Essence Drain/Contagion and Blight Trickster Passive Tree and Gem Links

Furty

172

Passive Skill Tree

This is our Level 98 Passive Skill Tree.

You will want to acquire Method to the Madness and Blood Siphon immediately. Grab the Chaos notables Growth and Decay and Atrophy early before you start migrating across the tree towards the Witch starting area. The minor 10% Area of Effect nodes are actually very helpful while leveling, and Cruel Preparation and Corruption should be your next targets.

From here, you can essentially go wherever you need. The Templar starting area’s Discipline and Training notable is quite helpful for staying healthy, and the Alchemist flask nodes are heavily underrated — you will want this notable once you are using a full suite of utility flasks and entering Maps and Eternal Labyrinth. The Spreading Rot Spreading Rot Jewel should be picked up and socketed as soon as possible, adding a gross amount of damage to your single target as well as your AoE burst when Vaal Blight Vaal Blight is activated. We recommend socketing it in the Jewel socket directly above and to the left of the Shadow starting wheel, pictured below:

Spreading Rot

You can starting picking up the Purity of Flesh and Devotion Life notables a little later — we opted to grab them around the late 80’s and early 90’s, since there is a fair amount of “useless” +10 stat nodes that lead up to them, which makes them of relatively lower impact early. In particular, Devotion is not really worth picking up until you have a worthy Jewel to socket in the Jewel socket along the way.

If you do not have or are not using Zeel's Amplifier Zeel's Amplifier, the 10% Area of Effect nodes in the Amplify notable wheel can make the build a lot more comfortable to play with, although they do not directly increase Essence Drain Essence Drain‘s damage. We opted to use all three of these nodes until we had enough points to reach Devotion, since the +10 attribute points do nothing for the build, then respecced out of them when we had enough points to reach the Devotion notable without delay.

The skill tree is quite flexible in terms of ordering of investment; if you have amazing Jewels, the sockets can be invested in earlier. In most cases, however, these will be among your last pickups and are used as the “icing on the cake”, as it were. Any nodes that affect Maximum Energy Shield, such as Sanctify or Arcane Focus, should not be acquired until you get the large Energy Shield boost from Merciless Labyrinth_ from the Escape Artist keystone. Arcane Focus, in particular, is not worth picking up if you are using a very low Evasion chest.

Gems

Essence Drain Essence Drain forms the bulk of our damage, and is the gem that we keep in our 6-Link. It is relatively inflexible in what it can be supported by, as Damage over Time (DoT) can only be scaled by a few gems, as can Chaos damage. Contagion Contagion has its own 4-Link, as does Vaal Blight Vaal Blight, which helps maximize the strengths of these skills, while minimizing any baseline deficiencies they have.

Since we do not have any need to use Mind Over Matter, we can run several auras. Our preference is to use Malevolence Malevolence to increase our Skill Effect Duration and Damage over Time. Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone is a new aura, but a very potent one — we always stay in Sand Stance while using it, which helps mitigate damage from afar while permanently applying Blind Support Blind Support to nearby enemies. This adds a huge amount of survivability that is not to be understated. Despair Despair is manually applied to increase damage to tanky targets when appropriate.

Flame Dash Flame Dash is or mobility skill of choice, and is a far stronger choice than ever before with the movement skill changes in Legion. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support is linked to give us a near-permanent buff when we are clearing properly. Finally, a classic Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support link is incorporated to help us apply a defensive curse (our pick is Temporal Chains Temporal Chains) and reduce damage taken via Immortal Call Immortal Call.

Essence Drain Essence Drain 6-Link

Decay Support Decay Support can be used in place of Empower Support Empower Support, however, it is only marginally better than a Level 2 Empower and categorically worse than Level 3. Empower Support Empower Support should be acquired and implemented as soon as possible, and leveling it yourself does not take as long as many might think.

In order of priority:

  1. Essence Drain Essence Drain
  2. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support
  3. Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support
  4. Energy Leech Support Energy Leech Support
  5. Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support
  6. Empower Support Empower Support (Level 3/4)

Contagion Contagion 4-Link

With Contagion Contagion‘s area scaling per level being removed you will want to use two area increasing supports to maximize spread potential.

  1. Contagion Contagion
  2. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support
  3. Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support
  4. Intensify Support Intensify Support

Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support can also be used in place of either Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support or Efficacy Support Efficacy Support to help you make your Essence Drain Essence Drain + Contagion Contagion combo as smooth as possible.

Vaal Blight Vaal Blight 4-Link

Blight Blight is fine on its own, however, you will want to implement Vaal Blight Vaal Blight as soon as you can acquire it. It is especially useful for dealing with monolith rare mobs, as they are prone to being in large groups. Combined with Spreading Rot Spreading Rot, the ability to apply several stacks of Blight Blight as well as Wither Withered stacks in a large AoE is invaluable for melting them as quickly as possible. It also has great synergy with Zeel's Amplifier Zeel's Amplifier and can have an absolutely massive area of effect at certain moments.

  1. Vaal Blight Vaal Blight
  2. Efficacy Support Efficacy Support
  3. Void Manipulation Support Void Manipulation Support
  4. Infused Channelling Support Infused Channelling Support

Infused Channelling Support Infused Channelling Support is far and away the best overall option and exceptional for single target. Quality on this gem is quite useful for bossing as it reduces the amount of time you need to channel to acquire the Infusion buff significantly. Even if you do not have the Infusion buff this gem still offers the highest damage in all situations.

Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support 4-Link

Feel free to adjust the levels of these gems to your liking for frequency of triggers or effectiveness of gems.

  1. Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support (Level 6)
  2. Immortal Call Immortal Call (Level 8)
  3. Temporal Chains Temporal Chains (Level 9)
  4. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support (Level 20)

Flame Dash Flame Dash 3-Link

  1. Flame Dash Flame Dash
  2. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support (Level 2)
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Auras and Despair Despair 3-Link

Despair Despair can be swapped for another skill of choice, such as Vaal Grace Vaal Grace, if you are opting to use Witchfire Brew Witchfire Brew. These gems do not need to be linked.

  1. Malevolence Malevolence
  2. Despair Despair
  3. Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone

Guide Main Page

Changelog

  • Updated minor gods.

16
  1. Posts
    2

    I love the guide however I have a question I am going with The Perfect Form. So what gem should i switch out to use Arctic Armour? The Flesh and Stone?

  2. Posts
    2

    So im trying to use the perfect form armor. I can not get the right color combo after many many tries. Is it not able to go 2g 3b 1r?

  3. Posts
    2

    So im trying to use the perfect form armor. I can not get the right color combo after many many tries. Is it not able to go 2g 3b 1r?

  4. Posts
    3

    Hi Furty,

    Thanks for this excellent guide!
    I also play SSF (but SC) and it would be very interesting for me to know the steps you took during your SSF roadtrip. Basic information about what to chance, your atlas strategy, how did you modify your loot filter to suit to your build, etc, etc…

    A kind of diary or roadmap of your journey to 100 but especially SSF oriented.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Furty

    Moderator

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    On 06/07/2019 at 2:51 AM, Junim said

    So im trying to use the perfect form armor. I can not get the right color combo after many many tries. Is it not able to go 2g 3b 1r?

    Yes, any item can have any combination of colors. The Perfect Form The Perfect Form is a dexterity chest, meaning Green sockets is heavily preferred, but 4 “off-colors” is still fairly easy to achieve. I recommend using either the Vorici method if your chest is not already linked, or alternately using the chromatic calculator (do a quick google search for it) to determine the cheapest way of coloring it via Chromatic Orb Chromatic Orbs.

  6. Furty

    Moderator

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    1670

    On 06/07/2019 at 10:20 AM, Asmo57 said

    Hi Furty,

    Thanks for this excellent guide!
    I also play SSF (but SC) and it would be very interesting for me to know the steps you took during your SSF roadtrip. Basic information about what to chance, your atlas strategy, how did you modify your loot filter to suit to your build, etc, etc…

    A kind of diary or roadmap of your journey to 100 but especially SSF oriented.

    Keep up the good work!

    I’ll consider writing up a post if I have some extra time — it actually sounds a little fun and cathartic to catalogue the journey. Thanks for the feedback!

  7. Posts
    1

    hey furty, great build. quick question for you. the mods on the wand, how did u get the +65 chaos damage + 12 skill i cant seem to find it, only for axes? thanks!

  8. Posts
    1

    any chance you may be able to show reccomended items if your not ssf
    thx

  9. Furty

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    On 06/07/2019 at 9:54 PM, brandonsb said

    hey furty, great build. quick question for you. the mods on the wand, how did u get the +65 chaos damage + 12 skill i cant seem to find it, only for axes? thanks!

    Hey, those are two separate crafts (one is a prefix, one is a suffix) — the first is a Syndicate Prefix craft that gives 45-50% Increased Chaos Damage and 11-12% Skill Effect Duration, the second is a standard Helena Suffix craft found on a crafting recipe tablet that adds 13-16% Increased Chaos Damage. When you craft them together, the Increased Chaos Damage numbers combine!

  10. Furty

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    1670

    On 07/07/2019 at 12:58 PM, occ1993 said

    any chance you may be able to show reccomended items if your not ssf
    thx

    I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understand the question. There are recommended items shown in the Gear, Jewels, and Flasks section, and my personal SSF gear in the Path of Building section.

  11. Posts
    2

    Hey Furty
    Very nice build, really enjoying although I am still leveling it. I was wondering if it would be possible to use bain in this build and how you would integrate it into this build

  12. Furty

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    1670

    On 09/07/2019 at 8:18 AM, MasterOfTrollz said

    Hey Furty
    Very nice build, really enjoying although I am still leveling it. I was wondering if it would be possible to use bain in this build and how you would integrate it into this build

    If you did it would be really button heavy on bosses, but totally workable. I would drop the Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support link in favor of a Bane Bane 4-Link. This would be easiest to facilitate using Impresence (Chaos) Impresence (Chaos), since you could then also apply Despair Despair for free at all times. Alternately, you’d have to apply it manually or use Witchfire Brew Witchfire Brew.

  13. Posts
    2

    On 09/07/2019 at 8:35 AM, Furty said

    <div style=“padding-left: 2rem;”>

    On 09/07/2019 at 8:18 AM, MasterOfTrollz said

    Hey Furty
    Very nice build, really enjoying although I am still leveling it. I was wondering if it would be possible to use bain in this build and how you would integrate it into this build

    </div>

    If you did it would be really button heavy on bosses, but totally workable. I would drop the Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support link in favor of a Bane Bane 4-Link. This would be easiest to facilitate using Impresence (Chaos) Impresence (Chaos), since you could then also apply Despair Despair for free at all times. Alternately, you’d have to apply it manually or use Witchfire Brew Witchfire Brew.

    I have seen someone drop the contagion 4-link in favor for the bane one linked with despair, but not sure how that would be for clear speed

  14. Furty

    Moderator

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    On 09/07/2019 at 10:38 AM, MasterOfTrollz said

    <div style=“padding-left: 2rem;”>

    On 09/07/2019 at 8:35 AM, Furty said

    <div style=“padding-left: 2rem;”>

    On 09/07/2019 at 8:18 AM, MasterOfTrollz said

    Hey Furty
    Very nice build, really enjoying although I am still leveling it. I was wondering if it would be possible to use bain in this build and how you would integrate it into this build

    </div>

    If you did it would be really button heavy on bosses, but totally workable. I would drop the Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support link in favor of a Bane Bane 4-Link. This would be easiest to facilitate using Impresence (Chaos) Impresence (Chaos), since you could then also apply Despair Despair for free at all times. Alternately, you’d have to apply it manually or use Witchfire Brew Witchfire Brew.

    </div>

    I have seen someone drop the contagion 4-link in favor for the bane one linked with despair, but not sure how that would be for clear speed

    Contagion Contagion is basically the core of your clear speed since it spreads Essence Drain Essence Drain. The build and the proliferation of Essence Drain Essence Drain does not work without it, so your primary clear would have to then be Bane Bane with Essence Drain Essence Drain being used as supplementary damage for single target only. This is an entirely different type of build, since Essence Drain Essence Drain would no longer be your main skill. For a build such as this, where Essence Drain Essence Drain comprises the bulk of your damage, Contagion Contagion is non-negotiable.

    I can advise you on how to set up a Bane Bane build but in most cases you will be cutting your clear speed by about 75%. This is an unfair comparison, however, since the Essence Drain Essence Drain + Contagion Contagion combination has always been one of the top experience per hour generators in the game across all builds. In most cases I recommend only using Bane Bane as a means of applying curses or as a secondary skill, and always having a “main” skill for the bulk of your damage and clear, such as Soulrend Soulrend or Essence Drain Essence Drain.

  15. Posts
    7

    This is such an incredible guide. I saw RaizQT playing a similar build on the league launch and he ended up dying before he could get it going properly, but it looked like a whole lot of fun. I tried respeccing my freeze pulse assassin to Trickster but it’s going to be a lot of work before I get it properly online … I think I might revisit it if there’s a proper flashback this league.

    If I want to use Impresence and Blasphemy, what links should I sacrifice to fit them into my build?

  16. Furty

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    Posts
    1670

    On 15/07/2019 at 6:13 PM, Artorias said

    This is such an incredible guide. I saw RaizQT playing a similar build on the league launch and he ended up dying before he could get it going properly, but it looked like a whole lot of fun. I tried respeccing my freeze pulse assassin to Trickster but it’s going to be a lot of work before I get it properly online … I think I might revisit it if there’s a proper flashback this league.

    If I want to use Impresence and Blasphemy, what links should I sacrifice to fit them into my build?

    Check the Rings section of the guide for more information on how to facilitate this!

  17. Posts
    7

    On 15/07/2019 at 8:20 PM, Furty said

    On 15/07/2019 at 6:13 PM, Artorias said

    This is such an incredible guide. I saw RaizQT playing a similar build on the league launch and he ended up dying before he could get it going properly, but it looked like a whole lot of fun. I tried respeccing my freeze pulse assassin to Trickster but it’s going to be a lot of work before I get it properly online … I think I might revisit it if there’s a proper flashback this league.

    If I want to use Impresence and Blasphemy, what links should I sacrifice to fit them into my build?

    Check the Rings section of the guide for more information on how to facilitate this!

    Ah, awesome, thank you!

  18. Posts
    5

    Hi furty and thanks for this build
    I’ve completed it and I’m very strong now, even if I started playing with this league, but anyways i want to improve and do some changes, I’ve got a wand like yours so I can’t put arcane surge on it, but i also want to change my flame dash for shield charge, can you help me in these?I can swap to witchfire brew if slots for gems are needed

    Again on gems, many level 100 uses Discipline/vaal Discipline and Steelskin, can I have any explanation?

    Oh and btw I use malevolence with an unset ring, zodiac leather and impresence

  19. Posts
    5

    On 17/07/2019 at 4:17 AM, Fury28 said

    Hi furty and thanks for this build
    I’ve completed it and I’m very strong now, even if I started playing with this league, but anyways i want to improve and do some changes, I’ve got a wand like yours so I can’t put arcane surge on it, but i also want to change my flame dash for shield charge, can you help me in these?I can swap to witchfire brew if slots for gems are needed

    Again on gems, many level 100 uses Discipline/vaal Discipline and Steelskin, can I have any explanation?

    Oh and btw I use malevolence with an unset ring, zodiac leather and impresence

    Done by putting arcane surge support on helmet with contagion instead of efficiency

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