Games Marketplace - Odealo
0.00 25 (Click on the icon to view details)


Explosive Trap Saboteur Build

Explosive Trap Saboteur Build

A versatile Saboteur build that uses Explosive Traps to deal massive Fire AoE damage

 Explosive Trap
Saboteur Build

Updated for Patch 3.20

The Best Crafty Guides by Odealo

Guide notes
March 21, 2022
-Build created
February 20, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.20
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Explosive Trap is one of the most basic Traps you can get - it's a Trap that explodes upon activating, causing a number of smaller explosions right after the initial one. It deals Physical Spell Damage, but half of it is converted to Fire - arguably the hardest part of setting up the build is to convert the other half to Fire too. The Ascendancy you want to pick is of course Saboteur due to the abundance of Trap-related Keystones for offense as well as defense. There are no specific synergies between items or Skills, it's a very simple build that can be geared up in many ways - that's why it's heavily recommended for new players. It's an excellent league starter that also has a high potential later in the game, the build can exceed 10mil DPS with expensive items, but the ability to build it from a scratch qualifies it as an SSF candidate as you don't really need any unique or rare items to start dealing good-enough damage.

It's a Life build with high Life Regeneration Rate thanks to Pyromaniac, and Evasion which is great when combined with Born in the Shadows. In the version presented in the gameplay footage, we've created an Evasion-oriented Saboteur with Ghost Dance, but you can also invest in Armour as your main defensive layer. Just pick Chain Reaction instead of Born in the Shadows, equip The Brass Dome, and alter some of the nodes on your Passive Skill Tree. For a weapon, you can use a Dagger, Mace, or a Wand with Shield or a Staff - The Annihilating Light is a good candidate for any non-specific build dealing Elemental Damage. Feel free to experiment and alter the build to make it more sturdy or DPS-oriented, whichever suits your playstyle.

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


1. Gameplay

You will be placing Traps ahead of you which should explode instantly killing any foe before it has a chance to spot you. Against bosses you want to apply a Curse and Fire Exposure on them - it can be done with just Arcanist Brand linked to a Flammability and Wave of Conviction. Bear Trap will immobilize, and make your opponent more vulnerable to Trap Damage. For a Guard Spell use Steelskin or Molten Shell, and as a Mobility Skill, it's good to have Dash, Flame Dash, or Frost Blink. You can use any Golem - Stone or Chaos Golem are the defensive ones. Ice and Flame Golems increase your DPS. For Auras use Herald of Ash, Skitterbots, Anger, Clarity, and Grace or Determination.

Odealo is a secure trading platform for MMO gamers. Here you can buy, sell, and trade PoE Currency for real cash.


2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • beginner-friendly
  • offers a lot of flexibility in terms of Item choices, defenses, and such
  • doesn't require any expensive items and it's relatively cheap
  • excellent single target damage
  • Traps have their inherent clear speed limitations
  • pushing this build to its' limits can get expensive


3. Leveling tips

Start with Explosive Trap, you can pick up the Skill Gem right from the start. Leveling with this Skill as Saboteur should be fast and simple, just pick up the Spell Damage, Fire or Physical Damage, and Trap Damage nodes. For Defences go for Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances, especially after killing Kitava. Find a nearby Fire Cluster with Fire Mastery for a 40% Conversion - that's the easiest way to get it. You can also use Crafting Bench to Craft Fire Conversion on a part of Gloves. Use Essence of Hysteria on a Ring or Blet to get more Fire Damage.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Rolling Magma setup
Explosive Trap Explosive Trap - It's a good leveling Trap, you can safely use it throughout your leveling process
Swift Assembly Swift Assembly Support - increased Trap Damage, and a chance to throw more than one Trap
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - Traps deal more Damage
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds Fire Damage based on Physical Damage of the Skill, it's great with Skills that Converts Physical Damage to Fire
Utility skills 
Flammability Flammability - a Curse that lowers Fire Resistance
Flame Dash Flame Dash - movement Spell that use can use to dash
Clarity Clarity - makes you Regenerate Mana at a faster rate
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - it's the most important passive Spell in the build as it grants you a lot of damage and improves the clear speed


Two Additional Passive Skill Points seem like the best option for this build

Leveling Skill Trees:

31 Points Skill Tree
Pick up the big Trap Cluster with some Maximum Life

67 Points Skill Tree
Continue getting more Life, Trap Damage, and Mana Reservation Efficiency


Recommended leveling items:

LifesprigLifesprig - A generic Wand for Spell-casters.
(8-12)% increased Spell Damage
+1 to Level of Socketed Spell Gems
(20-28)% increased Spell Damage
(5-8)% increased Cast Speed
+(15-20) to maximum Life
+(15-20) to maximum Mana
Regenerate (6-8) Life over 1 second when you Cast a Spell
DeerstalkerDeerstalker - You can put any Spell or Attack there and turn it into a 5-link Trap setup. We recommend Burning Arrow as it has 100% Physical Damage Converted to Fire.
Socketed Gems are now Supported by level 15 Trap
(160-200)% increased Evasion Rating
15% increased Movement Speed
(14-18)% increased Trap Throwing Speed
15% increased Movement Speed for 9 seconds on Throwing a Trap
GoldrimGoldrim - One of the best leveling Helmets, it grants  a lot of 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 - Allows you to create a six-linked Gem setup.
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

110 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels)
118 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


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 Shakari: for You cannot be Poisoned while there are at least 3 Poisons on you; 50% less Duration of Poisons on You and additional Chaos Damage mitigation


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Explosive Trap setup
Explosive Trap Explosive Trap - It's a Trap that Explodes a few times dealing Fire Spell Damage, converted from Physical Damage
Inspiration Inspiration Support - Skill costs less Mana, it has increased Elemental Damage and Critical Strike Chance
Fire Penetration Fire Penetration Support - Fire Damage Penetrates additional Fire Resistance for more damage
Added Fire Damage Added Fire Damage Support - adds Fire Damage that's sourced from Physical Damage before it gets Converted, replace it with Empower Support Empower Support after being able to afford it
Trap and Mine Damage Trap and Mine Damage Support - Traps deal more Damage, have reduced Mana Cost, and Throw Speed
Swift Assembly Swift Assembly Support - increased Trap Throwing Speed, and a chance to Throw an additional one to three Traps at once
[DPS] Auras setup
can be socketed in The Devouring Diadem Helmet
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - It's the most valuable Mana-reserving Skill as it adds a lot of Fire Damage to your Skills, and makes enemies deal AoE Burning Damage on death
Zealotry Zealotry - increases Spell Critical Strike Chance and grants more Spell Damage. With devouring diadem you will have enough "mana" to make it a temporary Aura with a Divine Blessing Support attached to it, but it may not be needed.
Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots - Skitterbots can Chill and Shock enemies, which is extremely valuable with Secrets of Suffering. You have also more Trap Damage
Clarity Clarity - rapid Mana Regeneration so that you won't run out of it, but it's pointless with The Devouring Diadem
Grace Grace - It grants you an additional and increased Evasion Rating. If you prefer to use Armour instead, go for Determination Determination
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - Linked Spells Reserve less Mana
[UTILITY] Golem setup
Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - Ice Golem can be used for increased Critical Strike Chance, but you can also use Stone, Chaos, or Flame Golem for other various utilities
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - linked Golem cost Life instead of Mana to summon
Cast when Damage Taken Support  Cast when Damage Taken Support - it should be kept at a maximum level so that Golem can be leveled all the way up as well
[UTILITY] Steelskin
Steelskin Steelskin - Guard Spell that reduces the damage you take from Hits for some time. Use Molten Shell instead if your Armour is high. It can be activated with CwDT too if you plan to use the Withering Step as the movement key.
[UTILITY] Vaal Righteous Fire
Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire - Vaal Righteous Fire will grant you much more Spell Damage for the next four seconds, you can activate it during boss fights but be careful, it will remove a big chunk of your Life and Energy Shield.
[UTILITY] Flame Dash, Bear Trap, and Phase Run setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - Dash-type Spell used to relocate
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - Keep it at a level low enough so that a single cast of Flame Dash will activate it. It grants you Spell Damage and mana Regeneration Rate.
Phase Run Phase Run - grants you increased Stealth, and Phasing, and makes you faster for much better mobility. It lasts longer the more frenzy charges it has consumed.
Bear Trap Bear Trap - immobilizes an enemy and makes it receive increased Damage from all Traps, it's useful during boss fights
[UTILITY] Brand setup
Flammability Flammability - a Curse that reduces Fire Resistance which should be the only type of damage you deal
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - applies Fire Exposure on enemies, reducing their Fire Resistance
Arcanist Brand Arcanist Brand - all linked Spells are activated every second as the Brand is attached to the opponent
Combustion Support Combustion Support - If you manage to Ignite an enemy with one of the linked Spells, its Fire Resistance gets reduced by an additional 10% thanks to the combustion support, but be careful, you may not be able to ignite. If you can apply the second curse, put the elemental weakness here instead of combustion.

On Odealo dozens of sellers compete for your attention. Buying PoE Currency here guarantees the best prices, prompt delivery, and the best quality of service.


6. Gear Setup

It's a Life build, so obviously increasing your Maximum Life is a priority if you want a more durable build. For more Damage look for Spell, Fire, or Physical Damage with Traps. There is no strict formula for the build to work, as it's very general - it doesn't require any Unique Items making it great as a league starter or for an SSF league. The recommended Unique Items are all cheap and there should be no problem with their acquisition. The most important part of the build are Gloves. Gloves can provide you with a Fire Damage conversion as a Crusader's Prefix, otherwise, you would have to resort to a Fire Mastery, which requires spending some Skill Points. 

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances at 75%
  2. Provide you with enough DPS and Life to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. 50% Physical to Fire Conversion
  2. Maximum Life
  3. Elemental Resistances
  4. Gem Level of Explosive Trap
  5. Critical Strike Chance
  6. Spell, Physical, Fire, Trap Damage
  7. Critical Strike Multiplier
  8. Evasion Rating
  9. Spell Suppression Chance
  10. Chaos Resistance
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - On a Helmet, there's one great offensive mod for when you're standing close to the opponents - it makes them take increased Fire Damage. Life, Spell Suppression Chance, Evasion, and Added Physical or Fire Damage are other useful affixes.
Min. requirements:
+80 to Maximum Life
40% Total Elemental Resistances
Nearby enemies take 9% increased Fire Damage
Optional affixes:
Adds Damage to Spells
Spell Suppression Chance
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Mana Reservation Efficiency
The Devouring Diadem(Helmet) The Devouring Diadem - It's the most popular choice for this build as it allows you to fit in more Auras, and due to Eldritch Battery, you won't have to worry about Mana Cost of Skills no more.
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
Socketed Gems have 25% increased Reservation Efficiency
Trigger Level 15 Feast of Flesh every 5 seconds
(180-220)% increased Energy Shield
10% chance for Energy Shield Recharge to start when you use a Skill
Eldritch Battery
Veiled Suffix
Helmet enchantments:
Increased Explosive Trap Damage
Increased Reservation Efficiency for Grace/Determination
Sceptre(Weapon) Rare Sceptre or Wand - You can go for a setup with a weapon and a shield as it's much more defensive-oriented. Look for Fire Damage and Critical Strike mods on a weapon. The "Level of Skill Gems" mods are usually very expensive but it should be feasible to get an increase to all fire skill gems at least. Alternating Sceptre has built-in Secrets o suffering so keep an eye on these.
Min. requirements:
50% increased Fire Spell Damage
60% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
+1 to Level of all Spell Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Fire Spell Skill Gems
Shield(Weapon) Rare Shield - On a shield, look for the defensive stats such as Life, Resistances, Suppression, Maximum Elemental Resistances, Attributes, or Mana Reservation Efficiency.
Min. requirements:
+60% to Elemental Resistances
+80 to maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Socketed Gems have #% increased Reservation Efficiency
Spell Suppression Chance
Spell Damage
Level to all Physical/Fire Spell Skill Gems
The Annihilating Light(Weapon) The Annihilating Light - It Triples the Elemental Damage of your Traps, definitely worth its price, but be careful, it will leave you with no Shield.
+18% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
(60-70)% reduced Elemental Resistances
Elemental Skills deal Triple Damage
Rare Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - Life, Resistances, and Spell Critical Strike Chance. If you're using Ghost Dance you can try to get some more Energy Shield for an extra defensive layer. It's best to use a mixed base to easily craft all the needed Red Sockets.
Min. requirements:
+80 to maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
20% Chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
+#% to Spell Critical Strike Chance
+1 to Level of Socketed Active Skill Gems
increased maximum Life
High Evasion Rating
Tinkerskin(Body Armour) Tinkerskin - Tinkerskin is a cheap candidate for great Body Armour for most Trap builds, due to its stats, Life Regeneration, Frenzy Charge generation, Phasing, and increased Cooldown Recovery Rate.
(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
Skin of the Lords(Body Armour) Skin of the Lords - Skin of the Lords is an amazing chest piece, it increases the Gem Level of its socketed setup granting much more Damage. It increases your Global Defences too. 
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Sockets cannot be modified
+2 to Level of Socketed Gems
100% increased Global Defences
You can only Socket Corrupted Gems in this item
Item has 6 Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
<Random Keystone>
The Brass Dome(Body Armour) The Brass Dome - A situational Body Armour for a lot of Armour and Maximum Elemental Resistances - is used in combination with Determination Aura.
(350-400)% increased Armour
+(1-5)% to all maximum Elemental Resistances
Strength provides no bonus to Maximum Life
Take no Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Maximum Life, Movement Speed, and Elemental Resistances are your top priorities here.
Min. requirements:
25% Movement Speed
+60 to Maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
Spell Suppression Chance
Atziri's Step(Boots) Atziri's Step - A very cheap, and good pair of Boots with all the useful stats like Spell Suppression, but no Resistances. keep that in mind.
180% increased Evasion Rating
+(55-75) to maximum Life
30% increased Movement Speed
+(20-26)% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Gloves can cost a little more since there are two mandatory mods - a Crusader's Prefix for Physical to Fire Conversion (18% to 25%) and Eldritch Ichor's Implicit (for 10% to 35%), that's the blue one. You can also Craft it after Unveiling.
Min. requirements:
+50 to maximum Life
+40% to Elemental Resistances
50% of Physical Damage Converted to Fire Damage
Optional affixes:
increased Trap Throwing Speed
Chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - Try to get the basic defensive mods such as Life and Resistances. Strength will be needed too, you're suing quite a few red gems that require this attribute.
Min. requirements:
+80 to Maximum Life
90% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Maximum Life
12% increased Trap Throwing Speed (crafted)
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - There are a lot of useful mods to look for, the most valuable is the "increased Level of all Skill gems" that would affect your Explosive Trap. For a start just try to get Life, Resistances, and Crit. Chance
Min. requirements:
+50 to maximum Life
30% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
+1 to Level of all Dexterity Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Fire Skill Gems
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Leadership's Price(Amulet) Leadership's Price - If you can balance the two of your highest Attributes, definitely go for Leadership's Price. The default Ailments can still be caused by Skitterbots.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+(-3-3)% to maximum Fire Resistance
+(-3-3)% to maximum Cold Resistance
+(-3-3)% to maximum Lightning Resistance
You have Scorching Conflux, Brittle Conflux and Sapping Conflux while your two highest Attributes are equal
Cannot Ignite, Chill, Freeze or Shock
Ashes of the Stars(Amulet) Ashes of the Stars - It's a much more expensive way to increase the Gem Level of your Explosive Trap, the Gem Quality, and Mana Reservation Efficiency.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
(5-10)% increased Experience Gain of Gems
(10-20)% increased Reservation Efficiency of Skills
+1 to Level of all Skill Gems
+(20-30)% to Quality of all Skill Gems
Recommended Anointments:
Divine Judgement
Written in Blood
Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - Rings offer much the same mods as an Amulet, look for Life, Resistances, Spell Damage, Crit. Chance, Crit. Multiplier, and Attributes if you're missing some.
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Non-channeling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Optional affixes:
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Circle of Anguish(Ring) Circle of Anguish - It's one of the best Rings to use. Get more Damage, increased Mana Reservation Efficiency, or increased Buff Effect.
<One to three random Synthesis implicit modifiers>
+(20-30) to Strength
Adds (20-25) to (26-35) Fire Damage
+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
<Two Random Herald of Ash modifier>
Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - Maximum Life is the most important mod here, you can then look for the missing stats, and Critical Strike affixes.

Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
increased Fire, Physical, Trap, or Spell Damage
Critical Strike Multiplier or Chance with Elemental Skills or with Spells

The Interrogation(Jewel) The Interrogation - Secrets of Suffering makes you Scorch, Brittle, and Sap enemies with Critical Strikes, but you're unable to Chill, Ignite, and Shock on your own. Basically giving you up to 30% Elemental Damage penetration while your Skitterbots Chill and Shock enemies.
Adds Secrets of Suffering
Unnatural Instinct(Jewel) Unnatural Instinct - put it near Fervour or Sentinel, there are a lot of small nodes worth allocating, it's optional.
Allocated Small Passive Skills in Radius grant nothing
Grants all bonuses of Unallocated Small Passive Skills in Radius
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Zealotry modifiers affiliated with Critical Strike are great. The ones for Grace or Determination are mostly defensively oriented.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - Get the Elemental Damage Large Cluster Jewels with no more than eight or nine nodes and two or three useful Notables. The physical jewels are great too since you deal converted damage.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Doryani's Lesson
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Smoking Remains
1 Added Passive Skill is Corrosive Elements
1 Added Passive Skill is Disorienting Display
1 Added Passive Skill is Battle-Hardened
1 Added Passive Skill is Force Multiplier
1 Added Passive Skill is Iron Breaker
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - Most of the Trap Damage or Critical Strike Chance Medium Cluster Jewels have excellent Notables worth picking up.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Basics of Pain
1 Added Passive Skill is Pressure Points
1 Added Passive Skill is Quick Gateway
1 Added Passive Skill is Arcane Pyrotechnics
1 Added Passive Skill is Guerilla Tactics
1 Added Passive Skill is Set and Forget
1 Added Passive Skill is Surprise Sabotage
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - One of the most expensive Flasks, but it's also very good. Keep an eye on it for the finishing touches.
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(20-40)% increased 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
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - It's good for Chaos Resistance, more Damage, and Life Leech.
+35% to Chaos Resistance
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (5-8)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (5-8)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Life Flask of Staunching for Bleed removal
  2. Diamond Flask with increased Armour
  3. Silver Flask with increased Critical Strike Chance
  4. Quicksilver Flask with increased Evasion
Silver FlaskAtziri's PromiseLife FlaskQuicksilver FlaskDiamond Flask

Odealo is one of the biggest Path of Exile marketplaces. It allows regular players to buy, sell, and trade PoE Currency with the use of real cash


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.