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Splitting Steel Trickster Build

Splitting Steel Trickster Build

Ephemeral Edge Splitting Steel build for a Trickster with simply DPS and solid AoE

Splitting Steel
Trickster Build

Updated for Patch 3.24

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Guide notes
May 1, 2024
-Build created
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Splitting Steel is a ranged Attack that requires a Sword or an Axe. It adds some of its own Physical Damage but that's not important. Almost all damage it will deal is of Lightning type due to the Ephemeral Edge Sword that adds Maximum Lightning Damage equal to that of 20% of your Energy Shield. That's why we went with Trickster. It's great with Energy Shield with its overleech from Soul Drinker and added ES from Escape Artist. The overabundance of Energy Shield is best combined with Chaos Inoculation for a complete Chaos Immunity and Ghost Dance to Recover this ES instantly on-Hit. It requires quite a bit of Evasion to do so, but that's what this build has tons of as well - over 60k of Evasion is rather easily achievable. This evasion is sourced again from the Escape Artists, in huge quantities at that if your Helmet has decent ES. All these defensive layers fit together nicely - it's a lot of rapid recovery and a vast Life Pool, but it can be improved further. 100% Spell Suppression Chance, 25% Block Chance, and Endurance Charges supported by Immortal Call to reduce even the dreaded by all Tricksters Physical Damage will elevate this build to one of the most durable ones we have tested.

Ephemeral Edge is an unconventional weapon with low Crit Chance and no bonus Attack Speed whatsoever. It's only good with a lot of Maximum Energy Shield - over 8k of it for sure is needed. Note that it's only Maximum Damage that is added, the Minimal Damage stays as low as it gets. Use Voice of the Storm to make your Hits Lucky, meaning the damage gets rolled twice and only the better outcome is selected. This only applies to non-critical damage, but there are just not that many opportunities to improve this low Critical Strike Chance anyway, so going for the Precise Technique will be a wise thing to do. Splitting Steel is also a peculiar skill that is more complex than it may initially give away. Its Projectiles explode, but they also Split on impact so these explosions almost never overlap. That is unless you use Nimis and make them return to you before they Explode. If you position yourself well you can deal a big damage centered right where your character stands. Splitting Steel inherently Splits towards 5 enemies, but with Sniper's Mark and increased effect of Marks it will create many more Projectiles - that's why the Effect of Marks and Curses in general is so good here.

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1. Gameplay

You will use Splitting Steel to deal with most of the enemies you encounter. If in need of more damage, use Smite and deploy Ancestral Protector. Curses are applied automatically when you Focus or on-Hit in the case of Sniper's Mark. Berserk will consume your Rage which is generated rather slowly, so use it only against bosses too. Your Auras are Grace, Haste, and Discipline. Maybe Precision. Immortal Call and Enduring Cry are triggered automatically.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • a very durable build, even against physical damage with its endurance charges and immortal cry
  • very high damage against enemies you can stand close to
  • can be upgraded pretty much indefinitely
  • uses expensive items


3. Leveling tips

To level up efficiently, start as a Shield Crush Trickster. It's also an Elemental Damage Attack build that relies mostly on Energy Shield and Evasion. This Splitting Steel build requires a lot of Energy Shield to function and we recommend gathering all the required items before you start. You will struggle with Strength, Accuracy, Resistances, and damage if you switch too early.


Kill all three bandits and be rewarded with two additional Skill Points


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

101 Points Final Passive Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels or Thread of Hope)
123 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Polymath
  2. Escape Artist
  3. Soul Drinker
  4. Spellbreaker


Major God: Soul of Lunaris: 1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%; 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction 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] Splitting Steel setup
Splitting Steel Splitting Steel - Fires a Projectile that Splits and explodes. It can "shotgun" with Nimis. It has base Physical Damage, but due to the added Lightning Damage sourced from Ephemeral Edge, the terminal damage is mostly Lightning.
Volatility Volatility Support - Increases the Maximum Damage and lowers Minimum Damage, which is nearly 0 to begin with.
Energy Leech Energy Leech Support - Grants more Damage when Leeching. With Soul Drinker this bonus stays on nearly permanently.
Elemental Damage with Attacks Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - More Elemental Damage with Attacks.
Damage on Full Life Damage on Full Life Support - With Chaos Inoculation the character is always on Full Life. Use this Gem for more Damage.
Lightning Penetration Lightning Penetration Support - Damage Penetrates Lightning Resistance. Use the level 5 Awakened Version to apply Exposure.
[UTILITY] Various Gems
socketed in a Trigger-on-Focus Helmet
Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness - Lowers Elemental Resistances, including Lightning Resistance.
Conductivity Conductivity - Lowers Lightning Resistance of the cursed opponent.
Punishment Punishment - Enemies on Low Life receive increased Damage from all sources.
Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector - Grants you more Attack Speed while it's active.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Haste Haste - Here it is used only for increased Attack and Movement Speed.
Grace Grace - Adds and increases Evasion for a chance to avoid Attack Hits.
Discipline Discipline - Grants additional Energy Shield and increases ES Recovery Rate.
Enlighten Enlighten Support - linked Spells Reserve less Mana.
[UTILITY] Mark setup
Sniper's Mark Sniper's Mark - Enemies Marked with Sniper's Mark take increased Projectile Damage and the Projectiles Hitting them Split on impact. Every "50% increased effect of your Marks" will add another Splinter. It's a breakpoint that can be pushed with passives and Tattoos of the Tasalio Scout.
Mark on Hit Mark on Hit Support - Mark is applied automatically against tough enemies.
Enhance Enhance Support - Increases the Quality of Sniper's Mark so that the damage enemies take is further increased.
[UTILITY] Immortal Call setup
Immortal Call Immortal Call - Causes you to take less Damage but only for a second. It can consume Endurance Charges from Enduring Cry to last longer and reduce even more incoming Physical Damage.
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - Immortal Call is triggered automatically after taking a certain amount of damage.
[UTILITY] Enduring Cry setup
Call to Arms Call to Arms Support - Triggers Enduring Cry whenever it's off-cooldown.
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - Generates Endurance Charges and improves their effectiveness - this buff lasts two seconds, but the Charges will stay on until consumed by Immortal Call.
[UTILITY] Various Gems
Precision Precision - Precision adds Accuracy and increases Critical Strike Chance. You don't need any of that with Precise Technique, so use it only if you don't have this Keystone, or if you want some good mods from the Watcher's Eye. Don't level it all the way up. You can replace it with Berserk Berserk.
Smite Smite - Use it once to gain Smite Aura. It adds Lightning Damage to Splitting Steel.
Leap Slam Leap Slam - The default movement ability you can use to move faster.

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6. Gear Setup

A lot of the items that are simply the best-in-slot are Unique, but a Helmet, Body Armour, Gloves, and Boots are of Rare Rarity. Because of Ephemeral Edge, all your Damage is sourced from Energy Shield, so you naturally have to look for this stat the most as it's also your primary defensive layer. Intelligence also improves your ES, so if you don't need that much Elemental Resistances (because of Mageblood which we recommend), seek Intelligence instead - they're both Suffixes so accommodating both is hard. To improve your damage further seek mainly Attack Speed. With Precise Technique and Chaos Inoculation, you won't deal Critical Strikes and no extra Accuracy will be needed to meet the Requirement for 40% more Damage. With Resolute Technique you also won't need Accuracy to land your Hits. Evasion is only crucial on Body Armour - combined with Magic Flask, Grace, some passives, and Escape Artist, you're going to have around 70k of it, maybe more. For the Jewels, we recommend The Adorned setup - the build has around 6 Jewel Socket to spare in support of this archetype, 10 in total.

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. Energy Shield
  2. Intelligence
  3. Strength until meeting the requirements
  4. Evasion Rating
  5. Spell Suppression Chance
  6. Attack Speed
  7. Reduced Mana Cost of Skills
  8. Mana Reservation Efficiency
  9. increased Attack/Elemental Damage
Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - Gather as much Energy Shield and Intelligence as possible. Craft the mod that would trigger socketed here Curses when you Focus. It's a Suffix so we can afford that QoL. For the Eldritch mods get Reduced Mana Cost of Skills and increased Mana Reservation Efficiency.
Min. requirements:
300 Energy Shield
50 Intelligence
Trigger  Socketed Spells when you Focus, with a 0.25 second Cooldown
Optional affixes:
more Intelligence and ES
Ephemeral Edge(Weapon) Ephemeral Edge - It adds extra Maximum Lightning Damage equal to that of your Energy Shield. Corrupt it to get Resolute Technique - your Accuracy is low but your Hits still have to land.
40% increased Global Accuracy Rating
+10 to Intelligence
50% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
(40-50)% increased maximum Energy Shield
25% reduced maximum Life
Adds 1 to 75 Lightning Damage
Attacks with this Weapon have Added Maximum Lightning Damage equal to 20% of Player's Maximum Energy Shield
Atziri's Reflection(Off-hand) Atziri's Reflection - Has a lot of Evasion Rating and Energy Shield, the values of which are improved via three "Veteran Defender" Cluster Jewel Notables. It also grants tons of Intelligence, Elemental Resistances, increased effect of Curses, and Curse immunity.
6% increased Movement Speed
+(40-60) to Intelligence
(180-200)% increased Evasion Rating
+(180-200) to maximum Energy Shield
+(20-30)% to all Elemental Resistances
Hex Reflection
Unaffected by Curses
(15-20)% increased Effect of your Curses
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - Get the mixed ES/Evasion base and focus on Evasion Rating. It will result in additional ES from the Escape Artist passive. For Suffixes seek Suppression and Intelligence. For Eldritch mods get increased Effect of Auras and less damage taken per Intelligence. Use Tailoring Orbs to improve its Defence.
Min. requirements:
400 Energy Shield
2000 Evasion Rating
50 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Spell Suppression Chance
Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - Movement Speed, Intelligence, and a lot of Energy Shield. You may want to add a Crafted Suffix for Attributes or Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments. With an Eldritch mod for another 25% chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments and Ancestral Vision, you can reach 100% of it.
Min. requirements:
200 Energy Shield
25% increased Movement Speed
50 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Spell Suppression Chance
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - The usual Energy Shield with Intelligence should be sufficient. Attack Speed or Spell Suppression can be added too. For Eldritch mods get Rage on Hit and increased damage per Intelligence.
Min. requirements:
50 Intelligence
100 Energy Shield
Optional affixes:
Spell Suppression Chance
increased Attack Speed
increased Attack and Cast Speed while Focused
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - This guide is tailored around Mageblood with Topaz, Sapphire, and Ruby Flasks so we didn't bother with Resistances on other Rare items - Suffixes are reserved for Intelligence. If that's not the case, get the Resistances from Rare items and this Belt. You can select a Crystal Belt or Stygian Vise.
Min. requirements:
40 Intelligence
+110% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Damage
increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
Mageblood(Belt) Mageblood - It's an especially convenient piece of equipment. It solves your Elemental Resistance issues and provides tons of other various powerful boons sourced from Flasks.
+(25-35) to Strength
+(30-50) to Dexterity
+(15-25)% to Fire Resistance
+(15-25)% to Cold Resistance
Magic Utility Flasks cannot be Used
Leftmost (2-4) Magic Utility Flasks constantly apply their Flask Effects to you
Magic Utility Flask Effects cannot be removed
Voice of the Storm(Amulet) Voice of the Storm - Almost all your damage is of non-critical Lightning type with nearly 0 minimum damage, so this Amulet is the only sound option.
+(20-30) to Intelligence
50% increased Lightning Damage
+(10-15) to all Attributes
(10-20)% increased maximum Mana
Lightning Damage with Non-Critical Strikes is Lucky
Recommended Anointments:
Arcane Focus
Anathema(Ring) Anathema - Use it to apply four Curses instead of one - Elemental Weakness, Conductivity, Punishment, and Sniper's Mark. You will have to allocate Infused Notable which costs you only one Skill Point.
+(15-25) to maximum Energy Shield
+(30-40) to Intelligence
(10-15)% increased Cast Speed
(10-20)% chance to gain a Power Charge when you Cast a Curse Spell
Your Curse Limit is equal to your maximum Power Charges
Nimis(Ring) Nimis - Splitting Steel Projectiles return to you after they're done Piercing and Splitting and whatnot. They will converge at your location so make sure you stand on top of your target for maximum damage output.
+(20-30)% to Lightning Resistance
+(30-50) to Dexterity
(25-35)% increased Projectile Damage
Projectiles Return to you
Projectiles are fired in random directions
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - With The Adorned you want to host only Magic Jewels with Attack Speed and Energy Shield. For their Corrupted Implicits seek Reduced Effect of various Ailments on you. The most expensive ones can have a good Synthesised Implicit. If you don't have The Adorned, add Intelligence and more Attack Speed.
Recommended affixes:
increased Attack Speed
increased Maximum Energy Shield
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - Veteran Defender is very important, be sure to have it on all of your three Large Cluster Jewels. Feed the Fury is nice with your Overleech, and Smite the Weak increases Damage. Additional Strength or Attributes in general will probably be needed as well.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Feed the Fury
1 Added Passive Skill is Veteran Defender
1 Added Passive Skill is Smite the Weak
The Adorned(Jewel) The Adorned - Combine it with Magic Jewels to double or triple their effectiveness.
(50-150)% increased Effect of Jewel Socket Passive Skills containing Corrupted Magic Jewels
Ancestral Vision(Jewel) Ancestral Vision - You can reach a 100% Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailment with proper Boots and a capped Suppression Chance.
+(5-10) to Dexterity
Modifiers to Chance to Suppress Spell Damage also apply to Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments at 50% of their Value
Thread of Hope(Jewel) Thread of Hope - Socket it near Fervour and allocate Piercing Shots, Primeval Force, Multishot, and Wind Dancer. It has to have a Large Ring.
Radius: Large
Only affects Passives in (Small-Very Large) Ring
Passives in Radius can be Allocated without being connected to your tree
-(20-10)% to all Elemental Resistances
The Perandus Pact(Jewel) The Perandus Pact - Seek the "Passive Skills in Radius also grant 3% increased Energy Shield". Socket it near Infused.
Passive Skills in Radius also grant <random stat>
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Your Auras are Haste, Discipline, perhaps Precision, and Grace. Aim for ES on Hit from Discipline and Attack Damage or Attack Speed from Precision.
(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 - Consecrated Ground increases Damage Taken by enemies.
40% increased Damage
Creates Consecrated Ground on Use
(30-15)% reduced Duration
Consecrated Ground created by this Flask has Tripled Radius
Consecrated Ground created during Effect applies (7-10)% increased Damage taken to Enemies
(100-150)% increased Critical Strike Chance against Enemies on Consecrated Ground during Effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Silver Flask with increased Attack Speed
  2. Ruby Flask with increased Movement Speed
  3. Topaz Flask with increased Evasion Rating
  4. Sapphire Flask with increased Chance to Avoid being Stunned
silver flaskTopaz FlaskRuby FlaskBottled FaithSapphire 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.

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