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Low Life Lightning Trap Saboteur Build

Low Life Lightning Trap Saboteur Build

A Saboteur build that uses Lightning Trap and Lightning Spire Trap making it a very powerful end-game Trapper build

Low-Life Lightning Trap
Saboteur build

Updated for Patch 3.16

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Estimated budget: medium to high
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Guide notes
July 23, 2021
- Build created
August 12, 2021
-Added gameplay video
January 04, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.16


This is an end-game version of the previously published Lightning Trap Starter build. The main difference between the two is the price and the performance. As you play the Life version of this build at some point you'll lack in defense due to the absence of Life nodes on the passive skills tree. It's especially a problem as you play Lightning Damage Trap build - maximum Life is plentiful on the Left side of the Skill Tree, however, there is an abundance of are Energy Shield nodes nearby. With the right gear, it can be considered one of the tankiest builds in the game. It also makes use of Pain Attunement Keysonte - links Arrogance Support Gem with additional Aura to reserve your maximum Life and gain 30% more damage.

The potential of the build goes really high. You can find additional Support Gems as mods in Shaper-influenced Gloves and link it with one of your Traps. For Defenses, this build uses Energy Shield, combined with Shavronnes's Wrapping, Presence of Chayula to achieve more than 6k of ES, combined with a high chance to Block Hits from Attacks and Spells, and a lot of Chaos Resistance, your Evasion Rating and Armour are exceptionally high. The sheer number of modifiers that you can make use of makes this build great for players striving to constantly upgrade their items. You can get as much as 10k ES and over one Million DPS.

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1. Gameplay

Use Lightning Trap to deal with trash mobs commonly found in the maps, and Flame Dash to make the exploration of them faster. To kill bosses, use Wave of Conviction with Awakened Hextouch - to apply Assassin's or Sniper's Mark and Conductivity. It will Cripple their Resistances and make them more susceptible to damage. When fighting with bosses use Bear Trap to immobilize the target and make it more vulnerable to other Traps. Sigil of Power is useful in such situations too.

This video was recorded on a level 91 Saboteur shortly after the launch of Patch 3.15. The build offered reasonable single-target DPS and amazing clear speed from Lightning Traps. Overall, it's a great Starter build initially, that leaves spaces for additional investments and transition to end-game Low-Life form, making it one of the best Trap Skills in the game currently

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • amazing AoE
  • good sustainability
  • solid defenses based on high Block Chance and Saboteur's insane regeneration
  • all content viable
  • can run into Mana issues
  • requires a number of specific Uniques making it not viable for leveling and quite expensive


3. Leveling tips

You can't level an ES-based build as it is, first you need to play a Life build, and then change to Energy Shield. A guide on a starter Lighting Trap Build has already been done and you can find it here. Follow the instructions, and around the time you start mapping and you have the gear, proceed to transition.

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

100 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't show Cluster Jewels nor Thread of Hope)
123 Points Path of Building(PoB) link 

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


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

Minor God: Soul of Garukhan +5% chance to Evade Attack Hits if you've taken a Savage Hit Recently


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Lightning Trap setup
Lightning Trap Lightning Trap - Lightning Trap is the core ability of the build, it deals Lighting Damage by firing Projectiles radiating from the Trap when activated
Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support - it adds Lightning Damage to your Skills and increases it
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - more Trap Damage but reduced Trap Throwing Speed, the drawback isn't too big of a deal
Cluster Traps Support Cluster Traps Support - allows you to throw more Traps at once and increases the number of Traps placed at the same time, but those deal now less damage because of that
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - Reduced Mana Cost of Linked Skills, which is really useful in a Trap build such as this one. Additionally, you deal more Elemental Damage and your Critical Strike Chance is higher.
Charged Traps Support Charged Traps Support - allows you to easily generate Frenzy and Power Charges to deal extra damage. For best DPS you can use Lightning PenetrationLightning Penetration but this has a lesser effect on your Boss DPS
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots - Skitterbotas Chill and Shock nearby opponents, that increases your damage and decreases enemies' mobility
Wrath Wrath - use Wrath as Aura to increase your Lightning Damage, it's the best Aura you can find as a damage boost
Discipline Discipline - use it to gain additional Energy Shield and improved ES Recharge rate
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - Reduces the Mana Reservation Cost of linked Skills
[UTILITY] Secondary Aura setup
Zealotry Zealotry - Use Zealotry to deal more Damage - by increasing Critical Strike Chance, Multiplier, and Spell Damage, alternatively you can use DisciplineDiscipline for more Energy Shield
Arrogance Support Arrogance Support - the Skill that normally reserves Mana will now reserve Life after linking with this Support Gem, it is important to enable your Pain Attunement Keystone
Defiance Banner Support Defiance Banner - a defensive Banner that grants you Armour, Evasion Rating, and reduces the chance to be Critically Hit
[UTILITY] Curse/Wave of Conviction setup
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - Applies Exposure on Hit, the enemy will have lower Lightning Resistance. Use a level 1 of this Gem
Awakened Hextouch Support Hextouch Support - Hextouch allows you to apply a Curse with your Wave of Conviction
Conductivity Conductivity - this Curse will cripple the Lightning Resistance of your opponent, which makes it the best Curse for pure damage increase
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will automatically trigger your Wave of Conviction. Use a level 1 Gem here for more frequent casts
[UTILITY] various skills
(can be socketed in Shaper Gloves for extra Support Gems)
Bear Trap Bear Trap - it will trigger when stepped on and will lock the target in place for 4 seconds making him more vulnerable to Trap Damage from other sources
Sigil of Power Sigil of Power - creates an area that reduces damage taken and buffs your Lightning Damage as you stand in it and spend Mana
Clarity Clarity - the easiest way to sustain Mana is to use an Aura regenerates this resource over time
Tempest Shield Tempest Shield - use it for Shock immunity and increased Chance to Block Spell Damage
Support Gems from Rare Gloves
Advanced Traps Support Advanced Traps Support - reduces the Cooldown and increases Trap Throwing Speed, increasing the hit frequency of your Bear Trap
[MOBILITY] Smoke Mine/Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - this allows you to instantly travel by dashing a short distance to a specific location, great if you need to dodge an attack
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - After using Linked Spell, which is Flame Dash, your Mana Regeneration increases. Keep it at a low level, a single cast of a Flame Dash should activate this effect.
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - adds an extra charge to your Flame Dash and increases its cooldown, not by a lot

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5. Gear Setup

The initial step to completing your gear setup is to cap all of your Elemental Resistances at 75%, after that's done you can seek other defense stats, the one that's the most important is Energy Shield. Your High Block Chance for Spell and Attack hits will come mostly from a Skill Tree, but you can commonly find these stats on a Shield. To increase your Damage you should seek Lightning, Spell, and Trap Damage, and additionally Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier. These stats are often present as weapon's mods, Sceptres or Wands are the weapon bases with the most of these. Additional stats worth looking for are Amour, Evasion Rating, Chaos Resistance, and Mana Regeneration.

Our recommended items will:

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

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Elemental Resistances
  2. Energy Shield
  3. Elemental/Lightning/Spell/Trap Damage
  4. Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier for Spells
  5. Armour
  6. Evasion Rating
  7. Chaos Resistance
  8. Mana Regeneration
Crown of the Inward Eye(Helmet) Crown of the Inward Eye - a Helmet such as this grants you a lot of damage based on your Energy Shield and increases your defenses, it does not however offer any Elemental Resistances
333% increased Armour and Energy Shield
(9-21)% increased maximum Life, Mana and Global Energy Shield
Transfiguration of Soul
Transfiguration of Body
Transfiguration of Mind
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - a Rare Helmet with high Energy Shield and reduction to nearby enemies' Lightning Resistance is also a fully viable and a very powerful option
Min. requirements:
200 Maximum Energy Shield
Nearby enemies have -#% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Elemental Resistances
Helmet enchantments:
40% increased Lightning Trap Damage
Lightning Trap Damage Penetrates 10% Lightning Resistance
Wand(Weapon) Rare Wand - Use Wand or a Sceptre that has a lot of damage increase. Seek Elemental, Lightning, and Spell Damage that adds up to around 100%. +1 to level of all Lightning Spell Skill Gems is another great mod to have
Min. requirements:
100% increased Spell/Lightning/Elemental Damage
+1 to level of all Lightning Spell Skill Gems
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
added Lightning Damage to Spells
Trigger a Socketed Spell when you Use a Skill, with a 8 second Cooldown (crafted)
Rare Shield(Shield) Rare Shield - simply look for a Shield with high Energy Shield and bonuses to Spell Damage and Spell Crit. Chance. Obviously, you can also find extra Attributes and Resistances here
Min. requirements:
70 Energy Shield
60% Spell Damage
90% Spell Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Socketed Gems have 15% Reduced Reservation
Shavronne's Wrappings(Body Armour) Shavronne's Wrappings - Absolutely necessary Body Armour. With almost all of your Life reserved you can very easily die from even the smallest amount of Chaos Damage
(3-10)% increased Spell Damage
(100-150)% increased Energy Shield
10% faster start of Energy Shield Recharge
+(30-40)% to Lightning Resistance
Reflects 1 to 250 Lightning Damage to Melee Attackers
Chaos Damage does not bypass Energy Shield
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Boots should grant you some Movement Speed and ELemental Resistances, ES is of course heavily encouraged to boost your survivability. Additional mods such as Tailwind can be very expensive
Min. requirements:
30% Movement Speed
50% increased Energy Shield
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
maximum Energy Shield
chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
chance to gain Elusive on Critical Strike
you have Tailwind if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Fingerless Silk Gloves can be used as a base for more Spell Damage. With Shaper's Influence, you can come across some mods that work as an Additional Support Gem for one of your Trap Skills.
Min. requirements:
100 Energy Shield
60% Total Elemental Resistances
15% increased Trap Throwing Speed
Optional affixes:
Critical Strike Chance
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 20 Advanced Traps
Culling Strike
Rare Belt (Belt) Rare Belt - Crystal Belt provides you with more ES, when Stygian Vise can be used as a more versatile Base if you need to fix some of your Resistances or you have a really good Abyss Jewel to put there. Generally, look for generic defenses like Resistances and ES
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Energy Shield
60% Total Elemental Resistances
12% increased Trap Throwing Speed (crafted)
Optional affixes:
increased Energy Shield from Body Armour
Chaos Resistance
Presence of Chayula(Amulet) Presence of Chayula - Obligatory Amulet - it converts your Life to ES, you don't rely on Life to survive at all so that's not an issue. It makes your character completely immune to stuns and offers a lot of Chaos Resistance
+(10-16) to all Attributes
30% increased Rarity of Items found
+60% to Chaos Resistance
Cannot be Stunned
20% of Maximum Life Converted to Energy Shield
Recommended Anointments:
Master Sapper
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Energy Shield and Elemental Resistances are the stats that are the most important, but if you come across already decent Ring with Curse on Hit such as Sniper's Mark, Assassin's Mark, or Conductivity and you can apply only one Curse, you can completely Ditch the curse gem setup and put some other utility Gems there such as automatically summoned Lightning Golem or Sigil of Power
Min. requirements:
40 maximum Energy Shield
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
%increased maximum Energy Shield
increased Lightning Damage
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Critical Strike Chance
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - There are a lot of useful affixes, the more specific they are, the bigger their number is. For example, Critical Strike Multiplier for Spells is better than a regular Critical Strike Multiplier
Recommended affixes:
Critical Strike Multiplier for Spells
Critical Strike Multiplier with Lightning Skills
Critical Strike Multiplier with Elemental Skills
Trap Damage
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Elemental Resistances
Maximum Energy Shield
watcher's eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Zealotry, Wrath, and Clarity if you're using one are the Aura mods that you should strive for. These Jewels are expensive but at the same time really powerful
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - A regular Elemental-oriented Large Cluster Jewel with passives to increase your Damage, or better yet - your Lightning Damage is good for finishing touches. Scintillating Idea is by far the best Notable in this slot.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Snowstorm
1 Added Passive Skill is Scintillating Idea
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Sadist
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
1 Added Passive Skill is Doryani's Lesson
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - use Medium Cluster Jewels as one of the final ways to increase your DPS, seek a Trap and Mine bases with useful 
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Set and Forget
1 Added Passive Skill is Surprise Sabotage
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - despite the recent nerfs, it's still a good Flask that increases your damage by a decent amount
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(20-40)% increased Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
100-150% increased Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Effect
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
The Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - A huge boost to your Lightning damage and defenses if you set up your Resistances in a specific way
+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
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - use this Flask to increase your Chance to Block and to increase your Armour
+1500 to Armour
+(8-12)% Chance to Block Attack Damage during Flask effect
+(4-6)% Chance to Block Spell Damage during Flask effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Experimenter's Diamond Flask with random ailment removal
  2. Bubbling Mana Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
Rumi's ConcoctionBottled FaithThe Wise OakMana 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.

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

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