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Spark Trickster Build

Spark Trickster Build

A very tanky Trickster Build for a Poisonous Spark that deals simply insane damage to enemies all around your screen

Poison Spark
Trickster Build

Updated for Patch 3.19

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Guide notes
September 27, 2022
-Build created
Build Overview
Tags: [CASTER] [CHAOS] [POISON] [ENERGY SHIELD]

Budget: 

Defenses: 

Boss DPS:

AoE:

Poison is a damaging Ailment that can be caused by Hitting an opponent with Physical or Chaos Damage. Spark is a Lightning Spell, and you're probably familiar with how it works - it's one of the first Spells available in the game. How does one cause Poison with Lightning? The trick lies in damage conversion, if you manage to convert Spark's Lightning Damage to Chaos you're halfway done. It can be done by simply equipping the Phantasmal version of Spark and boosting its Gem Quality to 50%. For a 100% chance to Poison on Hit, all you need to do is to equip a Divergent Herald of Agony and allocate some nodes on your Passive Skill Tree. To do all of it, it's nearly mandatory to equip Ashes of the Stars Amulet with 30% extra Gem Quality. Ultimately you should always strive for the unique Amulet, as there are no other means to gain the extra 30% Gem Quality (except with level 5 Awakened Enhance or level 4 Enhance and an Elevated Warlord/Shaper Prefix, which is often more expensive that the amulet itself, and it costs you one Socket). The two very important qualities to make Spark a good Skill are increased Projectile Speed and extra Pierce. It can be done by using Anomalous Blood and Sand and staying in the Sand Stance, grabbing Piercing Shots Notable from Skill Tree (which is not far from your route anyway), or equipping Voidwalker.

It's an archetype usually played by Occultists due to its powerful Clear Speed and Chaos Damage-related Keystones, but the Trickster offers better defensive utilities. There is nothing inherently build-enabling in Occultist's Keystones, it's just better damage-wise and has better clear speed. Bury in mind that this build does not differ very much in terms of items from the Occultist version, so you might swap them between these two characters and compare it for yourself. Soul Drinker and Escape Artist are extremely helpful when sustaining damage. If you want to be even more durable, pick Spellbreaker. It's great for Spell Suppression, but your Leech Speed will be halved, as you will no longer be eligible for Ghost Reaver. We recommend One Step Ahead instead, it's a very good passive. Polymath is the most important one in terms of damage, it also discourages taking Cluster Jewels, which reduces the overall price of the build. The build is easily capable of reaching 4 to 8k Energy Shield with Chaos Inoculation, and between 50 to 100k of Evasion Rating, depending on your budget. Most of the items are Rare, so the fluctuation in these numbers is very large. The build is can achieve up to 5 million DPS, which given its defenses, it's not that bad.

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1. Gameplay

Use Spark as your main damage source, note that the damage from a single cast can damage a single enemy only once. To apply Withered debuff, use Wither hooked up to Spell Totems. Flame Dash is your basic movement ability, and for Guard Spell use Steelskin. Arcanist Brand will be used against bosses to apply Curses on Hit - Despair, and Temporal Chains or Enfeeble. Note that Despair and Temporal Chains can be also applied on-hit with Items. For Auras, we recommend Grace, Malevolence, Discipline, Defiance Banner, Herald of Agony, and Blood and Sand. If the lack of Armour is too debilitating, you can replace Malevolence with Determination and get some Armour on your gear, it would require you to link Malevolence with Divine Blessing, and have enough Mana to cast it, which might be very problematic.


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

PROS
  • very tanky build with a lot of defensive layers such as rapid ES leech
  • good clear speed with only a few projectiles
  • deals very high Poison Damage with is hard to mitigate
CONS
  • very expensive due to Ashes of the Stars
  • might run into Mana Reservation and Mana sustain issues without an expensive gear

 

3. Leveling tips

You could start with a Physical/Chaos Spell, but as a Trickster, it doesn't really matter as most of your Damage is sourced from Polymath anyway. It will, however, will save you Orbs of Regret. Find a Chaos or Physical Spell, and you can then swap to Phantasmal Spark at level 60, that's the minimum level to equip Ashes of the Stars. Note, that before switching to Spark be sure that your Projectiles are fast and can Pierce. Ethereal Knives is our recommendation for level 1. You can later switch to Seismic Trap, Blade Vortex, or Bladefall with Blade Blast. Soulrend is a good candidate too. If you have Chaos Inoculation already on, go for Forbidden Rite. Switching the main skill will most likely not affect the rest of your setup so you can keep the already leveled-up Support Gems. You will need to find a way to apply Poison with each Hit, the skill tree will cover 50% of it, but the other half has to be sourced from Skills or Gear. You can equip Ghostwrithe if you have it and start as an Energy Shield Build, it would allow you to pick Chaos Inoculation sooner.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Ethereal Knives setup
Ethereal Knives Ethereal Knives - Use a Physical or Chaos Damage Spell such as Seismic Trap, Blade Vortex, Bladefall with Blade Blast, Soulrend, or Forbidden Rite. Ethereal Knives are available at level one but have a short range.
Chance to Poison Support Chance to Poison Support - Increases Chance to Poison by 40% and adds Chaos Damage to Skills. Combined with Poison Chance from Skill Tree, that's 90%, which is enough for a start.
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - Grants more Spell Damage and Mana Regeneration.
Efficacy Efficacy Support - Increases Skill Effect Duration and grants more Damage over Time.
Unbound Ailments Support Unbound Ailments Support - increases Poison Duration and grants more Poison Damage.
Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support - Use it for more Chaos Damage, and inability to deal Elemental Damage.
Mana Reservation setup
Malevolence Malevolence - Increases your Damage over Time and Skill Effect Duration.
Purity of Elements Purity of Elements - Purity of Elements makes you immune to all Elemental Ailments and provides a lot of Resistances.
Wither setup
Wither Wither - Applies a powerful debuff making the affected enemies take more Chaos Damage.
Spell Totem Spell Totem Support - Wither is cast via Totem.
Multiple Totems Multiple Totems Support - You can summon more Totems to cast Wither thrice as fast.
various Gems
Despair Despair - Bes Curse. It lowers Chaos Resistance and increases your Damage over Time, perfect for Poison.
Flame Dash Flame Dash - A simple movement ability, great for nearly all characters.

Bandits:

you should kill all three Bandits for two additional Skill Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

37 Points Skill Tree
Start with Chaos Damage, Poison, and Maximum Life. This setup already grants a 50% chance to Poison.

79 Points Skill Tree
At this point, you should have already allocated Polymath, pick up all the nearby Masteries that are of use - we've picked 10 for 30% more Damage.

 

Recommended leveling items:

Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - A good Ring for all leveling characters, it grants a lot of useful stats.
Adds 1 to 4 Physical Damage to Attacks
+(10-30) to all Attributes
(10-30)% increased Damage
(10-30)% increased Rarity of Items found
+(10-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
GoldrimGoldrim - Offers a lot of Elemental Resistances, and that's pretty much it.
+(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)
Ring of BladesRing of Blades - It significantly upgrades clear speed with Ethereal Knives.
(10-15)% increased Global Physical Damage
With at least 40 Dexterity in Radius, Ethereal Knives fires Projectiles in a circle
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - use Tabula for the six, white, linked sockets
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
GhostwritheGhostwrithe - If you have plans for an Energy Shield character early on, use this Body Armour.
+(100-200) to maximum Energy Shield
+(50-100) to maximum Life
+50% to Chaos Resistance
50% of Maximum Life Converted to Energy Shield


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

123 Points Final Skill Tree (doesn't include Cluster or Unique or Cluster Jewels)
123 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Polymath
  2. Escape Artist
  3. Soul Drinker
  4. One Step Ahead

Pantheon:

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 Garukhan: 60% reduced Effect of Shock on you

 

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Spark setup
Spark Phantasmal Spark - Fires several Projectiles moving in random directions. It's mandatory to use the Phantasmal version of this Gem, and try to get one at level 21. More Projectile Speed and extra Pierce would be very beneficial.
Energy Leech Energy Leech Support - Grants more Damage while Leeching, and a lot of Energy Shield Leech, it's great with Soul Drinker.
Unbound Ailments Unbound Ailments Support - Increases Poison Duration and grants more Poison Damage.
Elemental Focus Elemental Focus Support - It makes Spark unable to inflict Shock, which it cannot do anyway. In return, it grants more Elemental Damage. Awakened Version increases the Gem level of Spark which is very desirable.
Spell Echo Spell Echo Support - Linked Spell is being cast twice with more Cast Speed, but less Damage. It can be replaced with Deadly Ailments Deadly Ailments or Empower Empower Support Gems if you can't find matching sockets, or if you just don't like Spell Echo.
Void Manipulation Void Manipulation Support - Use it for simply more Chaos Damage. Awakened Version increases the Gem level of Spark which is very desirable.
[UTILITY] Aracanist Brand setup
Arcanist Brand Arcanist Brand - A Brand that attaches to an enemy to activate all linked Spells every second.
Despair Despair - The best Curse for this build, it recused Chaos Resistance, grants you extra Chaos Damage, and makes your enemy more vulnerable against DOT.
Temporal Chains Temporal Chains - Cursed enemies have less Action Speed, and the effects such as Poison will expire on them much slower.
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - Grants more Spell Damage and Mana Regeneration Rate. Keep it at a low level.
[UTILITY] Wither setup
Wither Wither - Hinders enemies, causes them to take more Chaos Damage, and inflicts a Withered debuff which can be stacked up to 15 times. It further increases Chaos Damage Taken.
Spell Totem Spell Totem Support - Wither is cast via Spell Totem.
Multiple Totems Multiple Totems Support - You can have up to three Totems, all casting Wither.
[UTILITY] Aura setup
Malevolence Malevolence - Increases Poison Damage, grants more DOT, and Skill Effect Duration.
Discipline Discipline - Use it mainly for an additional Energy Shield.
Grace Grace - Increases and adds Evasion Rating, the main defensive layer in this build.
Enlighten Enlighten Support - increases Mana Reservation Efficiency for linked Skills.
[UTILITY] Mana-reserving Spells
can be socketed in a Shield with local Mana Reservation Efficiency
Herald of Agony Divergent Herald of Agony - Use Divergent Herald of Agony. Combined with Ashes of the Stars it grants a +70% Chance to Poison on Hit.
Blood and Sand Anomalous Blood and Sand - It doesn't reserve a lot of Mana. The Anomalous version can be used for extra Projectile Speed while in Sand Stance. It can be linked with Enhance Support Enhance Support if you can afford it.
Defiance Banner Defiance Banner - Increases your Evasion and Armour while reducing nearby monsters' Critical Strike Chance.
[UTILITY] Flame Dash
Flame Dash Flame Dash - A simple Movement Spell to quickly progress through maps.
[UTILITY] Steelskin
Steelskin Steelskin - Makes you Bleed-immune and prevents a portion of incoming Hit Damage for some time.
[UTILITY] Vaal Haste
Vaal Haste Vaal Haste - Use Vaal Haste for a temporary bonus to your Cast and Movement Speed.


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6. Gear Setup

It's a Conversion Poison Build for a Spell, meaning you can benefit from both - added/increased Lightning or Chaos Damage. You can also keep an eye on the direct improvements to your Damage Over Time, or better yet - Poison Damage. The most beneficial of them is, however, an increase to Gem Level of Spark. For defenses look for Energy Shield, Spell Suppression Chance, and Evasion. The other factors to keep an eye on, are reductions to Mana Cost of Skill, as Spells are usually very expensive to cast, and Efficiency of Mana Reservation. It can be done by allocating your Skill Points accordingly, but it's often not enough, You can find Mana Cost reductions on Rings and Amulet, and Reservation Efficiency on a Shield, Amulet, and Helmet. 155 Strenght will be required for the Steelskin Skill. Ashes of the Stars is the only mandatory item, the build can not function properly without it, so be sure that you can afford it before you start. Other Unique Items can be very useful as well, but in most cases, the rare counterparts are much better, especially if you can afford the expensive ones.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances at 75%
  2. Provide you with enough DPS and Life to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Elemental Resistances
  2. Maximum ES
  3. Gem Level of Spark
  4. Damage over Time modifiers
  5. Reduced Mana Cost of Skills
  6. Mana Reservation Efficiency
  7. Strength
  8. Cast Speed
  9. Lightning / Spell / Chaos / Poison Damage
  10. Spell Suppression Chance
  11. Evasion
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Try to gain a lot of Energy Shield, you'd benefit from it immensely due to Escape Artist Keystone. You can also find a modifier for increased Reservation Efficiency, it'd be very good to have.
Min. requirements:
250 Energy Shield
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Socketed Gems have increased Reservation Efficiency
Optional affixes:
Attributes
Spell Suppression Chance
Evasion Rating
The Devouring Diadem(Helmet) The Devouring Diadem - The main reason to use this Helmet is its increased Reservation Efficiency for socketed Gems. Due to Eldritch Battery, you will be forced to play as a Life build, which completely alters everything presented here.
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
Socketed Gems have 25% increased Reservation Efficiency
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 enchantments:
Spark enchantment
Sceptre(Weapon) Rare Wand/Sceptre - Rare Weapon wields an advantage over any unique one, it can increase the Gem Level of Spark by up to two. It would be great to have such a weapon, but due to its cost, you'll probably settle on a version with just +1 Level and some other offensive modifiers.
Min. requirements:
+1 to Level of all Lightning / Chaos Skill Gems
Recommended affixes:
+1 to Level of all Spell Skill Gems
Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
increased Damage over Time
increased Lightning Damage
added Lightning Damage to Spells
increased Cast Speed
singularity(Weapon) Singularity - Singularity is a very good, and very cheap Sceptre. All of its stats are very good, but it can still be outperformed by an exceptionally expensive rare weapon.
30% increased Elemental Damage
Adds (1-10) to (150-200) Lightning Damage to Spells
(14-18)% increased Cast Speed
(6-8)% reduced Mana Cost of Skills
Nearby Enemies are Hindered, with 25% reduced Movement Speed
100% increased Damage with Hits and Ailments against Hindered Enemies 
Shield(Off-Hand) Rare Shield - Rare Shield can grant you extra Reservation Efficiency for socketed Gems, and it's a really important statistic in this build. Other than that, seek Energy Shield, Attributes, and Resistances.
Min. requirements:
200 Energy Shield
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Socketed Gems have increased Reservation Efficiency
Optional affixes:
Attributes
Spell Suppression Chance
Leper's Alms(Off-Hand) Leper's Alms - A Shield that grants a lot of Evasion Rating, some Spell Suppression, Block Chance, and increased Poison Duration. It's very cheap.
+5% chance to Suppress Spell Damage
(500-600)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
+(60-80) to maximum Life
40% increased Duration of Ailments on Enemies
+(3-4)% Chance to Block
Shared Suffering
Skin of the Lords(Body Armour) Skin of the Lords - It's the best Armour, Extra Gem Level and Global Defences are very good for any CI DOT build. Finding one with the right colors and innocuous Keysone can be quite expensive.
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Sockets cannot be modified
+2 to Level of Socketed Gems
100% increased Global Defences
You can only Socket Corrupted Gems in this item
Item has 6 Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)
<Random Keystone>
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - Evasion Rating will be beneficial to have due to Escape Artist Keystone, but keep in mind that 4 or 5 of your sockets have to be Blue. Shaper's or Warlord's Prefix for an increased level of Skills would be great.
Min. requirements:
around 2000 Evasion Rating
+100% to Elemental Resistances
Energy Shield
Optional affixes:
Attributes
+1 to Level of Socketed Active Skill Gems
Voidwalker(Boots) Voidwalker - Voidwalker boots can save you some passive skill points, and further enhance your Spark Projectile by making them Pierce 5 extra targets. These are very good if you don't mind the lack of Resistances.
+(30-50) to Dexterity
(140-180)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
30% increased Movement Speed
20% chance to Avoid Projectiles while Phasing
You have Phasing if you've Killed Recently
Projectiles Pierce 5 additional Targets while you have Phasing
Celestial Footprints
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Movement Speed, Energy Shield, Elemental Resistance, and Spell Suppression Chance are the mods to seek on your boots.
Min. requirements:
25% increased Movement Speed
150 Energy Shield
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Spell Suppression Chance
chance to gain Onslaught for 4 seconds on Kill
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - There are not many special modifiers restricted to Gloves, just the regular Energy Shield, Resistances, and Spell Suppression Chance with some other miscellaneous modifiers on top.
Min. requirements:
150 Energy Shield
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Chance to Suppress Spell Damage
Optional affixes:
Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier
Attributes
Armour/Evasion
Asenath's Gentle Touch(Gloves) Asenath's Gentle Touch - If you can apply two Curses, which you should, these Gloves can be very good due to on-Hit Temporal Chains with increased Effect. These also improve your clear speed and defenses quite significantly.
+(20-30) to Intelligence
+(60-80) to maximum Life
+(60-80) to maximum Mana
Curse Enemies with Temporal Chains on Hit, with 40% increased Effect
Non-Aura Curses you inflict are not removed from Dying Enemies
Enemies near corpses affected by your Curses are Blinded
Enemies Killed near corpses affected by your Curses explode, dealing
3% of their Life as Physical Damage
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - There are Strength, Energy Shield, and Resistances to be found on a Belt. You can use Crystal Belt or Stygian Vise.
Min. requirements:
Energy Shield
+80% to Elemental Resistances
Strength
Optional affixes:
increased Maximum Life
Ascent From Flesh(Belt) Ascent From Flesh - Ascent From Flesh can be used as it grants simply tons of Energy Shield and some Elemental Resistances. If you can Recharge ES or Phase (via Quartz Flask or Voidwalker), it's even better.
+(9-20) to maximum Energy Shield
+300 to Evasion Rating
+(75-80) to maximum Energy Shield
+(10-15)% to all Elemental Resistances
You have Phasing if Energy Shield Recharge has started Recently
30% increased Evasion Rating while Phasing
10% increased Movement Speed while Phasing
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet  - It's not recommended to have a Rare Amulet, it's too inefficient and would force you to alter some of the gems setups. Don't spend too much on it, save for Ashes of the Stars instead, but if you don't have it yet, look for similar stats here.
Min. requirements:
Energy Shield
+70% to Elemental Resistances
+1 to Level of all Skill/Lightning Skill Gems
Strength
Optional affixes:
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost
Mana Reservation Efficiency
+#% to Damage over Time Multiplier
Ashes of the Stars(Amulet) Ashes of the Stars  - The 30% extra Quality, one extra Gem Level to all Gems, and increased Reservation Efficiency are all immensely powerful.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
(5-10)% increased Experience Gain of Gems
(10-20)% increased Reservation Efficiency of Skills
+1 to Level of all Skill Gems
+(20-30)% to Quality of all Skill Gems
Recommended Anointments:
Sovereignty
Champion of the Cause
Ring(Ring) Rare Rings - Rings can provide a lot of Elemental Resistances, Strength, and some other valuable affixes like Cast Speed, Energy Shield, Despair Curse on Hit, and lower Mana Cost of Skills.
Min. requirements:
+80% to Elemental Resistances
+40 Strength
Optional affixes:
Non-Channelling Skills have -7 to Total Mana Cost (crafted)
Curse Enemies with Despair on Hit
Damage over Time Multiplier
Cast Speed
Maximum Energy Shield
Jewels(Jewel) Rare Jewels - Look for Energy Shield, Elemental Resistances, Cast Speed with Lightning Skills, Poison, or DOT modifiers.
Recommended affixes:
increased Energy Shield
Attributes
Damage over Time Multiplier
Elemental Damage
Elemental Resistances
Damaging Ailments deal damage faster
increased Poison Duration / Damage with Poison
Cast Speed
Hazardous Research(Jewel) Hazardous Research - This Jewel can slightly improve your clear speed, especially if your Projectiles are too slow, or when enemies creep behind you too often.
(10-15)% increased Lightning Damage
With at least 40 Intelligence in Radius, Spark fires Projectiles in a circle
Replica Conqueror's Efficiency(Jewel) Replica Conqueror's Efficiency - You can use Replica Conqueror's Efficiency to lower the Mana Cost of all of your Skills.
4% increased Skill Effect Duration
+5 to Maximum Rage
Non-Channelling Skills have -9 to Total Mana Cost
Forbidden FlameForbidden Flesh(Jewel) Forbidden Flame & Forbidden Flesh - By equipping two Forbidden Jewels, you can aim for any of the Trickster's Keystones as most of them are beneficial, except Swift Killer and Escape Artist. If you have Spellbreaker, remember not to take Ghost Reaver. Born in the Shadows and Harness the Void are great too.
Allocates <<Random Ascendancy Notable>> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flesh
Allocates <<Random Ascendancy Notable>> if you have the matching modifiers on Forbidden Flame
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - You're using Grace, Malevolence, and Discipline. The best offensive modifier is Malevolence's extra Damage over Time Multiplier. You can also check other, cheaper alternatives with Grace and Discipline.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - Atziri's Promise adds a significant amount of damage to your Spark.
+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. Alchemist's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
  2. Quartz Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
  3. Jade Flask with increased Cast Speed
  4. Stibnite Flask with increased Evasion Rating
  5. Mana Flask
Atziri's PromiseQuartz FlaskJade Flaskquicksilver flaskStibnite Flask


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