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Fire Blade Vortex Assassin Build

Fire Blade Vortex Assassin Build

Physical to Fire Conversion build that uses Blade Vortex Spell with greatly increased Crit. Chance

Fire Blade Vortex
Assassin Build

Updated for Patch 3.18

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Guide notes
December 17, 2021
-Build created
March 08, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.17
June 07, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.18
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Blade Vortex was, and still can be considered as one of the most devastating AoE-type Skills. You create temporary rings of blades orbiting you dealing Physical Damage. It's not DoT but the rate at which Hits occur is rapid enough to make it feel like enemies are being damaged as consistently as with Death Aura. The orbiting blades are temporary and have to be re-cast at the end of their duration, and you can have up to 10 of them. To make it more comfortable to play you're going to link it with Unleash Support to cast the Spell many times at once. The Ascendancy of your choice is Assassin whose power derives from Critical Strikes and Power Charges, which you will need 7 or 8. The Damage type of your Blade Vortex is Fire, converted from Physical.

The most prominent Passive Skill in the build is Herald of Ash, it sources its Fire Damage from Physical Damage, and makes your opponents explode when killed starting a chain reaction that makes up for the short range of your Vortex. The Herald is such a fitting component of the build that you can allocate Lone Messenger Keystone - your Auras are disabled, but the one Herald Skill you can use is vastly improved in terms of Damage and its Effect. It's an extremely offensive-oriented variant because it disables your Auras such as Determination, and it's generally not recommended for Hardcore players. The build is excellent for clearing but it is as good with single-targets - the Vaal variant of Blad Vortex creates standalone Vortexes that seek enemies shredding any opponent in seconds. It's a glass-canon build with around 4k Maximum Life and Energy Shield and a moderate amount of Armour. It's expensive too as the end-game items require some very specific combinations of mods to increase the Gem Level of Blade Vortex.

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1. Gameplay

Gameplay is simple as there aren't many skills to use. Your Blade Vortex should be up at all times, even a singular blade ring should provide enough Damage for clearing as the Herald of Ash will do the rest of the job. Your Mana Pool will be overflowing with unreserved mana if you're using Lone Messenger, use Arctic Armour as it is not an Aura. If you don't use Lone Messenger, use other Auras such as Determination, Anger, Defiance Banner, or Herald of Purity. Molten Shell or Steelskin are great Guard Spells, use Dash or Flame Dash for improved mobility. During encounters with tough opponents cast Vaal Blade Vortex, you can store up to two of them. For more Damage use Vaal Righteous Fire but be careful as it leaves you with almost no Life.


This video was recorded on a level 94 Assassin wearing two Circle of Anguish Rings and a set of Rare equipment, resulting in around 5kk Blade Vortex DPS at 10 Blades active

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • Deals a lot of DPS (both AoE and single-target)
  • Clear speed is excellent due to Herald of Ash explosions
  • Vaal variant of the Skill makes it great against Bosses
  • all content viable including uber Pinnacle Bosses
  • It can die easily when enemies catch you "out of Blades"
  • Expensive at the later stages


3. Leveling tips

Start with a Spell that deals Physical Damage, Blade Vortex is the obvious choice but you can use Ethernal Knives too. As you manage to convert a majority of your Physical Damage to Fire start using Fire related Spells to boost your damage such as Flammability Curse, or Anger Aura. Fire Mastery grants 40% conversion, the rest can be achieved as a cheap craftable mod to be found on a lot of gear pieces. Keep in mind that you're using Spells, not Attacks. Start as a Life build, and transition to a Hybrid build later.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Totem setup
Blade Vortex Blade Vortex - the best choice for leveling as no sudden shift through your leveling process is necessary
Power Charge on Critical Support Power Charge on Critical Support - as you pick your First Ascendancy - Unstable Infusion, it becomes really good as it scales with Power Charges
Unleash Support Unleash Support - allows you to store Skill uses as Charges that are spent all at once upon casting the Spell
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds Fire Damage based on your Physical Damage
Auras setup
Anger Anger - adds flat Fire Damage to your Spells
Clarity Clarity - Clarity is used for faster Mana Regeneration
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - more Fire Damage based on your Physical Damage, Buring Damage, and it increases your clear speed by burning enemies near the ones that are killed
Curses and Leap Slam setup
Dash Dash - use Dash or Flame Dash to move faster
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - grants you a Buff that increases your Damage and Mana Regen
Flammability Flammability - a curse that lowers the Fire Resistance of your Opponents


Kill all three bandits and be rewarded with two additional Skill Points


Leveling Skill Trees:

34 Points Passive Tree
Head for the Fire Mastery that converts Damage to Fire as shown

72 Points Passive Tree
Now allocate Instability, Infused, and Overcharged


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - more Damage with Attacks, Attributes, and Elemental Resistances
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Damage
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - a Helmet to give you a lot 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 - allows you to six-link a setup from the start
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
Replica PrismweaveReplica Prismweave - an early game item that adds a lot of Spell Damage and some Resistances
(12-24)% increased Global Physical Damage
Adds (7-8) to (15-16) Fire Damage to Spells
Adds (5-6) to (12-14) Cold Damage to Spells
Adds 1 to (30-34) Lightning Damage to Spells
+(6-8)% to all Elemental Resistances
10% increased Elemental Damage
30% increased Elemental Damage during any Flask Effect
Axiom PerpetuumAxiom Perpetuum - great choice for a build that relies on Critical Strikes, Spell Hits, and Elemental Damage
12% increased Elemental Damage
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
(4-6)% increased Cast Speed
(100-140)% increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Storm PrisonStorm Prison - this wand expands your maximum member of Power Charges, increases your damage significantly, and grants Power Charges
(11-15)% increased Spell Damage
(40-60)% increased Physical Damage
Adds 1 to (35-45) Lightning Damage
(15-25)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+1 to Maximum Power Charges
(25-35)% chance to gain a Power Charge on Kill

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

88 Points Final Passive Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels)
117 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


Major God: Soul of The Brine King: 1% You cannot be Stunned if you've been Stunned or Blocked a Stunning Hit in the past 2 seconds

Minor God: Soul of Abberath: 60% less Duration of Ignite on You


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Vaal Blade Vortex setup
Vaal Blade Vortex Vaal Blade Vortex - the main DPS Spell that should be also of Vaal variant, it deals Physical Damage that's converted to Fire with a very high Critical Strike Chance
Unleash Support Unleash Support - Unleash allows you to cast multiple Vortexes at once so that you won't have to spend so much time standing in place to cast it
Power Charge on Critical Support Power Charge on Critical Support - increases Damage per Power Charge and Crit Chance
Increased Critical Damage Increased Critical Damage Support - grants you a much higher Critical Strike Multiplier. If your Critical Strike Chance is low, use Elemental Focus (if you're not using Secrets of Suffering) or Empower instead
Fire Penetration Support Fire Penetration Support  - your Fire deals more Damage by penetrating Fire Resistance
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds Fire Damage to your Spell based on the Physical Damage
[UTILITY] Vaal Righteous Fire setup
Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire - use only the Vaal version, it removes a huge portion of your Life at cast but increases your Spell Damage
Increased Duration Support  Increased Duration Support - the Buff caused by Vaal RF lasts longer
[UTILITY] Mobility and Guard setup
Molten Shell Molten Shell - your Guard Spell that reduces the damage you take, you can also use Steelskin Steelskin instead
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - stores an additional Charge for Dash
Dash Dash - a generic movement-enhancing Skill to travel faster
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - keep it at a level low enough so that a single cast will activate it and grant you Spell Damage and mana Regeneration
[UTILITY] Herald setup (for Lone Messenger)
Anger Herald of Ash - an important Skill for the build which makes it extremely viable for clearing, it increases your Fire Damage and burns enemies causing them to die instantly
Efficacy Support Efficacy Support - The Burning caused by Herald lasts longer and is more potent
Enhance Support Enhance Support - the Quality of Herald of Ash is increased and so is your Damage
Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support - the AoE effects of Heralds are larger for better area coverage
[UTILITY] Auras (when not using Lone Messenger)
you won't be able to fit all of them, pick as much as you can afford
Anger Herald of Ash
Determination Determination - adds and increases Armour, your best pick to increase survivability
Anger Anger - adds flat Fire Damage to Spells and Attacks
Zealotry Zealotry - More Spell Damage, increased Spell Critical Strike Chance. Don't use it if your Critical Strike Chance is already capped at 100%.
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - grants you more Physical Damage, which is later converted to Fire
Defiance Banner Defiance Banner - Increases your Evasion Rating and Armour, while reducing Critical Strike Chance for opponents. Use only in combination with Determination​​​​​​.
[UTILITY] Golem and Exposure setup
Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem - Stone Golem grants you Life Regeneration as it stays alive
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - applies Fire Exposure on Hit, keep it at level 1
Combustion Support Combustion Support - enemies ignited by liked Skills receive more Fire Damage
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - this setup should be cast automatically as you take damage, keep the Gems Level low
[UTILITY] Portal setup
Portal Portal - teleports you back to your hideout and establishes a new starting location for players entering your map
Cast on Death Support Cast on Death Support - case something goes wrong
[UTILITY] Arctic Armour setup
Arctic Armour Arctic Armour - you take less Physical and Fire Damage while stationary grant Freeze immunity, and slow down enemies on Hit


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6. Gear Setup

It's a Physical to Fire Spell build that should have a high Crit Chance and Multiplier. Try to achieve 100% Crit Chance and around 500% Crit Multiplier, with your Ascendancy and Power Charges it should be rather easy. To increase your Damage look for added and/or increased Fire/Elemental/Physical Damage, preferably to Spells only as the more specific mods are typically better, aforementioned Crit-related mods, and arguably the most importantly - a way to increase the Gem Level of your Blade Vortex. You can find global modifiers to Dexterity, Physical, or Spell Gems as Amulet or Sceptre Mods, each should have one or two of such affixes, but you can also get a more general local modifier on your Body Armour. Try to get some Dexterity and Strength to run the main Blade Vortex Skill and Molten Shell at a max Gem Level. Don't focus too much on defense unless it's the obligatory 75% Elemental Resistances and Maximum Life.

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. to cap your Elemental Resistances
  2. Level of Blade Vortex Gem
  3. Maximum Life
  4. increased or added Elemental, Physical, or Fire Damage with Spells
  5. Spell Damage
  6. Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier
  7. Dexterity and Strength
  8. Area of Effect and Area Damage
  9. Fire Penetration and Power Charge scaling
  10. Chaos Resistance
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - as is often the case, Helmet plays its part by providing some of the most unique and impactful mods - Maximum Power Charges, and more Seals for Unleash in this instance
Min. requirements:
+1 to Maximum Power Charges
+60 to maximum Life
Skills supported by Unleash have +1 to maximum number of Seals
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Nearby Enemies have -#% to Fire Resistance
Elemental Resistances
Helmet enchantments:
Blade Vortex enchantment mods
Sceptre(Weapon) Rare Sceptres or Wands - Scepters and Wands are unmatched in terms of Elemental Damage and Spell Damage, both of which are important. Additionally, look for Gem Level for your Blade Vortex. You will be dual-wielding these.
Min. requirements:
+1 to Level of all Physical Spell Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Spell Skill Gems
100% increased Spell Fire Damage in total
Optional affixes:
increased Spell Damage
increased Fire Damage
increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Rare Body Armour(Boots) Rare Body Armour - Sacrificial Garb is a common choice for a Body Armour since it always grants one Level for your Vaal Blade Vortex, but any decent Rare Armour should do the job, mind that you will need only one Green socket so don't go for the Evasion bases.
Min. requirements:
+100 to maximum Life
+1.3% to Spell Critical Strike Chance
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
You can apply an additional Curse
chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Hit
Enemies you Kill have a chance to Explode, dealing a tenth of their maximum Life as Physical Damage
increased Area of Effect
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Maximum Life, increased Movement Speed, and Elemental Resistances are obligatory, after that seek the more luxurious mods such as Tailwind or Onslaught
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - get Maximum Life and Resistances, be sure to have an open Prefix to craft in some Conversion
Min. requirements:
+50 to maximum Life
+50% to Elemental Resistances
25% of Physical Damage Converted to Fire Damage (crafted)
Optional affixes:
increased Spell Damage
Culling Strike
Rare Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - a Belt granting maximum Life and Elemental Resistances would be good enough, you can also look for Strength here, it can be crafted in
Min. requirements:
+100 to maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Damage
increased Maximum Life
Badge of the Brotherhood(Amulet) Badge of the Brotherhood - If you can generate Frenzy Charges (by Forbidden Jewels or by Body Armour Affix) this is your best option - it allows you to have as many of them as you have Power Charges. Frenzy Charges will increase your damage substantially.
+(16-24) to Dexterity and Intelligence
(7-10)% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate of Travel Skills per Frenzy Charge
(7-10)% increased Effect of Elusive on you per Power Charge
(20-25)% chance to lose a Frenzy Charge when you use a Travel Skill
(20-25)% chance to lose a Power Charge when you gain Elusive
Your Maximum Frenzy Charges is equal to your Maximum Power Charges
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - An Amulet that grants you +2 to the level of Blade Vortex with some Extra Fire Damage on top of that might be expensive, but it's ultimately worth the price.
Min. requirements:
Gain 15% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage
+1 to Level of all Dexterity Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Physical Skill Gems
Optional affixes:
Strength and Dexterity
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Recommended Anointments:
Magmatic Strikes
Divine Judgement
Disciple of the Slaughter (only if using Badge of the Brotherhood)
Rare Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Rare Rings are placeholders until you can get a Circle of Anguish with two beneficial mods, look here for generic defensive affixes
Min. requirements:
+80% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Dexterity and Strength
Curse Enemies with Flammability on Hit
Circle of Anguish(Ring) Circle of Anguish - Optimal Ring, the mods to look for are increased Buff Effect, increased Fire Damage, and maybe Fire Resistance if you really struggle with it
<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>
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - increase your Maximum Life and Fire Damage for Spells, get missing attributes, Resistances, and Crit mods

Recommended affixes:
7% increased maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
increased Fire, Physical, Elemental Damage with Spells
Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier with Spells

Calamitous Visions(Jewel) Calamitous Visions - If you don't plan to have any Auras use this Jewel to massively enhance the effectiveness of Herald of Ash
Adds Lone Messenger
Militant Faith(Jewel) Militant Faith - a Dominus Variant can Transform the Pain Attunement Keystone into Inner Conviction for extra damage per Power Charge but don't use it if you're using Frenzy Charges
Carved to glorify (2000-10000) new faithful converted by High Templar Dominus
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Templars
<two random mods of devotion>
Conqueror's Efficiency(Jewel) Replica Conqueror's Efficiency - this Jewel lowers the Cost of your Skills which is very useful
4% increased Skill Effect Duration
+5 to Maximum Rage
Non-Channelling Skills have -9 to Total Mana Cost
Forbidden FleshForbidden Flesh(Jewel) Forbidden Flesh & Forbidden Flame - Swift Killer is the extra Ascenandcy Keystone you want. It generates you Frenzy and Power Charges on Kill or when channeling and increases damage per each Charge. You might want to have some sort of Channeling Spell to use if there's nothing to kill.
Allocates <<Random Ascendancy Notable>> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flesh
Allocates <<Random Ascendancy Notable>> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flame
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - try to acquire a Physical base with the least passives and two or three of the mentioned Notables
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Battle-Hardened
1 Added Passive Skill is Force Multiplier
1 Added Passive Skill is Iron Breaker
Medium Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - Vast Power and Magnifier are great as all of the granted stats are very impactful
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Vast Power
1 Added Passive Skill is Magnifier
1 Added Passive Skill is Towering Threat
1 Added Passive Skill is Pressure Points
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - one of the most versatile and commonly-used Flask, especially in builds specializing in 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
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - it boosts your Damage by adding Chaos Damage to your Physical and Elemental Damage and grants you Life leech from Chaos Damage
+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

Suggested Flasks:

  1. Quicksilver Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Life Flask with random ailment removal
  3. Diamond Flask with random ailment removal
  4. Granite Flask with random ailment removal
Mana FlaskBottled FaithQuickilver FlaskLife FlaskDiamond Flask

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