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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 3.6

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Estimated budget: medium
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Guide notes
March 8, 2019
-Build created
March 10, 2019
-Added gameplay video

Saboteur is one of the most popular Ascendencies in Path of Exile for quite some time now. It is both extremely powerful end-game class, as well as, works exceptionally well as a League Starter. With the recent changes to Ice Traps in Patch 3.6, this is our top recommendation for the upcoming Synthesis League. While it may not be the best Trap overall, it surely is something most people didn't play already, making it a very interesting choice. Ice Traps damage was nearly doubled in Patch 3.6 which should give it insane burst damage.

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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. 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 tough build as well. 

0:06 Tier 16 Maze of the Minotaur
0:41 Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix
1:24 Tier 16 Lair of the Hydra
1:55 Shaper

This video was recorded on a level 91 Saboteur on Standard League. Budget was approximately 14 Exalted Orbs

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • insane burst DPS
  • easy to level up 
  • amazing clear speed
  • immune to reflect map mods
  • 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
Multiple Traps Support Multiple Traps Support - makes you throw two additional Traps with each cast
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 reduces 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:

35 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Trickery 2) Blood Siphon 3) Blood Drinker 4) Clever Construction 5) High Explosives

61 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Master Sapper 2) Acrobatics 3) Doomcast 4) Snowforged

Recommended leveling items:

LifesprigLifesprig - 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
+(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
116 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Perfect Crime
  2. Chain Reaction
  3. Pyromaniac
  4. Born in the Shadows


Major God: Soul of Lunaris 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%, 1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%

Minor God: Soul of Gruthkul 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each Hit you've taken Recently up to a maximum of 5%

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
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
Cluster Traps Support Cluster Traps Support - increases the maximum number of Traps that you can throw
Cold Penetration Cold Penetration Support - makes supported Spells ignore some of the monster's resistance to Cold Damage
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - grants increased Area Damage and the cost of reducing the radius
[DPS] Cold Snap Trap
(in Shaper Gloves with Trap Support)
Cold Snap Cold Snap - deals high Cold Damage over Time and applies an extremely powerful Chill effect which further increases your Damage against your targets with the Bonechill Support Gem
Trap and Mine Damage Support Mine and Trap Damage support
Bonechill Support Bonechill Support - greatly increases the effectiveness of Chill and the damage against affected enemies based on the Chill effect
Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support - increases the damage of supported skills against Chilled enemies, and increases the effectiveness of Chill applied by supported skills
[UTILITY] Enfeeble/Immortal Call 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 5
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants brief immunity to Physical Damage. Keep it at level 7
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of supported Spells
Enfeeble Enfeeble - recommended Curse for this build. It grants high defensive utility and will be auto-cast by the CwDT Gem if you do not upgrade it above level 8
[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
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases the Cast Speed of Flame Dash (and its Mana cost)
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
Frost Bomb Frost Bomb - AoE Spell which applies Cold Exposure to affected enemies (reducing their Cold Resistance)
[UTILITY] Portal
Portal Portal - creates a town portal when cast. Optional, but since we have an empty socket it's a decent pick
[UTILITY] Lightning Golem
Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem - grants increased Attack and Cast Speed
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support
[UTILITY] Herald of Ice
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - grants added Cold Damage to Spells and causes AoE explosions
Onslaught Support Onslaught Support - Herald's of Ice explosions will have a chance to grant Onslaught buff which increases your Attack, Cast, and Movement Speed
[UTILITY] Zealotry
Zealotry Zealotry - a new Aura which grants increased Spell Critical Strike Chance and Spell Damage. Also gives you a chance to create Consecrated Ground when you Hit a Rare of Unique enemy

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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 makes 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. 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 Cold Resistance of nearby enemies
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
30% Fire Resistance
30% Cold Resistance
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

Rare Dagger(Weapon) Rare Dagger - the best option for this build. If you want a better weapon, just increase the recommended stats below

Min. requirements:
60% Spell Damage
100% Critical Strike Chance for Spells
20% Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Added Cold Damage to Spells
Rare Shield(Shield) Rare Shield - aim for high DPS stats and maximum bonus Life
Min. requirements:
60% Spell Damage
90% Critical Strike Chance for Spells
90 maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots 
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
30 Strength
25% increased Movement Speed
35% Fire Resistance
35% Lightning Resistance
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 Stygian Vise
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
25% Cold Resistance
25% Lightning Resistance
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Rare Amulet is a decent pick for this slot
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
25% Global Critical Strike Chance
25% Global Critical Strike Multiplier
20% Cold/Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
The Pandemonius(Amulet) The Pandemonius - the best in the slot. It grants insane defensive bonuses and additional Cold Damage and 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
Diamond Ring Opal Ring (Ring) Rare Rings
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
15% Spell/Cold Damage
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
maximum Mana
increased Mana Regeneration Rate
Critical Strike Chance
Str Gloves(Gloves) Rare Shaper Gloves - this is very important to get a Shaper Pair which will make you throw additional Trap when using skills that throw them
Min. requirements:
75 maximum Life
30% Lightning Resistance
Socketed Gems are Supported by level # Trap
Skills which Throw Traps throw up to 1 additional Trap
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
added Cold Damage to Spells while holding a Shield
Optional affixes:
increased Critical Strike Multiplier
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Trap/Cold/Area/Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
increased Critical Strike Multiplier (preferably Multiplier with Elemental Skills which can roll higher values)
Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - if you build your character correctly this will grant additional Cold Damage Penetration
+35% to all Elemental Resistances
During Flask Effect, 10% reduced Damage taken of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is lowest
During Flask Effect, Damage Penetrates (10-15)% Resistance of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is highest
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - new Flask introduced in Patch 3.6. It increases the effectiveness of Consecrated Ground and the damage taken by affected enemies
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use36% increased Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
+2% to Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Effect
Enemies on Consecrated Ground you create during Effect take 10% increased damage
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (Freeze and Chill immunity)
  2. Ample Basalt Flask of Staunching (Physical Damage reduction and Bleeding immunity)
  3. Ample Diamond Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
Wise OakBottled FaithDivine Life FlaskBasalt 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.