Cyclone Cast on Critical Ice Nova Assassin Passive Tree and Gem Links

Furty

538


Passive Skill Tree

Chaos Innoculation

This is our recommended skill tree for the build.

This is a very flexible tree. If you transition to Chaos Innoculation early — before you have 90% effective critical strike chance with all your flasks and charges — you are going to need to invest more heavily in critical chance. Doom Cast is a great pickup to serve this purpose, as is Annihilation. Eventually, with enough gear, these notables become superfluous and you can invest the points elsewhere as shown in our tree.

Significantly higher amounts of Energy Shield can also be acquired. Instead of pathing left of the Elemental Damage Large Jewel socket (towards Arcane Potency and Zealot’s Oath), you could repurpose these points towards acquiring the Melding and Foresight wheels. This results in less damage but far higher top-end energy shield.

Pain Attunement should not be taken unless you have a Militant Faith Militant Faith (in the name of Dominus) socketed nearby. This transforms Pain Attunement into the powerful Inner Conviction keystone. From the POE Wiki:

Inner Conviction

You have some options for cluster jewels. In our Path of Building we included an example that uses a single Large Cluster and two Medium Clusters.

For Large Cluster Jewels, you’ll want to search for some with 12% increased cold damage as the small passives. It’s very valuable to have Dexterity on each of the small passives as well, as this build requires a high amount of Dexterity (210+). These notables are preferable:

  • Blanketed Snow
  • Prismatic Heart
  • Widespread Destruction
  • Disorienting Display
  • Vengeful Commander

For medium cluster jewels, there are many options. In our examples we chose to use those with small passives that had 10% Increased Effect of non-damaging Ailments and 10% increased Area Damage. Our notable picks:

  • Cold Conduction: To get reliably shocks on enemies
  • Astonishing Affliction: Improved Freeze and damage on targets
  • Vast Power: Very valuable; huge area of effect increase and damage boost
  • Magnifier: Area of effect increase and damage boost

There are many other powerful combinations to experiment with, but these are a good baseline to get you started.

Path of Building

Path of Building for the Chaos Innoculation variant can be found here.

We use the Path of Building Community Fork for all of our builds, which is highly recommended. If you are encountering errors importing the build, please ensure you are using the Community Fork.

Life Based

This is our recommended skill tree for the build. While there is a lot of flexibility in the gem links and gearing, it is relatively difficult to make adjustments to the tree without making meaningful sacrifices. Doom Cast could be dropped once end-game gear is fully acquired, as the Critical Strike is not as necessary, and a well rolled Jewel is more valuable.

The main goal with the tree is to acquire the necessary damage nodes, while still picking up a fair amount of additional Life and a staggering 8 Jewel sockets. The Jewels can be saved for last, as Frozen Trail Frozen Trail is the only mandatory Jewel, but form a large part of the build’s power spikes in the end-game.

  • Start by taking the Life notables close to the Shadow starting wheel, as well as Doom Cast, before moving up towards the Witch area. Head through Blast Radius into Power Charge and Cruel Preparation. Continue down to the Templar wheel and start working your way through the Life and damage notables there. Finally, head towards the large Constitution wheel of life. Save Jewel sockets for last, except for the one to the right of the Witch starting wheel, which you need to socket with Frozen Trail Frozen Trail as soon as you have Cospri's Malice Cospri's Malice.
  • It is very important you understand how attack speed corresponds to Cyclone Cyclone and Cast On Critical Strike Support Cast On Critical Strike Support synchronization. It is highly recommended that you read the Cast on Critical Strike Mechanics Explained section of the FAQ before allocating any additional Attack Speed (such as the Coordination node). Depending on your current gear setup you can actually lose DPS if you attacks per second are improperly aligned with Cast On Critical Strike Support Cast On Critical Strike Support triggers.
  • You may have to allocate additional Accuracy, such as one of the Depth Perception or Eagle Eye nodes, in order to cap your Cyclone Cyclone hit chance. This can be done either by annointment or simply by pathing into more accuracy. With optimal gear and gems this is unnecessary. If you are league starting, however, this might be a necessity early on.
  • This tree can easily be converted to Chaos Innoculation for better defense and even more leech. One of the main downsides of this, however, is that the already expensive baseline of gear shoots through the roof. Since you no longer have to path down to Constitution, new options become available as well, such as heading up towards Zealot’s Oath and Arcane Potency. If you wish to convert your build to Chaos Innoculation and have the necessary capital to do so but are unsure of how to facilitate this please feel free to ask for advice in our comments section.

You want to scoop up as much Critical Strike as possible early on to ensure you are generating consistent triggers of Ice Nova Ice Nova as soon as the internal cooldown of Cast On Critical Strike Support Cast On Critical Strike Support is available. Assassin has a relatively easy time getting nearly 100% Critical Strike chance using this tree. If you are league starting, care must be taken early on as you will feel squishy early in the mapping process without sufficient gear to fuel both damage and defense. In proper gear, however, your character should sit with around 6000 Life and 1200+ Energy Shield, as well as the additional defensive layers that have been incorporated into the build. While this is by no means an extremely tanky setup, it is sufficient to grind level 100 [assuming competent gameplay] and ideal for high tier maps.

Gems

Ice Nova Ice Nova is the main “damage dealing” skill within the build, and therefore, much of our build is optimized towards increasing its effectiveness and damage. Cyclone Cyclone is used as the “trigger skill”, and will proc all our damage via Cast On Critical Strike Support Cast On Critical Strike Support. Frostbolt Frostbolt creates additional Ice Nova Ice Nova casts, and is socketed in Cospri's Malice Cospri's Malice with another Ice Nova so that it triggers automatically, effectively doubling our damage.

Vortex Vortex is used to increase our Chill effect and apply the effects of Bonechill Support Bonechill Support and Unbound Ailments Support Unbound Ailments Support. Our Critical Strike chance also benefits, via the 60% increased Critical Strike Chance against Chilled Enemies that Cospri's Malice Cospri's Malice affix it has.

Below, the entire setup for gem links is available, with recommendations for optional gems included.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority, meaning that if you lack the required number of sockets to fit all the gems, the first ones to drop are the ones at the bottom. Also note that in-game, as long as the sockets are linked, it makes no difference at all what order the gems are placed in.

Chaos Innoculation

Cast On Critical Strike Support Cast On Critical Strike Support Ice Nova Ice Nova 6-Link

Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support should be used instead of Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support if your Critical Strike is below 85% effective chance with full buffs and power charges in Path of Building

  1. Cyclone Cyclone
  2. Awakened Cast On Critical Strike Support Awakened Cast On Critical Strike Support
  3. Ice Nova Ice Nova
  4. Awakened Added Cold Damage Support Awakened Added Cold Damage Support
  5. Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support
  6. Inspiration Support Inspiration Support

Cospri's Malice Cospri's Malice Ice Nova Ice Nova 3-Link

This link triggers automatically, with the Frostbolt Frostbolts providing additional spawns for Ice Nova Ice Nova and Vortex Vortex (read the tooltips of these skills if you are confused). Life Leech Support Life Leech Support is not required, but does add a lot of defensive smoothing that is recommended. Frozen Trail Frozen Trail is used to create additional Frostbolt Frostbolts.

  1. Frost Bomb Frost Bomb
  2. Frostbolt Frostbolt
  3. Ice Nova Ice Nova

An important function of Cospri's Malice Cospri's Malice to take note of is that the socketed gems trigger in order from top to bottom. We want the Frostbolt Frostbolts to spawn and then gain the additional casts of Ice Nova Ice Nova from them, therefore, you will want to ensure that Frostbolt Frostbolt comes before Ice Nova Ice Nova in the link.

Auras 3-Link

These are socketed in the recommended Socketed Gems have 15% reduced Mana Reservation shield.

  1. Vaal Discipline Vaal Discipline (Discipline Discipline active)
  2. Hatred Hatred
  3. Enlighten Support Enlighten Support (Level 3 or 4 — Level 4 allows you to run a higher level Precision Precision elsewhere)

Vortex Vortex 4-Link

  1. Vortex Vortex
  2. Bonechill Support Bonechill Support
  3. ###item:awakened-curse-on-hit-support###
  4. Frostbite Frostbite

Herald of Ice Herald of Ice 4-Link

You can use any gem in the fourth link, from Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem to Portal Portal. Remember that if it will be affected by the support gems and cost additional Mana to run, you might want to unlink the fourth socket.

  1. Herald of Ice Herald of Ice
  2. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  3. Awakened Increased Area of Effect Support Awakened Increased Area of Effect Support
  4. Player’s Preference

Mobility Skill 4-Link

Feel free to substitute your preferred mobility skill as you see fit.

  1. Dash Dash
  2. Second Wind Support Second Wind Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support (Level 2)

Precision Precision should be the fourth skill, but it should be unlinked with the support gems to avoid incurring additional Mana cost.

  1. Precision Precision (as high a level as you can comfortably run it)

Life Based Version

Cast On Critical Strike Support Cast On Critical Strike Support Ice Nova Ice Nova 6-Link

This is our primary link, and the first one you should aim to fully upgrade with 20% Quality and/or Level 21 gems. The sixth gem is very flexible, and should be adjusted based on the content you are doing. Having a white socket(s) from Vorici’s Syndicate rewards can be very useful in allowing you the greatest degree of flexibility.

  1. Cyclone Cyclone
  2. Cast On Critical Strike Support Cast On Critical Strike Support
  3. Ice Nova Ice Nova
  4. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support
  5. Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support
  6. Player’s Preference

Here are a few options for the sixth link, once you acquire it:

  • Fortify Support Fortify Support: The best option for defense and stability. Your damage will be more than enough to deal with T15/T16 bosses, and it feels great against the Syndicate. A good option for players farming to reach Level 100.
  • Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support: The best option for clear speed on some maps, particularly the more open layouts.
  • Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support: Highest possible damage option, at the expense of clear speed. Recommended to swap in for very tanky bosses, such as Uber Elder, Shaper/Guardians, or Aul, the Crystal King.
  • Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support: A great all-purpose option for damage if you prefer not to gem swap.

Cospri's Malice Cospri's Malice Ice Nova Ice Nova 3-Link

This link triggers automatically, with the Frostbolt Frostbolts providing additional spawns for Ice Nova Ice Nova and Vortex Vortex (read the tooltips of these skills if you are confused). Life Leech Support Life Leech Support is not required, but does add a lot of defensive smoothing that is recommended. Frozen Trail Frozen Trail is used to create additional Frostbolt Frostbolts.

  1. Frostbolt Frostbolt
  2. Ice Nova Ice Nova
  3. Life Leech Support Life Leech Support

An important function of Cospri's Malice Cospri's Malice to take note of is that the socketed gems trigger in order from top to bottom. We want the Frostbolt Frostbolts to spawn and then gain the additional casts of Ice Nova Ice Nova from them, therefore, you will want to ensure that Frostbolt Frostbolt comes before Ice Nova Ice Nova in the link.

Auras 4-Link

This is one of the most important links in the build, and it greatly boosts our general defenses and survivability.

While Act/Map bosses have 60% less Curse effect, and Guardians/Shaper/Elder have 80% less Curse effect, this Enfeeble Enfeeble setup is highly valuable for most other situations and virtually required for Guardian and Elder Maps in order to prevent random deaths.

  1. Vaal Discipline Vaal Discipline (Discipline Discipline active — only with recommended Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye) OR Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone
  2. Enfeeble Enfeeble
  3. Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support
  4. Enlighten Support Enlighten Support (Level 3/4)

Discipline Discipline is the best possible option for this build if you are using a Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with the Discipline mod +Energy Shield gained for each Enemy Hit while affected by Discipline. This is optional, but it does add a massive defensive increase to your exile that allows you to play with confidence. The ideal second affix on Watcher’s Eye would be Gain % of Maximum Mana as Extra Maximum Energy Shield while affected by Clarity, however, this will force you to use a Level 1 Clarity Clarity somewhere else in the build.

Vortex Vortex 4-Link

This can also be reduced to a 3-Link if necessary, for example, if you worked in an extra gem such as Decoy Totem Decoy Totem, or you were using a pair of Bubonic Trail Bubonic Trails with 2 Abyssal sockets.

  1. Vortex Vortex
  2. Bonechill Support Bonechill Support
  3. Unbound Ailments Support Unbound Ailments Support (all round) OR Vaal Righteous Fire Vaal Righteous Fire (maximum boss damage — do not activate Righteous Fire Righteous Fire)
  4. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support (Level 6)

Additional Auras and Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support

Precision Precision can be leveled up or down depending on how much Mana you have unreserved and how much Accuracy you need to stay capped at 100%. Level 4 Enlighten Support Enlighten Support in your main auras link allows you to level Precision Precision up to much higher levels in this link. If you are using Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone instead of Discipline Discipline you will also be able to level Precision Precision higher. Remember to spec out of as many Accuracy nodes on the tree as you can if you are able to level Precision Precision up.

  1. Herald of Ice Herald of Ice
  2. Precision Precision (Level 5)

The other two skills in this item or link are entirely player’s preference. By default, we recommend Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support (Level 10) and Immortal Call Immortal Call (Level 12), however, these are far from required and can be dropped if you feel stable enough without them. Some example recommendations that can also be great choices:

There are plenty of viable choices depending on playstyle and preference.

Mobility Skill 3-Link

Pick one of Leap Slam Leap Slam, Shield Charge Shield Charge, or Whirling Blades Whirling Blades for mobility, based on preference. Our default recommendation is Leap Slam Leap Slam due to the advantage of being much more versatile in areas with many gaps or walls such as the Labyrinth or Shrine Map Shrine Map, and our penchant for dual-wielding foils in Patch 3.8 Blight League.

  1. Leap Slam Leap Slam
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  3. Fortify Support Fortify Support

Check out the main page of the guide or use the menu on the right side of this page to navigate to the other sections of the guide.

Changelog
  •   

    Updated leveling section with new Blasphemy curse recommendations.

  •   

    Ready for Heist 3.12; Massive build overhaul, added Chaos Innoculation, added Path of Building, new gem links, new gear recommendations, and text body updated.

  •   

    Updated for Harvest 3.11; added Low-Life version to prevent stuns, new trees, new gear recommendations, all new gems section, and more.

  •   

    3.10 Delirium; Build was buffed through Ascendancy, tree and formatting updated for the new league.

  •   

    Updates for Patch 3.9 Metamorph: Passive Skill Tree, Gear, Guide Format, Build Assessment, and FAQ.

  •   

    Annointment advice added.

  •   

    Big overhaul for Patch 3.8 Blight League: Redesigned the build with new links, gear, tree, leveling, FAQ, and much, much more!

  •   

    Updated Gem Links.

  •   

    Updated for Patch 3.7 Legion: Passive Skill Trees, Gear and Gem Recommendations, Leveling, and more!

  •   

    Updated for Synthesis 3.6.

  •   

    Added new section.

14
  1. Posts
    6

    I have been following this build and I’m still a little bit off from some of the more expensive items, however I do seem to run out of mana a lot. Any tips / something obvious that I’m missing?

    https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/SymbioticCrash/characters

    SymbioticCrash is the char in question

  2. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1406

    On 05/05/2019 at 7:02 AM, null said

    I have been following this build and I’m still a little bit off from some of the more expensive items, however I do seem to run out of mana a lot. Any tips / something obvious that I’m missing?

    https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/SymbioticCrash/characters

    SymbioticCrash is the char in question

    If you’re holding down Cyclone Cyclone, it can be a heavy tax on Mana — any time your “end point” or direction changes it will cost additional Mana. Try moving a “longer” distance when clearing through packs to help save on Mana. With bosses you generally want to make single clicks in a triangle or square pattern around the target. The more you practice with the skill, the easier it is to get a handle on. If you are really struggling you can also pick up some Mana Leech on the tree or from an item.

  3. Furty

    Moderator

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    1406

    On 06/05/2019 at 7:16 AM, null said

    Champ, thank you. Was the old hold it down vs single clicking.

    No worries, its an easy mistake to make if you haven’t played a lot of Cyclone Cyclone before (or at least without Blood Magic).

  4. Posts
    6

    You mention the watchers eye with the modifiers ‘while affected by Discipline / Clarity’ comes in handy. Is this intended for group play or am I missing an item that provides Discipline / Clarity

  5. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1406

    On 07/05/2019 at 12:31 PM, SymbioticCrash said

    You mention the watchers eye with the modifiers ‘while affected by Discipline / Clarity’ comes in handy. Is this intended for group play or am I missing an item that provides Discipline / Clarity

    It’s discussed in the Gems section, specifically “Auras 4-Link” where I cover the recommended auras.

  6. Posts
    2

    Fantastic guide/build ive gotten all the items apart from a shaper ring setup, so im using the bereks grip, and also missing the pandemonius amulet.

    Im clearing maps T15 insanely fast but on single target bosses my damage is really bad? I went for the fortify on the 6L. apart from that do you have any other advice on what I could do to potentially kill bosses more effectively?

  7. Posts
    6

    Ah yes, the old it’s there if you read it all. Apologies, loving the guide.

    On 09/05/2019 at 9:21 AM, jozef505 said

    Fantastic guide/build ive gotten all the items apart from a shaper ring setup, so im using the bereks grip, and also missing the pandemonius amulet.

    Im clearing maps T15 insanely fast but on single target bosses my damage is really bad? I went for the fortify on the 6L. apart from that do you have any other advice on what I could do to potentially kill bosses more effectively?

  8. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1406

    On 09/05/2019 at 1:28 PM, SymbioticCrash said

    Ah yes, the old it’s there if you read it all. Apologies, loving the guide.

    No problem, if you have any other questions don’t hesitate!

  9. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1406

    On 09/05/2019 at 9:21 AM, jozef505 said

    Fantastic guide/build ive gotten all the items apart from a shaper ring setup, so im using the bereks grip, and also missing the pandemonius amulet.

    Im clearing maps T15 insanely fast but on single target bosses my damage is really bad? I went for the fortify on the 6L. apart from that do you have any other advice on what I could do to potentially kill bosses more effectively?

    Concentrated Effect Support Concentrated Effect Support will rip bosses to pieces, but The Pandemonius The Pandemonius will also be a noticeable increase due to the huge chunk of penetration, which is especially potent for bosses due to their naturally high Resistances.

    Even with Fortify Support Fortify Support, however, your damage should be plenty with the appropriate items. If you have a POB Link for your character I can take a quick look, but just make sure you’re doing all the basic stuff properly (flask uptimes, not running out of Mana with Cyclone Cyclone, etc.) as well, as this build does rely on solid fundamentals a lot!

  10. Posts
    2

    Pandemonius is like 20exalts on console at the moment > <

    im going to go for the shaper ring and elder ring setup, Just want to add ive just cleared the shaper guardians after getting some gem slots in my skills tree as im only level 83ish.

    most likely not going to get to complete the build with the expense on console but its been hella fun spinning through content reminds me of the good old CoC discharge builds :D

  11. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1406

    On 10/05/2019 at 7:14 AM, jozef505 said

    Pandemonius is like 20exalts on console at the moment > <

    im going to go for the shaper ring and elder ring setup, Just want to add ive just cleared the shaper guardians after getting some gem slots in my skills tree as im only level 83ish.

    most likely not going to get to complete the build with the expense on console but its been hella fun spinning through content reminds me of the good old CoC discharge builds :D

    Oh my, that’s quite the expense! I only play on PC, where it’s a relatively attainable mid-build upgrade — sorry to hear it’s so far out of reach. The Mark of the Shaper Mark of the Shaper is a nice injection of damage, and you’ll definitely feel an immediate power-up.

  12. Posts
    1

    First of thanks for a really fun build I really enjoy clearing whole screens with it.

    I swithced my dual strike claw assasin to this yesterday. I had just short of a million DPS on that char and had hit a wall in the delve. Switching defenitly amped up my dps and clearing time. So I can confirm that my dps is way over a million.

    With my prior build I was able to see my dps on my dual strike skill. But since this build is make use of chained skills and prox I find it quite difficult to track dps. This makes optimizing quite hard. Any tip for how I can keep track of my dps during optimization?

    I am currently trying to find, craft new Jewels but I can’t say if I should go for more cold damage, more crit mult/chance and since the jewels cost a few ex each I would like to keep track of the best payout.

    My current pastebin:
    https://pastebin.com/Uj87MQpN

    Edited by Avalanche on May 14th, 2019

  13. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1406

    On 14/05/2019 at 8:12 AM, Avalanche said

    First of thanks for a really fun build I really enjoy clearing whole screens with it.

    I swithced my dual strike claw assasin to this yesterday. I had just short of a million DPS on that char and had hit a wall in the delve. Switching defenitly amped up my dps and clearing time. So I can confirm that my dps is way over a million.

    With my prior build I was able to see my dps on my dual strike skill. But since this build is make use of chained skills and prox I find it quite difficult to track dps. This makes optimizing quite hard. Any tip for how I can keep track of my dps during optimization?

    I am currently trying to find, craft new Jewels but I can’t say if I should go for more cold damage, more crit mult/chance and since the jewels cost a few ex each I would like to keep track of the best payout.

    My current pastebin:
    https://pastebin.com/Uj87MQpN

    It’s quite difficult and annoying to calculate and you mostly have to do it all longhand. For example:

    Ice Nova Damage x Number of Frostbolts x Hits per Second x Critical Strike Chance

    You also have to account for Shock, Cospri’s, Cyclone, Culling Strike, and so on.

    In most cases your combined damage per second (Ice Nova, Frostbolt procs, etc.) is about half or two thirds of your actual DPS when accounting for ailments/items/effects.

  14. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1406

    On 14/05/2019 at 8:12 AM, Avalanche said

    First of thanks for a really fun build I really enjoy clearing whole screens with it.

    I swithced my dual strike claw assasin to this yesterday. I had just short of a million DPS on that char and had hit a wall in the delve. Switching defenitly amped up my dps and clearing time. So I can confirm that my dps is way over a million.

    With my prior build I was able to see my dps on my dual strike skill. But since this build is make use of chained skills and prox I find it quite difficult to track dps. This makes optimizing quite hard. Any tip for how I can keep track of my dps during optimization?

    I am currently trying to find, craft new Jewels but I can’t say if I should go for more cold damage, more crit mult/chance and since the jewels cost a few ex each I would like to keep track of the best payout.

    My current pastebin:
    https://pastebin.com/Uj87MQpN

    With the gear recommended in the guide (not counting any crazy mirror worthy items or things worth tens of exalts) you should be sitting between 5-9 million DPS without Vaal Righteous Fire active.

  15. Posts
    1

    Is this build going to be updated for 3.7 with the changes to Cyclone? Also, is Loreweave still the best option, even with 78% maximum resistances being the best roll?

  16. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1406

    On 05/06/2019 at 8:15 PM, Zilrim said

    Is this build going to be updated for 3.7 with the changes to Cyclone? Also, is Loreweave still the best option, even with 78% maximum resistances being the best roll?

    Yes, it will be updated — I’ll be investigating whether Cyclone Cyclone is still an ideal trigger skill. For 3.6 Loreweave Loreweave was still the best overall option since it also provides exceptional damage for a chest, but it will take me a day or two to get a solid draft of our 3.7 version prepared, so stay tuned!

  17. Posts
    2

    Waiting for a build update, hope it will be soon!!!!

  18. Furty

    Moderator

    Posts
    1406

    On 07/06/2019 at 12:51 AM, Haku said

    Refreshing page every 30 mins BTW

    Should be soon, I’m working on it now!

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