Expedition League “Updates” & “Disclaimers”
While I generally put a lot of emphasis on updating all of my guides before a new league starts, I have decided against doing so at the moment. Many of the changes that came with PoE’s 3.15 Expedition league launch have pretty severe gameplay impact, which is incredibly hard to predict without having the appropriate software updated (like Path of Building). Therefore, I will give all my guides a pass and point out the obvious changes. Everything outside of this paragraph will stay untouched for 3.15 for now and will be updated accordingly over the course of the next weeks. This means that the information in this paragraph always supersedes anything written in the guide. Build updates will be prioritized in order of their popularity.
These are the changes I would undoubtedly make to this build:
- Drop Basalt Flask for Granite Flask as Basalt got nerfed really badly.
- Drop Second Wind Support as it’s not longer a functionable gem for movement skills.
- I would most likely drop Dying Sun and swap out Void Manipulation for Greater Multiple Projectiles while clearing and gemswap for bosses.
Other than now being a Gemswap build, it looks really solid actually. Maintaining close to 2M Boss DPS whilst being amongst the tankiest archetypes of the game actually sounds incredibly solid to me. Definitely one of the builds I would personally recommend.
Despite it being incredibly hard to scale and build, Soulrend is a skill that a lot of players are naturally attracted to. Therefore, I feel putting you guys well on your way to making the build succeed is something a lot of people will appreciate. Soulrend generally is a spell that is really difficult to get to work in the very later stages of the game. That’s why it’s important to build a character that can withstand most of the incoming damage so it buys time to do its damage.
This doesn’t mean that his build will magically make Soulrend a skill that instantly does 20 Million DPS at the press of a button. However, if you build this character correctly, and invest into the right gear pieces, you will become incredibly hard to kill while your DoTs will kill bosses at an acceptable pace. With some decent gear, which I’d argue isn’t too impossible to acquire, your Soulrend will do a solid 2,5-ish million Shaper DPS which definitely is enough to tackle end game bosses if you play your cards right. This means that you will have to dodge and play the fight correctly but since your DoTs last a decent amount of time, you have so much leeway to maintain a maximum DPS uptime.
This character also excels at clearing maps because of the way Soulrend works and how incredibly tanky it becomes with some gear. Trickster is a ludicrous ascendancy when it comes to survivability as soon as you have some very basic items to guarantee Ghost Shrouds, ES recovery and Dodge to come online. Additionally, because the build doesn’t focus on damage, it also acquires almost max Block and Spellblock and 5% Energy Shield recovery every time it blocks.
I’d argue this character is incredibly balanced, items for it hardly contested should you want to buy them off of trade, or not too hard to craft yourself in a SSF-environment, and it brings a really enjoyable playstyle because of how safe and automated it is and how little focus it requires to play.
Pros and Cons
+ Incredible defensive stats
+ Requires no Uniques to function whatsoever
+ Therefore reasonably SSF-Viable
+ Sufficiently tanky through Block, ES, Dodge, EE on Block
– Optimizing it for maximum damage can be hard in SSF
– Never reaches obscene amounts of damage
Map Modifiers to be Avoided
This build runs every single modifier in the game just fine. No Regen requires a Mana Flask to run, but you should generally always have it anyway.
Echoes of the Atlas Expansion Updates
Whilst Trickster got hit rather severely in the Echoes of the Atlas Patch Notes & Ascendancy Changes, this build actually hasn’t been hit that hard. Whereas Trickster lost a little bit of Evade chance and some Spell Dodge, it also gained a little bit of Damage Reduction through its Ghost Shrouds. Overall, this build remains an incredibly tanky iteration of a Damage over Time build. I’ve also heard people going absolutely ballistic over losing 50% increased Damage over Time on Trickster’s Patient Reaper notable but honestly after all the increases to Damage over Time it really only adds up to about 3% Damage. As we mentioned in the guide Pre-3.13, obtaining some of the gear pieces on this build can be rather challenging for some people but the re-introduction of Harvest League will make a lot of these pieces a lot easier to obtain! Therefore, I think people will more reliably get this build to the numbers the Path of Building provides, which will overall most likely be an upgrade over the previous leagues!
Playstyle, Mechanics & Strengths
Soulrend has two damage types. It initially deals a hit-portion that inflicts a Damage over Time effect on enemies. The Damage over Time effect is what you’re scaling the most and what does most of your damage, but through scaling that you arrive at DPS numbers for the hit-portion that effectively kills most of the white / magic monsters while mapping, or at least makes them insta-die from the first tick of your DoT.
Because of the way Chaos DoT skills work, they’re really hard to scale. It only gets affected by a couple of types of modifiers in the game which means that they’re generally paired with high defenses as most of your gearslots have no potential of granting you excessive amounts of damage. Aside from using an Awakeners Orb on both your Wand and Amulet, none of the items in the gearset really are anything but some Resistances and Energy Shield pieces. It uses very few Uniques, which are either incredibly common or target-farmable in SSF, but even if you don’t obtain them you don’t really mind that much.
The strengths of the build mainly are the way you use the Trickster Ascendancy to its fullest. Because of how Trickster works, you’re running around with 9,000 Energy Shield at very acceptable levels of gear and 20,000 Evasion. Because the build is Chaos Innoculation, you’re immune to Chaos Damage. This makes it a little trickier to start though! You will have to play a life-variant of the build until you can get some random very basic pieces of ES gear so you can at least get to 5 or 6,000 Energy Shield. However, once you do, Chaos Damage immunity is something that is highly underrated.
Additionally, through the Elusive on hit we pick up in the Skill Tree, we’ll sometimes becomes Elusive, granting us 21 Dodge and Spell Dodge temporarily – this equates to about 25% less damage taken whenever this is up. The next layer of defense is your Block, Spell Block and % Energy Shield recovery when you block. You quite easily, only through levels, reach 75/72 Block and Spell Block chance. By getting a decent shield, with % Energy Shield when you block, you’re going to recover 450 Energy Shield every time you block, basically making you almost immune to damage. Whenever you do take a large hit, Trickster’s Ghost Shrouds will kick in, recovering even more Energy Shield. As you’re a DoT build, you also have plenty of time to move around using Shield Charge to get the Fortify buff. This further amplifies your damage reduction by another 20%. Through all of these defensive layers, it’s incredibly hard to die on this build.
Passive Skill Tree, PoB, and Gem Links
You can find an optimized Path of Building here. Every build I release will use the community fork of Path of Building, which is maintained and updated in a much more regular fashion than the original one. You can find PoB’s Fork, by LocalIdentity, here.
If you are not comfortable with Path of Building, we also have a PoePlanner for you. Do note that PoE Planner does not support Cluster Jewels and some specific unique jewels and it is highly recommended you install Path of Building to follow builds most optimally.
More information about the Passive Skill Tree, as well as all the Gem Links can be found on our dedicated page.
Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons
Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
A lot of this is explained more in depth in the Gear Page, however we will provide you with a basic idea of what gear you’re looking for in this short summary.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Head||Crown of the Inward Eye|
|Amulet||Citrine Amulet with +2 to Int / Chaos Skills|
|Chest||Sadist Garb with as much Evasion and Energy Shield as possible|
|Gloves||Sorcerer Gloves with Chaos DoT Multi and as much Energy Shield as possible|
|Boots||Sorcerer Boots with Movement Speed and as much Energy Shield as possible|
|Rings||Rare rings with Energy Shield, Mana, Mana Regeneration and Attributes|
|Weapon||Rare Wand with +1(or2) to Spell Skills, Chaos DoT Multi and DoT Multiplier|
|Shield||Rare Titanium Spirit Shield with Energy Shield when you Block and as much Energy Shield as possible|
Questions & Support
I made it a habit to check all comments in my guides on a daily basis. Obviously, there might be occurrences where getting a reply might take longer but I really do try to get back to you as soon as possible. I prefer you making remarks, suggestions or asking questions that way as it allows others to read through the comments, providing them with a potential answer to their question, without having to wait for me again. If I have somehow missed your question, you can try reaching me on our Discord.
If you enjoy my content to such an extent that you’d like to support me and my work, I have a Patreon you can check out. At no point should you feel pressured to contribute, but if you do, your support means more to me than you will ever imagine.
For some general leveling guides, we recommend the following:
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
Since we are very adamant about trying to give you a leveling experience that lies as close to your endgame playstyle as possible, we will recommend you with a setup that should bring Soulrend to maps in a fairly enjoyable fashion.
Since Soulrend requires level 28, you’re going to be playing some form of Spell Skill until that point.
Getting to Brutus & Merveil
For starters, create a Shadow in whichever league you want to start.
Pick up an Explosive Trap from the vendor to start your journey and go to kill Hailrake and clear Mud Flats. Set up the following links after Mud Flats:
After killing Brutus, you will be adding an Added Lightning Damage Support to your Frost Bomb.
Level 12 and Onwards Setup
From level 12, after killing Merveil, you’ll be setting up for your road to level 28. You should be breezing through content at this point as these skills are really strong while leveling.
I made it a habit to check all comments in my guides on a daily basis. Obviously, there might be occurrences where getting a reply might take longer but I really do try to get back to you as soon as possible. I prefer you making remarks, suggestions, or asking questions; that way as it allows others to read through the comments, providing them with a potential answer to their question, without having to wait for me again. If I have somehow missed your question, you can try reaching me on our Discord.