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Seismic Trap/Exsanguinate Saboteur Build

Seismic Trap/Exsanguinate Saboteur Build

One of the best Sabouterus builds that use Seismic Traps and Exsanguinate Traps to deal a lot of Physical Damage

Seismic Trap
Saboteur build

Updated for Patch 3.17

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Guide notes
September 03, 2021
- Build created
February 05, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.17
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Seismic Trap is one of the few Duration Traps, that once placed stay active dealing damage to the surroundings. Due to its nature of being the most effective against stationary targets, it's not that great with fast map clearing - for that another there is another setup with Exsanguinate. Exsanguinate as a Trap shares a lot of similarities with Seismic Trap, these are both Physical Spells (Exsanguinate needs to be linked with Trap Support). Additionally, Exsanguiate is great for quickly killing weak enemies - the tendrils instantly seek the nearest enemy and chain to another. Saboteur is the obvious choice - it has great synergy with Traps and offers some great defensive layers, with Pyromaniac you're immune to Ignite and Shock and have a lot of Mana and Life Regeneration, with Born in the Shadows you're immune to Blind, nearby enemies and enemies you hit are Blinded, which makes them deal less damage.

As many of the Physical Spells builds, this one uses two Cold Iron Point Daggers for 6 additional Levels for your Physical Spells - that really improves your DPS. There are little to no Unique Items that are mandatory - the previously mentioned Cold Iron Point is too good to not pick it, The Devouring Diadem, Tinkerskin, Replica Cheap Construction, or Slavedriver's Hand could suit this build and are worth your consideration. The build is Life-based, cheap, and simple - it's a great League Starter. Your total Maximum Life should be oscillating around 6k with particularly resistance to Hits. The dual-DPS setup makes the build good in both situations - dealing with bosses and fast map clearing. It's currently one of, if not the best Saboteurs builds out there.

Patch 3.16 introduced some new ways to increase your Maximum Life, Damage, and shifted your defensive configuration to rely more on Evasion Rating, Spell Suppression, Energy Shield, and a new Keystone available for everyone - Ghost Shroud. The build itself hasn't changed much - we removed Fortify on Whirling Blades and replaced it with Lifetap Support, Fortify has its effectiveness now scaling with the melee damage. The Passive Skill Tree is obviously different from the previous one due to the changes, but the core framework remains the same. Evasion Rating is also more valuable - try to seek items with this stat alongside Maximum Life.
In Patch 3.17 the Seismic Trap Single target damage got slightly nerfed while its AoE has been improved - it won't affect the build in a major way.

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1. Gameplay

Use the Exsanguinate Traps to deal with packs of enemies - it's really great even in closed spaces such as Cells Map. Seismic Trap is used to kill bosses and the Rare enemies that are more resistant to your Spells. Place the Traps ahead of you as you go to clear the rooms, these will kill enemies before you will have a chance to see them. Use your Movement Skill to move faster and to dodge attacks. Assassin's Mark is the Curse that's the most beneficial, you can use it on Arcanist Brand. Steelskin is probably the best Guard Spell, but Immortal Call linked with CwDM is a popular choice too.

This video was recorded on a level 91 Saboteur dual-wielding Cold Iron Point Daggers, wearing Devouring Diadem, Tinkerskin, and a set of random rares. None of the items were expensive, and the total budget was less than 30 Exalted Orbs including Cluster Jewels - overall, this gave us reliable defenses and simply tons of DPS; both single-target and AoE. This video was recorded in Patch 3.15 - we will update it in the following days

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • great AoE provided by Exsanguinate
  • strong single-target damage thanks to Seismic Trap
  • good sustainability based on Saboteur's unique Keystones
  • can do all the Maps
  • Mana issues are common if not fully geared


3. Leveling tips

Use Explosive Trap, it's good for a start since it can be used at level 1 and shares similarities with other Physical Spell Traps so you don't have to deviate much from your intended Passive Skill Tree. Don't use Seismic Trap without any secondary Trap Skill, it's too slow by itself, you can start using Exsanguinate linked with Trap Support early on, later the Trap Support should have a form of an Affix on your Rare Gloves. Cold Iron point Requires Level 62, before that you can use any weapon that increases your Spell Damage, you can use Vendor Recipes for that, base Attack Damage of a weapon is not important.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Explosive Trap setup
Explosive Trap Explosive Trap - It should be enough during the early stages of the game, it's a simple Trap that explodes multiple times upon activation
Swift Assembly Support Swift Assembly Support - you have now a chance to throw additional Traps
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - increases Trap damage, but decreases Throwing Speed
Multiple Traps Support Multiple Traps Support - allows you to place more traps on the ground and makes you throw 2 more traps at once
Whirling Blades setup
Whirling Blades Whirling Blades - your movement skill, can vary depending on your weapon, for example, Flame DashFlame Dash is a great substitute for Wand users
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - spend Life instead of Mana on Skills
Utility Gems
Pride Pride - an Aura that makes enemies in  your proximity take more Physical Damage
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - Herald Skill that increases your Physical Damage and grants some other effects
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - Cursed enemies have a higher chance to be Hit with Critical Strikes with higher Multiplier, and additionally, restore Life and Mana on kill
Steelskin Steelskin - a guard Spell that makes you take less damage for a short duration of time


You should kill all the Bandits and take two more Passive Skill Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

32 Points Skill Tree
head for the great Trap Cluster Jewel, take some Life and Crit nodes on the way

67 Points Skill Tree
allocate Ghost Dance, more Maximum Life, Spell Damage, and Crit nodes for Spells

Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - a common Ring for Leveling, it provides you wit ha lot of Elemental Resistances
(10-30)% increased Damage
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - a Helmet that grants a lot of Elemental Resistances, available since level 1
+(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 - allows you to create an elaborate gem setup wight from the start
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
DeerstalkerDeerstalker - Boots that you can put Exsanguinate into and save a Socket, these have generally good synergy with Traps
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 11 Trap
(160-200)% increased Evasion Rating
+(35-45) to maximum Life
15% increased Movement Speed
(14-18)% increased Trap Throwing Speed
15% increased Movement Speed for 9 seconds on Throwing a Trap


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

102 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Thread of Hope nor Cluster Jewels)
117 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Perfect Crime
  2. Pyromaniac
  3. Chain Reaction
  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] Seismic Trap setup
Seismic Trap Seismic Trap - creates a pulsating Trap that deals Physical Spell Damage to the surrounding enemies, it's your main source of damage against bosses
Brutality Support Brutality Support - with Cold Iron Points you won't be able to deal Elemental Damage, so there is no drawback in picking Brutality and having your Physical Damage increased
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - Traps deal a lot more damage, but the Throwing Speed is slightly reduced
Advanced Traps Support Advanced Traps Support - increased Trap Throwing Speed, Trap Damage, Trap Duration, and Cooldown Recovery Rate for Traps
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - allows you to pay the Mana Cost in LIfe instead, which greatly helps you on lower levels where your gear isn't fully optimized yet. It also grants a decent DPS multiplier
Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support - increases your Critical Strike Chance
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots - Sumomns invulnerable Minions that Chill and Shock enemies making them take more damage and move slower
Pride Pride - increases your Physical Damage, it's more effective if you'll stay close to the enemy for more than four seconds
Herald of Purity Herald of Purity - The best Herald to increase your Physical Damage, it also summons minions that can draw the attention of your enemies
War Banner War Banner - Banner that grants you more Physical Damage, and when Placed it grants Adrenaline and more AoE
[MOBILITY] Whirling Blades and Steelskin setup
Whirling Blades Whirling Blades - your main Movement Skill, it's an attack that allows you to dash through enemies
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support - increases the Attack frequency, which makes you move faster
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - with Lifetap you will be able to use linked Skills without worrying about your Mana
Steelskin Steelskin - a Guard Spell that decreases the damage you take during its duration. You should allocate it under your left mouse button so that it's triggered nearly automatically
[UTILITY] Curse and Golem setup
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - Curse enemies to make them more vulnerable to Critical Strikes and to restore more Mana and Life on Kill
Arcanist Brand Arcanist Brand - the best way to Cast Assassin's Mark is through Arcanist Brand which can attach to an enemy
Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem - Stone Golem grants you Life Regeneration
[DPS] Exsanguinate setup
(can be socketed in Shaper Gloves or Deerstalker Boots for extra Support Gems)
Exsanguinate Exsanguinate - it's a Spell that releases tendrils that can Chain, but do not count as Projectiles. Tendrils will seek the enemies and instantly kill smaller foes.
Chain Support Chain Support - use Chain for a far better Clear Speed
Cluster Traps Support Cluster Traps Support - with Cluster Traps, more of these Traps will be Thrown which is necessary to deal with large groups
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - again, without Lifetap you will be unable to freely spam that Skill
Other Support Gems that can be found on Items:
Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support - direct Boost to Trap Damage. You can find this on Rare Gloves
Advanced Traps Support Advanced Traps Support - another Trap-related Support Gem that can be found on Gloves
Trap Support Trap Support - allows you to throw Traps that will cast Exsanguinate. It should be used as a regular Support Gem when in Gloves, or granted by the Deerstalker Boots
[UTILITY] Bear Trap and Dash setup
Bear Trap Bear Trap - immobilizes the enemy and applies a debuff with reduces his Movement Speed and increases the damage they take from Traps
Dash Support Dash - an alternative Mobility Skill that is instant, but unlike Whirling Blades it doesn't grant Fortify
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - stores an additional Charge for linked Cooldown Skills

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6. Gear Setup

The gear consists mostly of Rare Items making it flexible in terms of its price. As a Shadow, a lot of your defenses will rely on Dodge and Evasion, but the most important stat here is Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances. Pay close attention to your Strength, 155 of it will be required and it's scarce on your side of the Passive Skill Tree. Gloves will be the most important Rare gear piece since Shaper's influence allows you to have additional Support Gem links there for faster clear speed. It is recommended to use two Large CLuster Jewels - it will increase your damage. Look for stats that would increase your Trap, Spell, or Physical Damage, but only for Spells, you won't use any Attacks to deal damage.

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. Maximum Life
  3. Physical/Spell/Trap Damage
  4. Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier for Spells
  5. Evasion Rating
  6. Chaos Resistance
  7. Mana Regeneration
  8. Strength
The Devouring Diadem(Helmet) The Devouring Diadem - a great choice for a Helmet, Eldritch Battery will help you with Mana immensely, you have less Mana Reserved, higher Level of Socketed Gems, and Veiled Suffix of your choice
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
Socketed Gems have 20% reduced Mana Reservation
Trigger Level 15 Feast of Flesh every 5 seconds
(180-220)% increased Energy Shield
10% chance for Energy Shield Recharge to start when you use a Skill
Eldritch Battery
Veiled Suffix
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Use Rare Helmet for more Physical Damage, Maximum Life, and Elemental Resistances - it's what The Devouring Diadem lacks. It might cause Mana Issues if you won't allocate Eldritch Battery.
Min. requirements:
+80 to Maximum Life
40% Total Elemental Resistances
Nearby enemies take 9% increased Physical Damage
Optional affixes:
Adds Physical Damage to Spells
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Helmet enchantments:
Seismic Trap Enchantment
Cold Iron Point(Weapon) Cold Iron Point - Two of these will increase the Level of all Physical Spell Skill Gems by 6. This item looks poor at the first glance but it's one of the most powerful daggers for Physical Spells builds.
30% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
+3 to Level of all Physical Spell Skill Gems
Deal no Elemental Damage
Body Armour(Shield) Rare Body Armour - Rare Body Armour is a great choice for characters lacking Elemental Resistances and Critical Strike Chance. Additionally, it can grant you more Maximum Life than Tinkerskin.
Min. requirements:
+100 to Maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
+1.5% to Critical Strike Chance
Optional affixes:
You can apply an additional Curse
Tinkerskin(Body Armour) Tinkerskin - It grants a decent amount of Maximum Life, Evasion Rating, and Energy Shield, generates Frenzy Charges, grants Phasing, and recovers a lot of Life and ES. It provides no Elemental Resistances, but it's still one of the best Body Armours.
(140-170)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(60-90) to maximum Life
(10-15)% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate 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 Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Rare Boots with high Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, and Movement Speed are the best option
Min. requirements:
30% Movement Speed
+60 to Maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
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 are the best option for a base for more Spell Damage. Shaper's influence can give you some mods that act like an additional Support Gem, which is very useful for your secondary DPS setup.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
(20–25)% increased Trap Damage
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 18 Trap
Optional affixes:
increased Trap Throwing Speed
Socketed Gems are Supported by  Advanced Traps
increased Trap Damage
Socketed Gems are Supported by Trap And Mine Damage
Critical Strike Chance
Culling Strike
Rare Belt (Belt) Rare Belt - one of the best places to look for Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances, it's a good idea to look for open affixes so that you can craft the most suitable mods
Min. requirements:
+80 to Maximum Life
90% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Maximum Life
Chaos Resistance
12% increased Trap Throwing Speed (crafted)
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - The two Affixes, one from Warlord's and one Hunter's influence are highly recommended, these work similarly to Cold Iron Points, increasing the Gem Level of your main DPS Skill - Seismic Trap. Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances are your secondary mods to look for.
Min. requirements:
+1 to Level of all Dexterity Skill Gems
+1 to Level of all Physical Skill Gems
Optional affixes:
Maximum Life
Maximum Life
Elemental Resistances
Recommended Anointments:
Master Sapper
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Again, look for Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances. You could also seek one Ring with a Curse on Hit but it's completely optional
Min. requirements:
+70 to Maximum Life
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Spell Damage
Curse on Hit
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Critical Strike Chance
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - Jewels offer a huge variety of affixes, look for Maximum Life, Trap, Spell, Physical Damage, and Crit-related stats.
Recommended affixes:
Critical Strike Multiplier for Spells
Trap Damage
Global Critical Strike Multiplier
Elemental Resistances
Maximum Life
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - use Large Cluster Jewels to increase your Physical Damage - there are plenty of possible Passives you can add here
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Furious Assault
1 Added Passive Skill is Iron Breaker
1 Added Passive Skill is Master the Fundamentals
1 Added Passive Skill is Force Multiplier
1 Added Passive Skill is Exploit Weakness
1 Added Passive Skill is Iron Breaker
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewel - Medium Cluster Jewels are used to increase your Critical Strike Chance and Multiplier, and to upgrade your Trap-related stats
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Basics of Pain
1 Added Passive Skill is Pressure Points
1 Added Passive Skill is Savage Response
1 Added Passive Skill is Guerilla Tactics
1 Added Passive Skill is Set and Forget
1 Added Passive Skill is Magnifier
1 Added Passive Skill is Towering Threat
Thread of Hope(Jewel) Thread of Hope - Use Thread of Hope with a Large Ring and put it near Mind Drinker, you could allocate 6 useful Notables this way
Only affects Passives in Large Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Replica Cheap Construction(Jewel) Replica Cheap Construction - it's better to trade the number of Traps for the very high Critical Strike Chance with Traps
(100-120)% increased Critical Strike Chance with Traps
Can have 5 fewer Traps placed at a time
watcher's eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Your only Aura is Pride, a basic increased Damage while using Pride should be good enough, but Chance to Deal Double Damage is the most desired mod for this Jewel.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Bottled Faith(Flask) Bottled Faith - one of the best Flask for any build that heavily relies on Critical Strikes
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

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Experimenter's Quartz Flask of Staunching (immunity to Bleeding)
  2. Experimenter's Silver Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
  3. Experimenter's Basalt Flask of Adrenaline (mobility)
  4. Bubbling Life Flask of Heat (Chill and Freeze immunity)
Life FlaskBottled FaithBasalt FlaskSilver FlaskQuartz Flaks

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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.