Explosive Trap Trickster Build Guide (PoE Legion 3.7)

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Introduction

When it comes to trapper builds, Saboteur usually sits at the top of the ascendancy class choices. With this build concept though, we managed to make a very strong and effective Trickster trapper that excels at killing tough endgame bosses.

The main idea behind the build is playing around Trickster’s Harness the Void for the immense amount of extra damage it can provide, along with the great amount of Cast Speed in combination with Architect's Hand Architect's Hand, which can result in a lot of Trap Throwing Speed. The build also ideally uses Tinkerskin Tinkerskin in combination with The Devouring Diadem The Devouring Diadem; this combination of unique items allows you to have Eldritch Battery (this passive keystone makes your Energy Shield protect your Mana pool instead of your Life pool) while also having a very reliable Energy Shield sustain via the Tinkerskin. On top of that you are also using Mind over Matter for additional defence, essentially your Energy Shield pool guards your Life and allows you to be more offensive by spending it instead of Mana and freeing you up from Mana problems.

The skill of choice is Explosive Trap Explosive Trap because of the great base damage, great base Critical Chance and the fact the skill has initial damage conversion, which makes Harness the Void that much more effective.

Build Summary

Even though the build requires some specific unique items in order to reach its final form, it can even be played as a league starter. The unique items required for the endgame just improve the build by a great deal, but are not build-enabling. Tinkerskin Tinkerskin and The Devouring Diadem The Devouring Diadem are two unique items that are not very expensive. Architect's Hand Architect's Hand should be acquired very early into a league since they are very cheap and will improve your damage potential by a good amount. While levelling, you can use a full set of rare gear in order to progress through the content.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Amazing single target damage potential
+ Very fast trap throwing speed allows for smooth trapper playstyle

Cons

- Not recommended for new players
- The endgame version of the build requires a bit of game knowledge and gear/gem optimizing

Playstyle

Offensively, you should be using Explosive Trap Explosive Trap for both clearing and single target. The great thing about this skill is that you will not even have to swap gems for the two different purposes. Pinning down a tough target with Bear Trap Bear Trap will allow you to land more damage on it because of its slowed movement speed in combination with the additional trap damage it takes.

Defensively, a decent Life pool in combination with Mind over Matter and Eldritch Battery adds a good amount of defensive layers upon your character. Trickster’s Ghost Shrouds make you even harder to hit and will keep you immune to Stun most of the time. You should keep your distance most of the time and not get into melee range with mobs.

For Playstyle, a single throw of traps should be enough to clear packs of monsters even in endgame maps. As a trapper, you are able to pre-set your traps on some boss encounters, which allows you to instantly phase them because of the immense burst of damage you are doing.

Ascendancy, Passive tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Shadow – Trickster)

  1. Harness the Void
  2. Ghost Dance
  3. Escape Artist
  4. Swift Killer

Harness the Void is the bread and butter of the build; it essentially has a chance to deal extra damage for every explosion of your Explosive Trap Explosive Trap.

Ghost Dance allows you to make use of the unique Ghost Shroud mechanic that only the Tricksters have access to, which is very powerful when it comes to defense.

Escape Artist provides even more defense in the form of Spell Dodge, Stun immunity while you have Ghost Shrouds, and additional Evasion and Energy Shield; you also get additional Cast Speed, which is very powerful when you are using Architect's Hand Architect's Hand.

Swift Killer provides a great amount of damage via Frenzy and Power charges generated by passive nodes like Master Sapper and Blast Cascade.

Note: If you are starting fresh and do not have the access to Tinkerskin Tinkerskin and The Devouring Diadem The Devouring Diadem, you should pick Weave the Arcane instead of Swift Killer.

Passive Tree

This is an example for the endgame passive skill tree.

On the passive tree we focus on picking all the powerful and efficient Trap, Critical and Spell Critical, and Life nodes, and Mind over Matter. At this point you should also have Eldritch Battery by having The Devouring Diadem The Devouring Diadem equipped; this allows you to spend Energy Shield instead of Mana, which means you do not need Mana nodes in order to make good use of Mind over Matter, as all you need at this point is a decent Energy Shield pool.

Bandits

For this specific build we should help Alira in Act II. The critical multiplier, flat mana regeneration, and 15% all elemental resistances are stronger than the 2 passive skill points.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Solaris provides good amount of damage mitigation when fully upgraded.

Minor: Many of the minor Pantheons can be useful for the build and should be chosen based on the situation and personal preference.

Pantheon powers can be upgraded by using Divine Vessel in the Map Device while you are activating the particular Map that contains the boss you need. Once you’ve killed the boss and captured his soul, you need to deliver the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Gems

Explosive Trap Explosive Trap is your signature skill that should ideally be used in 6-link. Bear Trap Bear Trap should be used against tough single targets in order to increase their Trap damage taken and make them easier to hit via the movement speed penalty it applies. For mobility, use Flame Dash Flame Dash, you can also make use of Shield Charge Shield Charge. For auras, you can use a combination of Zealotry Zealotry, Hatred Hatred, Vaal Clarity Vaal Clarity, Grace Grace and Discipline Discipline. Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem can provide additional offense via the Cast Speed while using Architect's Hand Architect's Hand.

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.

Explosive Trap (6-Link)

Explosive Trap Explosive Trap is a Physical-based trap that has 50% of base damage converted to Fire. This in combination with Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support allows you to fully convert your Physical damage to Elemental damage, which is very powerful when it comes to Harness the Void procs (applies multiple times for every conversion, resulting in a huge amount of extra damage). This trap also has great base damage in general and allows for a very easy transition to Critical Strikes due to the decent 6% base Critical Chance. We recommend one link that works great for both single target and clearing.

  1. Explosive Trap Explosive Trap
  2. Cluster Traps Support Cluster Traps Support
  3. Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support
  4. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  5. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  6. Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support

Bear Trap (2-Link)

Bear Trap Bear Trap should be used as a utility trap that pins down your single targets and allows you to burst them easier.

  1. Bear Trap Bear Trap
  2. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Flame Dash (3-Link)

Flame Dash Flame Dash is a useful mobility skill that should be used in critical situations and for better mobility in general. With the following link you will gain the Arcane Surge buff for a short duration when the skill is used; make sure to keep the Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support gem at low level (level 3 or less).

  1. Flame Dash Flame Dash
  2. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Shield Charge (3-Link)

Shield Charge Shield Charge is another great mobility skill that can be used. You will gain the Fortify buff every time you hit an enemy with Shield Charge.

  1. Shield Charge Shield Charge
  2. Fortify Support Fortify Support
  3. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support

Cast When Damage Taken (3-Link)

The standard Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support gem setup can be used in order to help prevent deaths from the Porcupine monsters. Both Cast When Damage Taken and Immortal Call Immortal Call gems should be kept at level requirement of 40.

  1. Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support
  2. Immortal Call Immortal Call
  3. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Other Gems

Based on your gear and the state of your character you should choose between few offensive and defensive auras. Zealotry Zealotry and Hatred Hatred will provide good amount of extra damage, while Vaal Grace Vaal Grace and Vaal Discipline Vaal Discipline can be used defensively. Vaal Clarity Vaal Clarity can be used when you need to bypass any Mana problems when spamming Traps. Summon Lightning Golem Summon Lightning Golem can provide additional offense via the Cast Speed while using Architect's Hand Architect's Hand.

Gearing

Capping your elemental resistances is essential and it should always be your top priority in any build; it should be the first thing you do when gearing up a character. Obtaining a 6-link, while very powerful and certainly recommended, can potentially be very expensive (requiring an average of 1500 Orbs of Fusing, obviously depending on your luck); as such, this should not really be a goal for you while gearing up, and you should instead settle for a 5-link until you have enough resources.

Helmet

The endgame goal for the character is to use The Devouring Diadem The Devouring Diadem. Prior to it, you can simply use a well rolled rare Helmet. For labyrinth enchant, the ideal one is “Explosive Trap causes 2 additional smaller explosions”. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (at least 60)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 90)
  3. +#% increased maximum life (Pristine Fossil)

Body Armour

The endgame goal for the character is to use Tinkerskin Tinkerskin. Prior to it, you can use various unique Body Armours like Loreweave Loreweave, Carcass Jack Carcass Jack, Shroud of the Lightless Shroud of the Lightless or even a Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa. You can also use a rare Body Armour until you acquire any of these. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 70)

Gloves

Architect's Hand Architect's Hand are best in slot for the build. We aim to achieve a great amount of Trap Throwing Speed, which allows for immense damage output and these unique Gloves help by a great deal. Prior to them simply use rare Gloves to fill in resistance gaps and gain some Life. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 50)

Boots

Atziri's Step Atziri's Step are decent unique Boots for the build. A well rolled rare Boots should outclass them in the long run. For labyrinth enchant, look for “#% increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven’t Crit Recently”. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (at least 60)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % increased Movement Speed (at least 25%)
  4. % chance to Dodge Attacks (Shaped Mod)
  5. % chance to Dodge Spell Damage (Elder Mod)

Belt

A well rolled rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise is best in slot. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (at least 60)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % increased Movement Speed (Master Mod)
  4. % increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil)

Amulet

A well rolled Elder-based Amulet can provide a great amount of damage for the build, but can also be hard to get and expensive. Prior to it, look for a simple rare Amulet in order to fill in resistance and attribute gaps. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. Gain #% of Non-Chaos Damage as extra Chaos Damage (Elder Mod)
  4. Gain #% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage (Elder Mod)

Rings

A Shaper-based rare ring with Assassin's Mark Assassin's Mark on Hit will boost your damage output by a great deal. For the other Ring slot you can use a well rolled rare piece. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to maximum life (50)
  3. Curse Enemies with Level # Assassin’s Mark on Hit

Weapon

If you choose to use Shield Charge Shield Charge as a main mobility skill you will be forced to use a rare Mace or Dagger. If not, you can also use a well rolled Wand. The Dagger should be the best choice of the three, simply because it has good synergy with the build in general. The rare affix priority is:

  1. % increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells (at least 90%)
  2. % increased Spell Damage
  3. % increased Attack Speed (for faster Shield Charge Shield Charge)
  4. % to Global Critical Strike Multiplier

Shield

A well rolled rare Shield is best in slot. The rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % increased Critical Strike Chance for Spells (at least 80%)
  4. % increased Spell Damage (at least 40%)

Flasks

Diamond Flask is mandatory in every critical-based build. Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise will provide a lot of damage to the build. The usual instant or half-instant Divine Life flask should be used, ideally you would want to roll it with Bleeding removal (Staunching). Taste of Hate Taste of Hate will bring great balance between offense and defense for the build, but can be quite expensive. Sin's Rebirth Sin's Rebirth can also provide a lot of extra damage. Silver flask will be the only way to gain Onslaught, which will increase your overall speed by a decent amount.Other utility flasks can be used based on personal preference, we recommend having Basalt Flask for additional defense and a Quicksilver for the additional mobility. You should have Curse and Freeze immunity rolled on your utility flasks.

Note: We recommend the following flask combination: Quicksilver, Diamond Flask, Divine Life, Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise, Silver

Be sure to check out our Flask Crafting Guide to learn everything you need to know about how to set up your non-Unique flasks.

Jewels

The build does not require any unique jewels in order to work. A Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with the right Zealotry Zealotry or Hatred Hatred mods can be extremely powerful but very expensive. Hair Trigger Hair Trigger is a decent unique jewel that can also be used. Stacking Unstable Payload Unstable Payload jewels can result in a lot of potential extra damage, but can be very RNG dependent.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % increased maximum Life
  2. +#% to Critical Strike Multiplier with Fire Skills
  3. % increased Spell Damage while holding a Shield
  4. % increased Area Damage
  5. +#% increased Critical Strike Multiplier for Elemental Skills
  6. % increased Trap Damage

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. +# to maximum Life
  2. % increased Critical Strike Chance if you haven’t dealt a Critical Strike Recently
  3. Adds # to # Cold Damage to Spells while holding a Shield
  4. Adds # to # Lightning Damage to Spells while holding a Shield
  5. Adds # to # Fire Damage to Spells while holding a Shield
  6. Adds # to # Cold Damage to Spells
  7. Adds # to # Lightning Damage to Spells
  8. Adds # to # Fire Damage to Spells
  9. % to Global Critical Strike Multiplier

Leveling

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

The Explosive Trap Trickster can be leveled with its signature skill since level 1. The leveling experience feels very smooth and you should not have any problems with damage output or survivability.

Leveling Trees

Here is an example of a leveling passive skill tree that does not require any unique items and can be used as a league-starter. At this point you are using decent Mana pool in combination with Mind over Matter, you also have all the important Trap and Critical nodes in order to deal great amounts of damage. When it comes to the Trickster Ascendancy while on a budget, you should pick Harness the Void and Weave the Arcane first (Weave the Arcane should be respeced later when you have Tinkerskin Tinkerskin and The Devouring Diadem The Devouring Diadem).

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. Dual wielding two Axiom Perpetuum Axiom Perpetuum while leveling can make your transition to Critical Strikes way easier and help you one-shot leveling content bosses.

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. Explosive Trap Explosive Trap
  2. Lesser Poison Support Lesser Poison Support

By level 8, your Explosive Trap Explosive Trap link should look like this.

  1. Explosive Trap Explosive Trap
  2. Multiple Traps Support Multiple Traps Support
  3. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  4. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  5. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support

At level 10, you should add Flame Dash Flame Dash for additional mobility.

By level 18, your Explosive Trap Explosive Trap link should look like this.

  1. Explosive Trap Explosive Trap
  2. Multiple Traps Support Multiple Traps Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support
  6. Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support

At level 24, you should add Hatred Hatred or Zealotry Zealotry for additional damage output.

By level 38, your Explosive Trap Explosive Trap link should look like this.

  1. Explosive Trap Explosive Trap
  2. Cluster Traps Support Cluster Traps Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
  4. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  5. Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support
  6. Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support

Note: Once you acquire Architect's Hand Architect's Hand and start picking up Critical nodes you should drop Trap and Mine Damage Support Trap and Mine Damage Support for Increased Critical Strikes Support Increased Critical Strikes Support.

FAQ

What map mods are impossible to do?

No regeneration should be very annoying to deal with, although it will probably be manageable.

Why choose Trickster over Saboteur for a trapper build?

The many game mechanics we take advantage of in this build just have great synergy with one another. All the damage conversions in combination with Trickster’s Harness the Void have great endgame potential that is also very fun to play around. Stacking a lot of Trap Throwing speed via the Architect's Hand Architect's Hand is something that is easier with all of the Cast Speed the Trickster ascendancy class provides.

Conclusion

The Explosive Trap Trickster annihilates his foes with great amounts of Elemental and Chaos damage dealt by his rapidly placed traps. The build has great endgame damage potential and is a decent boss killer.

Changelog
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    Build added.

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