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Ice Trap Saboteur PoE build

Ice Trap Saboteur PoE build

Potent Trapper build based on the buffed Ice Trap Spell

Ice Trap

Updated for Patch 3.16

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Guide notes
January 04, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.16


Saboteur is currently the most popular Shadow Ascendancy in Path of Exile. That's mainly because of how powerful it is early in new Leagues, and how easily it can transition into the end-game. The following build revolves around Ice Trap Spell, which is currently one of the most powerful Traps in the game. It offers very high base damage and decent AoE. It is a straightforward skill that deals damage directly without any extra effects, making this build so much easier to play. Trap builds have been relatively untouched by all the nerfs in the past expansions and their reliability remains constant.

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1. Gameplay

As a Trapper, you throw Traps that trigger when approached; which basically makes it feel like regular self-casted Spells when you throw them directly at your enemies. While the mechanic itself may not feel extremely convenient to play, it is more than rewarding. Traps allow you to dish out insane burst DPS in the end-game as you can plant them all shortly before the fights begin, for example, in-between Shaper and Atziri's phases. The only real issue for this build is Mana Management, as you have to spam your Traps as a Shadow class which does not normally utilize Intelligence and Mana Passive Skills. This can be bypassed by using Slavedriver's Hand Unique Gloves or grabbing additional Mana/Mana Regeneration Passives on the Skill Tree. The build is based on high Critical Strike Chance & Multiplier and Spell Damage because Ice Trap has the "Spell" tag. For the defenses, you should easily reach about 4,500 Life, so with the Dodge Chance and Saboteur's blind, it feels like a very tanky build as well. 

This video was recorded on a level 91 Saboteur on Standard League dual-wielding Wands and nearly all Rare gear. There was nothing really fancy equipped and this setup could have been treated as a budget-friendly one

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • insane burst DPS
  • easy to level up 
  • good clear speed
  • immune to damage reflection
  • all content viable
  • relatively low Life pool
  • easy to get into Mana issues 


3. Leveling tips

Leveling as a Trapper is very easy. Traps deal an insane amount of damage starting from early levels, and you can get Deerstalker boots which grant very high bonus Movement Speed, Trap Throwing Speed, and allow a second five-linked setup right after you reach level 22. It's crucial that you invest in some Mana/Mana Regeneration gear like Praxis Rings or Atziri's Foible amulet, as this most likely be your biggest issue during leveling. You can also omit Crit. Chance and Multiplier on lower levels, as most of the Passives and items that will make it efficient, will be available for you at higher levels. 

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Fire Trap
Fire Trap Fire Trap - grants decent Fire Damage to enemies in an area. This is the first Trap available in Path of Exile and should be initially used
Multiple Traps Support Multiple Traps Support - makes you throw two additional Traps with each cast
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - grants high DPS bonuses to both Traps and Mines
Ice Trap
Ice Trap Ice Trap - the primary Trap used in this build. You can socket it when you reach level 28
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support - greatly increases Spell Damage at the cost of reduced Critical Strike
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - grants high DPS bonuses to both Traps and Mines
Multiple Traps Support Multiple Traps Support
Utility Gems
Stone Golem Stone Golem - increases your Life Regeneration which is a very useful defensive bonus
Clarity Clarity - grants increased Mana Regeneration Rate
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice  - grants added Cold Damage to your Spells and also causes AoE explosions for better clear speed


We recommend helping Alira for increased Crit. Multiplier and Elemental Resistances

Leveling Skill Trees:

37 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Trickery 2) Saboteur 3) Expeditious Munitions 4) High Explosives 5) Blood Siphon

63 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Doom Cast 2) Blast Cascade 3) Cruel Preparation 4) Annihilation 5) Heart and Soul

Recommended leveling items:

LifesprigLifespring - grants decent Spell Damage bonus and you can equip it as a level 1 character
(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
PraxisPraxis - high Mana cost of Traps makes this Ring one of the best choices for the leveling phase
+(20-25) to maximum Mana
+(30-60) to maximum Mana
(3-6) Mana Regenerated per second
-(8-4) to Mana Cost of Skills
8% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
DeerstalkerDeerstalker - very good pair of Boots for Trappers. They allow you to use a powerful five-linked setup with another Spell of your choice and greatly increase your Movement Speed and Trap Throwing Speed
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 11 Trap
(160-200)% increased Evasion Rating
+(35-45) to maximum Life
(14-18)% increased Trap Throwing Speed
15% increased Movement Speed
15% increased Movement Speed for 9 seconds on Throwing a Trap
GoldrimGoldrim - one of the best leveling helmets in Path of Exile that grants a ton 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)


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

108 Points Final Skill Tree
121 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


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 Garukhan 60% reduced Effect of Shock on you


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Ice Trap
Ice Trap Ice Trap - your main Spell. It throws a Trap that when triggered deals massive AoE damage
Trap and Mine Damage Support Mine and Trap Damage support - core Support Gem for any Trap or Mine build
Cluster Traps Support Cluster Traps Support - increases the maximum number of Traps that you can throw and you throw more Traps which each cast
Increased Critial Strikes Support Increased Critical Support - Increases the Critical Strike Chance of supported Skills. Can be replaced with Inspiration SupportInspiration Support to reduce Mana Cost if you don't have Slavedriver's Hand
Cold Penetration Cold Penetration Support - makes supported Spells ignore some of the monster's resistance to Cold Damage
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support - adds bonus Cold Damage to your Ice Trap
[UTILITY] Frost Bomb
Cold Snap Frost Bomb - Utility skill that is used to apply powerful Cold Exposure to enemies which reduces their Cold Resistance and life regeneration
Spell Cascade Spell Cascade Support - as a result, creates two additional Frost Bombs, greatly increases the effective radius of its debuffs
Bonechill Support Bonechill Support - greatly increases the effectiveness of Chill and the damage against affected enemies based on the Chill effect
[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Vaal Grace
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - auto-casts supported Spells after a certain amount of damage is taken. Keep this Gem at level 1
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants brief Physical and Elemental Damage Reduction. Keep it at level 1 as well for more frequent casts
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of supported Spells
Vaal Grace Vaal Grace - you can use the Vaal part of this Aura that will temporarily boost your chance to Dodge
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash
Flame Dash Flame Dash - mobility Spell which can be used for this build. In this setup, it will also grant Arcane Surge buff for increased Spell Damage and Mana Regeneration Rate
Smoke Mine Smoke Mine - a secondary travel Skill that grants you increased Movement Speed for a short duration after teleporting with it
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - grants the Arcane Surge buff after you spend the specified amount of Mana on supported Spell. If kept at level 7, it will trigger with every cast of Flame Dash
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - adds additional charges to Flame Dash and Smoke Mine
[UTILITY] Bear Trap
Bear Trap Bear Trap - creates a Trap that increases the damage you deal to the affected enemy with your other Traps and Mines. Mainly use it against Bosses for extra damage
[UTILITY] Stone Golem
Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem - grants increased Life Regeneration. It will be summoned automatically by the CWDT Gem
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - if you have an extra link, you can use Culling Strike which will make your Golem instantly kill enemies below 10% Life
Zealotry Zealotry - depending on the Watcher's Eye bonuses you may use Zealotry or Hatred for the best effect
Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots - summons two invincible Minions that Chill and Shock nearby enemies, and increase your Trap DPS
Hatred Hatred - Hatred is an Aura that simply increases your Cold Damage and adds Extra Physical Damage as Cold Damage
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - reduces the Mana Reservation cost of linked Auras

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find all the recommended gear for this Ice Trapper build. There are several Unique and Shaper/Elder items with powerful affixes that make this build truly shine so we recommend getting all the items listed. Overall this build shouldn't cost a lot, but the new Veiled, Master-crafted and Synthesised items may make this build even better, so we encourage you to experiment with it. 

At this point, we would love to invite you to visit our PoE Currency Marketplace where you can buy cheap PoE Currency. All offers on Odealo are user-posted, and you are buying Orbs and Unique items from regular players for real cash.

We can guarantee that the items listed by us will:

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

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Trap/Cold/Area/Spell Damage
  4. Critical Strike Chance & Multiplier
  5. Mana/Mana Regeneration Rate
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - very solid option. If you have a very high budget to allocate in this build, you can try getting a Helmet with Delve property that reduces the Cold Resistance of nearby enemies
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
+70% to Elemental Resistances
30 Strength
Optional affixes:
Nearby enemies have reduced Cold Resistance (Delve)
Added Cold Damage to Spells (Shaper)
Helmet enchantment:
40% increased Ice Trap Damage
Ice Trap Damage Penetrates 10% Cold Resistance
Tinkerskin(Body Armour) Tinkerskin - mandatory item for this build. It grants insane bonuses for Trapper characters and Life/Energy Shield recover whenever your Traps are triggered
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
(140-170)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(60-90) to maximum Life
(10-15)% increased Cooldown Recovery Speed 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

Wand(Weapon) Rare Wand - the best option for this build. If you want a better weapon, just increase the recommended stats below. You are going to dual-wield Wands

Min. requirements:
40% Spell Damage
90% Critical Strike Chance for Spells
+1 to Level of All Cold Spell Skill Gems
Optional affixes:
Added Cold Damage to Spells
Critical Strike Multiplier
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - again, aim for high defensive stats so that you can use additional Uniques like Slavedriver's Hand
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
30 Strength
25% increased Movement Speed
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Boot enchantment:
Adds 45 to 68 Cold Damage if you've been Hit Recently
10% Chance to Dodge Attack Hits if you've taken a Critical Strike Recently
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - a Stygian Vise is preferred as it allows you to use an extra Abyssal Jewel making it the best base for this slot
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
+100% to Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Cold/Elemental Damage
Flask Effect Duration
Maximum Life %
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Rare Amulet is a decent pick for this slot. Look for Life and purely DPS bonuses
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
30% Global Critical Strike Multiplier
+1 to Level of All Dexterity or Cold Skill Gems
30 Strength/Dexterity
Optional affixes:
Critical Strike Chance
The Pandemonius(Amulet) The Pandemonius - a very powerful Amulet for purely cold DPS builds. It grants a very strong Chill effect and Cold Damage penetration
+(20-30) to Dexterity
(20-30)% increased Cold Damage
+(35-40)% to Cold Resistance
Chill Enemy for 1 second when Hit, reducing their Action Speed by 30%
Blind Chilled Enemies on Hit
Damage Penetrates 20% Cold Resistance against Chilled Enemies
Recommended Anointmens:
Heart of Ice
Diamond Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - look for missing Attributes and Resistances, and then stack as much Life as possible. You can also find some extra DPS, but in a reasonable budget those will be found mainly as Implicit mods
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Mana/Mana Regeneration Rate
Cold/Spell Damage
Malachai's Artifice(Ring) Malachai's Artifice - It's a very simple solution on how to apply Exposure - simply place there a skill that deals Fire or Lightning Damage and no Cold Damage - a Brand is a good option since it will stick to the bosses. Note that you already use Frost Bomb to apply exposure so if you follow this guide closely you won't need it at all.
Has 1 Socket
Socketed Gems have Elemental Equilibrium
-20% to all Elemental Resistances
+(75-100)% to Fire Resistance when Socketed with a Red Gem
+(75-100)% to Cold Resistance when Socketed with a Green Gem
+(75-100)% to Lightning Resistance when Socketed with a Blue Gem
All Sockets are White
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - just use a standard pair with Life/Mana and other common stats until you can afford Slavedriver's Hand which are a complete game-changer for this build
Min. requirements:
75 maximum  Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
30 Strenght
Optional affixes:
Increased Damage with Hits against Chilled Enemies
Adds # to # Cold Damage if you've dealt a Critical Strike Recently 
Slavedriver's Hand(Gloves) Slavedriver's Hand - the best pair of Gloves for this build. Not only it solves your Mana issues but makes Cast Speed apply to Trap Throwing Speed as well
+(30-40) to Dexterity
(200-250)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
(30-20)% reduced Trap Throwing Speed
Skills which throw Traps Cost Life instead of Mana
Skills used by Traps have (10-20)% increased Area of Effect
Increases and Reductions to Cast Speed also Apply to Trap Throwing Speed
10% chance to gain an Endurance, Frenzy or Power Charge when any
of your Traps are Triggered by an Enemy
Glove enchantment:
Commandment of Frost
Abyss Jewel(Jewel) Abyss Jewel - you can alter between regular Jewels and Abyss Jewels depending on your current equipment. It's good to always calculate the differences in DPS in Path of Building
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
added Cold Damage to Spells
Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Increased Damage if you've killed recently
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - just like Abyssal Jewels, you are looking for extra Life, Crit. Multi and possible standard damage multipliers
Recommended affixes:
Maximum Life
Trap/Cold/Area/Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
Critical Strike Multiplier (preferably Multiplier with Elemental Skills which can roll higher values)
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - you should use one Large Cluster Jewel in this build. The best one is the Cold one but what's more important here is the ability to socket two extra Medium Jewels in it so the Elemental or Spell Damage ones would also work
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Blanketed Snow
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - it's recommended to use two Medium Cluster Jewels with the same exact set of Trap Passives
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Guerilla Tactics
1 Added Passive Skill is Surprise Sabotage
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - one of the best Jewels in the game (assuming you roll the right aura mods). You should use either Zealotry or Hatred modifiers, and use the corresponding Aura as both the Auras have a similar effect in this build
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - if you build your character correctly and you have your Cold Resistance highest, this Flask will grant additional Cold Damage Penetration
+35% to all Elemental Resistances
During Flask Effect, 6% reduced Damage taken of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is lowest
During Flask Effect, Damage Penetrates (5-8)% Resistance of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is highest
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - one of the best Utility Flasks in the game for most of the builds
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
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (Freeze and Chill immunity)
  2. Ample Quartz Flask of Staunching (Bleed immunity)
  3. Ample Diamond Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
Wise OakBottled FaithDivine Life FlaskQuartz FlaskDiamond Flask

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We hope you end up building a character you will be truly satisfied with after reading this guide. Let us know if you have any feedback and suggestions regarding this build. If so, leave those in the comments below. We will appreciate everything that leads us to improve our guides.

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