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Cospri's CoC Ice Nova/Glacial Cascade Assassin build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Cospri's CoC Ice Nova/Glacial Cascade Assassin build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

One of the fastest map-clearing builds in Path of Exile based on the powerful Cospri's Malice Sword

Cospri's CoC
Ice Nova/Frostbolt
Assassin build

Updated for Patch 3.11

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Guide notes
July 30, 2020
-Updated for Patch 3.11
July 31, 2020
-Updated gameplay video


In Patch 3.5 many Cold skills got reworked and also Cast on Critical Gem's cooldown was lowered 0.5s to 0.15s, letting it proc up to 7 times per second! This change made Cast on Critical Strike based builds one of the strongest in the game. This build is focused mainly on triggering Ice Nova and Frostbolt with Cyclone, but it fits all kinds of Cold spells really well, so if you prefer to play Glacial Cascade or Freezing Pulse, you don't need to change anything except the desired Spell Gems. The only required, and the most expensive item in this build is Cospri's Malice, the rest is focused on stacking as much Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier as possible. Thanks to the addition of Cluster Jewels we can push this build's DPS even further. They are quite expensive, but also the best option for players that want to min-max their characters.

You can also find our other Path of Exile builds right over here: Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List


1. Gameplay

The gameplay is pretty straightforward - you Cyclone into packs of monsters and trigger all your socketed Cold Spells. The more monsters, the more spell casts per second. It's one of the most satisfying and fastest map-clearing builds in the game, thanks to cold explosions and ice projectiles flying all over the screen. Getting high Attack Speed is critical versus Bosses, as you increase the number of Hits per second, and trigger your Spells more frequently.

0:08 Tier 16 Volcano
0:26 Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix
0:49 Tier 16 Siege
1:07 Tier 16 Thicket
1:27 Tier 16 Lair of the Hydra

We have updated the video for the current Patch 3.11. It's a level 93 Assassin with Carcass Jack, dual-wielding Cospri's, 5300 Maximum Life and approximately 300k Ice Nova Hit damage (sadly, it's very hard to calculate this build's overall DPS)

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • one of the best AoE in the game
  • great clear speed 
  • decent Life pool and solid defenses
  • enjoyable triggering mechanism
  • high flexibility in terms of item choices, with just a few required uniques
  • can run reflect maps
  • requires to be played in Melee range with mediocre Physical Damage mitigation
  • expensive if you want to kill Guardians and Shaper


3. Leveling tips

This build feels really good, when you have all gear required for it and leveling Cast on Critical strike might be hard, that's why we recommend using Frost Blades for leveling, until you hit level 68, when you can wear all the required unique items. During leveling focus on upgrading your weapon to the highest Elemental/Physical DPS you can find.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Frost Blades setup
Frost Blades Frost Blades - your primary DPS source. We are using it for the entire leveling process
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support - a lot of additional Cold damage
Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support - it will hit two additional nearby enemies with Frost Blades, which helps a lot with clearing packs
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - increases Elemental Damage
Utility Gems
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - great totem, that deals a lot of damage against Single targets but also increases Melee Damage
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants increased Burning Damage and causes slain monsters to Ignite nearby monsters for a percentage of the overkill damage
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - additional Cold Damage and Ice Explosions that shatters whole packs of monsters
Whirling Blades Whirling Blades - your primary mobility skill


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passives Points or helping Alira if you prefer additional Mana Regeneration and making it easier to cap Elemental Resistances

Leveling Skill Trees:

34 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Blood Siphon 2) Coldhearted Calculation 3) Blood Drinker 3) Throatseeker

62 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Acrobatics 2) Heartseeker 3) Herbalism 4) Frost Walker

Recommended leveling items:

Wake of DestructionWake of Destruction - definitely best-leveling boots for attack based builds, provides a lot of flat Lightning damage to attacks
Adds 1 to 120 Lightning Damage to Attacks
(20-60)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+(10-20) Life gained on Kill
10% chance to Cause Monsters to Flee
15% increased Movement Speed
Karui ChargeKarui Charge- amazing amulet, that increases Attack Speed and Damage for your Frost Blades and your Movement Speed, making leveling faster and smoother
+(20-30) to Dexterity
+(20-30) to Strength
(5-10)% increased Attack Speed
+100 to Accuracy Rating
30% increased Projectile Speed
10% increased Movement Speed
30% increased Projectile Damage
GoldrimGoldrim - amazing leveling Helmet which covers up all your needs for Elemental Resistances during early 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)
Belt of the DeceiverBelt of the Deceiver - all Resistances and additional Life are amazing during leveling, on top of that we have little DPS boost
(15-25)% increased Global Physical Damage
You take 30% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
+(30-40) to maximum Life
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
Nearby Enemies are Intimidated
RedbeakRedbeak - perfect sword for early game, that you can use it since level 1
100% increased Damage when on Low Life
50% increased Physical Damage
Adds 2 to 6 Physical Damage
10% increased Attack Speed
+(20-30) to maximum Life
+2 Life gained for each Enemy hit by Attacks
The Tempestuous SteelThe Tempestuous Steel - this will be perfect for full conversion to Elemental Damage leveling build because all attacks with this weapon Penetrate enemies Resistances
Adds (5-8) to (15-20) Physical Damage
(8-14)% increased Attack Speed
Hits can't be Evaded
Attacks with this Weapon Penetrate 30% Elemental Resistances
Gain 15% of Physical Attack Damage as Extra Lightning Damage
Gain 15% of Physical Attack Damage as Extra Fire Damage

HrimsorrowHrimmsorrow - great Gloves, providing additional Damage and Physical Conversion to Cold, which scales with Elemental/Cold Damage nodes on the skill tree

+(20-30) to Strength
Adds (5-7) to (13-15) Cold Damage to Spells and Attacks
+(40-50) to Evasion Rating
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
50% of Physical Damage Converted to Cold Damage
Reflects 10 Cold Damage to Melee Attackers


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

117 Points Skill Tree (Cluster Jewels)
115 Points Skill Tree (No Cluster Jewels)
117 Points Path of Building (PoB) link (Cluster Jewels)
115 Points Path of Building (PoB) link  (No Cluster Jewels)

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Opportunistic
  2. Mistwalker
  3. Unstable Infusion
  4. Deadly Infusion


Major God: Soul of Solaris 6% Physical Damage Reduction if there is only one nearby Enemy; 20% chance to take 50% less Area Damage from Hits

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


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Cyclone/Ice Nova
(Body Armour)
Cyclone Cyclone - this is our main skill gem, that will cast linked Sells and Spells socketed into Cospri's Malice on Critical Strikes
Vaal Ice Nova Vaal Ice Nova - this is our main Damage dealing spell. It has great both single target and AoE damage
Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support - since we are dealing mainly Cold Damage this will grant the best Damage multiplier from all gems. It also increases the chance to Freeze enemies
Cast on Critical Strike Support Cast on Critical Strike Support - the most important gem in this setup. It will cast linked spells on Critical Strikes dealt by Cyclone
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - grants very high bonus Damage at the cost of reducing the radius of both your Cyclone and Ice Nova
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - reduces the Mana Cost of Cyclone and grants high DPS bonus by increasing Elemental Damage and Critical Strike Chance
[DPS] Frostbolt/Ice Nova
(1st Cospri's Malice)
Frostbolt Frostbolt - Frostbolts are recommended for this build since they greatly increases our clear speed and radius of Spells triggered by Cospri's Malice. Spells in this setup deal a moderate amount of damage but provide very important Life Leech
Ice Nova Ice Nova - same as Frostbolt, deals some extra damage and grants Life Leeched
Life Leech Support Life Leech Support - will make Spells in your first Cospri to grant some of the damage dealt Leeched as Life
[UTILITY] Frostbite/Frost Bomb
(2nd Cospri's Malice)
Frostbite Frostbite - your second Cospri is used to apply Frostbite Curse and cast Frost Bomb, which makes this build so much more convenient to play
Frost Bomb Frost Bomb - applies Cold Exposure to affected enemies, increasing your DPS
Increased Area of Effect Increased Area of Effect Support
[AURAS] Herald of Ice, Hatred, Precision
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - provides additional Cold Damage and huge Ice explosions, making your clear speed insanely fast
Hatred Hatred - increases Cold Damage you deal with Skills
Precision Support Precision - increases your Accuracy Rating and Critical Strike Chance. It's extremely important in this build as it defines the rate at which you trigger all your Spells
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces the amount of Mana Reserved by Supported Spells
[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Flame Dash
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast Immortal Call after a certain amount of damage is taken. Keep this Gem at level 1
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants brief Physical Damage immunity. Keep this Gem at level 1
Flame Dash Flame Dash - increases your Mobility
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - increases the number of Flame Dash's charges and increases its Cooldown Recovery Speed
[UTILITY] Vortex
Vortex Vortex - deals extra damage, but also debuffs enemies via Bonechill and grants Arcane Surge for increased Spell Damage and Mana Regeneration Rate. It's Instant-cast Spell so you can just cast it while spinning with Cyclone
Bonechill Support Bonechill Support - increases the effect of Chill and Cold Damage dealt to Chilled enemies
Innervate Support Innervate Support - will cause Vortex to occasionally grant you slight added Lightning Damage, and it will also Shock enemies
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - keep this Gem at level 7 so that all casts of Vortex will give you Arcane Surge buff for extra Spell Damage and Mana Regen.
(Shaper Ring)
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - if you manage to get Whispers of Doom anointed on your Amulet, you should definitely get a Shaper Ring which will make you Curse enemies with Assassin's Mark anytime you hit them

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find all the recommended and required items for this build. As usual, all required stats are listed (items are also included in the PoB link). This is a rather inexpensive build, which should not cost more than a few Exalted Orbs, but you can increase it's power immensely by investing in more powerful uniques. 

At this point, we would love to invite you to visit our Path of Exile Marketplace where you can buy cheap PoE Currency in case you are unable to complete your 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. Added Cold Damage to Spells
  4. Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. Critical Strike Chance
  6. Accuracy Rating
  7. Cooldown Recovery Rate - grants amazing DPS bonus, but may be hard to get and will be expensive
Rat's Nest(Helmet) Rat's Nest - great and inexpensive pick for this build, however, it grants no defensive Utility

15% increased Attack Speed
(60-75)% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
150% increased Evasion Rating
(20-25)% increased Rarity of Items found
10% increased Movement Speed
10% reduced Character Size

Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - look for a Shaper piece with Added Cold Damage to Spells
Min. requirements:
65 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Added Cold Damage to Spells
maximum Mana
Helmet enchantments:
Ice Nova deals 40% increased Damage
Cospri's Malice(Weapon) Cospri's Malice - mandatory item for this build, which is based on this weapon. Try to get the highest Attack Speed and flat Cold Damage to Spells as possible. You have to dual-wield them for the best performance, however you can always use a Shield or other off-hand, which will require you to Cast Frost Bomb and Frostbite manually though
No Physical Damage
Adds (80-100) to (160-200) Cold Damage
Adds (40-60) to (90-110) Cold Damage to Spells
(8-14)% increased Attack Speed
+257 Intelligence Requirement
60% increased Critical Strike Chance against Chilled Enemies
Trigger a Socketed Cold Spell on Melee Critical Strike
Tabula Rasa(Body Armour) Tabula Rasa - cheap and leveling option which should easy carry you through low and mid-tier Maps
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
Loreweave(Body Armour) Loreweave - our top recommendation for the Body Armour slot, however, it will be quite hard to get all the right sockets. You can try to get it to 3 Green/3 Blue and swap Cold Penetration with Increased Critical Damage Support Gem
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)%
Carcass Jack(Body Armour) Carcass Jack - solid Body Armour which grants all the essential Stats and makes it easy to hit the right Socket Colors
(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
Boots(Boots) Rare Boots 
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
29% Fire Resistance
29% Cold Resistance
29% Lightning Resistance
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
maximum Mana
Boot enchantment:
Adds 45 to 68 Cold Damage if you've been Hit Recently
Leather Belt(Belt) Rare Belt 

Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
29% Fire Resistance
29% Cold Resistance
29% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Strength or Dexterity to meet Attribute Requirements

Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Stygian Vise - with the same stat as the regular belt. Will grant Abyss socket and allow you to use one more jewel
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
29% Fire Resistance
29% Cold Resistance
29% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Strength or Dexterity to meet Attribute Requirements
The Pandemonius(Amulet) The Pandemonius - the BiS (except for Mirror-level Rare Amulets) which provides very high bonus DPS and insane defensive utility
(20-30)% increased Cold Damage
+(35-40)% to Cold Resistance
Chill Enemy for 1 second when Hit, slowing them by 30%
Blind Chilled Enemies on Hit
Damage Penetrates 20% Cold Resistance against Chilled Enemies
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - just grab a mixture of DPS and Utility stats until you can afford any of the above. For end-game Amulet, you will want a Shaper one with the bonuses listed below, and the Whispers of Doom Anointment
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
30% Critical Strike Multiplier
60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Damage Penetrates #% Cold/Elemental Resistances (Redeemer/Shaper)
Chance to gain Frenzy/Power/Endurance Charge on kill (Shaper)
+1 to level of all Cold Skill Gems (Redeemer)
Recommended Anointments:
  • Whispers of Doom (use with Assassin's Mark on Ring, or Elemental Weaknes Corruption on Gloves)
  • Arcane Potency
  • Heart of Ice
  • True Strike
Diamond Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Diamond Rings are quite a good option as they can increase your Critical Strike Chance. You can also try to get an Elder Ring to go with Mark of the Shaper

Min. requirements:
50 maximum Life
75% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Curse enemies with level # Assassin's Mark on Hit (requires Whispers of Doom Anointment)
Global Critical Strike Chance
Accuracy Rating
Shock enemies for 2 Seconds when you Focus

Gifts from Above(Ring) Gifts from Above - if you can afford to lose some Resistances, it's also a viable option, granting a lot of extra Critical Strike Chance and Damage increase
(20-30)% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Trigger Level 10 Consecrate when you deal a Critical Strike
(30-35)% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
(10-15)% increased Light Radius
(40-50)% increased Rarity of Items Dropped by Enemies killed with a Critical Strike
50% increased Damage while on Consecrated Ground
+5% Chance to Block Attack Damage while on Consecrated Ground
Mark of the Shaper(Ring) Mark of the Shaper - one of the best choices for the Ring slot, as long as, your other Ring is an Elder item. You should play it only if you are using one Curse
(15-25)% increased Elemental Damage
20% chance to Trigger Level 20 Summon Volatile Anomaly on Kill
Adds (13-18) to (50-56) Lightning Damage to Spells
(6-10)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(6-10)% increased maximum Life
(60-80)% increased Spell Damage if your other Ring is an Elder Item
Cannot be Stunned by Spells if your other Ring is a Shaper Item
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - preferably Fingerless Silk Gloves but most other types are also viable
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
30% Fire Resistance
30% Cold Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Maximum Mana
Attack Speed
Glove enchantment:
Commandment of Frost
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - all Jewels should provide extra Life and at least one Damage amplification mod
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed
increased Cold Damage
increased Spell Damage
Abyss Jewel(Jewels) Abyss Jewels - priority is maximum Life and flat damage to Spells
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
added Elemental Damage to Spells
Optional affixes:
increased Critical Strike Multiplier
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - grants very high bonus DPS and Life Leech which comes in handy during Boss fights
+35% to Chaos Resistance
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
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Bleeding immunity)
  2. Ample Quartz Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
  3. Experimenter's Diamond Flask of Adrenaline (Inc. Movement Speed)
  4. Experimenter's Quicksilver Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
Atziri's PromiseDivine Life FlaskQuartz FlaskDiamond FlaskQuicksilver Flask

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