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Whispering Ice CI Ascendant Scion build

Whispering Ice CI Ascendant Scion build

Powerful build based on Whispering Ice Staff and the unique Icestorm Spell which offers endless scaling with Intelligence Attribute

Whispering Ice/Icestorm
Ascendant Scion build

Updated for Patch 3.18

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Guide notes
October 9, 2019
-Build created
July 29, 2022
-Updated for Patch 3.18
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Whispering Ice is one of the most interesting Staves in Path of Exile. It can be used starting at level 33 and it grants the user a level 1 Icestorm Spell. Since the Spell is among the affixes on this item, all Support Gems Socketed will work even without any links. This makes Whispering Ice an excellent leveling weapon that scales its' damage with the Intelligence attribute that you are obviously going to gradually increase. Since you do not need any links, and Whispering Ice is really easy to obtain, this build can be played with literally no unique items. Scaling Intelligence to several hundred can be extremely expensive, but at the same time very rewarding. This build is based on the Scion Ascendancy, which allows us to reach the highest possible Intelligence level.

It's a build that uses Chaos Inoculation, Zealot's Oath, Elemental Overload, and Ghost Reaver if you prefer Leeching over Recharging. Picking these Keystones requires you to fully commit to the ES - it's possible to reach close to 20k of it. You can also be immune to all Elemental Ailments with Purity of Elements. The source of your Damage comes from stacking Intelligence, you can achieve around 3k Intelligence which grants you enormous amounts of Mana and Energy Shield. Allocate Masteries for ES gained from mana, and Spell Damage per Intelligence. Cluster Jewels are important too - you should have 3 or 4 of the big ones, each with "Cold to the Core" Notable which gives you Cold Damage per every Attribute. Your Items can scale with Intelligence as well, you can stumble upon rare mods that increase your Intelligence, or increase damage per Intelligence.

Your Passive Skills Tree might look a bit inefficient and janky, but it's done purposefully so, as to increase the magnitude of Spilt Personality Unique Jewels' attributes, which grant you more ES and Intelligence the further away from your starting locations they are socketed. Play as Ascendant so that you can Pick Occultist - additional Curse and Stun Immunity, and Inquisitor - to deal more Damage and create Consecrated Grounds.

You can also find our other Path of Exile builds right over here: Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List


1. Gameplay

This build is based on triggering Icestorm by linking Cyclone with Cast while Channelling Support Gems. These two links are the only two that are required, and when they are socketed in Whispering Ice alongside all the other recommended Support Gems, you will get to create many instances of Icestorm in a short time span, with nearly 0 Mana Cost. The damage from each Icestorm's Hit is rather low, but with multiple Icestorms covering up your entire screen, both your single target DPS and AoE are exceptional. This build also utilizes Chaos Inoculation and Energy Shield. Since we aim to reach at least 1,500 Intelligence and it significantly increases our Maximum Energy Shield, it's just natural that we should go that way. Thanks to that, we can only focus on stacking Intelligence and Jewel nodes on the Passive Tree, while our Items and Intelligence attribute will provide a very substantial Energy Shield Pool.


This video was recorded on a level 95 Scion with approximately 2500 Intelligence which gives you around 500k DPS when fully buffed. However, the real number is basically impossible to calculate with the way Icestorm works, and how randomly its' projectiles are fired. You can expect it to be several times higher, allowing you to farm most of the content with proper investment in gear

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • very good AoE
  • solid single-target DPS when you get multiple instances of Icestorm over your enemy
  • enjoyable playstyle
  • can be played on a budget with no links required
  • solid defenses based on high Energy Shield, Leech, and Stun and Ailments immunity
  • vulnerable to Elemental Reflect Maps
  • clearing end-game content requires significant investments in Intelligence-abundant gear
  • Might need some tweaks to reduce the Mana Cost of Skills


3. Leveling tips

This build offers very convenient leveling since you can use a quasi-seven-linked setup starting at level 33. We will assume that you are going to use Whispering Staff for the leveling process, and that's how the following Skill Trees have been optimized. Initially, you should use Freezing Pulse for the first 33 levels, and then switch to Whispering Ice at level 33. Also, it's recommended to play a Life/Hybrid character until level 75-80 when you can equip gear with higher Intelligence attributes and go full Energy Shield. Below you will find the base Skill Gem setups and several useful Uniques for the leveling part.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Freezing Pulse setup
Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse - Cold/Projectile Spell which offers decent damage and good clear speed if you get the Threshold Jewel for it
Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support - adds a bunch of additional Cold damage
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases your Casting Speed, which is quite important since we don't get any from the Passive Tree
Controlled Destruction Controlled Destruction Support - grants a very high bonus Spell Damage at the cost of reduced Crit. Chance
Whispering Ice setup
Cyclone Cyclone - a channeled Attack that will trigger Icestorm
Cast while Channelling Support Cast while Channelling Support - triggers Icestorm as you channel Cyclone, greatly reducing the Mana Cost
Controlled Destruction Controlled Destruction Support
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - grants high bonus Elemental Damage but makes Icestorm unable to Freeze
Utility Gems
Herald of Ice Herald of Ice - grants extra Cold Damage and causes AoE Explosions when you slay Frozen enemies for extra clear speed
Frostbite Frostbite - recommended Curse for this build which greatly increases your effective DPS
Zealotry Zealotry - recommended Aura for the leveling phase which increases your Spell Damage and creates Consecrated Grounds for extra Life Regen.



We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passives Points which is the only viable option here

Leveling Skill Trees:

32 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Arcanist Dominion 2) Heart and Soul 3) Frost Walker 4) Elemental Overload

66 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Devotion 2) Quick Recovery 3) Utmost Intellect 4) Outer Jewel Socket

Level 80 Life/Hybrid Tree

Passive Skill Tree which is one of the recommended spots to switch to full Energy Shield and the following Tree:

Level 80 Energy Shield Tree

Recommended leveling items:

AstramentisAstramentis - one of the best Amulets for this build, and at the same time an Amulet with a very low-level requirement, making it one of the best items you can use during leveling
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+(80-100) to all Attributes
-4 Physical Damage taken from Attack Hits
Le Heup of AllLe Heup of All - provides all the important stats we need during the leveling, and up to 30 bonus Intelligence
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 - amazing leveling Helmet which covers up all your needs for Elemental Resistances during the early levels
+(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)
Coward's ChainsCoward's Trial - great leveling Belt which grants bonus Damage, Movement Speed, and Attributes
+(9-20) to maximum Energy Shield
+(10-15) to all Attributes
(20-25)% increased Damage
(5-10)% increased Movement Speed
Damage from Enemies Hitting you is Unlucky while you are Cursed with Vulnerability
You are Cursed with Level 10 Vulnerability
The Whispering IceThe Whispering Ice - a build-defining Item, and at the same time, one of the best Items for the leveling phase if you are scaling Intelligence
+18% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
+1 to Level of Socketed Support Gems
Grants Level 1 Icestorm Skill
Plays Whispering Ice sound on killing a rare Monster (Hidden)
(8-12)% increased Cast Speed
1% increased Spell Damage per 10 Intelligence
(14-18)% increased Intelligence


4. Final Skill tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

99 Points Skill Tree (no Cluster or Unique Jewels)
120 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Templar Ascendancy - Inquisitor
  2. Witch Ascendancy - Occultist
  3. Path of the Templar


Major God: Soul of Solaris: 6% Physical Damage Reduction if there is only one nearby Enemy; 20% chance to take 50% less Area Damage from Hits

Minor God: Soul of Ralakesh: Moving while Bleeding doesn't cause you to take extra Damage; 25% reduced Physical Damage over Time Damage taken while moving


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Icestorm setup
(Whispering Ice - only Cyclone + CwC require links)
Cyclone Cyclone - this is our primary Active Skill Gem which will trigger Icestorm. Link it only to Cast while Channelling Support to minimize its Mana Cost
Cast While Channelling Cast while Channelling Support - will trigger Icestorm when you channel Supported Skills
Controlled Destruction Controlled Destruction Support - Less Crit Chance, but more Damage. That's fine, you're using Elemental Overload anyway
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - you're unable to cause Chill and to Freeze with Icestorm, but deal much more Damage in return
Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support - grants very high bonus Area Damage at the cost of reduced skill radius (can be swapped for Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support for clearing)
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support - more Spell Damage and increased Mana Regeneration Rate
[UTILITY] Flame Dash, Vortex, Frost Shield setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - Recommended Movement Spell used in this build. It will also trigger Arcane Surge with each cast. You can also use Frosblink
Vortex Vortex - the Spell that causes Chill and is more likely to cause Critical Strike
Bonechill Support Bonechill Support - enhanced Chill effect, and increased Cold Damage enemies receive while in Chilling Areas of Vortex and Frost Shield
Frost Shield Frost Shield - creates an area that drains your ES while protecting you from damage - it also Chills enemies
[UTILITY] Curses setup
CwDT Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will trigger Ball Lightning which is used to apply three Curses. Use this Gem at level 1
Ball Lightning Ball Lightning - Area Spell which only applies Curses and activates Elemental Overload. You should keep this Gem at level 1
Curse on Hit Support Curse on Hit Support - causes Ball Lightning to apply Supported Curses
Frostbite Frostbite - reduces monsters' Cold Resistance
Enfeeble Enfeeble - reduces the damage enemies deal and their Accuracy Rating
Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness - reduces monsters' Elemental Resistance
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Purity of Elements Purity of Elements - grants you a lot of Elemental Resistances and complete immunity to all Elemental Ailments
Discipline Discipline - increases your maximum Energy Shield making it a mandatory pick for this build
Determination Determination - grants more Armour and increases the one you already have
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - linked Mana-reserving Spells reserve less Mana
[UTILITY] Clarity
Clarity Clarity - increases your Mana Regeneration Rate
[UTILITY] Immortal Call and Frost Bomb setup
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - will auto-cast Immortal Call after a certain amount of damage is taken
Immortal Call Immortal Call - grants a very potent defensive buff, reducing all Elemental and Physical Damage taken by you for a short duration
Frost Bomb Frost Bomb - applies Cold Exposure to affected enemies, increasing Cold Damage taken by them
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - the effect caused by Skills and Skills itself last longer

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find all the recommended and required items for this build. This build only requires The Whispering Ice Staff, and all the other gear is optional. Obviously, you will want to stack as much Intelligence as possible, but this build will still do fine on lower Tier Maps with just basic gear. One of the best things about this build is that allows you to progress easily simply by increasing bonus Int on your gear.

At this point, we would love to invite you to visit our Path of Exile Marketplace where you can buy cheap PoE Currency in case you are unable to complete your build.

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. Intelligence
  3. Energy Shield
  4. Cold/Spell Damage
  5. Maximum Mana
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - The best option for this build, since it offers high defensive utility and an Intelligence bonus. Hunter's Suffix can grant you Increased Intelligence.
Min. requirements:
150 Energy Shield
70% Total Elemental Resistances
35 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Nearby enemies have -% to Cold Resistance
increased Intelligence
Helmet enchantments:
30% increased Frostbite Curse Effect
Whispering Ice(Weapon) The Whispering Ice - build-defining Weapon. There is simply no way to play it without this Staff which luckily is easy to obtain thanks to very common Divination Cards
+18% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
+1 to Level of Socketed Support Gems
Grants Level 1 Icestorm Skill
Plays Whispering Ice sound on killing a rare Monster (Hidden)
(8-12)% increased Cast Speed
1% increased Spell Damage per 10 Intelligence
(14-18)% increased Intelligence
Vaal Regalia(Body Armour) Rare Armour - Shaper or Crusader Armour with increased Intelligence as a Suffix is the BiS option
Min. requirements:
450 Energy Shield
35 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
% increased Intelligence
Elemental Resistances
increased Energy Shield
increased maximum Mana
The Stampede(Boots) The Stampede - this pair of boots is the only valid choice not without reason - it grants a lot of Movement Speed, ES, Mana Regen, Cooldown Recovery Rate of Travel Skills, and you can Anoint it
(100-150)% increased Evasion and Energy Shield
(30-40)% increased Stun and Block Recovery
(50-80)% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate of Travel Skills
(30-40)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate while moving
Your Movement Speed is 150% of its base value
Cyclopean Coil(Belt) Cyclopean Coil - a viable option that's even better if you're not using Purity of Elements but some other Aura - it grants you some immunity to Elemental Ailments and a lot of Intelligence
+(25-40) to maximum Life
+(60-80) to maximum Life
(5-15)% increased Attributes
Cannot be Frozen if Dexterity is higher than Intelligence
Cannot be Ignited if Strength is higher than Dexterity
Cannot be Shocked if Intelligence is higher than Strength
1% increased Damage per 5 of your lowest Attribute
Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - Get a Belt that increases your Intelligence as a Synthesised Implicit, or as Hunter's Suffix that can also increase all your Attributes. Aim for a lot of Elemental Resistances.
Min. requirements:
12% increased Attributes
+40 to maximum Energy Shield
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
maximum Mana
increased Damage
increased Intelligence
Astramentis(Amulet) Astramentis - a very solid choice that grants a high bonus to Intelligence, Dexterity, and Strength. Rare Amulets can be significantly better, but they will cost at least several Exalted Orbs
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+(80-100) to all Attributes
-4 Physical Damage taken from Attack Hits
Lapis Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - possibly the BiS option, but also an extremely expensive one if you aim to squeeze more Intelligence that you can get from Astramentis.
Min. requirements:
60 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
increased Damage per 15 Intelligence
increased Attributes
increased Intelligence
Elemental Resistances
maximum Energy Shield
Recommended Anointments:
Whispers of Doom
Mystic Talents
Rare Rings(Ring) Rare Rings - You can either use Opal Rings for extra Damage, Moonstone Rings for extra Energy Shield, or Two-Stone Rings to make it easy to cap Resistances. Remember to use Intrinsic Catalyst on your Jewelry for even more Intelligence.
Min. requirements:
60 Intelligence
75% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Elemental/Cold Damage
maximum Energy Shield
maximum Mana
increased Intelligence
Fingerless Silk Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - preferably Fingerless Silk Gloves but most other types are also viable, there are no mods to increase your Intelligence here
Min. requirements:
100 Energy Shield
100% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Maximum Mana
Brute Force Solution(Jewels) Brute Force Solution - grants high Intelligence bonuses. For exact locations where you can put them please check the PoB link
+(16-24) to Intelligence
Strength from Passives in Radius is Transformed to Intelligence
Fertile Mind(Jewels) Fertile Mind - similar to Brute Force Solution, but this one converts Dexterity in radius
+(16-24) to Intelligence
Dexterity from Passives in Radius is Transformed to Intelligence
Pure Talent(Jewels) Pure Talent - +25 to all Attributes is great, no other Rare Jewel can offer you that much
While your Passive Skill Tree connects to the Scion's starting location, you gain:
+25 to All Attributes
Split Personality(Jewels) Split Personality - you can have 2 of these, and you should socket both in the Large Cluster Jewel next to Zealot's Oath, get ones that give you more Intelligence and Energy Shield, each of them can grant you over 120 Intelligence and 1000 ES
This Jewel's Socket has 25% increased effect per Allocated Passive Skill between
it and your Class' starting location
<Two random modifiers>
Watcher's Eye(Jewels) Watcher's Eye - This Jewel will be very expensive, but it should grant nearly 400 base Energy Shield and additional bonuses. Get the "Gain (6-10)% of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity" mod.
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Abyss Jewel(Jewels) Abyss Jewels - priority is maximum Energy Shield, Intelligence, and bonus Damage after you have killed recently. Flat Cold Damage is still ok but will be less effective
Recommended affixes:
maximum Energy Shield
Damage if you have killed recently
Optional affixes:
Flat added Cold Damage to Spells
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewels) Large Cluster Jewel - Cold to The Core is particularly important Notable as it increases your Cold Damage alongside Intelligence
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Cold to the Core
1 Added Passive Skill is Prismatic Heart
1 Added Passive Skill is Widespread Destruction
1 Added Passive Skill is Blanketed Snow
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - grants very high bonus DPS and Life Leech which comes in handy during Boss fights
+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
The Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - grants high Cold Damage Penetration if you manage to make it your highest uncapped Resistance
+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
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Experimenter's Quartz or Granite Flask with random ailment removal
  2. Experimenter's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline
  3. Experimenter's Basalt Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
Atziri's PromiseThe Wise OakQuartz FlaskQuicksilver FlaskBasalt Flask

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