Critical Strike Multiplier if you have killed recently

Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - the best Flask for this build. It grants very high bonus damage and extra Life Leech

2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (15-20)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (10-15)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect

Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - grants very high bonus Crit. Chance and extra damage against enemies affected by your Consecrated Ground. It works great in combination with Zealotry Aura

(-10-10)% increased Charges used
(15-25)% increased Area of Effect during Flask Effect
Skills fire 2 additional Projectiles during Flask Effect
Suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Ample Diamond Flask of Adrenaline (increased Movement Speed)
  3. Ample Stibnite Flask of Heat (immunity to Freeze)
Atziri's PromiseBottled FaithDivine Life FlaskDiamond FlaskStibnite Flask

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

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