Kinetic Blast & Barrage Saboteur Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

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Introduction

The Kinetic Blast & Barrage Saboteur is an unpopular but very strong character when it comes to clear speed. Using Mines in order to deal damage with attacks is often underestimated simply because it is easier to rely on your own attacks and take advantage of things like Life and Mana leech. We solve sustain problems by picking up Saboteur’s Pyromaniac.

The build’s main idea is to lay Mines that will then release an immense amount of projectiles when detonated. Kinetic Blast Kinetic Blast is used for clearing while Barrage Barrage excels at dealing a great amount of single target damage. The character also reaches a respectable amount of survivability by combining decent Life pool, Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics, the Blind aura from Born in the Shadows, and some strong defensive flasks.

Build Summary

The build can easily be played on a budget. The Barrage Barrage threshold jewels Volley Fire Volley Fire will drastically improve single target damage. Piscator's Vigil Piscator's Vigil is a great unique Wand when it comes to elemental damage done with Wand attacks, it can be replaced later with well rolled rare one.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great clear speed
+ Can be played on a budget
+ Reflect does not matter

Cons

- The playstyle of the build might not be suitable for everyone
- Has mediocre single target if not well geared

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. A single set of Kinetic Blast Kinetic Blast Mines should be enough to clear multiple packs of monsters when properly geared. When you encounter tougher enemies you can drop down your Detonate Mines Detonate Mines Totem, activate Vaal Clarity Vaal Clarity and start to lay Barrage Barrage Mines rapidly, which will result in a great amount of single target damage.

Defensively, the large Life pool combined with Acrobatics, Phase Acrobatic, the Blind and sustain from the ascendancy take care of most things passively. Steelskin Steelskin can soak up additional incoming damage whenever needed. Movement skills like Shield Charge Shield Charge 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.

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, and this will improve the burst potential of the build and overall it feels better to play with more mine throwing speed.

Our second choice is Demolitions Specialist. This ascendancy node provides great damage gain along with the ability to Hinder enemies.

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. The main key notables the build uses are Acrobatics and Phase Acrobatics, and besides that we focus on picking all the efficient Life, Mines, Critical and Wand nodes on the passive tree. Piercing Shots allows you to drop Pierce Support Pierce Support from your Kinetic Blast Kinetic Blast setup, essentially improving your damage while clearing by a considerable amount. Having at least 2 Jewel sockets with 40 Dexterity around them is important for the Volley Fire Volley Fire threshold Jewels, and you can even use a third one near Acrobatics if you need more single target damage.

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.

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

Kinetic Blast Kinetic Blast and Barrage Barrage are the two main skills the build uses: they can be linked in gear simultaneous or swapped between each other. Both Shield Charge Shield Charge and Flame Dash Flame Dash can be used for mobility. Summon Skitterbots is a great utility skill that reserves portion of your Mana. Detonate Mines Detonate Mines can be casted by a Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support in order to improve single target damage output. Steelskin Steelskin should be used in hairy situations. We recommend utilizing Vaal Clarity Vaal Clarity in order to solve Mana problems when you spam mines. Wrath Wrath 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, 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.

Kinetic Blast (6-Link)

Kinetic Blast Kinetic Blast is turned into a mine via High-Impact 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 for clearing.

  1. Kinetic Blast Kinetic Blast
  2. High-Impact Mine Support High-Impact Mine Support
  3. Swift Assembly Support Swift Assembly Support
  4. Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support
  5. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
  6. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

Barrage (6-Link)

Barrage Barrage is our single target skill, which is also turned into a Mine via High-Impact Mine Support. We will provide an example of a 6-Link, but you will probably do enough damage even in a 4-Link while doing regular maps. Having the skill in a psuedo 5-Link in Thunderfist Thunderfist can also be very efficient.

  1. Barrage Barrage
  2. High-Impact Mine Support High-Impact Mine Support
  3. Swift Assembly Support Swift Assembly Support
  4. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
  5. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support
  6. Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support

Shield Charge (3-Link)

Shield Charge Shield Charge is a great choice for a mobility skill. Hitting enemies while using it will provide a Fortify effect for free with the following link.

  1. Shield Charge Shield Charge
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  3. 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 very useful in single target encounters.

  1. Detonate Mines Detonate Mines
  2. Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting 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, which allows for reckless Mine placing. The regular version of the aura can be used to augment your Mana regeneration.

  1. Vaal Clarity Vaal Clarity
  2. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Other Gems

Wrath Wrath 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. Steelskin Steelskin can be used for additional damage mitigation.

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

A well rolled rare Helmet is the best in slot. For the labyrinth enchant, look for “Barrage fires an additional Projectile”. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% to Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. # to Dexterity; Strength
  4. +#% to Chaos Resistance

Body Armour

When it comes to unique Body Armour choices we can choose between Loreweave Loreweave and Carcass Jack Carcass Jack. Loreweave provides a great amount of defense via the additional maximum resistances, along with some offense. Carcass Jack will improve clear speed via the big area of effect boost. Well rolled rare chest is also a good choice. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% to Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. % increased Maximum Life (Elder Prefix; Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. Attacks have +#% to Critical Strike Chance (Elder Suffix)
  5. # to Dexterity; Strength
  6. +#% to Chaos Resistance

Gloves

Rare Gloves are the best choice. You can play with Thunderfist Thunderfist for the psuedo 5-Link early on. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% to Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. Adds # to # Cold Damage
  4. Adds # to # Lightning Damage
  5. Adds # to # Fire Damage

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. +#% to Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. % increased Movement Speed (at least 20-25%)
  3. +# to Maximum Life (at least 80)
  4. +#% to Chaos Resistance

Belt

Leather Belt Leather Belt and Stygian Vise Stygian Vise are good bases for the build. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% to Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. % increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  4. % increased Elemental Damage (Prismatic Fossil Prismatic Fossil)

Amulet

We are looking for a rare Amulet. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% to Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to Maximum Life (at least 50)
  3. % increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  4. % to Global Critical Strike Multiplier (at least 20%)
  5. Flat amount of elemental damage added to attacks

Rings

Essence Worm Essence Worm is a unique ring that can be used if you choose to leave your Mana unreserved. Berek's Grip Berek's Grip is a 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. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% to Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to Maximum Life (at least 50)
  3. % increased Elemental Damage with Attack Skills
  4. Flat amount of elemental damage added to attacks

Weapon

Piscator's Vigil Piscator's Vigil is a budget-friendly unique Wand that can carry you a long way. When it comes to rare Wands, we do not care about Attack Speed at all when it comes to our attacks, as we are mainly looking for high Critical Chance and added Elemental damage; for a crafting base, look for at least iLvl 83 Prophecy Wand Prophecy Wand or Omen Wand Omen Wand. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. % increased Critical Strike Chance (at least 8%)
  2. Damage Penetrates #% Elemental Resistances (Shaper Suffix)
  3. Adds # to # Cold Damage
  4. Adds # to # Lightning Damage
  5. Adds # to # Fire Damage

Shield

For the Shield we are looking for the purely defensive aspect of the item; having high Evasion Rating is ideal. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% to Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to Maximum Life (at least 80)
  3. % increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)

Flasks

Diamond Flask Diamond Flask is mandatory in every Critical-based build, this is a 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. Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask is where we should roll Bleed Immunity and Instant Recovery. Lavianga's Spirit Lavianga's Spirit is a unique Mana flask that will solve all your Mana issues and will allow you to spam Mines recklessly when needed. Quicksilver Flask Quicksilver Flask, Basalt Flask Basalt Flask, Jade Flask Jade Flask, Stibnite Flask Stibnite Flask and Quartz Flask Quartz Flask are all great utility flasks that the build can make great use of. Make sure you have Bleed, Freeze and Curse immunity rolled on your flasks.

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

It is recommended to have at least two Volley Fire Volley Fire Jewels as soon as you can afford them. Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with Wrath Wrath mods is the endgame goal, but it can get very expensive at this point. You should prioritize Abyssal Jewels over regular ones due to the nature of the build.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % increased Maximum Life
  2. % increased Damage
  3. % increased Mine Damage
  4. % increased Critical Multiplier

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. +# to maximum Life
  2. Adds # to # Cold Damage to Wand Attacks
  3. Adds # to # Lightning Damage to Wand Attacks
  4. Adds # to # Fire Damage to Wand Attacks
  5. Adds # to # Cold Damage to Attacks
  6. Adds # to # Lightning Damage to Attacks
  7. Adds # to # Fire Damage to Attacks

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 Kinetic Blast Kinetic Blast. While leveling you can use Clarity Clarity aura to deal with mana problems.

Leveling Passive Trees

This is what your passive skill tree should look like around level 70.

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.

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

At level 4, you should add Steelskin Steelskin for the additional damage mitigation.

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

  1. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse
  2. Onslaught Support Onslaught Support
  3. Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support
  4. 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 Icycle Mine link.

  1. Icycle Mine
  2. Pierce Support Pierce Support

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

  1. Icycle Mine
  2. Pierce Support Pierce Support
  3. Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support

At level 28, finally, you can transition from Icycle Mine to you signature skill Kinetic Blast Kinetic Blast. At this point you should also have a 4-Link Barrage Barrage setup.

Kinetic Blast

  1. Kinetic Blast Kinetic Blast
  2. High-Impact Mine Support High-Impact Mine Support
  3. Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support
  4. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support
  5. Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

Barrage

  1. Barrage Barrage
  2. High-Impact Mine Support High-Impact Mine Support
  3. Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support

At this point you can also make a great use of Detonate Mines Detonate Mines which should be linked with Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support.

FAQ

What map mods should be avoided?

No regeneration maps are doable but very nasty to deal with.

Why choose to do Mines with an attack skill?

Although this might be a different approach to an attack skill, it proves to be very efficient, especially for clearing multiple screens of monsters. By using Mines we eliminate the Attack Speed portion of the skill and mainly focus on extra damage, our attack rate only depends on our mine laying speed (this allows us to save points and gear more easily without worrying about Attack Speed).

Conclusion

The Kinetic Blast & Barrage Saboteur is a Mine build that excels at clearing very fast while maintaining respectable amount of single target damage. The build uses a combination of attack skills which are then turned into mines, a method often unused and underestimated, it proves to be very efficient in this particular case.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. The build remains solid and strong overall.

  •   

    Build added.

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