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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 3.16

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Guide notes
July 30, 2020
-Updated for Patch 3.11
July 31, 2020
-Updated gameplay video
April 18, 2021
-Updated for Patch 3.14
April 23, 2021
-Updated gameplay video
November 23, 2021
-Updated for Patch 3.16


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 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.

It's an Energy Shield Build that doesn't allocate Chaos Inoculation, you will reserve your Life instead with Auras on Prism Guardian to increase your overall performance, this will allow you to reap the benefits of Pain Attunement and Presence of Chayula. Your ES will oscillate in between 4 to 6k, you will be constantly Elusive, your Armour and Evasion Rating are moderately high. This build relies on you constantly dealing Critical Strikes with Cyclone, getting enough Crit Chance should be easy as you'll be using Power Charges - with Assassin's Ascendancy it means a huge bonus to your damage and survivability. Accuracy Rating, on the other hand, is harder to come by, but with good gear, you should easily reach over 95% Hit Chance. Keep in mind that you can run out of Mana if you don't manage the Mana Cost of your Skills.

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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.

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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
  • 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 Critical Strike Multiplier and making it easier to cap Elemental Resistances

Leveling Skill Trees:

31 Points Skill Tree
Take the Cold Mastery to convert the remaining Physical Damage to Cold, get Maximum Life, and some more Damage

67 Points Skill Tree
Pick up the Maximum Power Charges and some more Maximum Life

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
15% increased Movement Speed
Drops Shocked Ground while moving, lasting 2 seconds
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
+(25-35) to Strength
(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
40% increased Global Accuracy Rating
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
40% increased Global Accuracy Rating
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 Fire Damage
Gain 15% of Physical Attack Damage as Extra Lightning 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:

92 Points Skill Tree (does not include Cluster Jewels nor Thread of Hope)
121 Points Path of Building (PoB) link 

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


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: 60% reduced Effect of Shock on you


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Cyclone/Ice Nova setup
Cyclone Cyclone - this is our main skill gem, that will cast linked Sells and Spells socketed into Cospri's Malice on Critical Strikes
Ice Nova Ice Nova - this is our main Damage dealing spell. It has great both single target and AoE damage
Power Charge on Critical Support Power Charge on Critical Support - adds Damage per Power Charge, more Crit Chance, and generates Charges
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
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support - adds high base Cold Damage to linked Spells. It's best to use an Awakened version of this Gem
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/Frost bomb setup
(Cospri's Malice)
Frostbolt Frostbolt - Frostbolts are recommended for this build since they greatly increase 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
Frost Bomb Frost Bomb - applies Cold Exposure reducing Cold Resistance for enemies, and reduces Life Regeneration Rate
{UTILITY] Auras setup
(Prism Guardian)
Hatred Hatred - increases Cold Damage you deal with Skills
Zealotry Zealotry - increases your Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier, Spell Damage, and creates Consecrated Ground
Grace Grace - use Grace to gain more Evasion Rating
[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Auras setup
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 a brief defensive buff which reduces all your Damage taken significantly. Keep this Gem at level 3 for more frequent triggers by Cast when Damage Taken Gem
Discipline Discipline - grants you more Energy Shield and increased ES Recharge Rate
Determiation Determination - you gain additional and increased Armour
[UTILITY] Curse and Vortex setup
Frostbite Frostbite - Curse that lowers Cold Resistance of your Opponents
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - grants increased Spell Damage, Cast Speed, and Mana Regen. Keep this Gem at level 7 so that the buff is applied with each cast
Vortex Vortex - Creates a Chilling Zone dealing COld DoT after an initial explosion, put it in place of your movement button to have it constantly cast
Hextouch Support Hextouch Support - Vortex will apply Frostbite on enemies
[UTILITY] Aura, Banner, Herald, Flame Dash
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - provides additional Cold Damage and huge Ice explosions, making your clear speed insanely fast
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
Defiance Banner Defiance Banner - You have more Armour and Evasion Rating, while enemies around you are less likely to hit you with Critical Strike
Flame Dash Flame Dash - Movement Spell to improve mobility of your character

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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 its power immensely by investing in more powerful uniques. One of the most important stats are Critical Strike Chance, especially for Melee Attacks to trigger Ice Nova with each Hit of Cyclone, Crit Multiplier is important only for Spells. Seek Accuracy Rating so that you can actually Hit your enemies with Cyclone at a frequent rate. Strength and Dexterity should be one of your priorities since you will need 155 Strength (Determination) and 212 Dexterity (Cospri's). 

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Our recommended items will:

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

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Energy Shield
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Critical Strike Multiplier
  4. Critical Strike Chance
  5. Strength and Dexterity
  6. Accuracy Rating
  7. Added Cold Damage to Spells
  8. Cooldown Recovery Rate - grants amazing DPS bonus, but may be hard to get and will be expensive
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - look for a Shaper piece with Added Cold Damage to Spells or additional Maximum Power Charge
Min. requirements:
+40 to maximum Energy Shield
75% Total Elemental Resistances
Nearby Enemies have -9% to Cold Resistance
Optional affixes:
Added Cold Damage to Spells
Accuracy Rating
+1 to Maximum Power Charges
Critical Strike Multiplier
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 could dual-wield them, however, it's recommended to use a Prism Guardian.
+25% to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Trigger a Socketed Cold Spell on Melee Critical Strike, with a 0.15 second Cooldown
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
Prism Guardian(Weapon) Prism Guardian - use this Shield so that you can use additional three Auras at the cost of your Life - the build is ES-focused so that won't be an issue
+12% to all Elemental Resistances
+2 to Level of Socketed Aura Gems
Socketed Gems Cost and Reserve Life instead of Mana
Socketed Gems have 30% increased Reservation Efficiency
+(20-30) to Dexterity
+25% to all Elemental Resistances
Shavronne's Wrappings(Body Armour) Shavronne's Wrappings - As you're not immune to Chaos Damage and your Life is close to non-existent, it's an obviously obligatory Body Armour. It increases your Spell Damage and Energy Shield which is good.
(3-10)% increased Spell Damage
(100-150)% increased Energy Shield
10% faster start of Energy Shield Recharge
+(30-40)% to Lightning Resistance
Reflects 1 to 250 Lightning Damage to Melee Attackers
Chaos Damage does not bypass Energy Shield
Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Movement Speed, Energy Shield, Elemental Resistances, and Dexterity are commonly found here, you can additionally seek the Tailwind mod to improve your mobility
Min. requirements:
+30 to maximum Energy Shield
80% Total Elemental Resistances
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Boot enchantment:
Adds 45 to 68 Cold Damage if you've been Hit Recently
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - Stygian Vise grants Abyss socket and allows you to use one more jewel, while Crystal Belt grants more Energy Shield
Min. requirements:
+40 to maximum Energy Shield
80% Total Elemental Resistances
+40 to Strength
Optional affixes:
Elemental Damage
increased Energy Shield from Body Armour
Presence of Chayula(Amulet) Presence of Chayula - You won't need your Life as it's an ES build, this Amulet suits such builds the best - it increases your ES, Attributes, Chaos Resistance, and grants Stun immunity
+(10-16) to all Attributes
30% increased Rarity of Items found
+60% to Chaos Resistance
Cannot be Stunned
20% of Maximum Life Converted to Energy Shield
Recommended Anointments:
  • Whispers of Doom (use with Assassin's Mark on Ring, or Elemental Weakness Corruption on Gloves)
  • Tranquility
Circle of Fear(Ring) Circle of Fear - Circle of Fear improves your Herald of Ice Skill, it can deal more Cold Damage, have increased Buff Effect, Reserve less Mana, and other such enhancements, it's overall the best choice for a Ring for both Ring Slots
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
+(20-30) to Dexterity
Adds (20-25) to (26-35) Cold Damage
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
When used in the Synthesiser, the new item will have an additional Herald Modifier
<Random Herald of Ice modifier>
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - preferably Fingerless Silk Gloves but most other types are also viable, focus just on Accuracy Rating and other defensive stats
Min. requirements:
+40 to maximum Energy Shield
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
increased Energy Shield
Militian Faith(Jewel) Militant Faith - This allows you to benefit from Inner Conviction that greatly boosts your Spell damage for each active Power Charge. Transform The Agnostic Keystone on the left side of the Skill Tree.
Carved to glorify (2000-10000) new faithful converted by High Templar (Avarius-Dominus-Maxarius)
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Templars
<two random mods of devotion>
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - an extremely powerful Jewel that can grant tons of base Crit. Chance while you are affected by Hatred. It can also have additional bonuses to Hatred and Precision Auras, but multiple bonuses make it an extremely expensive Item
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Recommended Aura modifiers:
+(1.2-1.8)% to Critical Strike Chance while affected by Hatred
Adds (58-70) to (88-104) Cold Damage while affected by Hatred
+(20-30)% to Critical Strike Multiplier while affected by Precision
Gain a Flask Charge when you deal a Critical Strike while affected by Precision
Thread of Hope(Jewel) Thread of Hope - use on with a Large Ring and put it next to Instability so that you can allocate Heart of Ice, Arcane Focus, and Blast Radius
Only affects Passives in Large Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Replica Conqueror's Efficiency(Jewel) Replica Conqueror's Efficiency - having cheaper Skills is crucial to cast them constantly and not to be limited by Mana
4% increased Skill Effect Duration
+5 to Maximum Rage
Non-Channelling Skills have -9 to Total Mana Cost
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - all Jewels should provide extra Energy Shield and at least one Damage amplification mod
Recommended affixes:
maximum Energy Shield
Critical Strike Multiplier for Spells
Critical Strike Chance for Attacks and Spells
increased Cold/Area/Spell Damage
Elemental Resistances
Large Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - get yourself a couple of Cold-related Cluster Jewels or general Elemental Damage or Resistances with eight or nine passives
Recommended Notables:
1 Added Passive Skill is Blanketed Snow
1 Added Passive Skill is Snowstorm
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
Medium Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - prioritize Critical Strike Chance, Damage, and Area of Effect, especially when it scales with Power Charges
Recommended Notables:
1 Added Passive Skill is Magnifier
1 Added Passive Skill is Vast Power
1 Added Passive Skill is Quick Getaway
1 Added Passive Skill is Pressure Points
1 Added Passive Skill is Basics of Pain
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - Bottled Faith keeps the title of one of the best and most versatile Flask for all build relying on Critical Strikes
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-15)% reduced Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
(100-150)% increased Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Flask effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Mana Flask with random ailment removal
  2. Diamond Flask with Freeze immunity/removal
  3. Quicksilver Flask with random ailment removal or increased Movement Speed
  4. Silver Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
mana flaskDiamond FlaskQuicksilver FlaskSilver FlaskBottled Faith

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