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Whispering Ice Icestorm Trickster Build

Whispering Ice Icestorm Trickster Build

Very tanky Intelligence-stacking Icestorm Build for a Trickster

Whispering Ice Icestorm
Trickster Build

Updated for Patch 3.24

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Guide notes
May 17, 2023
-Build created
March 25, 2024
Updated for Patch 3.24
Build overview



Boss DPS:



Icestorm is a peculiar Skill, accessible only by equipping The Whispering Ice Staff. The Skill is a simple one, very similar to Firestorm, but instead of Fire, it deals Cold Damage. Another property of it is that it deals more base Cold Damage and has increased duration the more Intelligence you have, making it exceptionally good on an Intelligence-stacking build. As you can only have up to five of these Icestorms active at any time, you don't really need to invest in Cast Speed, as it's quite easy to reach this limit - with 2000 Intelligence, one Icestorm will last 3 seconds. Another upside of this Skill, besides its high base damage, is the ability to support it with six Support Gems that don't have to be even linked. Icestorm, however, is not very good at clearing. It has a short delay, and if you want to get the most out of it, you probably should get another Whispering Ice on a weapon swap and link it up with Cyclone and Cast while Channelling Support. The damage should still be enough for clearing maps.

For a Spell-casting Intelligence-stacking Character, it's best to select one from the upper part of the Skill Tree. We've picked Trickster because of its defenses. While Casting Icestorm you have to take into account the aforementioned delay that will leave you exposed to damage, and much like in the case of Poison, it takes a while to extract all the damage - you have to spend 2 to 3 seconds standing still to get the 5 Icestorms, and in our case, to reach 4 Intensify stacks. With Escape Artists you will have a lot of extra ES and Evasion. Usually, Armour is the only weak point of Tricksters, but with the enormous bonus to ES from over 2k of Intelligence, that issue is not as prevalent. The 10k of Energy Shield (or more) will protect you from being one-shotted, while Soul Drinker and Polymath will ensure you're always on full Energy Shield - even long after you stop dealing damage you'll still be Leeching ES. Heartstopper is another addition to make the character even more durable. The mediocre Block Chance, Spell Suppression Chance, and Chaos Inoculation make it an extremely tanky build.

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1. Gameplay

Cast Icestorm ahead of you to kill enemies. While fighting bosses try to remain stationary to get the Intensify stacks quicker. Link Frosblink with Bonechill to create powerful Chilling areas that will increase your damage. For Auras use Discipline, Purity of Elements, Clarity, and Hatred. For a Guard Spell - Immortal Call linked to a Cast when Damage Taken Support Gem. With six Power Charges and Anathema Ring, you can inflict up to 6 Curses. Assassin's Mark is the best Mark. for Hex Curses select Frostbite, Elemental Weakness, and Enfeeble for durability or Punishment for DPS. If you want to apply one more Curse use Temporal Chains. The best way to apply these Curses all at once is via Corrupted Gloves, Arcanist Brand, or Ball Lightning with Hextouch.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • a very durable build
  • very high damage against stationary targets
  • Freezes bosses
  • limited mostly by your budget as is the case with most Attribute-stacking builds
  • low physical damage mitigation and low armour
  • reaching high damage requires expensive items


3. Leveling tips

To level up efficiently, use our Shadow/Saboteur leveling guide. Leveling up with Traps is good, but as a Trickster, you can quite literally use any other Skill. Traps are usually very accessible for Shadows as you can grab a lot of nodes for this type of playstyle from your Skill Tree. To transition into Icestorm you will need a gear with a lot of Intelligence already. The Staff itself requires Level 33, but we don't recommend equipping it so early. Buy Cheap Items with tons of Intelligence already first.


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


Leveling Skill Trees:

29 Points Passive Tree
Allocate Maximum Life, Trap, and Elemental Damage nodes

67 Points Passive Tree
After allocating Polymath try to get some extra masteries that will enhance your damage and resource regeneration

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

112 Points Final Passive Tree (doesn't include Cluster Jewels)
119 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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


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

Minor God: Soul of Tukohama: 3% additional Physical Damage Reduction per second you've been stationary, up to a maximum of 9%


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Single-target Icestorm setup
socketed in The Whispering Ice Staff
Icestorm Icestorm - Icestorm is a skill that comes with The Whispering Ice Staff. All the Support Gems in it don't have to be linked. 
Inspiration Inspiration Support - Lowers Mana Cost, increases Crit Chance, and Elemental Damage. All of these qualities are important.
Energy Leech Energy Leech Support - For a Trickster with Soul Drinker it's very useful. It not only increases Energy Shield Leech but also grants more Damage while Leeching, so pretty much always.
Intensify Intensify Support - Grants more Area of Effect with initial casts after moving or using mobility Skill, but while standing still, it lowers AoE (which increases Damage against single targets) and grants more Damage. Be sure to pick up the Caster Mastery for +1 to Maximum Intensify.
Concentrated Effect Concentrated Effect Support - Smaller Area of Effect makes the single Projecitles more likely to hit a small target, which is good. It also grants more Damage.
Cold Penetration Cold Penetration Support - Cold Damage penetrates a big chunk of Cold Resistance.
Power Charge on Critical Power Charge on Critical Support - Has a Chance to grant Power Charges on Hit and provides more Damage per such charge.
[DPS] Channelling Icestorm setup
socketed in The Whispering Ice Staff (on weapon swap)
Icestorm Icestorm - Icestorm is a skill that comes with The Whispering Ice Staff. All the Support Gems in it don't have to be linked. 
Inspiration Inspiration Support
Energy Leech Energy Leech Support
Cyclone Cyclone - This setup requires you to use Cyclone. It slows you down if you're not wearing The Stampede.
Cast While Channelling Cast While Channelling Support - You can now Channel Icestorm while spinning around using Cyclone.
Cold Penetration Cold Penetration Support
Power Charge on Critical Power Charge on Critical Support
[UTILITY] Bonechill setup
Frostblink Frostblink - A mobility Spell that leaves Chilled Ground at the initial and terminal place of blink.
Cold Snap Cold Snap - It also creates Chilled Ground, for when you don't want to use Frostblink to create it. It can be replaced with Unbound Ailments Unbound Ailments.
Bonechill Bonechill Support - Chilled Ground makes enemies standing on it Chilled, increasing Cold Damage they take equal to the effect of Chill caused by linked Skills.
Arcane Surge Arcane Surge Support - Use a low-level Arcane Surge Support for an Arcane Surge buff that gets you more Mana Regeneration Rate and Cast Speed.
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Discipline Discipline - Grants additional Energy Shield and increases Energy Shield Recharge Rate.
Hatred Hatred - It's used for more Cold Damage.
Purity of Elements Purity of Elements - It will be hard to get enough Elemental Resistances. Use it for the additional immunity to all Elemental Ailments.
Enlighten Enlighten Support - Linked Skills Reserve less Mana.
[UTILITY] Clarity
Clarity Clarity - With over 2k of Intelligence, Clarity will reserve a relatively small portion of your Mana Pool while still being very useful, as Mana Regeneration may be an issue in this build.
[UTILITY] Curses setup
Frostbite Frostbite - Lowers Cold Resistance of the affected enemy which in turn increases your Cold Damage.
Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness - Lowers all types of Elemental Resistances, Cold Resistance included.
Punishment Punishment - This would substantially increase your damage against enemies on low life.
Enfeeble Enfeeble - Use it to lower the Accuracy Rating and damage of the enemy.
Ball Lightning Ball Lightning - It hits very rapidly, making it able to apply all the linked Curses even if Hextouch allows you to do so only once per Hit. Keep it at level 1.
Hextouch Hextouch Support - Hex Curses will be applied on Hit with linked Spell.
[UTILITY] Immortal Call setup
Immortal Call Immortal Call - Use a low-level Immortal Call. It makes you take less Elemental and Physical Damage for a short while.
Cast when Damage Taken Cast when Damage Taken - Immortal Call will be activated after taking a certain amount of damage. Keep it at a low level too.
[UTILITY] Assassin's Mark setup
Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark - Hits against enemies Cursed with Assassin's Mark have a much higher Crit Chance and Crit Multiplier.
[UTILITY] Frost Shield
Frost Shield Frost Shield - It drains your Energy Shield which is insignificant with Soul Drinker and Energy Leech Support. In turn, it creates a dome that reduces damage taken while inside of it. It also significantly boosts your Spell Critical Strike Chance.
Increased Area of Effect Increased Area of Effect Support - The dome is larger. It's optional, you may lack sockets for it.

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6. Gear Setup

Intelligence is your priority. Try to accumulate over 2000 of it. Intelligence stat is a Suffix, making it harder to get the necessary Dexterity and Elemental Resistances, that's why it's recommended to use Purity of Elements Skill and pick Dexterity from the Skill Tree. You won't need Maximum Life or Chaos Resistance, it's a Chaos Inoculation Build. A lot of Energy Shield comes from Intelligence, but as in most gear pieces it comes in the form of a Prefix, try to get some of it too. Evasion Rating is equally important. Spell Suppression is yet another defensive layer, much harder to acquire because it's a Suffix, so you may not want to bother with it at all. To increase Damage look for Critical Strike modifiers - there's not much else, besides Intelligence of course. There are two core unique items - The Whispering Ice and Anathema Ring. Other Uniques are much less important and can be replaced with Rare Items if needed - especially if you need more Resistances or Attributes.

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. Intelligence
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Critical Strike Chance
  4. Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. Dexterity
  6. Strength
  7. Evasion Rating
  8. Energy Shield
  9. Mana Regeneration Rate
  10. Spell Suppression Chance
  11. increased Spell Cold Damage
Rare Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - We heavily recommend a Hunter-influenced Helmet which can increase your Intelligence by 10%, 12% if the mod is Elevated. Add to that the generic Intelligence bonus and Energy Shield. Ona Dex-Int bases you may also get Dexterity and Spell Suppression Chance.
Min. requirements:
300 Energy Shield
8% increased Intelligence
30 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Spell Suppression Chance
The Whispering Ice(Weapon) The Whispering Ice - The core element of the build. It grants the Icestorm Skill which will be supported by socketed Gems. Look for the high Intelligence roll. Get two of these weapons.
+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)
(14-18)% increased Intelligence
(8-12)% increased Cast Speed
1% increased Spell Damage per 10 Intelligence
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - We recommend Body Armour with Evasion and Energy Shield. Seek Prefixes that would increase said ES and Evasion. For Suffixes - Intelligence and increased Attributes. For Eldritch mods - increased Auras Effect, Cold Damage, less Damage taken per Intelligence, or Crit Modifiers.
Min. requirements:
350 Energy Shield
1500 Evasion Rating
50 Intelligence
6% increased Attributes (crafted)
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Spell Suppression Chance
The Stampede(Boots) The Stampede - Stampede are great with Cyclone. These Boots also grant a lot of Evasion and ES, fixed Movement Speed, Mana Regeneration Rate, and you can even Anoint them.
(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
Sin Trek(Boots) Sin Trek - Sin Trek have even more Energy Shield and Evasion than The Stampede, Dexterity, and Intelligence. You can use them if that's all you really care about.
+(20-30) to Dexterity
+(20-30) to Intelligence
(80-100)% increased Evasion Rating
+(100-150) to maximum Energy Shield
30% increased Movement Speed
Enemies Cannot Leech Life From you
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - Gloves don't have many unique additions. Seek the most basic mods like Intelligence and Elemental Resistances. For Eldritch mods try to get increased damage per 100 Intelligence, and Chance to Unnerve enemies.
Min. requirements:
50 Intelligence
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Strength and Dexterity
Spell Suppression Chance
increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Energy Shield
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - It's nearly mandatory to get a Belt with Synthesised Implicit that increases Intelligence, by up to 18%. After that simply add flat Intelligence and Elemental Resistances.
Min. requirements:
18% increased Intelligence
60 Intelligence
+70% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased Damage
Strength and Dexterity
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - An Amulet should be Synthesized in the same way as Belt, to increase Intelligence with its Implicit. If that's out of your reach, you can also get a Crusader's Suffix for increased Intelligence, Shaper's Suffix for increased Attributes, and a Prefix for increased Damage per Intelligence.
Min. requirements:
12% increased Intelligence
60 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Global Critical Strike modifiers
increased Area Damage
Elemental Resistances
increased Attributes
1% increased Damage per 15 Intelligence
Astramentis(Amulet) Astramentis - A very cheap budget option that grants you tons of Attributes. Replace it later on for a better one.
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+(80-100) to all Attributes
-4 Physical Damage taken from Attack Hits
Eyes of the Greatwolf(Amulet) Eyes of the Greatwolf - There are a few modifiers that can make this Amulet good - "16% increased Attributes" is the best one. Increased Cold Damage, Global Defences, Global Critical Strike Chance, and Spell Damage are other great Implicits.
<Two random talisman implicit modifiers>
Implicit Modifier magnitudes are doubled
Recommended Anointments:
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Once again, we recommend a Synthesised Ring with increased Intelligence. Other modifiers should grant you Intelligence, Elemental Resistance, or other Attributes.
Min. requirements:
7% increased Intelligence
60 Intelligence
Optional affixes:
Increased mana Regeneration Rate
Elemental Resistances
Anathema(Ring) Anathema - Your Skill tree will allow you to get the three additional Maximum Power Charges, extending your Curse Limit to 6. The Ring also gets you some Intelligence.
+(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
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - Try to get a Jewel with Intelligence or other required Attributes, Elemental Resistances, or Critical Strike modifiers if you don't need them.
Recommended affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Critical Strike Chance
Critical Strike Multiplier
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewel - Cold to the Core is the most important Notable. Blanketed Snow is the second-best one. You won't need more Notables, instead, try to get Attributes or Intelligence on the smaller nodes. Place it at the end of your path near Zealot's Oath. In its sockets, you will place Split Personalities.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Cold to the Core
1 Added Passive Skill is Blanketed Snow
Split Personality(Jewel) Split Personality - The Skill Tree is constructed specifically to accommodate two Split Personality Jewels. Get ones with extra Intelligence and Energy Shield.
This Jewel's Socket has 25% increased effect per Allocated Passive Skill between
it and your Class' starting location
<Two random modifiers>
Brute Force Solution(Jewel) Brute Force Solution - If you have enough Strength, place it near Overcharge for more Intelligence.
+(16-24) to Intelligence
Strength from Passives in Radius is Transformed to Intelligence
Fertile Mind(Jewel) Fertile Mind - If you have enough Dexterity, place it near Infused for more Intelligence.
+(16-24) to Intelligence
Dexterity from Passives in Radius is Transformed to Intelligence
Natural Affinity(Jewel) Natural Affinity - Nature's Patience is great. It makes you progressively stronger and more durable as you stand still.
Adds Nature's Patience
Forbidden FlameForbidden Flesh(Jewel) Forbidden Flame & Flesh - There are tons of useful Keystones you can get. Spellbreaker, Bomb Specialist, Born in the Shadows, Mistwalker, Unstable Infusion, Deadly Infusion, and even Harness the Void are all very good.
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 - Your Auras are Hatred, Discipline, Purity of Elements, and Clarity. You can get Cold Penetration with Hatred, or any Clarity or Discipline Modifier. They're all good.
(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 - It increases Damage and Crit Chance making it great for nearly all builds making use of Critical Strikes.
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
The Wise Oak(Flask) The Wise Oak - If your Resistances are balanced out it reduces elemental damage taken and elemental penetration.
+35% to all Elemental Resistances
During Effect, 6% reduced Damage taken of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is lowest
During Effect, Damage Penetrates (5-8)% Resistance of each Element for which your Uncapped Elemental Resistance is highest

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Jade Flask with increased Evasion
  2. Silver Flask with increased Critical Strike Chance
  3. Quartz Flask with increased Cast Speed
silver flaskJade FlaskThe Wise OakBottled FaithQuartz 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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