This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:
The Herald of Ice & Orb of Storms Assassin is a character with a very interesting build concept. It aims to scale the Herald of Ice‘s explosion enough that it is able to clear monster packs very efficiently. Considering the skill has no base Critical Chance we have to add some via things like Assassin’s Deadly Infusion, the Assassin's Mark Curse and Increased Critical Strikes Support, which is how we are making Herald of Ice’s explosions able to Critically Strike.
The build uses Orb of Storms to trigger these chain reactions of Cold explosions. You also have a Storm Brand in order to improve your single target damage potential when needed. The character is CI-based and mainly relies on a lot of Energy Shield Leech in order to sustain its Energy Shield pool.
Overall, the character has an amazing clear speed and farms maps very efficiently but has mediocre single target damage output and should not be used for boss killing.
The build can be started with almost nothing and can even work as a league-starter. With the items for late-game we have the option to heavily invest in order to turn the character into a clear speed monster. These items are Energy Shield bases with high amounts of ES and can cost a lot if you go for best-in-slot gear pieces, but it is not necessary at all.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Very high clear speed
+ Can be started on a budget
- Mediocre single target, should not be used for boss killing
- Dies to Elemental Reflect and high amounts of Physical damage (has low Physical damage mitigation)
Offensively, you should keep your Tempest Shield activated all the time and drop Orb of Storms near monster packs. This will result in great chain reactions of explosions from your Herald of Ice and will barely ever league anything alive. For tougher enemies make sure they are getting hit by your Orb of Storms and place a Storm Brand on them.
Defensively, the character is mainly sustained by its decent Energy Shield pool in combination with Energy Leech Support and even more Energy Shield leech on the passive tree.
For playstyle, try to keep your distance and do not take unnecessary hits, replace your Orb of Storms whenever needed and keep up your utility flasks and Tempest Shield. Flame Dash will help you get out of sticky situations.
For more information, be sure to check out the passive skill tree page.
Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons
Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.
We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Amulet||Eye of Chayula|
|Chest||Shroud of the Lightless|
As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
Here is an early version of the passive skill tree prior to transitioning to Chaos Inoculation.
Useful Leveling Unique Items
As you begin a new character there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. Lifesprig will help out with the damage output early on.
Using 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.
At level 4, you are able to pick up Orb of Storms.
At level 10, you are able to add Flame Dash, which will help with your mobility.
At level 16, you should pick up Herald of Ice in order to level up the gem while you are progressing.
Orb of Storms
- Storm Brand
- Concentrated Effect Support
- Controlled Destruction Support
- Added Lightning Damage Support
When Should I go CI and How Much Energy Shield Should I Have at That Point?
If you have decent gear you can go Chaos Inoculation as early as level 60-70. You should be using Dream Fragments at this point. With decent gear you should easily achieve 6-7k Energy Shield at the very least.
Herald of Ice & Orb of Storms Assassin is a character that excels at clearing zones very fast and efficiently. It can blast multiple screens of mobs with a single cast, which can be very satisfying. The build’s main con is the low single target damage output when played on a budget.