Cobra Lash Poison Assassin Build Guide (PoE Delirium 3.10)

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Guide Format

This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:

Introduction

The Cobra Lash Poison Assassin specializes in dealing Chaos Damage over Time via the stacking of many Poisons on the enemies. The character achieves the infliction of strong Poisons by using The Wasp Nest The Wasp Nest as an endgame weapon. With this build you can choose between two main skills. Cobra Lash Cobra Lash makes for a great clearing skill. It can also be used for single target, especially against certain melee bosses.

Before the rework of the Assassin ascendancy class, it was very hard to have reliable Life sustain, since your damage is mostly back-ended and you cannot survive by leeching life. Now this problem is solved with the Assassin’s Noxious Strike.

Build Summary

The build requires a few very easily accessible unique items. The Wasp Nest The Wasp Nest is a unique Claw that is basically best in slot for the weapon. Dendrobate Dendrobate is a Body Armour that will increase your Poison damage potential by a great deal. Lycosidae Lycosidae is a bit more expensive; this Shield will solve all of your Accuracy Rating issues. Sin's Rebirth Sin's Rebirth is another expensive item that you should buy later on; you can always use a rare shield instead. Starkonja's Head Starkonja's Head is a great endgame option for the helmet slot. Besides these items, you should look for well rolled rare gear pieces.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Very versatile when it comes to map mods
+ Has the potential to kill all endgame bosses

Cons

- Damage over time builds might not be for everyone; the playstyle is a bit different from other builds

Playstyle

Offensively, with the Poison Assassin we aim to inflict as many Poisons as possible in small time windows. For most monster packs, you will have to attack few times and move on; foes will decay behind you from your damage over time. When built correctly, the build achieves Poisons with long durations. Cobra Lash Cobra Lash is an excellent skill that allows you to inflict Poisons from a distance by throwing your weapon. The Wither Wither debuff can be heavily stacked on tough bosses by using totems.

Defensively, the character depends on Noxious Strike for sustain when clearing. Acrobatics and a decent Life pool will be enough to deal with most hits, as long as you keep your distance and dodge lethal game mechanics. Noxious Strike will maim poisoned enemies, which can be considered defensive mechanic.

For playstyle, we are inflicting a great amount of poisons while keeping our distance, enemies will eventually die from the damage over time. Drop Wither Wither Totems on the ground and stack as many Poisons as possible on bosses. For mobility, you should mainly use Whirling Blades Whirling Blades to move around.

Passive Tree

With this passive skill tree we aim to achieve a big enough life pool and damage potential for all endgame encounters.

For more information, be sure to check out the passive skill tree page.

Passive Tree 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.

Ascendancy, Bandits, Pantheons Page

Gems

We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.

Gem Link Page

Gear Summary / TL;DR

These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.

Gear Page

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head Starkonja's Head Starkonja's Head
Amulet Maligaro's Cruelty Maligaro's Cruelty
Chest Cherrubim's Maleficence Cherrubim's Maleficence
Gloves Fenumus' Weave Fenumus' Weave
Boots Rare Boots
Belt Rare Belt
Rings Rare Rings
Weapon The Wasp Nest The Wasp Nest
Shield Lycosidae Lycosidae

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

Leveling Trees

This is what your early passive skill tree should look like. The Claw nodes are very point-efficient compared to other weapon passive nodes on the tree. Soon after you are done with this passive tree, you will be able to equip The Wasp Nest The Wasp Nest.

Useful Leveling Unique Items

As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Last Resort Last Resort, Al Dhih Al Dhih, Mortem Morsu Mortem Morsu and Ornament of the East Ornament of the East will easily fill your damage needs up until level 60.

If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.

In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.

From level 1, you should use the following link.

  1. Frost Blades Frost Blades
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support

At level 4, you should add Ancestral Protector Ancestral Protector for additional single target damage. You should also add Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support to your Frost Blades Frost Blades link.

At level 10, you should add Whirling Blades Whirling Blades for additional mobility.

At level 16, you should socket in Herald of Agony Herald of Agony in order to level up the gem.

By level 18, your Frost Blades Frost Blades link should look like this.

  1. Frost Blades Frost Blades
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  4. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  5. Maim Support Maim Support
  6. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

At level 24, you should Grace Grace for additional defense.

Once you ascend into the normal labyrinth you should replace Frost Blades Frost Blades with your signature skill, Cobra Lash Cobra Lash.

  1. Cobra Lash Cobra Lash
  2. Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support
  3. Nightblade Support Nightblade Support
  4. Added Chaos Damage Support Added Chaos Damage Support
  5. Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support
  6. Vile Toxins Support Vile Toxins Support

FAQ

Are there map mods the build cannot do?

Cannot leech and no regeneration maps might be problematic, besides that the build can do anything else.

Why would I ever choose to play a poison build?

The poison mechanic is often underestimated. Yes, playing a damage over time build means you will clear slower than top-tier meta builds, but the endgame damage potential a poison build can achieve cannot be easily outclassed. Not to mention how cheap playing a build like this one can be, especially when you compare it to meta builds.

Conclusion

The Cobra Lash Poison Assassin specializes in applying deadly Poisons on your enemies, melting their Life pools away. With this build you get the most bank for your buck, while also having a great endgame potential.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Delirium 3.10. The build fits well into a clear speed Meta and can be greatly improved with some of the new notables.

  •   

    Revisited and updated for Metamorph 3.9. The build is unchanged and remains very solid when it comes to Poison builds.

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  1. Posts
    9

    The Passive Tree need to be fixed there

  2. Posts
    1

    Very interesting approach, not only because it is way off the meta-routes. I coudn’t find another Assassin-Poison-Attack-Build anywhere, although that should be the most typical one for an Assassin.

    Anyhow, Im a returning player and my last used build was the “AssReacher”, using Tornado-Shot with Reach-of-the-Council Bow.

    —> Do you think I could run this build by just using Tornado-Shot with a Bow instead of Spectral-Throw with a claw? Sure I would need some Accuracy to make up for the shield and such… But basically, since I have this Legacy-RotC, might it be an option to apply all that poison by Bow instead?

    —> To me it seems that you prefer chaos dmg over crits. For example your prefered affix-listing on amulets does not feature crit-multi but flat-chaos and increased-chaos. Is increased-chaos-dmg (additive bonus) really better than lets say 60% crit-multi? So my question is, how heavily are you investing into crits compared to chaos-dmg in general?

    —> How would you rate the value of flat-chaos vs. flat-phys-dmg? The build has some ways to “convert/add” phys->chaos, but how strong does this play out in the end?

    Thanks for posting this jewel of a build, really appreciated!

    Jeannex

  3. Vvckd

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    On 05/05/2019 at 1:13 AM, null said

    Very interesting approach, not only because it is way off the meta-routes. I coudn’t find another Assassin-Poison-Attack-Build anywhere, although that should be the most typical one for an Assassin.

    Thanks for posting this jewel of a build, really appreciated!

    Jeannex

    Hey Jeannex,

    First of all, thanks for the kind feedback. This is just one of many Poison-based builds that can be crafted in Path of Exile, although the mechanic is very unpopular at the moment. I do think that your Tornado Shot Tornado Shot idea will work well. I have played few Poison Bow builds myself, but that was prior to the nerf of Quill Rain Quill Rain. For a Quiver, Maloney's Nightfall Maloney's Nightfall is not a bad option. When it comes to flat Chaos / % Chaos vs things like Crit Multi for example, in the long run they are all great, get your hands on whatever costs least and you can take the most value from. When it comes to choosing between Chaos and Physical, I’d always recommend going with Chaos damage, simply because most of the mobs in PoE do not have a lot of Chaos Resistance, not to mention that with these builds you will have % increased Chaos damage here and there, which will also help out. These Attack-based Poison builds specialize in inflicting a large quantity of small Hits most of the time, with Physical damage you want to deal as big Hits as possible in order to penetrate the most Armour, this is why Chaos is more efficient than Physical in this particular case, at least in my eyes.

  4. Posts
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    Hey,

    first of all thanks for the guide! I just have two little questions:
    Which auras do you activate? You have Grace, HoA, War Banner and with Fenumus Weave Aspect of the Spider, but you cant active all of them.
    Second, if i count right, we have one socket open for a golem, wich one would you recommand?

    Already thanks for every answer!
    Have a nice day.

    Edited by SjukBetennelse on July 4th, 2019

  5. Vvckd

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    On 03/07/2019 at 7:31 PM, SjukBetennelse said

    Hey,

    first of all thanks for the guide! I just have two little questions:
    Which auras do you activate? You have Grace, HoA, War Banner and with Fenumus Weave Aspect of the Spider, but you cant active all of them.
    Second, if i count right, we have one socket open for a golem, wich one would you recommand?

    Already thanks for every answer!
    Have a nice day.

    Hey, you cannot fit all the Mana reservation options we’ve provided but depending on the content you are running and what you need (offence or defence) you can choose between an offensive setup like HoA + Aspect of the Spider or a more defensive option: Grace + Aspect of the Spider. War Banner reserves only 10% of your Mana so you will probably be able to fit it in both setups. When it comes to using Golems, whatever you use will probably die very often in the endgame content, but Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem is your best option.

  6. Posts
    2

    Hello. So I’ve been using your build. guide here, and I must say it works very well. Great guide and build! I’m currently level 65, and have almost all of the recommended items. However I was wondering which of the 4 link gem sets listed are most important in your opinion? I was also wondering if you think of the Snake Bite Assasins Mits are viable for this build? Thanks for any information you can provide, and thanks for the excellent build!

  7. Vvckd

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    1484

    On 15/07/2019 at 7:49 AM, Wayne said

    Hello. So I’ve been using your build. guide here, and I must say it works very well. Great guide and build! I’m currently level 65, and have almost all of the recommended items. However I was wondering which of the 4 link gem sets listed are most important in your opinion? I was also wondering if you think of the Snake Bite Assasins Mits are viable for this build? Thanks for any information you can provide, and thanks for the excellent build!

    Hey, thanks for the kind feedback. I’d say that the Herald of Agony Herald of Agony is the most important 4-Link. Snakebite Snakebite unique Gloves are not bad but there are definitely better choices for the build, like Fenumus' Weave Fenumus' Weave.

  8. Posts
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    hello, can i maybe use 2 claws?, I don’t like shields that much :P

  9. Vvckd

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    On 06/09/2019 at 11:53 AM, Reaveden said

    hello, can i maybe use 2 claws?, I don’t like shields that much :P

    You can definitely dual wield, this will result in a better damage output.

  10. Posts
    18

    Hi! First of all thanks for the guide, because I knew I wanted to play the new skill, but didn’t know how to go about a poison build.

    You mentioned both grace and a dmg aura that also takes up 50% mana. It didnt really seem worth to get 19% more dmg over time for 50% mana, correct me if I’m wrong? Same as zealotry isnt worth using for purifying flame builds, too little dmg:mana.

    Edited by soonelydoodely on September 6th, 2019

  11. Posts
    18

    I would also like to ask, since I’m unlikely leveling this as a league starter past level 92 (94 TOPS), which 6 to 8 nodes would you take off from the final tree? thx

    If its not too much trouble, could you please comment which notable passives I should rush first as im leveling, in a rough order of importantness?

    I’ll make sure to write a personal review once this character has played some maps

    Edited by soonelydoodely on October 11th, 2019

  12. Vvckd

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    1484

    On 07/09/2019 at 12:44 PM, soonelydoodely said

    I would also like to ask, since I’m unlikely leveling this as a league starter past level 92 (94 TOPS), which 6 to 8 nodes would you take off from the final tree? Many thanks :)

    If its not too much trouble, could you please comment which notable passives I should rush first as im leveling, in a rough order of importantness? just a rough outskirt would do :)

    I’ll make sure to write a personal review once this character has played some maps :)

    Hey, early on you should go for Life and Acrobatics. For damage, pick up Fatal Toxins, Poisonous Fangs, Claws of the Pride and Toxic Strikes. Depending on your level and your gear, you can either drop Life or some damage from the final tree, whatever you feel like.

  13. Posts
    10

    Hello, is it possible to play venom gyre instead cobra lash into this build, especially if we use whirling blade ?

  14. Vvckd

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    On 08/09/2019 at 8:21 AM, scorflex said

    Hello, is it possible to play venom gyre instead cobra lash into this build, especially if we use whirling blade ?

    You definitely can, skills scale the same way any ways.

  15. Posts
    10

    I’ve another question ^^
    What oil recipe can we make to get a notable passive ?

  16. Vvckd

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    On 08/09/2019 at 4:46 PM, scorflex said

    I’ve another question ^^
    What oil recipe can we make to get a notable passive ?

    Cannot help on this matter yet, will let you know as soon as I can.

  17. Posts
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    Anyway we can get a POB link? If I missed I am sorry.

    Thanks!

  18. Posts
    18

    Comment about Plague Bearer. I love the gem to deah, but the 20% less poison damage while incubating part, is a huuuuuge detriment. Just be sure to use it like a vaal aura, unleashing it on bosses and not on rares/ packs whatever, the more time incubating you spend, the more it loses its value.

    Another comment. Flesh and Stone seems to be a choice worth considering for this build over grace. Saving 25% mana to use on either damage or anything else useful. Depends on how much raw evasion you already have, I guess, I’d say if grace doesn’t give you at least 25% evasion chance, drop it. There are many good alternatives at this point, the blind effect from sand stance alone is better than any grace gem for nearby enemies.

  19. Posts
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    How do you manage MANA regeneration here? Am I missing something or should you use Clarity? Thanks and new to this build so any help would be greatly appreciated!

  20. Posts
    1

    Maybe I’m just a total noob but why is the skill tree only show passives under level 60? Earlier when I registered I was able to see the full tree but it doesn’t work atm.

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