The Tankiest Essence Drain Contagion Trickster Passive Skill Tree & Gem Links



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 Tree from PoE’s website for you. Do note that this 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.

Gear Page

Progression Advice

Since this build works as soon as you swap to it at level 12, you’ll be completely fine regardless but I’ll leave you with this Path of Building to give you an idea as to what I would suggest your tree looks like at the beginning of maps.

If you’re not comfortable with Path of Building, here’s a PoePlanner to give you an idea of how your tree should look like whenever you’re at about that level.

Gem Links

Essence Drain Essence Drain – Main Link (6-Link)

Essence Drain’s base damage scales fairly hard with gem levels! Try to pick up a 21/20 as soon as possible. For the Awakened Controlled Destruction, it’s a really QoL big upgrade as it adds Cast Speed. Most of the other Awakened Gems are fairly cheap so get them as soon as possible!

  1. Essence Drain Essence Drain (ideally level 21)
  2. Awakened Controlled Destruction Support Awakened Controlled Destruction Support
  3. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support
  4. Awakened Swift Affliction Support Awakened Swift Affliction Support
  5. Awakened Void Manipulation Support Awakened Void Manipulation Support
  6. Empower Support Empower Support (4) or Cruelty Support Cruelty Support

Vaal Blight

Vaal Blight Vaal Blight is your single target skill whenever the enemy is already affected by an Essence Drain DoT. Use regular Blight Blight when you find intervals to stand next to the boss and channel it. Use Vaal Blight in AoE scenarios, as it is really good at clearing packs.

  1. Vaal Blight Vaal Blight
  2. Infused Channelling Support Infused Channelling Support
  3. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support
  4. Awakened Swift Affliction Support Awakened Swift Affliction Support


Contagion Contagion is what spreads your ED DoT when you’re running through maps. Since it doesn’t matter how much damage it deals whatsoever, you’re linking it to utility supports!

  1. Contagion Contagion
  2. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support (8)
  3. Awakened Increased Area of Effect Support Awakened Increased Area of Effect Support (4)
  4. Intensify Support Intensify Support

Wither Totems

Since Wither Wither increases the amount of damage taken by your ED DoT tremendously, you’re going to put down Wither Totems on any target that’s giving you any type of challenge! We’re linking them to supports that maximize the stacks uptime!

  1. Wither Wither
  2. Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support
  3. Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support
  4. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support


For the mobility spell of choice, we chose Flame Dash Flame Dash, as I feel like it’s the most mobile of the movement skills at our disposal. Since you most likely socket this in one of your two 3-socket slots, this is also where you put the Despair. Manually curse bosses after they’ve been hit by dots to massively amplify the damage they take!

  1. Flame Dash Flame Dash
  2. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support (6)
  3. Despair Despair


The Auras you’re using on this build are obviously there to boost your Damage over Time & Defenses. Link them to an Enlighten Support Enlighten Support to keep your mana healthy.

  1. Malevolence Malevolence
  2. Grace Grace
  3. Enlighten Support Enlighten Support Level 4
  4. Determination Determination

Main Page / TL;DR


  • Build updated for Scourge 3.16.

  • Updated for Scourge 3.16.

  • Build added.

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