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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
Saboteur Build

Updated for Patch 3.19

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Guide notes
January 04, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.16
February 07, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.17
August 23, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.19
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Saboteur is more often than not the most popular pick for a starter build 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 the 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. As a Saboteur you will benefit from Trap-related Keystones as well as Born in the Shadows and Pyromaniac Keystone, encouraging you to invest in Evasion Rating for a quick and reliable Life and Energy Shield Recovery. This type of 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 Evasion and Saboteur's blind, it feels like a very tanky build as well. 


This is a video Guide presenting the "Starter" version using Heatshiver, Hyperboreus, Carcass Jack, and a set of random budget Rares. Even in such equipment, this build can easily farm Tier 16 Maps and some of the Bosses, while offering a lot of space for improvements and a relatively easy transition to end-game content

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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 and should be initially used, switch to Ice Trap as soon as it's possible.
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, Mana Regeneration, and Elemental Resistances

Leveling Skill Trees:

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

71 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Blood Drinker 2) Doom Cast 3) Revenge of the Hunted 4) Heartseeker 5) Herbalism 6) Throatseeker

Recommended leveling items:

LifesprigLifespring - grants a 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 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 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:

116 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Unique or Cluster Jewels)
116 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 Ralakesh: Moving while Bleeding doesn't cause you to take extra Damage; 25% reduced Physical Damage over Time taken while moving


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Ice Trap setup
Ice Trap Ice Trap - your main Spell. It throws a Trap that when triggered deals massive AoE damage.
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine 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, you can swap it for Swift Assembly Support Swift Assembly Support if you value more concentrated damage during boss fights.
Charged Traps Support Charged Traps Support - Adds more Critical Strike Chance of supported Traps per Power Charge and increased Throwing Speed per Frenzy Charge, which are generated by this Support Gem. Can be replaced with Inspiration Support Inspiration 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 monsters' resistance to Cold Damage.
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support - adds bonus Cold Damage to your Ice Trap, you can replace it with Increased Critical Strikes Increased Critical Strikes Support and compare your damage output.
[UTILITY] Frost Bomb setup
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 increasing the effective radius of its debuffs, but if you don't need radius but duration, replace it with Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support.
Bonechill Support Bonechill Support - greatly enhances the effectiveness of Chill and the damage against affected enemies based on the Chill effect (This Support Gem can be also hooked up to your Skitterbots, but it will make them reserve more mana).
[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Stone Golem setup
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. You can replace it with Steelskin Steelskin if you want a Guard Spell with a longer duration.
Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem - grants increased Life Regeneration. It will be summoned automatically by the CWDT Gem. It's completely optional and has little to no effect.
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of supported Spells.
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash
Flame Dash Flame Dash - mobility Spell which can be used for this build. In this setup, it will also grant an Arcane Surge buff for increased Spell Damage and Mana Regeneration Rate.
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 charge to Flame Dash, it's optional as you need Bear Trap in your build and you might run out of sockets.
[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] Assassin Mark
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - The best Curse/Mark Spell, it increases your Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier against one single enemy. Cast it manually.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Grace Grace - Grace adds and increases your Evasion Rating, a core element of your defenses, if you value the Damage more pick Zealotry Zealotry instead.
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. It's optional, replace it with Clarity Clarity if you struggle with Mana Regeneration.
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - Reduces the Mana Reservation cost of linked Auras, you shouldn't need it at all.

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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. 

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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. Gem Level of Ice Trap
  4. Trap/Cold/Area/Spell Damage
  5. Critical Strike Chance & Multiplier
  6. 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
Optional affixes:
Nearby enemies have reduced Cold Resistance
Added Cold Damage to Spells
Heatshiver(Helmet) Heatshiver - If you've invested in Cold Penetration it won't be as effective, but if you can apply an Effective Chill enhanced by Bonechill Support by linking it with Skitterbots, it's a great choice. It grants no Maximum Life, which is bad.
(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 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
Carcass Jack(Body Armour) Carcass Jack - It's a good Body Armour if you want some generic defensive stats and increased Area of Effect and Area Damage, it's used in a lot of starter builds.
(120-150)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(9-12)% to all Elemental Resistances
(40-50)% increased Area of Effect
(40-50)% increased Area Damage
Extra gore

Wand(Weapon) Rare Wand/Dagger - the best option for this build. If you want a better weapon, just increase the recommended stats below. You can dual-wield these weapons, but we recommend having a Shield in your off-hand.

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
Shield(Off-hand) Rare Shield - Pick up one of the Evasion Shields with Life, Resistances, and one or two of some rare modifiers for more damage or Mana Reservation Efficiency.
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Socketed Gems have increased Reservation Efficiency
increased Spell Damage
increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells
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
25% increased Movement Speed
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
You have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
Atziri's Step(Boots) Atziri's Step - very cheap but potent Unique Boots with great defensive capabilities.
180% increased Evasion Rating
+(55-75) to maximum Life
30% increased Movement Speed
+(20-26)% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
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, seek Resistances and Life. Strength is also very easy to stumble upon here.
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
+100% to Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Cold/Elemental Damage
Flask Effect Duration
Maximum Life %
Hyperboreus(Belt) Hyperboreus - The Belt which you can use for some extra Life, Cold Resistance, increased Damage, and to periodically Chill nearby enemies when you focus. There's also a veiled Suffix with a lot of useful possible outcomes.
+(25-40) to maximum Life
+(30-40)% to Cold Resistance
Chill nearby Enemies when you Focus, causing 30% reduced Action Speed
Focus has (30-50)% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate
(50-70)% increased Damage with Hits and Ailments against Chilled Enemies
Veiled Suffix
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
Elemental Resistances
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 Strength
Optional affixes:
Increased Damage with Hits against Chilled Enemies
Adds 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 does it solve 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 can 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
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - It's a very good and cheap Flask that grants you Chaos Resistance and extra Damage, it's more effective with builds that do not invest much in Penetration, but generic Damage and Critical Strikes - such as this one.
+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. Quartz Flask with random ailment removal
  2. Life Flask with random ailment removal
  3. Diamond Flask with random ailment removal
Wise OakAtziri's PromiseDivine 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.

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