Glacial Cascade Mines Saboteur Build Guide (PoE Synthesis 3.6)

Vvckd

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Introduction

Today we are looking at a very solid build that places mines and detonates them in order to obliterate enemies. Mines are always placed at the feet of the character and can be detonated by an additional key bind. Most non-melee skills can be supported by Remote Mine Support Remote Mine Support in order to be turned into a mine. Minefield Support Minefield Support allows supported mine skills to place three mines instead of one. These two support gems are mandatory in every miner build. Saboteur is a great choice since it provides a lot of areа of effect, chance to place additional mines, mine laying and arming speed, blinding nearby enemies, immunity to shock and ignite, and lastly but not in terms of importance, great sustain via Pyromaniac.

The skill chosen for the build, which we turn into a mine is Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade. Due to the skill mechanics, this ability can hit one target multiple times with a single cast. It is also a physical spell, which means the build benefits from shaper stat-sticks. To bypass the additional work of detonating the mine after placing it, you can link Detonate Mines Detonate Mines with Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support gem. With this gem setup you can summon a totem that detonates all mines you place. This works well when encountering tough bosses. Vaal Clarity Vaal Clarity also complements this combo well, since you might have some mana problems while placing so many mines quickly.

Build Summary

The build can be started with no currency at all. Even on a 4-Link you can comfortably clear up to yellow maps without issues. All you need in order to start playing is 4-Link item and level 28. Link Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade with Remote Mine Support Remote Mine Support, Minefield Support Minefield Support and Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support. The levels that Glacial Cascade gets will carry you through the content. Later on it is recommended to get two thresh hold jewels The Long Winter The Long Winter. This will provide additional burst and physical to cold conversion. The conversion gets better the more cold penetration you have.

Although in this build we will be mainly discussing the life/Mind over Matter variant, you can also play a low-life version. The low-life version requires further investment and at least having Shavronne's Wrappings Shavronne's Wrappings.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ One of the best single target damage dealers in the game
+ Smooth levelling experience
+ Can be played on a budget
+ Reflect does not matter

Cons

- Due to the skill mechanic clearing can feel clunky sometimes
- Might be slower when it comes to clear speed, compared to other builds

Playstyle

Offensively, place mines while keeping your distance from enemies. When detonated, mines will target the closest monster. Considering that you can manipulate the way mines aim, positioning can be key in most situations. The big cold damage bursts will freeze and shatter monster packs and even some bosses. Use the Detonate Mines Detonate Mines totem/Vaal Clarity Vaal Clarity setup mentioned in the introduction when feels necessary.

Defensively, the large life pool combined with Mind over Matter, Acrobatics, Phase Acrobatic, the blind and sustain from the ascendancy take care of most things passively. Also the universal Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support and Immortal Call Immortal Call setup is always useful. Movement skills like Shield Charge Shield Charge and Whirling Blades Whirling Blades and Flame Dash Flame Dash also can save you in fatal situations.

For Playstyle, keep your distance whenever possible and place one set of mines, it should be enough to clear most packs. Sometimes letting monsters get near you is not so bad, since they will be blinded via Born in the Shadows ascendancy. Using Mind over Matter means if you get hit hard your mana might be drained to 0 and you will not have the ability to stay offensive. Efficient use of a mana flask should be enough to deal with this problem.

Ascendancy, Passive Tree , Bandits, and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Shadow – Saboteur)

  1. Bomb Specialist
  2. Demolitions Specialist
  3. Pyromaniac
  4. Born in the Shadow

Bomb Specialist is the first choice. This will improve the burst potential of the build and overall it feels better to play with more mine laying speed. Our second choice is Demolitions Specialist. This will greatly improve the area of effect of the skill while also providing additional utility. It is time to start maps and we will need some sustain for that. This is where Pyromaniac comes in handy. Ignite and shock immunity means we do not have to worry about these elemental ailments at all and that also frees up flask mods. The life and mana regeneration brings mine builds sustain that was previously unobtainable. Last but not least, Born in the Shadow blinds all enemies nearby. Blind is a defensive mechanic, often undervalued, which can save you many times.

Passive Tree

This is the endgame passive skill tree.

For the Low Life version of the build, here is an end game passive skill tree.

Note: To check your skill tree priority during leveling, refer to the leveling section of the build. It includes the state your passives should be at early levels, prior to the absolute endgame.

Bandits

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

Pantheons

Major: Soul of the Brine King helps you avoid getting chain stunned. Others can be used based on personal preference.

Minor: Soul of Shakari makes you immune to poison damage if you upgrade it. Soul of Ralakesh is always a viable choice when it comes to doing labyrinth runs.

Note: Other god powers can be swapped depending on the situation and personal preference.

Gems

Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade is the build’s main skill, which should ideally be used in a 6-Link. Both Whirling Blades Whirling Blades and Flame Dash Flame Dash can be used for mobility. Detonate Mines Detonate Mines can be casted by a Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support in order to improve single target damage output. A Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support gem setup is used for additional defence. We recommend utilizing Vaal Clarity Vaal Clarity in order to solve mana problems when you get hit or need to spam mines. Hatred Hatred can be used for additional damage.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority (starting from the top left, going to the right on each row of the links), 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 (with the bottom right being the last). 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.

Glacial Cascade (6-Link)

Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade is turned into a mine via Remote Mine Support Remote Mine Support. Placing mines down and detonating them in order to obliterate enemies is what the build is all about. Here is an example of an universal 6-Link that works great both for single target and clearing.

Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade Remote Mine Support Remote Mine Support
Minefield Support Minefield Support Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
Cold Penetration Support Cold Penetration Support Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support

Whirling Blades (3-Link)

If you are using a Dagger, Whirling Blades Whirling Blades is a great choice for a mobility skill. Hitting enemies while using it will provide a Fortify effect for free with the following link.

Whirling Blades Whirling Blades Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
Fortify Support Fortify Support

Detonate Mines (3-link)

This is the totem setup that allows you to just spam mines, which will automatically get detonated by the totem. This is useful, especially for single target encounters.

Detonate Mines Detonate Mines Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Immortal Call and Enfeeble (4-link)

Both Immortal Call Immortal Call and Enfeeble Enfeeble are casted when you take damage. This is an additional layer of defence for the build. Keep in mind that all gems except for Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support should be kept at level requirement 40 or lower.

Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support Immortal Call Immortal Call
Enfeeble Enfeeble Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Vaal Clarity (2-link)

Vaal Clarity Vaal Clarity will be mainly needed in single target encounters. You will have no mana costs while it is active, this allows reckless mine placing. The regular version of the aura can be used to augment your mana regeneration.

Vaal Clarity Vaal Clarity Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Other Gems

Hatred Hatred should be used in Essence Worm Essence Worm. In this case Clarity Clarity should not be active, you can still use its vaal version. Flame Dash Flame Dash can be used for additional mobility.

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. Early on you should focus on getting an Essence Worm Essence Worm, which will improve your total life pool by freeing up your mana, considering you are using Mind over Matter. At this point Clear Mind Clear Mind also becomes usable. Beyond that you should get decent weapons with critical strike chance to spells and focus on defensive stats on other gear pieces.

Helmet

A well rolled rare helmet is the best in slot. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. +#% to Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Remote Mine (Shaper Suffix); Place an additional Mine
  4. +# Maximum mana (at least 50)
  5. +# desired attribute (dexterity, strength)
  6. +#% to Chaos resistance

Body Armour

When it comes to unique body armour choices we can choose between Loreweave Loreweave, Carcass Jack Carcass Jack or Skin of the Loyal Skin of the Loyal. Loreweave provides a great amount of defence via the additional maximum resistances, along with some offence. Carcass Jack will improve clear speed via the big area of effect boost. Skin of the Loyal is essentially just a better version of Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa. Well rolled rare chest is also a good choice. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 100)
  3. % increased Maximum Life (Elder Prefix; Pristine Fossil)
  4. Spells have +#% to Critical Strike Chance (Shaper Suffix)
  5. Maximum mana (at least 50)
  6. Attribute (Dexterity; Strength)
  7. Chaos resistance

Gloves

Rare gloves are the best choice. You can play with Tombfist Tombfist for some additional damage via the Abyssal sockets, but they are not that beneficial over all. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 60)
  3. % of Physical Damage Converted to Cold Damage (crafted via crafting bench, Betrayal mod)
  4. Maximum mana (at least 40)
  5. Attribute (Dexterity; Strength)
  6. Chaos resistance

Boots

Well rolled rare boots are best in slot. For hard endgame bosses you can use Kaom's Roots Kaom's Roots in order to prevent Freezes and Stuns. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Movement Speed (at least 20-25%)
  3. Maximum Life (at least 70)
  4. Maximum mana (at least 40)
  5. Chaos resistance

Belt

Leather Belt Leather Belt and Stygian Vise Stygian Vise are good bases for the build; Rustic Sash Rustic Sash also works. For low-life, go with Crystal Belt Crystal Belt instead. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil)
  4. Increased Cold Damage (Frigid Fossil)
  5. Increase Flask duration
  6. Increased Flask charges gained
  7. Reduced Flask charges used

Rings

Essence Worm Essence Worm is a unique ring that we strongly recommend. It allows us to run Hatred Hatred while having our whole mana pool non-reserved. Berek's Grip Berek's Grip is another great ring for the build, but it can be expensive. Well rolled Ventor's Gamble Ventor's Gamble is always a good addition to every build. Opal Ring Opal Rings can be used as a crafting base. Rare Affix Priority:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 50)
  3. Maximum mana (at least 30)
  4. Attribute (Dexterity; Strength)
  5. Chaos resistance
  6. Increased Cold Damage

Amulet

We are looking for a rare amulet. The Rare Affix Priority is:

  1. Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 60)
  3. Global Critical Strike Multiplier (at least 20%)
  4. Increased Critical Strike Chance

Weapon

Here you can choose between going full glass cannon by using two shaper weapons, or play with a shaper weapon and shield. Best in slot for both shield and weapons are well rolled rare items. Prior to a decently rolled rare weapon you can use The Tempestuous Steel The Tempestuous Steel, which should be very cheap.

Weapon Affix Priority

  1. Gain #% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
  2. Gain #% of Non-Chaos Damage as extra Chaos Damage (crafted via crafting bench, Betrayal mod)
  3. Gain #% of physical damage as extra lightning damage
  4. Gain #% of physical damage as extra cold damage
  5. Gain #% of elemental damage as extra chaos damage
  6. Increased critical strike chance for spells (at least 80%)
  7. Increased spell damage
  8. % global critical multiplier

Shield Affix Priority

  1. Elemental resistances (until capped)
  2. Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. Increased spell damage
  4. Increased critical strike chance for spells (at least 80%)

Flasks

Diamond flask is mandatory in every critical based build, good flask to have curse or freeze immunity on. Atziri's Promise Atziri's Promise brings survivability with the 35% Chaos Resistance along with a lot of damage. Taste of Hate Taste of Hate is a great choice, because it is always good to take portion of physical hits as elemental hits when you have little to no armour; considering this flask is expensive it can be replaced with Basalt Flask until you can afford it. Divine Life Flask is where we should roll Bleed Immunity and Instant Recovery. The Wise Oak The Wise Oak adds additional cold penetration while your cold resistance is highest. Lavianga's Spirit Lavianga's Spirit is a unique mana flask that will probably solve all your mana issues and will allow you to spam mines recklessly when needed.

Jewels

It is recommended to buying two The Long Winter The Long Winter jewels as soon as you can afford them. Clear Mind Clear Mind is another jewel that the build benefits greatly from. Remember to just run Hatred Hatred in Essence Worm Essence Worm and you only socket Vaal Clarity for its Vaal version, you should not activate the regular Clarity Clarity aura. Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with Hatred Hatred rolls is the endgame goal, but it can get very expensive at this point.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % Maximum Life
  2. % increased damage
  3. % increased area damage
  4. % increased mine damage
  5. % increased spell damage
  6. % increased spell damage while holding shield/ while dual wielding
  7. % increased physical damage
  8. % increased cold damage
  9. % increased critical multiplier

Note: If you have Stygian Vise Stygian Vise belt you should look for an Abyssal jewel with life, mana and preferably flat physical damage to spell.

Leveling

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

As a Shadow, pick Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse. This spell will carry you to level 12 when you can get Fire Nova Mine Fire Nova Mine. This gem combined with Minefield Support Minefield Support will get you to level 28 quickly, then you can just start using Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade. The build is pretty straight forward and not confusing at all. While levelling you can use Clarity Clarity aura to deal with mana problems, running Hatred Hatred at early levels is not really necessary.

Leveling Passive Trees

Around level 40

Note: At this point you have the most important passive tree nodes in order to start using mines. They detonate instantly and are indestructible via Volatile Mines and Clever Construction.

Around level 60

Note: Here we already picked Acrobatics and Mind over Matter and should feel safe while farming Blood Aqueduct.

Around level 80

Note: After level 65 is when we recommend transitioning to critical. Also pick Phase Acrobatics at this point for additional layer of defense.

Useful leveling uniques

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.

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.

Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

At level 8, your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse should look like this.

Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

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

At level 12, you should replace your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse with the following Fire Nova Mine Fire Nova Mine link.

Fire Nova Mine Fire Nova Mine Minefield Support Minefield Support

By level 18, your Fire Nova Mine Fire Nova Mine link should look like this.

Fire Nova Mine Fire Nova Mine Minefield Support Minefield Support
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support

At level 28, finally, you can transition from Fire Nova Mine Fire Nova Mine to you signature skill Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade. At this point you should also activate Hatred Hatred for additional damage.

Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade Remote Mine Support Remote Mine Support
Minefield Support Minefield Support Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support

By level 31, your Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade link should look like this.

Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade Remote Mine Support Remote Mine Support
Minefield Support Minefield Support Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support
Cold Penetration Support Cold Penetration Support Hypothermia Support Hypothermia Support

FAQ

Is there any type of content the build cannot do?

The Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade Saboteur miner excels at everything the game has to offer. It is great at Delve, Bestiary, Incursion and Betrayal. It can even one-shot Izaro which make it reliable Labyrinth runner.

What makes mine builds better boss killers than other builds?

The mine play style is way more different than other builds. The thing that a mine build is better at than others is that it can setup damage before the encounter starts and deal a great burst of it, that can “phase” bosses in matter of 3 seconds or less.

Conclusion

This is one of the builds that costs literally nothing to start and can farm its way to end game. Many of the top-tier boss killers use Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade mines due to its insane burst potential. Placing and detonating mines is just another way to control your damage output in a sense. Also bosses that are not instantly triggered and take some time to spawn let you place down 15+ mines and just annihilate them when they are spawned. Clear speed can feel a bit clunky sometimes but the build does the job. End game you will end up with 8k effective life pool at the very least, this puts the character in a very safe spot.

Changelog
  •    Updated passive skill trees.
  •    Revisited and updated for Synthesis 3.6.
  •    Made the playstyle section more descriptive, and improved the gearing section by providing more detailed recommendations.
  •    Reworked Gem Link and Gem Progression sections for improved visibility
2
  1. Posts
    1

    I’m starting with this build. thank you.

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    81

    If you have any questions do not hesitate to come back and ask, we will help with any information regarding Path of Exile.

  3. Posts
    1

    i would really like to try this build but i cant access the endgame skill tree (the low life version opens fine but not the normal version)

  4. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    81

    Hello @Taurus, I will look into it right now and fix it right away. Feel free to ask any questions.

  5. Posts
    1

    Hey, I’m trying this build out and reading it makes me exited! I was wondering, is there a path of building connected to this? Like a pastebin to use in PoB? Can’t seem to find one and I’m kinda confused as to why we are able to have two 6-links when the only thing we’re using is GC mines.

  6. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    81

    The only 6-Link gem setup in the build indeed the Glacial Cascade Glacial Cascade mine setup, you do not need any other 6-Link.

  7. Posts
    2

    https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/brytan06/characters?characterName=btrains

    I have made one myself for a month now and I have some different opinions.

    1) In weapon slot and amulet – The implicit – convert elemental damage as extra chaos damage is the best vs the” physical to lightning “ and the “physical to cold” conversions. According to Path of Building it has extra DPS.

    2)Helmet- You NEED the “place one additional mine” implicit- its more DPS for sure

    3)Belt – There is a Delve Craft which scales elemental damge and cold damge – incase you capped your resist

    4)Gloves – Get the Suffix- Physical to Cold Conversion if possible if you happen to max your resistances

    This guide is very good but these 4 inputs made my build so much stronger than this build. I got alot of currencies from Carrying people to Uber Elder and can do it flawless with no deaths. Feel free to ask some questions.

    Note: My Build is overly capped in resist because i use “ kaoms roots “ in killing uber elder-boots slot, so if i swap my two-toned boots with it i still get 80% max resist”. it took me awhile to get the proper resist though. /heh

    Edited by Brytan on February 27th, 2019

  8. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    81

    Hey Brytan,

    Looks like you are experienced and you know what you are doing, I have to say that you have a pretty well geared character right there.

    1. The extra damage as chaos is great, especially if you stack a lot of conversion, even on gloves like you chose to do. Something to note here is that even if you overcap your conversion to cold, this is still beneficial for the additional damage as chaos, so you can still run two threshold jewels and have the conversion on gloves.
    2. The additional mine from Shaper-based helmet is great, as you mentioned. I will make sure to add that to recommended mods.
    3. Rolling belt with Fossils can be very beneficial indeed, we started recommending that more often in recent builds. We will revisit old ones such as this one and implement more recommended Fossil mods.
    4. This is a good addition to the build but is not mandatory, especially early on when you can get two threshold jewels instead.

    Edited by Vvckd on February 27th, 2019

  9. Posts
    2

    Thank you for posting your build. It made me Enjoy PoE again since my last league “Breach League”. I be taking a rest on the next league and who knows when I will come back. I really2 had fun especially when you finish the game content so easily.

    Edited by Brytan on March 2nd, 2019

  10. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    81

    Hey Brytan, good to hear from you again, thanks for the kind feedback. Path of Exile is a great game and it is always easy to come back. See you around exile.

  11. Posts
    1

    Hey, I just wanted to know why you picked Expeditious Minutions when you are using mines. Does it apply ?

    Good build though thx for making the guide =).

  12. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    81

    It is a mistake, thank you for pointing that out, will fix it shortly.

  13. Posts
    1

    Hi, are there a max. lvl for the Gems?

  14. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    81

    Hello Afobbs, in Path of Exile regular gems cap at level 20, corrupting a gem has the possibility to turn a level 20 gem into level 21.

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