Frost Blades Assassin Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

Cappie

14


Build Introduction

Frost Blades has always been a popular skill, but mainly for leveling up. It is an amazing skill with lots of clearing potential, but it was usually used and dropped later for another skill. However, with the changes to the Assassin’s Ascendancy offering us a huge defensive boost on top of the already established damage, we will take it one step further and create a build with huge damage potential for both single target and massive packs. On top of having a huge dodge chance from both the passive tree and the Ascendancy, we will also be using Bloodseeker Bloodseeker, which will make our Life Leech instant. We will also have a huge Critical Strike Chance and Damage and support our Frost Blades Frost Blades with auras such as Hatred Hatred.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Very fast clear speed
+ Great League Starter
+ Easy to level up
+ Great boss killer
+ Cheap gear to start with

Cons

- Depends too much on Dodge Chance

Playstyle

As mentioned above, our main skill will be Frost Blades Frost Blades. It will clear all monster packs extremely fast and we will be moving from one pack to another with Whirling Blades Whirling Blades, which is one of the fastest if not the fastest movement skill. We will be face-tanking most of the content and avoid only dangerous spells; we are able to do this thanks to the high amount of Dodge Chance and Life Leech plus some other defensive mechanisms. We will be using lots of skills to aid us, like Herald of Ice Herald of Ice and Hatred Hatred for some damage boost, and we will be reducing the enemy’s resistance with Frostbite Frostbite & Frost Bomb Frost Bomb. We will have to use Frost Bomb only on the toughest enemies, so no need to worry about casting all the time. The main playstyle, as mentioned above, is simply dashing from one enemy to another with Whirling Blades Whirling Blades and tearing them down with Frost Blades Frost Blades.

Passive tree

Early Game

Your early game passive tree should look like this

Mid Game

The mid game passive tree should look like this

End Game Passive Tree

Your end game build should look like this

Ascendancy – Assassin

Normal Lab – Unstable Infusion

After we complete the Normal Lab we will pick Unstable Infusion for Power Charges.

Cruel Lab – Mistwalker

After we complete the Cruel Lab we will pick Mistwalker, as it is one of our main sources for defense.

Merciless Lab – Deadly Infusion

After we complete the Merciless Lab we will pick Deadly Infusion .

Eternal Lab – Opportunistic

This one will give us 100% extra damage while there is only one enemy nearby – it will help us a lot for boss fights.

Gem Links

Frost Blades (6-link)

This should be in your chest and the main gem links are as follows.

  1. Frost Blades Frost Blades
  2. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  3. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
  4. Multistrike Support Multistrike Support
  5. Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support
  6. Nightblade Support Nightblade Support

Note: If you want to take more defensive approach, Life Leech Support Life Leech Support & Fortify Support Fortify Support are excellent options to use instead of Increased Critical Damage Support Increased Critical Damage Support, for example.

Note #2: On tougher boss fights, switch out Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support for Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support.

Whirling Blades (3-link)

  1. Whirling Blades Whirling Blades
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  3. Fortify Support Fortify Support

Steel Skin / Ice Golem (4-link )

  1. Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem (keep at level 12)
  2. Steelskin Steelskin (keep at level 15)
  3. Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support (keep at level 10)
  4. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Frostbite (2-3 link)

  1. Frostbite Frostbite
  2. Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support
  3. Empower Support Empower Support (not mandatory)

Blood Rage / Frost Bomb (3-4 link)

  1. Blood Rage Blood Rage
  2. Frost Bomb Frost Bomb
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
  4. Enhance Support Enhance Support (not mandatory)

Note: Be mindful when you use Blood Rage Blood Rage. Make sure there are enough enemies around you to life leech from.

Note #2: Your Frost Bomb Frost Bomb needs to be used only against tougher enemies. There is no need to use it all the time.

Other Gems

Herald of Ice Herald of Ice and Hatred Hatred should be used, and they do not need to be linked.

Bandits & Pantheon

Bandits

Help Alira. We benefit from all the bonuses, especially the Critical Multiplier.

Pantheon

Major God

For a major god, the best one is Soul of Lunaris, as it reduces the damage we take for each nearby enemy and increases our movement speed as well. We often go into huge packs, so this one should be helpful.

Minor God

For a minor god, the best one is Soul of Tukohama, as it reduces physical damage taken while stationary. We will be face-tanking most of the content while staying stationary so this will be helpful.

Gear / Items

Weapons

We will be using 2x Bloodseeker Bloodseeker to benefit from the instant life leech effect.

Helmet

For a Helmet you will have to choose again between a defensive or offensive approach. For the defensive approach, we strongly recommend Starkonja's Head Starkonja's Head, as we benefit from all of the stats. For the offensive approach, we recommend Abyssus Abyssus, as it increases our damage by a lot, however it will lead us to multiple deaths.

Note: You can get an enchant from Uber Lab that increases your Frost Blades Frost Blades damage by 40%, but these helmets might prove to be quite expensive.

Body Armour

There are many choices here, the two best being Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast as it will provide us with some nice defenses or Loreweave Loreweave which will give us both some defenses and extra damage. But you can always start with a Rare Body armour with the following stats:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum life
  3. + % Increased Maximum life

Gloves

Just a decent pair of Rare gloves with the following stats would do the trick:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum life
  3. + % Increased Attack Speed
  4. + % Increased Maximum Life
  5. + adds # to # Physical damage to attacks

Belt

A rare belt is the best option here with the following stats:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances
  2. + % to maximum life
  3. + % Increased Elemental Damage with Attack skills
  4. + % Increased Maximum Life

Boots

One of the best Boots for this build are Atziri's Step Atziri's Step, as they give us decent dodge chance, evasion, and life. However, a great alternative are Rare boots with these stats:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances
  2. + % to maximum life
  3. + % Movement speed increase
  4. + % Chance to Dodge Attack hits

Rings

The best options for rings are two rare rings that are either Opal Ring Opal Ring or Diamond Ring Diamond Ring. Look for the following stats on these rings:

  1. + % total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum life
  3. + % increased Cold Damage
  4. + % Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier

Amulet

Here we will have to use the mandatory unique Impresence (Cold) Impresence (Cold), so we can use our Frostbite Frostbite.

Jewels

We will have to use 2x mandatory Fight for Survival Fight for Survival.

Other than them, we will not be prioritizing any jewels; look for the following stats on your other jewels:

  1. + % Increased Maximum Life
  2. + % increased Damage with Claws
  3. + % Increased Physical Damage
  4. + % Increased Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. + % increased Critical Strike Chance with One Handed Melee Weapons

Another recommended Unique Jewel is Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with Hatred mods.

Flask

Make sure you have good instant regeneration Life Flask. Also make sure you have remove bleeding modifier (of Staunching) on one of your flasks, and remove freezing on another (of Heat). % life regenerated per second while under flask effect is also a good modifier to have. Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise will increase our damage a lot. A Diamond Flask Diamond Flask is great to have, as it increases our crit chance – try to get one with increased duration support. A Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask is great to increase our clear speed. A Silver Flask Silver Flask will increase both our damage and clear speed.

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.

Leveling

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

Use Dash Dash for early mobility.
This build is good for leveling up as we will be obtaining our Frost Blades Frost Blades on level 1. Use Dash Dash for early mobility. Link your Frost Blades Frost Bladesas soon as possible with Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support and Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support. On level 16 start using Herald of Ice Herald of Ice and on level 18 link your Frost Blades Frost Blades with Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support.. At level 24 start using your Hatred Hatred.In the early stages of the game bosses will pose a challenge, you can switch Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support for Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support if you want to kill them faster. Link your Frost Blades with Multistrike Support Multistrike Support on level 38. You should be using your Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem and already have the first Ascendancy at this point.

As always make sure you keep your resistance and gear updated at all times. Frost Blades Frost Blades may prove to be lacking in the early stages of the game especially against bosses.

Recommended leveling uniques:

Conclusion

This build is all great all-rounder. It has a nice clear speed and deals with bosses easily, and it is one of the greatest league starters as most of the gear required is pretty cheap. However, that comes at the price of low defenses – as we mainly depend on Dodge chance and Evasion.

Changelog
  •   

    Build added.

  1. Posts
    2

    Disclaimer: I’m brand new to POE

    So I just started playing PoE and found this site to be very informative. I read the various beginner’s guides and they have been really helpful. I have stumbled across a situation however that maybe you could advise. It would appear that there is too much mana being reserved with this setup:

    Herald of Ice: 25%
    Hatred: 50%
    Blasphemy Support: 35%
    ===================
    Total: 110%

    Playing this build is really fun, do you have any alternative solutions to the issue above?

    Thanks

  2. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 13/09/2019 at 9:17 PM, eMCeeScott said

    Disclaimer: I’m brand new to POE

    So I just started playing PoE and found this site to be very informative. I read the various beginner’s guides and they have been really helpful. I have stumbled across a situation however that maybe you could advise. It would appear that there is too much mana being reserved with this setup:

    Herald of Ice: 25%
    Hatred: 50%
    Blasphemy Support: 35%
    ===================
    Total: 110%

    Playing this build is really fun, do you have any alternative solutions to the issue above?

    Thanks

    Hello,

    The Amulet we are using is Impresence (Cold) Impresence (Cold). This makes our Frostbite Frostbite with Blasphemy Support Blasphemy Support reserve 0% mana :).

  3. Posts
    2

    Thanks for the response, I appreciate you clearing that up. I assumed it was an oversight on my part.

    I do have another noob question if you dont mind. I noticed that Summon Ice Golem and Steelskin are attached to Cast When Taken Damage Support. However when I do this, I cannot cast Summon Ice Golem manually anymore. I get the idea behind the Steelskin in this situation, it is an auto defense that gets called when meeting the damage threshold. However, I like having the Ice Golem out all the time and its my understanding that while the Ice Golem is active I receive buffs from it. So to me, I can’t seem to wrap my head around why I wouldn’t want this Ice Golem up all the time. What am I missing/misunderstanding? If you could clarify it would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  4. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 18/09/2019 at 7:21 AM, eMCeeScott said

    Thanks for the response, I appreciate you clearing that up. I assumed it was an oversight on my part.

    I do have another noob question if you dont mind. I noticed that Summon Ice Golem and Steelskin are attached to Cast When Taken Damage Support. However when I do this, I cannot cast Summon Ice Golem manually anymore. I get the idea behind the Steelskin in this situation, it is an auto defense that gets called when meeting the damage threshold. However, I like having the Ice Golem out all the time and its my understanding that while the Ice Golem is active I receive buffs from it. So to me, I can’t seem to wrap my head around why I wouldn’t want this Ice Golem up all the time. What am I missing/misunderstanding? If you could clarify it would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Hi again,

    The only reason Summon Ice Golem Summon Ice Golem is linked with Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support is because it’s annoying to summon the Golem all the time ( at least for me ) . If you take it out from the link you can summon it manually and it will actually be a stronger golem because with Cast when Damage taken we can only support certain level of skills. You can link your Golem with Minion Life Support Minion Life Support by the way so it survives a little bit longer.

  5. Posts
    3

    Hello and thanks for the build suggestion. It’s been working great for me so far, with problems only when dealing with enemies that reflect elemental damage or have corrupted blood.

    Quick question, how come you recommend 2xBloodseeker for this build? It doesn’t seem to be as strong as other options (I’m currently using Wasp Nest MH and a heavy damaging rare OH). Other guides suggest that using Bloodseeker as MH will extend instant lifesteal to the OH as well.

    Also, I’m looking to add Carcass Jack to this build instead of Loreweave or BotB. It seems to me it offers better defenses. Is there a reason why I shouldn’t?

    Thanks.

  6. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 01/10/2019 at 2:37 PM, Azrael269 said

    Hello and thanks for the build suggestion. It’s been working great for me so far, with problems only when dealing with enemies that reflect elemental damage or have corrupted blood.

    Quick question, how come you recommend 2xBloodseeker for this build? It doesn’t seem to be as strong as other options (I’m currently using Wasp Nest MH and a heavy damaging rare OH). Other guides suggest that using Bloodseeker as MH will extend instant lifesteal to the OH as well.

    Also, I’m looking to add Carcass Jack to this build instead of Loreweave or BotB. It seems to me it offers better defenses. Is there a reason why I shouldn’t?

    Thanks.

    Hi,

    I recommend the 2xBloodseeker because it provides us with nice amount of Life leech to facetank most of the stuff and if we use only one BloodSeeker we will have instant Life leech effect only on 50% of our hits. I do not recommend it as an option, but you can always use a more damaging claw if you feel confident in your durability.

    As for the Carcass Jack instead of BotB. I think overall BotB provides better defenses and more Life plus Armour.

    If you are looking at the fact that Carcass Jack has more Evasion and Energy shield and you still want to go that route, I strongly recommend you look for a Rare Body Armour instead, as it will have better defenses and it will be much cheaper than Carcass Jack , plus we don’t benefit from Carcass Jack’s AoE buffs.

    Edited by Cappie on October 1st, 2019

  7. Posts
    3

    Thanks for the prompt response.

    I have reread the article about Bloodseeker; you are, in fact, correct, MH BS only extends instant life leech to the OH when using skills that use both weapons.

    As far as Carcass Jack is concerned, it was my understanding that the AoE buffs would boost DPS because of Ancestral Call, is that not the case? BotB concerns me in terms of survivability, the Evasion rating is very low and the Armor rating only provides for a 3% damage reduction. Also, since I’m currently playing in Standard league (I have no interest in Blight), I can get a decent six-linked CJ for 2-3e. Sure, BotB’s 30-40% max life boost is significantly better than CJ’s 50-70 points (and I’m sure it’s cheaper, plus I think I have one in my stash), but is that enough to trump 1000+ Evasion and 200 ES?

    For the record, I’m currently wearing a weak rare with 1000+ Evasion, 200+ ES, some resistances but no life bonus. I’m looking to upgrade immediately, hence the urgency.

    Thanks again, and apologies if I appear stubborn.

  8. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 01/10/2019 at 11:16 PM, Azrael269 said

    Thanks for the prompt response.

    I have reread the article about Bloodseeker; you are, in fact, correct, MH BS only extends instant life leech to the OH when using skills that use both weapons.

    As far as Carcass Jack is concerned, it was my understanding that the AoE buffs would boost DPS because of Ancestral Call, is that not the case? BotB concerns me in terms of survivability, the Evasion rating is very low and the Armor rating only provides for a 3% damage reduction. Also, since I’m currently playing in Standard league (I have no interest in Blight), I can get a decent six-linked CJ for 2-3e. Sure, BotB’s 30-40% max life boost is significantly better than CJ’s 50-70 points (and I’m sure it’s cheaper, plus I think I have one in my stash), but is that enough to trump 1000+ Evasion and 200 ES?

    For the record, I’m currently wearing a weak rare with 1000+ Evasion, 200+ ES, some resistances but no life bonus. I’m looking to upgrade immediately, hence the urgency.

    Thanks again, and apologies if I appear stubborn.

    Hi,

    Ancestral Call support doesn’t have the ,, Area of Effect ‘’ gem tag so it isn’t supported by Carcass Jack and neither is Frost Blades, please correct me if I am wrong. As for Health vs Evasion and Energy Shield I would definetely choose Health because we are supporting the more Health with Life Leech. We cannot Life Leech Energy Shield for example ( in this build ) . We are also depending mainly on Dodge Chance instead of Evasion.

    But again if you want to have more Evasion and Energy shield simply go with a Rare Body armour instead , and look for it to have the stats I have mentioned in the build above -> % increased maximum life , life , and resists. There are pretty good Rare options that provide more defenses than Carcass Jack.

  9. Posts
    3

    Hello again.

    I was under the impression that Ancestral Call turns single-target abilities to AoE due to its description, did not realize the tags are all that matter. 1000+ hours into this game and I’m still learning XD. I suppose then Loreweave looks like the better option offensively and is significantly cheaper than BotB.

    One last question; in the skill gem section, you recommend keeping Summon Ice Golem and Steelskin to level 12 and 15 respectively, and Cast when Damage Taken support to level 10. I understand keeping CwDT at level 10 means it cannot support SIG and SS above said levels, but then why keep CwDT at 10? Mine is currently at lv13 and supports SS and CIG at lv15. Is it because using skills through CwDT reduces their effectiveness?

    Thanks again!

    Edit: NVM, I see it now. The higher level CwDT is, the more damage it requires before it triggers connected skills. So, at about lv.15, it requires almost all of my life before it triggers.

    Edited by Azrael269 on October 3rd, 2019

  10. Posts
    2

    I am kinda of new to the game so pardon me if my question is a bit too noob><

    Can i replace one of the rings to circle of fear so that i would have more reduce mana reserve(herald of ice)? or sticking to this is still better as we will have enough mana end game?
    Am at mid level so my mana is abit of a problem now without equiping the end game items><

  11. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 23/10/2019 at 4:25 AM, IceBearX3 said

    I am kinda of new to the game so pardon me if my question is a bit too noob><

    Can i replace one of the rings to circle of fear so that i would have more reduce mana reserve(herald of ice)? or sticking to this is still better as we will have enough mana end game?
    Am at mid level so my mana is abit of a problem now without equiping the end game items><

    Hi,

    Please use Clarity if you don’t have enough mana while leveling up. At the end game you won’t have any problems supporting both Hatred and Herald of Ice at the same time. The only way you can use Frostbite together with them is if you get the Recommended Amulet in the build.

    Another trick you can use is to pick a simple Mana Leech Node in the passive tree as it will make sure you have enough mana all the time. Consider the Nodes – Spirit Void or Mind Drinker while leveling up. You can refund them later when you reach higher level.

  12. Posts
    2

    Ahh alright thank you may i also see ur skill set up for diff situation?, i set frost bomb on cast when damage taken instead of golem because i feel that summoning him will be better. When i set the skills in place i notice there are afew skills unused due to limited amount of skill slot on the bottom right ><

  13. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 29/10/2019 at 6:42 AM, IceBearX3 said

    On 23/10/2019 at 5:43 PM, Cappie said

    On 23/10/2019 at 4:25 AM, IceBearX3 said

    I am kinda of new to the game so pardon me if my question is a bit too noob><

    Can i replace one of the rings to circle of fear so that i would have more reduce mana reserve(herald of ice)? or sticking to this is still better as we will have enough mana end game?
    Am at mid level so my mana is abit of a problem now without equiping the end game items><

    Hi,

    Please use Clarity if you don’t have enough mana while leveling up. At the end game you won’t have any problems supporting both Hatred and Herald of Ice at the same time. The only way you can use Frostbite together with them is if you get the Recommended Amulet in the build.

    Another trick you can use is to pick a simple Mana Leech Node in the passive tree as it will make sure you have enough mana all the time. Consider the Nodes – Spirit Void or Mind Drinker while leveling up. You can refund them later when you reach higher level.

    can i also ask what other skills i can replace for vaal double strike because i dont see the use of it upon entering boss maps as it has 0 charge? i used it because one of the previous guys suggested to use this for bosses

    Hey for bosses we are still using Frost Blades, but we are switching a support gem . Please read above in the guide for the exact support gems we are switching. Also all the skills that we should use are recommended there as well. Of course you can add additional skills on your own that you might feel helpful.

  14. Posts
    1

    Hi,

    Been following this build for my new character. I love the idea and it has a decent mapping speed. Still, at lvl 80 i keep dying or struggle with bosses in t10 maps while my summoner would just cruise along.
    However, could you mention what basic numbers and gem lvl we should have? Cause i’m seeing Bloodseekers requiring 95 INT, following your passive tree, we can’t even equip that.

    Also, could you link a endgame gear with allocated gems?
    Or, better yet, could you provide a pob link?

    Thanks for clarifying.

    Edited by Gallatus on November 15th, 2019

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