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Frost Blades Trickster Build

Frost Blades Trickster Build

Generic Frost Blades build for a Trickster that works great as a Starter

Frost Blades
Trickster Build

Updated for Patch 3.22

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Guide notes
August 24, 2023
-Build created
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Frost Blades is a Cold Strike Skill with an amazing Strike Range and one that releases Projectiles on Hit, which makes it one of the best Melee Skills for fast-paced mapping. We've already covered two builds that also use this ability - a Berserker and a Raider. Trickster is lately the most popular choice despite dealing lower damage than a Berserker and being not as efficient with Elemental Damage/Ailments as a Raider, its selling point is durability and easily-accessible damage that you can source from Polymath, Frenzy Charges, and Elusive buff. Hit-based Cold Damage builds also tend to use Heatshiver Helmet because of the 100% of Cold Damage added as Fire Damage against Frozen enemies. You will be able to Freeze every enemy with enough damage and Crit Chance. You may need Southbound Gloves too. Combine it with Yoke of Suffering Amulet for Resistances, the ability to Shock, and to make enemies receive increased damage. It's one of the most popular starter builds. Take into account the price of the aforementioned Uniques and a good weapon, it might be exceptionally high during the first week of a new league.

You will need a good Claw with a lot of added Damage - focus only on Physical Damage if you plan to convert it, but the most efficient would be to also have added Cold Damage, or better yet, all kinds of Elemental Damage. Such weapons are very expensive. Claw is the best option due to the Claw nodes and Masteries you can allocate, and you can wear a Shield with it. The most important Ascendancy passives are Polymath, One Step Ahead, Swift Killer, and Heartstopper. Notice the lack of any exceptionally good defensive nodes - we would have to go through Escape Artist which we cannot afford. The defenses are still very good - it Freezes, has high Evasion, instant Life ES on kil, 100% Spell Suppression Chance, powerful Elusive buff, cycling damage reduction from Heartstopper, Fortify (from a Tattoo), and it protects itself from Physical Damage by taking a portion of it as Elemental Damage.

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1. Gameplay

Use Frost Blades as the sole damaging ability. During boss fights, set up two Ancestral Totems to boost your DPS. Assassin's Mark will be applied automatically on Hit. For a Guard Skill use Steelskin, and select Frostblink for better mobility (it will be linked to a Bonechill Support too). To generate Frenzy Charges you will use Blood Rage (Mark Mastery to have them during boss fights). You can fit an Ice Golem here too. For Auras we've selected Hatred, Herald of Ice, Grace, and Precision.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • extremely high damage, but requires some investment
  • solid defenses after certain upgrades
  • one of the best league starters
  • you have to actively dodge and have some experience so as to not die
  • vulnerable to Damage over Time during boss fights


3. Leveling tips

You can start with Frost Blades. After allocating Polymath your DPS will significantly improve. After that go for the extra Frenzy Charges and allocate Swift Killer. it combines well with Ice Bite Support. Upgrade your weapon to keep up with the content. After finishing the campaign invest more into Critical Strikes with passives and Supprot Gems such as Nightblade.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Frost Blades setup
Frost Blades Frost Blades - Use it at level 1.
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support - Adds additional Cold Damage to your Attacks. Later, switch it with Nightblade Support Nightblade Support.
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - Grants more Elemental Damage to Attacks, at the point which you can use it all your damage should be converted to Cold via Cold Mastery.
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - lowers the Mana Cost, increases Elemental Damage, and Critical Strike Chance.
Ice Bite Ice Bite Support - Get it after the second Lab for more Damage per Frenzy Charge.
Auras setup
Hatred Hatred - More Cold Damage and extra Cold Damage based on your Physical Damage.
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - Adds and increases Cold Damage, additionally Frozen enemies explode on kill.
Curse and Leap Slam setup
Frostbite Frostbite - A Curse to lower the Cold Resistance of your opponents.
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - You spend Life instead of Mana on linked Skills.


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


Leveling Skill Trees:

38 Points Passive Tree
Get the Cold Mastery first, but keep in mind your Life and Accuracy have to stay high too.

74 Points Passive Tree
After allocating Polymath start gathering all the useful Masteries. As you start using Auras, get Charisma and Reservation Efficiency. After allocating Swift Killer, get the two Extra Frenzy Charges.


Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - One of the best Rings due to all the Resistances, Attributes, and damage.
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
BlackheartBlackheart - Another great choice, it adds a lot of Chaos Damage to Attacks and can be worn at level 1.
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
Adds (10-15) to (20-25) Chaos Damage to Attacks
Regenerate (10-15) Life per second
10% chance to Cause Monsters to Flee
The HalcyonThe Halcyon - Great Amulet for low-level Cold Damage builds that Freeze.
+(20-30) to Dexterity
(10-20)% increased Cold Damage
+(35-40)% to Cold Resistance
30% increased Freeze Duration on Enemies
10% chance to Freeze
60% increased Damage if you've Frozen an Enemy Recently
GoldrimGoldrim - It is a staple of leveling builds but switch to Heatshiver as soon as you can.
+(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 - It's the best Body Armour for leveling since you can have a six-link setup from the start.
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:

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

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Polymath
  2. Swift Killer
  3. One Step Ahead
  4. Heartstopper


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

Minor God: Soul of Abberath: 60% less Duration of Ignite on You; 10% increased Movement Speed while on Burning Ground, Unaffected by Burning Ground


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Frost Blades setup
Frost Blades Frost Blades - The main damaging ability. It's a Strike Skill that releases Projects on impact. Be sure that your Projectiles Pierce or that the Freeze Proliferates.
Nightblade Nightblade Support - The most important Support Gem that you will upgrade with Claw and Dagger Masteries to avoid damage, have high movement Speed, Critical Strike Chance, and Crit Multiplier.
Trinity Trinity Support - You will easily gain Resonances with the Heatsiver or simply with a Claw that adds different types of Damage to Attacks. It massively increases your Elemental DPS.
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - Grants more Elemental Damage with Attacks.
Ice Bite Ice Bite Support - Adds Cold Damage per Frenzy Charges, so it's excellent with your Swift Killer Passive and two extra Maximum Frenzy Charges.
Multistrike Support Multistrike Support - Skill repeats with an additional Attack Speed but deals less Damage, it's still great.
[UTILITY] Mana-reserving Spells setup
Grace Grace - Adds and increases Evasion Rating, the main defensive ayer.
Hatred Hatred - Grants more Cold Damage and Extra Cold Damage sourced from Physical Damage.
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - Adds Cold Damage to Attacks and Shatters Frozen enemies, which massively enhances clear speed.
Enlighten Enlighten Support - Lowers Reservation Cost of all linked Skills. It's expensive but allows you to fit Precision into the build too.
[UTILITY] Assassin's Mark setup
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - Massively increases Crit Chance and Crit Multiplier against Marked enemy. It also grants Power Charges on Kill and on Hit via default Quality.
Mark on Hit Mark on Hit Support - Mark is applied automatically on any Attack against Rare and Unique enemies.
Lifetap Lifetap Support - Skill costs Life instead of Mana. It is quite expensive.
Enhance Support Enhance Support - Enhance the Quality of Assassin's Mark to generate Power Charges faster during boss fights.
[UTILITY] Ancestral Totems and Ice Golem setup
Ancestral Warchief Ancestral Warchief - a Totem that grants more Melee Damage.
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - a Totem that grants more Attack Speed.
Multiple Totems Multiple Totems - You're able to summon both Ancestral Totems to gain buffs from both of them.
[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Enduring Cry setup
Frostblink Frostblink - Chills enemies and creates Chilled Ground. Chilled enemies will take increased Damage after linking it with Bonechill. Use it also as a mobility Skill.
Bonechill Bonechill Support - Chilled enemies will take increased damage equal to that of a Chill Effect from a linked Skill. Use the Divergent version, it's a minor upgrade.
Unbound Ailments Unbound Ailments Support - Increases Chill Effect. You can also use Frost Bomb Frost Bomb as relying only on Frotblink alone may not suit you.
[UTILITY] Various Gems
Steelskin Steelskin - Guard Spell to take less Hit Damage and stop Bleeding. Use it as your movement key.
Precision Precision - Adds Accuracy and increases Crit Chance. Adjust it level depending on your Mana Reservation Efficiency.
Blood Rage Blood Rage - Use it to generate Frenzy Charges on Kill, Leech Life, and to increase Attack Speed. It drains your Life over time.
Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem - It's optional as re-summoning it is a headache. It increases your Crit Chance and Accuracy as it's alive.

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6. Gear Setup

The Claw will be very important, and probably the most expensive item on the list. Be sure you can afford such a weapon and a Heatshiver Helmet. Yoke of Suffering is also a bit expensive during a league start, but it is the best Amulet for its price. Other unique gear pieces like The Taming, Circle of Feat, Southbound, Legacy of Fury, Taste of Hate, and Lethal Pride are definitely good, but you can use Rares instead. Attributes, Accuracy Rating, and Elemental Resistances should be taken care of first. Then, focus on Crit Chance, Chaos Resistance, Spell Suppression Chance, and Maximum Life. Last, look for Crit Multiplier, Evasion, Block Chance, and Mana Reservation. As you use Unique Helmet and Amulet there will be little to no opportunities to gain Reservation Efficiency, but it is not needed. Rare Items are definitely affordable, a lot of Resistances are granted by Uniques we've listed so you can focus just on Attributes and Suppression there. Remember your Body Armour, Gloves, and Boots have to have Evasion to activate evasion mastery for more Spell Suppression. Also, pay attention to Eldritch Implicit modifiers, especially on Gloves - we will list them.

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. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Accuracy
  4. Critical Strike Chance
  5. Intelligence
  6. Strength
  7. Spell Suppression Chance
  8. Added Cold/Elemental/Physical Damage
  9. Chaos Resistance
  10. Critical Strike Multiplier
  11. Attack Speed
  12. Increased Cold/Elemental/Physical Damage
  13. Block Chance
  14. Evasion
Heatshiver(Helmet) Heatshiver - It's pretty much obligatory. Provides you with tons of Fire Damage so you can benefit from Trinity Support and Yoke of Suffering. The only condition is that you have to Freeze enemies.
(80-100)% increased Evasion Rating
60% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
Gain 1% of Cold Damage as Extra Fire Damage per 1% Chill Effect on Enemy
Gain 100% of Cold Damage as Extra Fire Damage against Frozen Enemies
Helmet enchantments:
Frost Blades enchantment mods
Claw(Weapon) Rare Claw - Get a weapon with the highest possible Physical or Cold/Physical DPS, Attack Speed will be mandatory for that. For other mods seek Crit Chance, Crit Multiplier, and Emelental Penetration. It has to be a Claw.
Min. requirements:
adds 100 Cold or Physical Damage
150% increased Physical Damage
15% increased Attack Speed
Optional affixes:
Accuracy Rating
Critical Strike Chance
Critical Strike Multiplier
Elemental Penetration
Added Fire or Lightning Damage
Shield(Off-hand) Rare Shield - Here, get Spell Suppression, Resistances, and Maximum Life. As much as you can afford. Added Damage is good too, it can be crafted so definitely do so if you have an open Prefix.
Min. requirements:
15% Chance to Suppress Spell Damage
+80 to Maximum Life
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Added flat Damage to Attacks
Block Chance
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - Besides Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances, aim for added Critical Strike Chance for Attacks. It's an Influence Suffix so you may abandon this idea if you want to use Eldritch Orbs on it. Just get a lot of Suppression and Chaos Resistance instead.
Min. requirements:
+80 to Maximum Life
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Spell Suppression
Attacks have +1% to Critical Strike Chance
increased Maximum Life
Evasion Rating
Chaos Resistance
Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Here, get Maximum Life, Movement Speed, and Spell Suppression. Other modifiers are less important. For Eldritch mods, get the Brittle Ground effect and increased Elusive Effect.
Min. requirements:
+50 to maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
chance to gain Onslaught o Kill
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Spell Suppression Chance
Legacy of Fury(Boots) Legacy of Fury - These boots are known for the powerful Scorch effect that makes enemies take increased Elemental Damage, and for the high chance of detonating enemies on kill. Great option.
(200-300)% increased Armour and Evasion
30% increased Movement Speed
Nearby Enemies are Scorched
(30-50)% increased Effect of Scorch
(30-40)% chance when you Kill a Scorched Enemy to Burn Each surrounding
Enemy for 4 seconds, dealing 8% of the Killed Enemy's Life as Fire Damage per second
(Scorched Enemies have -10% to Elemental Resistances)
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Here, get Maximum Life, Spell Suppression, Resistances, and Accuracy. For Eldritch Implicits go for Cold Exposure on Hit as the blue one, and Rage on Hit or extra Strike targeting as the red one.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Accuracy Rating
Optional affixes:
increased Critical Strike Chance
Attack Speed
Adds Cold or Physical Damage
Strike Skills target 1 or 2 additional nearby Enemy
increased Damage with Hits against Chilled/Burning/Shocked Enemies
Southbound(Gloves) Southbound - Not the best-in-slot pick as it grants no Evasion and cannot be upgraded with Eldritch Orbs, but it is still valuable, especially on a budget. It adds a lot of Cold Damage and increases Freeze Duration.
Adds (60-72) to (88-100) Cold Damage to Attacks
(12-16)% increased maximum Life
+(40-50)% to Cold Resistance
100% increased Freeze Duration on Enemies
Your Hits can only Kill Frozen Enemies
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - Stygian Vise with Maximum Life, Strength, Resistances, and Increased Elemental Damage with Attacks is the best pick for the build.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
40% increased Elemental Damage with Attacks Skills
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
increased Maximum Life
Yoke of Suffering(Amulet) Yoke of Suffering - The build works without it, it's just not as good as it could be. The Amulet massively increases your damage by increasing damage taken by enemies and by the ability to Shock. It has tons of Elemental Reistances and some Attributes.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+(10-20)% to Fire Resistance
+(10-20)% to Cold Resistance
+(20-40)% to Lightning Resistance
30% reduced Duration of Ailments on Enemies
(5-10)% chance to Shock
Enemies take 5% increased Damage for each type of Ailment you have inflicted on them
Your Elemental Damage can Shock
Recommended Anointments:
Cleansed Thoughts
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Go for the Rare Amulet if you need Attributes, Resistances or if you have an especially good one with added damage per Frenzy Charge. There are a lot of modifiers you can make use of.
Min. requirements:
+60% to Elemental Resistances
+60 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Adds Cold Damage to Attacks
Added Cold Damage per Frenzy Charge
Attack Speed
Accuracy Rating
Global Critical Strike Chance
increased Elemental Damage with Attacks
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
The Taming(Ring) The Taming - It is excellent. The Taming increases Damage and Resistances by a lot. It's especially good with Yoke of Suffering and Heatshiver.
+(8-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
20% increased Damage with Hits and Ailments per Freeze, Shock or Ignite on Enemy
+(20-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
30% increased Elemental Damage
10% chance to Freeze, Shock and Ignite
30% increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Circle of Fear(Ring) Circle of Fear - It adds Cold Damage and Cold Resistance. For the Herald of Ice mods, seek increased Buff Effect and whatever you need the most - Cold Resistance, Reservation Efficiency, or simply Damage.
<One to three random Synthesis implicit modifiers>
+(20-30) to Dexterity
Adds (20-25) to (26-35) Cold Damage
+(20-30)% to Cold Resistance
<Two Random Herald of Ice modifiers>
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - Maximum Life and some sort of two or three offensively-oriented mods will duit this build well. You won't have much space for these Jewels - one or two at most.
Recommended affixes:
increased Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Critical Strike Chance or Multiplier
Optional affixes:
increased Attack Speed or Damage with Swords or One-Handed Weapons
Melee Critical Strike Chance or Multiplier
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - your Auras are Hatred, Grace, and Precision. We recommend Crit Chance, Cold Penetration, or added Cold Damage from Hatred.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Lethal Pride(Jewel) Lethal Pride - Use it for Strength and to upgrade notables in radius. Socket it near Frenetic Notable so that it will affect tons of passives, but check the spot near Fervour too. It's a great value, no other build benefits from it that much.
Commanded leadership over (10000-18000) warriors under (Akoya-Kaom-Rakiata)
Passives in radius are Conquered by the Karui
Taste of Hate(Flask) Taste of Hate - It adds tons of Damage to Frost Blades, especially if you have a lot of Physical Damage, which you should. It also protects you from Chill, Freeze, Cold, and even Physical Damage.
+50% to Cold Resistance
20% less Cold Damage taken
(10-15)% of Physical Damage from Hits taken as Cold Damage during Flask effect
Gain (10-15)% of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage during effect
30% chance to Avoid being Chilled during Flask effect
30% chance to Avoid being Frozen during Flask effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Life Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  2. Diamond Flask with increased Crit Chance
  3. Silver Flask with increased Attack Speed
  4. Jade Flask with increased Evasion Rating
Silver FlaskLife Flasktaste of hateJade FlaskDiamond Flask

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If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below. We are always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

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